Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Field of Dreams

Do you dream of a field of delicate, beautiful butterflies?  Butterflies that won't fly away?  Well, I have the answer for you!

Try growing Gaura Lindheimeri.


Its beautiful bloom looks much like a butterfly.  And since the bloom rests upon thin, long strands of foliage, the wind seems to fling these winged blooms into flight.  No wonder the common name is Butterfly Gaura, and that there are cultivars named 'Whirling Butterflies', 'Sunny Butterflies', 'Crimson Butterflies', and 'Blushing Butterflies'!


Gaura will grow in zones 6 through 9 (possibly 5), likes full sun, and will spread to around 3 ft.  It can grow to around 5 ft tall if staked, or flop upon itself if not staked.  I don't stake mine, and it cascades into a cloud of blooms.  Gaura blooms in late spring, then again early autumn.  It can be cut back in midsummer if you like a bushier look.


My field of dreams would be a field full of butterfly gaura.  I think if I built it, the real butterflies would come.

56 comments:

  1. Mine get huge if I don't keep it trimmed. I know it doesn't not like water, causes it to droop.

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    1. Mine get watered regularly, so they could probably do with less water. I need to remember to trim mine midsummer. Another garden chore!

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  2. I've grown several, but for me these seem to be short-lived perennials. Two to three years at most.

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    1. I've read that they may not last longer than five years, but mine are at least three years old now, and I'm hoping I won't have to replace them very soon. I would be very disappointed if mine only lasted a couple of years!

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  3. Doesn't like it here I don't think. :) Very pretty perennial choice for people though.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. It likes it hot. Which is why it's a winner here, I guess!

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  4. I do like the blooms of that Gaura Holley!

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    1. They really are sweet little blooms. :)

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  5. I have not seen here this butterfly gaura. It looks like small white moth.

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    1. You're right! Maybe they should be called moth gaura instead! ;)

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  6. Gaura's one of my favorites--I love how airy it is. I think it shows off its neighbors well, too. Some of the flowers always seem to be leaning into other plants, as if they're saying, "Hey, look at this one!"

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    1. I love that you think it's so neighborly! It does seem to always be looking for a shoulder to lean on! :)

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  7. What a beautiful field that would be. We did have a pink version last year but the winter zapped it. They are gorgeous.
    You should def' build it so they'll come xx

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    1. Wouldn't that be a pretty field? :) I have a pink version, too, but it's in a little too much shade, and it's VERY leggy!

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  8. I love gaura and the butterflies it attracts, but I don't have enough sun for it. It really needs hot full sun.

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    1. And that's exactly what I have plenty of! :)

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  9. I just planted a whole bunch of the rainbow variety. I had it once before and it did well. I hope I can keep it this time around. It's a tough plant here.

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    1. I hope yours does well for you. I do think it's a beautiful companion plant.

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  10. I have a gaura and LOVE it! It is perfect in the hot sun in my hilly backyard where so many other plants have struggled. I have them next to a rose bush, and they really complement each other well. I must say, I didn't realize how big they would get when I bought them - I thought I had bought a smaller cultivar, but they've gotten quite large!

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    1. I, too, was amazed how large this plant grew in my own garden! It looks like such a tiny delicate thing, but it surely knows how to spread!

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  11. Beautiful field of dreams, Holley.... Our Roses are all showing off so much this month.. I feel so blessed to have them in my yard. You must feel the same way about all of your gorgeous flowers.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. My roses are starting to make their comeback after the heat of this summer. Isn't it wonderful when they bloom again? :)

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  12. Gaura is a really lovely flower -- usually just an annual in my garden, unfortunately. And it combines so well with others.

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    1. So sorry it's just an annual there. It's a short-lived perennial here, and you are right - I think it would go well with just about anything! :)

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  13. Those flowers are really like butterflies. I think we don't have that plant in Finland.

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    1. Maybe it hasn't gotten to you yet. It's native to the US, but I bet you'll be seeing them there in a few years. :)

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  14. I'm growing my gaura near the pond on stone mulch in zone 5b...it is a wonderful steady plant that defies zonal boundaries...I love how it sways next to the pond on the breezes

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    1. Donna, that sounds just heavenly. I think the gaura next to the hardscaping - the contrast - would be wonderful!

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  15. I have only grown it as an annual, but any plant attracting butterflies is welcome here. I like the butterflies almost better than the plants, they make the garden come alive.

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    1. Yes, I prefer real butterflies, too! :)

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  16. I love delicate-looking flowers. Thanks for the recommendation.

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    1. I love these little flowers, too. It takes a year or so for them to fill out, but in the right spot, this plant can put on a real show.

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  17. oh I do like guara. In fact I debated for weeks about putting some in the garden this spring (note, I'm zone 5 and they're selling it here so it must survive this temp). In the end I opted for other plants but I still dream about these wispy blooms, maybe just in another space.

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    1. Don't be so sure that just because they're selling it there that it will survive your winters. I have asked nurseries before why they sell a plant when they know they're not hardy, and the reply given was "because they sell"! But, it's worth a try! :)

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  18. hahaha, decoy for yourself! In my case i don't need them because we really have lots of butterflies, as probably you have seen in my older posts. And also we have butterfly orchids, which really look like real ones!

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  19. I bought and added this very plant to my garden a few weeks ago. It has no flowers, but I know there will be little floral butterflies in my garden next summer.

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    1. You will be amazed how fast this little plant will fill out - and how beautiful the little flowers are, especially when they whip around from the wind. I hope you enjoy yours.

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  20. What a pretty Gaura, and so big! I had a Gaura Crimson Butterflies some years ago, it was supposed to be a perennial here in London, but it didn't come back the next spring so I haven't tried again. Loved the flowers though so maybe I will give it another go.

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    1. Oh, isn't that so frustrating when something doesn't come back? :( I give things a try - usually two, sometimes three - but in the end we all have to grow what will actually grow in our own gardens!

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  21. I've never grown Gaura because I live in zone 5, but the way things are going I may try it in a year or two.

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    1. I wonder if you have a warm, sheltered spot that you might give it a try? Although, it's hard to find a spot for everything we want in our gardens!

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  22. Oh I LOVE gaura! The white one! I can't wait to grow them again in my garden.

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    1. I love them all. Although the white ones do seem to stand out a little more, I think.

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  23. I love gaura, too. It looks like you have a bunch of blooms. I planted mine when I was a zone 5b now I'm a 6b. It's 4 years old and reseeded for the first time. I planted a zone 7 gaura on the southern side of my house a few weeks ago. We'll see if it survives.

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    1. I can't wait for mine to reseed! I wonder, too, if its reseeding will signal the end of its life. I hope your new gaura does well!

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  24. Beautiful choice, Holley! A field of dreams...ah, what a thought-provoking idea!

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    1. Yes, it's a fun thought of having an entire field just ready for us to fill in! Guess it'd never happen in real life, though!

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  25. Mine are gorgeous in the spring but I've never had them rebloom... should I be doing something to make this happen?

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    1. I don't do anything to mine and they rebloom. Maybe it's the kind you have? Mine rebloom when the heat of the summer starts to wane a bit, as if they're catching their second wind. I hope yours will rebloom again this fall for you!

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  26. I got one of these from my mom in February and planted it in a pot. She/we call it "Whirling Butterflies" and I'm afraid I haven't paid much attention to it this year to notice if it attracts lots of butterflies at my house. I think I'm going to move it a little closer to the house and keep an eye on it next year.

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    1. I can't see mine from the house, either, so I'm not really sure that they attract butterflies - or just look like them. I would be interested in knowing if the butterflies love yours or not!

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  27. Great idea! So I wont have to plant milkweed after all.

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    1. haha - Yes, you still have to plant milkweed! I think the butterflies like the milkweed much more than this butterfly-look-alike plant!

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  28. I love this plant! I have planted it twice, and both times it has perished. I think it doesn't like my soil, or maybe it is just the humidity that gets it. Perhaps I will try one more time, in a pot. I admire yours!

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    1. Oh, that's sad. Maybe you're watering it too much. I think it likes it a little on the dry side. I hope the third time is the charm for you and this plant!

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