Sparkler Guara ..... Zone 5b? - 9a

bugbite(z9a FL)March 6, 2014

I was looking for guaras seeds that were shorter plants. But, all that were available were tall.
Suddenly in July my Geoseed catalog shows up and it has a NEW guara that is short. It won both the US and European awards for this year. So I ordered 200 seeds. Planted them at the first of September and now have 150 beautiful plants. Actually have blooms on one plant NOW.
I count myself lucky because they do so well in my zone ..9a.
But when I checked the datasheet, it said they grow up to Zone 5b.
How far up have you grown guaras? Just curious about their complete range. They apparently come from north Texas and southern OK.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sparkler Datasheet

This post was edited by bugbite on Thu, Mar 6, 14 at 9:58

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Bob, I have always found Kieft's hardiness info to be pretty accurate. They are trialed all over the world prior to release (unlike some of the other breeding companies)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 5:03PM
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I grow Gaura lindheimeri 'The Bride' here on the northern edge of Z6a. It has returned reliably each season since 2010 when I planted it out after growing it from seed via winter sowing.

Swallowtail Garden Seeds offers 'Sparkle White' seeds with the information that it's hardy to Zone 6.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 5:56PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

Sorry, I thought I posted a response a couple of days ago; guess I didn't click the final "submit message" button.

Anyway thanks Globlugal. Good fact to know.

Gardenweed, this whole concept of guaras returning is encouraging.
Unfortunately I pulled a lot after their long season of beautiful flowers, thinking they acted as annuals. Kinda thought they couldn't make it through the winter. Which is so wrong after reading your post and knowing they tolerate the Conn cold. (I once lived in Brookfield Center)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 10:21AM
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Gauras have been temperennials here.

Of course, Florida may be an entirely different story.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 10:36AM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

I always thought that here in North Florida was their ideal zone. But after reading the data sheet I found that my zone is the most southern zone they tolerate, supposedly. Tex/OK is their origin, so guess we can only push those boundaries so much. If it's not the heat and cold, then it is the humidity or dryness. And/or local diseases and local bugs. It is always something.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 3:32PM
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I grow Gaura lindheimeri ('Whirling Butterflies). Its was one of the first plants I planted when I started gardening. In my yard they are like weeds but others in my zone have trouble growing them beyond the first year. I did have siskiyou pink for awhile but we got so much rain last spring that it drowned.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 3:54PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

'Whirling Butterflies' has also been perennial for me for several years.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 4:11PM
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BugBite/Bob - I hesitate to suggest Gaura cultivars will thrive in your USDA zone but have decided to give them the benefit of the doubt where I am. The first year I grew them they bloomed right up until late frost. I thought they didn't return the following spring but was surprised when they turned up around the middle of June or even early July. That taught me a valuable lesson--don't believe what commercial growers tell you; rather, believe what your garden tells you.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 9:16PM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Beautiful pics, Gardenweed. Would enjoy seeing a pic, Bugbite/Bob, tho I know yours are still young and just starting to bloom. Exciting that you got so many from seed.

My neighbor has a large, old one near the property line with me. I never knew that it came from a native plant originally - thank you, Bob!

Interesting entry on Guara lindheimeri at the Lady Bird Wildflower Center - looks like the native plant grows as far south as the TX/Mex border. For info on Lindheimer himself see last para. above pics âÂÂFrom the Image Gallery."

Here is a link that might be useful: Lady Bird Johnson Ctr, Guara lindheimeri

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 10:54PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

Gardenweed, Great pictures..beautiful! Thanks

River_C, Thanks for the link. I found a similar link that is for Florida plants; it lists the guara all the way down to Zone 10. I read the history of Lindheimeri before, very interesting.
I will post pictures of these Sparkle plants when they bloom, but I have others that I am really excited about..
1. About 8 guara plants for cuttings I took from an 8 footer I had last year, all looking good.
2. Three really amazing new ones that volunteered this year. They are the biggest, most full guara plants I have ever seen. They are spectacular young plants. Can't wait to see how they turn out.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 12:04AM
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