Gaura care in winter

Learn how to grow gaura in your garden. Gaura plant care and growing is easy. This drought tolerant shrub thrives in well-drained soil and loves to bath in the day long sun.

The gaura is a beautiful perennial plant that is easy to grow and with minimal care, it offers a long blooming period and colorful flowers that attract butterflies.

Gaura Plant Care

Gaura lindheimeri

USDA Zones— 5 – 10

Difficulty— Easy

Other Names— Wandflower, Butterfly gaura, Whirling butterfly, Siskiyou pink

The genus “Gaura” consists of about 20 species of plants. It is native to North America. Its fine erected foliage and irregularly shaped flowers make it attractive. You can vary the uses according to the species, low growing varieties (not more than 24 inches) are placed in borders or in rock gardens while the large shrub-like varieties are perfect for growing in the cluster behind low growing plants in flower beds.

Two Popular Varieties

  • Gaura Biennis (Biennial Gaura): A tall variety that can grow 3-6 feet high. The foliage is red when matured, it has hairy flowering stems and light pink or white colored flowers that turn into coral red in late summer and fall.
  • Gaura Lindheimeri (White Gaura): A Texas native, tolerant to drought. It grows up to 5 feet tall, flowers appears from summer to fall.

How to Grow Gaura


Gaura can be propagated from seeds.The seeds are available in local garden shops or can be bought online. Propagation by cuttings should be done in spring and late summer or by division in the fall.

Planting Gaura

Prepare the planting site by performing a deep plowing. Remove stones, debris, and weeds. This plant doesn’t transplant well, that’s why it is better to sow the seeds directly at the planting site, once all the dangers of frost are eliminated and the weather warms up.

If you are planting a potted gaura plant, make sure to make a planting hole in soil– twice wide and of the same depth as it was planted in the previous pot. Place the plant in the hole and fill that with well-drained soil. If the soil is very heavy or poor prepare it by adding compost or well-rotted manure and coarse sand in smaller proportion.

How to Grow Gaura in Pots

Growing gaura in pots is possible. Choose the pot that is 12 inches deep and 10 inches wide to provide a sufficient space to the plant. Keep the pot in sunny spot and water it only when the top surface of soil dries out.

Requirements for Growing Gaura


Planting position must be sunny, for prolific blooms exposure to at least 6 hours of sunlight is ideal. If the location is windy provide support to plants.


Gaura grows well in light and sandy soil. Due to its taproot, the soil must be deep and also little fertile. Water logging soil that is clay rich and cloaks the drainage hinders the development and must be avoided.


Growing gaura is easy. As it adapts well to the drought-like conditions due to the long taproot it has, infrequent and economical watering is recommended. Water it deeply but only when the top two inch of soil seems dry.


The planting distance for low growing varieties is around 12 inches. For more shrub like large varieties, space the plants 15 inches apart from each other.


Gaura doesn’t require additional fertilizer to bloom. It thrives in poor soil. Application of manure or compost during planting is sufficient. Even adding too much natural fertilizer can cause the plant to grow limply.

Deadheading and Pruning

Remove spent flower spikes as soon as they fade, cut the entire stalk to promote more blooms. Once the blooming period ends in late summer, trim the shrub slightly (3″) to refresh it. The plant will start to flower again in fall with more vigor.


Gaura plant care is if you live in the warmer region. During the winter, let the faded stems on site, they provide protection against the cold. It is also recommended to mulch around the roots to insulate them, especially if you live below USDA Zone 8.

Diseases and Pests

The gaura is immune to diseases though excess water or planting in wet soil can cause root rot. It rarely gets attacked by pests but keep an eye on common garden pests.

Growing Gaura (Gaura)

Latin Name Pronunciation: gar’-ah

Gardeners love Gaura for the way its flowers resemble small butterflies floating at the end of long, arching stems. The overall effect is light and willowy, and Gaura benefits from neighbors with heft. It grows well in heat and sun and tolerates drought. In the right conditions, Gaura is a low-maintenance plant.

Light/Watering: Plant in full sun (6 or more hours of direct sun each day). Drought is tolerated once plants are established.

Fertilizer/Soil and pH: Grow in average, well-drained soil. Choose a site that has excellent drainage during winter as well.

Pests/Diseases: Leaf spot, rust, or powdery mildew may occasionally appear.

Companions: Sun-loving annuals such as Dahlias or perennials such as Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.

Reflowering: Remove spent flowers to encourage rebloom and limit reseeding.

Dividing/Transplanting: Plants can be divided in spring.

End-of-Season Care: Cut stems down to the ground and remove dead material and weeds.

Calendar of Care

Early Spring: Apply a balanced, granular fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) or a 1-2in layer of compost around the plant (keep compost several inches away from the crown of plants to avoid rot).

Mid-Spring: Divide plants every 3-5 years to maintain vigor.

Late Spring: Keep area around plants free from weeds.

Summer: Remove spent flowers to encourage rebloom and limit reseeding.

Fall: Cut stems down to the ground.

Pink Fountain gaura adds whimsical texture

Pink Fountain gaura is so beautiful that it commands attention.

Pink Fountain gaura is so beautiful that it commands attention.

Botanically speaking, it is known as Gaura lindheimeri and is in the family Onagraceae, meaning it is related to evening primrose and fuchsia.

But the look and texture of the gaura aren’t even close to these family members. It is native to Louisiana and Texas but is a hardy perennial to Zone 5.

The official common name is Lindheimer’s beeblossom. Some of the other names — such as butterfly gaura, which references the flowers’ resemblance to butterflies floating, and Indian feather — suggest that the plant offers an interesting texture for the garden.

Although a lot of gaura varieties have been introduced in the past decade, it is still a new plant to many gardeners.

Gaura reaches 2 to 4?feet tall and forms a long taproot, which makes it drought-tolerant. It performs best in well-drained soil with full sun and doesn’t need large quantities of organic matter or frequent applications of fertilizer to thrive. Gardeners should, however, apply a good layer of mulch — especially in the colder zones.

Gaura tolerates heat and humidity and puts on a great fall display if cut back midsummer, which normally coincides with a lull in blooming. Although gaura is a perennial, a dividing regimen isn’t required. If there is reseeding, pluck the unwanted plants and transplant the others.

Although gaura flowers aren’t the showiest in the garden, they are ideal companion plants in the perennial border or for a cottage look. Combine with other perennials such as rudbeckia, coreopsis and blue salvia.

Beautiful plantings can be made among rocks or at the center of large, mixed containers.

Growing Gaura Plants – Information On The Care Of Gauras

Growing gaura plants (Gaura lindheimeri) provide a background plant for the garden that gives the impression of butterflies flitting in the breeze. The white flower blooms of growing gaura plants have earned it the common name of Whirling Butterflies. Other common names of the delicately flowering plant include Bee Blossom.

Gaura growing info says the wildflower was left in its natural, wild form until the 1980s when breeders developed the cultivar ‘Siskiyou Pink.’ Several hybrids have since been developed to keep the cultivar under control and make it suitable for the flower bed.

Gaura Perennial Care

A tap rooted perennial, growing gaura plants do not like to be moved from place to place, so plant them where you want them to remain for several years. Seeds may be started indoors in peat or other biodegradable pots that can be planted directly into the sunny garden.

Care of gauras involves planting them into a full sun area with rich soil and deep drainage. Growth needs of the gaura plant include organic soil. This encourages development of the taproot. gaura growing info indicates the plants are drought tolerant once established, consequently, little care of gaura is needed.

Water and fertilization needs are minimal once growing gaura plants are established, usually when they reach 3 feet in height and blooms appear.

Guara growing info says the plant begins to blossom in mid-spring and continues to provide the unusual flowers until frost causes die back. Some gardeners find gaura to perform best when cut down to the roots in autumn.

Additional Growth Needs of the Gaura Plant

Unfortunately, gaura growing info also indicates that growth needs of the gaura plant may include more area than the gardener is willing to devote to them. Consequently, the removal of growing gaura plants outside of their boundaries may be a necessary part of gaura perennial care.

Now that you have this gaura growing info, give them a try in the sunny flower bed. Growing gaura plants can be an unusual addition to the xeriscape garden or sunny landscape. Choose hybridized varieties, such as Gaura lindheimeri, to avoid invasion in the garden.

Gaura is a native of Mexico and Texas, and its Spanish name translates as “superb”. It is an attractive, drought-resistant shrub that does well in a sunny setting with light, well-drained soil.

In its original native form, it grows to a height of three feet and spreads to be about three feet wide. In climates that offer less sun, it may be a bit smaller, but it can still do quite well if you make sure it gets as much full sun as possible and provide good, airy soil type.

This easy-care plant is available in several varieties. It makes a beautiful addition to almost any garden. In this article, we will discuss the care of Gaura and share some ideas on how to use this cheery plant to best effect. Read on to learn more.

The Right Variety Adds A Fresh Look To Your Summer Garden

Gaura is both pretty and tough. In hot, dry climates it adds a light, airy touch to the garden, especially toward the end of the summer when most plants are looking a bit ragged. After all your other flowers have finished blooming, Gaura with its star-shaped flowers will still be going strong, adding color and freshness to your garden setting.

Gaura is an excellent companion for your spring bulbs and tubers. When your irises and other bulbs have finished blooming, Gaura interspersed among the plants adds color while the iris leaves create a lovely backdrop.

Not only does this attractive herbaceous perennial add its own beauty and charm to your landscape, it also attracts butterflies for added flower color and interest.

Gaura Varieties

There are about 20 species of Gaura perennial plants like the Gaura Belleza Dark Pink. All are comprised of perky dark green foliage and attractive, billowy flowers. Popular varieties include:

  • Whirling Butterfly
  • Butterfly Gaura
  • Biennial Gaura
  • Corrie’s Gold
  • Siskiyou Pink
  • Wandflower
  • White Gaura

Cultivars vary in size and can be used for several different purposes in the garden. Some smaller types never grow bigger than two feet high, and they make an excellent choice for creating a low border or for adding to rock gardens as single specimens.

There are also larger Gaura plants that can make a nice garden centerpiece surrounded by a collection of lower, colorful blooms. Among the taller varieties are Biennial Gaura and White Gaura. Both are in the five-foot height range.

Biennial Gaura puts on a lovely show throughout the growing season. Its stems are covered with fine hairs, and its blossoms change color from white to pink to coral red during the summer and into the autumn.

White Gaura is a native of the state of Texas. As such, it is very drought tolerant. It produces billows of delicate white flowers throughout the summer and fall.

How To Propagate Your Gaura Plants

It is easiest to grow these lovely shrubs and bushes from seed sown directly in the ground. You can purchase seed at your local garden center or online. Be sure to select a variety that will do well in your area.

Prepare your planting area by plowing very deeply and removing all weeds, debris, and rocks. You can sow your Gaura seed directly into your well-prepared bed when the weather turns warm and all danger of frost has passed.

Be sure to use a light soil with a high sand content. Understand that your prepared soil must be quite deep and fertile. Gaura puts down a long tap root, so the planting bed must enable this root to grow long and establish itself well. Excessive clay, heavy soil, or soil that does not drain well will prevent the development of a healthy tap root.

Take care to choose your site well. Because these plants have deep taproots, they do not like to be moved once established. Therefore, propagation by division is a less successful method.

Be sure to give your plants and bushes enough room to grow successfully. Give the smaller varieties about a foot of space all around. Larger shrubs should have at least 15 inches between bushes at the time of planting.

Avoid moving a stationary Gaura from one location in your yard or garden to another. The mature plants do not do well when they are dug up and moved. It’s better to begin anew with a different plant than to try to move an existing one.

Start Root Cuttings In Pots

If you are propagating by division, don’t simply plant your divided root balls in the ground. You must pot them and get them well-established before transplanting them to their permanent spots.

You can plant your potted Gaura seed into a well-prepared bed, or plant them as individual bushes and shrubs. To do this, you must dig a large hole that allows ample room for root growth. It should be the same depth as the pot your plant is in; however, it should be twice as wide.

Gently remove the plant from its pot and place it in the hole. Adjust by adding or removing soil so that the top of the root ball is even with the top of the hole. The roots should be covered in the ground just as they were in the pot.

Once you have carefully positioned the plant, fill in the hole with soil that will provide good drainage and root aeration. If your soil is heavy and/or has a high clay content, you must amend it with coarse sand and well-rotted manure to improve its condition.

It’s best to plant potted Gaura later in the growing season. Let your spring flowers have their day, and then as they are fading back, introduce Gaura to add a splash of color and life to your declining garden.

In fact, this plant comes in very handy as a filler. When your other plants start to wilt, you can simply cut them back and replace them with this pretty, rugged plant. These carefree plants cheerily fill empty spaces with billows of blossoms.

Water With Care

The taproot will constantly draw water from deep in the soil. Therefore, these lovely plants are drought-resistant. Remember to water very deeply, occasionally. Plants located in beds or in the yard or garden should be watered when the top couple of inches of the soil feel dry. Use a soaker hose or a slow trickle of water to water over an extended period to deliver deep, intensive watering.

Growing Gaura As A Potted Or Container Plant

If you do not have space outdoors to plant your Gaura directly in the ground, you can keep it as a container plant. Be sure to use a pot or container that will provide ample growing space. It should be a minimum of 12 inches deep and 10 inches wide.

The advantage of keeping Gaura as a container plant is that you can move it to catch the most sun throughout the growing season. This can improve the plant’s performance in settings that do not get massive amounts of sunshine all day.

To get abundant blooms throughout the summer and autumn, you must put your plant in a place where it will receive at least six hours of strong sunlight a day. While Gaura can withstand some wind, you should provide support to prevent damage and asymmetrical growth.

When keeping your Gaura in a pot or container, be very careful not to overwater as this will cause root rot. Check the surface of the soil every day, and water deeply when the top inch of soil is dry.

It is easy to grow this plant if you can closely mimic the prairie conditions in its native land.

As a native plant from hot, dry regions Gaura is not a heavy feeder. It does not need to be fertilized to stimulate blooming. On the contrary, it prefers poor soil.

Just be sure to work compost and/or manure into the soil when you introduce your plants to your garden. That should set them up for an excellent start in life. Excessive fertilizer is detrimental and can cause your Gaura to grow leggy and limp.

Encourage More Blooms

For a bushier plant, be sure to trim and shape the tips of the limbs regularly. While deadheading is not necessary, it can help encourage increased blooming.

When you see your Gaura flowers beginning to fade, cut them off at the base of the stalk. Keeping up with this can stimulate a second round of blooming in the autumn.

How To Over-Winter Your Gaura

In warmer areas where Gauras is native or could naturalize easily, you don’t need to do anything. Just leave the plants in place and allow the dead stems to stay as natural protection from the cold. You may also wish to add a layer of mulch to protect the roots.

If you live in a colder area where Gaura is not native and could not naturalize, mulch is a necessity for wintertime protection. This is especially true if you live in an area that is lower than USDA Hardiness Zone 8.

Are These Plants Susceptible To Pests And Diseases?

For the most part, Gaura is pest and disease-free. You may occasionally notice dark spots on the leaves, but don’t despair! This is normal coloration.

Gauri’s main enemy is root rot, which you can avoid completely by providing good, light, airy soil. Also, take great care not to over-water.

Celebrate With Gaura

Once you learn how very easy it is to grow, care for, and propagate these beautiful, colorful plants you will surely want to collect several varieties. Used as a border, a low privacy hedge, a container plant or a bright spot of color at summer’s end, Gaura is a delightful, sturdy, fast-growing addition to any garden.


Gaura grows wild from Louisiana to Texas and south to Mexico, which shows that it is tough enough for regions with hot summers. This perennial has delicate pink or white flowers under an inch wide, in big clusters on branched stalks. Stems of the native type are taller, but most hybrids are two to three feet tall.

Perennial Flowers Image Gallery


How to grow: Gauras need full sun in good, deep, well-drained garden soil because the tap root is very long. They are both drought- and heat-resistant. Cut back the stalks if they have mostly finished blooming and look seedy.

Propagation: By division in spring or by seed. Gaura can bloom the first year from seed if it is started in early spring.

Uses: Perfect for both a dry garden and a wild garden, gauras are also very attractive in a formal border. In northern climates, they bloom late in the season and are charming when planted with asters and ornamental grasses.

Scientific name: Gaura lindheimeri

Want more information? Try these:

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  • Perennials. There’s more to a perennials garden than gorgeous flowers. Learn about all of the perennials that can complete your garden.
  • Annual Flowers. Complement your perennials with these great annual flowers. We’ve organized them by color, sunlight, soil type, and height to make it easy to plan your garden.

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