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Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata)

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Growing Region:
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Germination Rate:



18" - 36"


Red Orange Yellow

Low Water
Native to US:


Life Form:




Blanket Flower is a cool-season, short-lived perennial native to most of the western US, the upper Great Plains, around the Great Lakes, and parts of New England.

Its flowers are bright red toward the center and grow yellow near the tips, along with fuzzy, light green leaves. When established, it prefers full sun to partial shade and is relatively drought-tolerant.

It usually blooms from June to September and thrives along prairies, foothills, and roadsides. It also provides erosion control and beautification for any of these areas, turning them into stable and attractive environments. The Blanket Flower is also the state flower of Oklahoma.

Seeding rate: 5 lbs / Acre

Each wildflower seed packet contains approximately 100 seeds


How to Grow Blanket Flower Patches in Your Garden/Pasture

While growing blanket flowers is relatively easy, they still require the same level of attention and care as any other plant. Below are a few recommendations and instructions for growing your blanket flower garden bed or pasture:


Preferred Amount of Light

While they can last in partial shade, blanket flower plants thrive best in a full-sun location with at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. This will ensure plenty of blooms throughout the late spring and into the late summer months.


Preferred Soil for Blanket Flowers

Blanket flowers can grow in sandy, loamy, or clay soils but are particularly suited to growing in well-drained soil. It can also grow in slightly acidic soils as well.


Preferred Temperatures

The Blanket Flower also grows best in moderate climates, particularly temperatures between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, its hardiness also allows the Blanket Flower to grow successfully in a wide variety of climates.


Preferred Length to Divide Blanket Flowers

Finally, you'll want to ideally let your Blanket Flower plants grow 12 to 18 inches apart, allowing them to spread and form clumps of beautiful orange and yellow flowers.


6 Steps to Properly Planting Your Blanket Flowers

With these preferences in mind, here is a list of steps to take in order to plant your next batch of blanket flowers over the early summer or spring:

  1. Pick the Right Spot: Find an area of your pasture or garden that offers plenty of sun exposure and well-draining soil.
  2. Space Properly: Keep each plant 12 to 18 inches apart so they have room to grow and spread.
  3. Dig/Sow: If you've started your seeds inside, excavate a hole that is roughly the same depth as the root ball of your blanket flower plant and two to three times wider. If you're planting blanket flower seeds, then sow the seeds directly into your prepared garden soil bed.
  4. Plant/Press: Put the plant in the hole and ensure the top of the root ball is at the same level as the soil surface. Fill the hole up and pat around it to make sure there are no leftover air pockets. For seeds, lightly press each seed into the soil — be sure not to bury them too deeply, as they will need light. Finally, add some water to help settle the planet and keep the soil moist to nourish the roots.
  5. Mulch: To help trap moisture and regulate soil temperature, consider adding a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant, such as compost, wood chips, or straw.
  6. Watering: During the first several weeks of your plants' initial establishment, you'll want to keep the soil moist. After that, you may water it infrequently to encourage root growth.
  7. Maintain: Finally, a few things to do over time to maintain your blanket flowers are removing dead flowers, cutting back over the early spring or late fall to ensure growth, and keeping an eye out for pests and powdery mildew.


What Does It Mean if Blanket Flowers Are "Drought Tolerant"?

While "drought resistant" refers to plants that can stand without water for long periods of time, "drought tolerant" plants are a step down from that same level of resilience. Instead, they are able to withstand less water than most other plants, but not for as long a period as “drought resistant” plants.

Fortunately, due to their native environments, the hardy perennial blanket flower is extremely drought tolerant. Unless it is suffering through hot summer temperatures in dry conditions, it can go with only one or two waterings a week.


Are There Other Types of Blanket Flowers?

Yes, a wide variety of Gaillardia plants are native across the United States, Canada, and throughout South America. Here are a few of the various kinds with details on how they differ from Gaillardia aristata:

  • Gaillardia aestivalis - Another perennial with purplish, whitish, or yellow flowers.
  • Gaillardia amblyodon - An annual flower with maroon flowers.
  • Gaillardia x grandiflora - A hybrid between a tall perennial gaillardia and annual gaillardia with large ornamental blooms and orange flowers tipped with yellow.

Matched with other species of red, orange, or purple flowers and ornamental grasses, nearly any type of blanket flower species can produce a beautiful landscape.


What is The Difference Between "Gallardia aristata" and "Gaillardia pulchella"

While they are both from the same genus of flowering plants, Gaillardia aristata and Gaillardia pulchella are like oranges and lemons — they have as many similarities as differences.

Gaillardia aristata are known as Blanket Flowers and are short-lived perennials. On the other hand, Gaillardia pulchella, also known as Indian Blanket flowers, is an annual species. Thus, Indian Blanket Flowers die off each year, while Blanket Flowers grow again each sprint and with much shorter blooming periods.

These differences make the two species the right match for those looking to create a quality pollinator garden or pasture with beautiful, vibrant colors throughout the growing season.


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