Best guara variety?

ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)June 23, 2013

Haven't grown this, I do see some look ratty and weedy. Saw Cherry Brand variety at Lowes, and was not familiar enough to buy it. Recommendations?

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steve1young(7A)

I've had good luck with Whirling Butterflies. I've heard/read that other Gaura's can self-seed, but this one does not. In my gardens it does not always return the next year, but a local source sells them in smaller pots for $5 so I sometimes plant a few as annuals. If they come back, great. If not, I haven't lost too much.

The way the little white butterfly-shaped flowers dance in the breeze is quite charming. I think it's a great plant to fill in where there's space between others.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 5:06PM
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gardenweed_z6a

Altho' it didn't return this year where I am, I absolutely loved gaura when I first grew it. I winter sowed seeds and was hoping it would survive our crazy winters but, sadly, this year it hasn't shown itself. Whirling butterflies did grow quite tall and tended to flop but the bees loved it so much I was happy to put up with that. A bit of fishing line was sufficient to keep it off garden paths. These are photos from its second season in my cottage garden bed.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 8:22PM
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mori1(5b/6a)

Mine does self sow which I try to control but its always that easy. However, I don't mind as it was one of the few things blooming during last year drought.
I did have Siskiyou pink which did behave itself but didn't survive due to all the rain and May snowfall.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 12:07AM
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terrene(5b MA)

I've started Guara lindheimeri from seed - has pretty delicate flowers, but it is a short lived perennial for me and it flops a lot. It does reseed each year, and I've got some seedlings out there now.

Also purchased several Guara 'Pink Fountains' from one of the popular online perennial sites, and they were a total dud. Never grew much past 12 inches, hardly bloomed, and lasted 1 season.

I wouldn't consider this a stalwart perennial.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 8:33AM
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Campanula UK Z8

have to agree with Terrene - the basic white gaura is an easy first season flowerer from seed - grown hard with no extra water in lean soil, it maintains its upright stature much better. Looks nice with grasses in a gravel garden. Expect 3 decent seasons and resow.
The pinks are small, unreliable and have none of the grace of the G.lindheimeri

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 3:38PM
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ilovemyroses(8 Dallas TX)

Dang! I'll pick up the white...G. Linheimeri. I am just a sucker for a $2.50 perennial. (those 2 inch square pots).

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:13PM
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mori1(5b/6a)

G. Linheimeri is not short lived at least for me. Mine is five maybe 6 years old.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 1:02AM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

I have a tall white one purchased several years ago under the name 'The Bride'. I really like it, but don't know if the nurseries even sell it anymore. My second choice would be G. lindheimeri.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 8:48AM
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seedmoney

For me, you sure can't beat the stunning foliage of Gaura 'Passionate Rainbow.' It's proved long-lived and hardy in my zone 8 garden. Flowers are many and are white.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gaura 'Passionate Rainbow'

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 11:54AM
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mori1(5b/6a)

Forget if its flowers, I would grow it for the foliage. Very nice

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 3:15PM
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gardenweed_z6a

What first attracted me to Gaura lindheimeri was its delicate, airy habit but once I planted it, I was even more delighted to see how the bees worked the blooms almost non-stop all season. It also bloomed the whole growing season and well into the fall. Paired with Russian sage in my garden beds (completely by coincidence), it was stunning & thoroughly delightful.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 10:17PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

Planted 200 (two hundred) Sparkler Guara seeds about Sept 5. They have germinated well.
Bought these from Geoseed, 100 seed for about $5.50.
I have guaras every year that self seed.
I went looking for seeds to order for the first time trying to get consist smaller plants. Found the 2 seed types but both are tall. I want short plants. THEN low and behold I got my Geoseed catalog and found Sparkle listed as "new" for 2014. AND they grow 20+ " !!
They won the AAS and Fleuroselect award. Swallowtail site which sells the seeds for 20 seeds for $3.49--see link.
Bob

Here is a link that might be useful: Sparkle Guara

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 6:05PM
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gardenweed_z6a

I can't vouch for its performance in other USDA zones but must now confess my winter sown seed-grown Gaura lindheimeri returned again this season, a bit later than I expected. I've nothing to measure by but wonder if they'd not behave better (i.e., flop less) if cut back sometime later in the season before they bloom. Whether or not that's the case, I'm just delighted they bloomed again this year.

The plants set seed that's easily harvested in late autumn so when I want more plants I just harvest the seedpods & winter sow them.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 10:53PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

Check out the Culture Sheet on this page. Shows that it can be planted in Fall or Spring. I found that Fall works best in this zone.

Here is a link that might be useful: Culture Sheet Guara

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 11:30PM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

ontnative,
Did you catch 'The Bride' on bugbite's link? I saw it listed directly below Sparkle.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 11:50AM
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MulchMama

I put in three gaura lindheimeris this past spring. I'll probably hunt down another dozen next spring. Wow. I think they are "Crimson Butterflies'.

I was never too pleased with my Whirling Butterflies in front of the house, but they don't get as much sun as these new ones do. Still, with a little more rain and fewer brutal temps this summer, the Whilring Butterflies are looking very nice -- but nothing like these.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 3:57PM
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MulchMama

Deleted duplicate

This post was edited by MulchMama on Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 18:59

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 3:58PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

MMama, really like your 'Crimson Butterflies'! I wonder if that is just three plants and if they are hardy for you? They look great among the rocks. The color really stands out and you've got a little bit of a color echo going on with the house. Nice!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 4:59PM
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terrene(5b MA)

MM those are gorgeous! It does match the house. Guara seems to grow well for you Kansas people (you and mori). Perhaps it does not prefer the relatively moist climate of the northeast.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 5:07PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I know Terrene, I've tried it a couple of times and it hasn't come back after the winter both times.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 5:12PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

MM, Beautiful guara. Thanks for the picture.

Three pieces of trivia:

1. The grow sheet for Sparkle says that the seeds are nutlets and may produce multiple plants. Sure enough several have produced more than one plant. So I am separating them.
2. Probably known by all here, but they are native to Texas and Louisiana.
3. I have an 8 ft tall one this year.
Bob

Here is a link that might be useful: guara

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 5:53PM
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rosiew(8 GA)

bugbite, cannot imagine how beautiful an 8' gaura must be. Can you share a picture PLEASE. How much of a spread does it have?

Don't think anyone asked about deer resistance. Thoughts?

I lost all but one of mine this year after an incredible amount of rain, continuing for a long time. Was so disappointed as this is one of my favorites.

Rosie, Sugar Hill, GA

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 6:15PM
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MulchMama

Thanks for the nice words! I'll let you know how hardy they are next spring as I only planted them this past May. Those three plants have become as big as shrubs. I set them well away from some very large flat rocks that form a bridge over the creekbed, and now they've overgrown my bridge. They're even pretty before they bloom. I like that purply-chocolate-deep-green foliage, and I do tend to select plants that play off the house colors.

This post was edited by MulchMama on Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 19:11

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 7:03PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

Hi Rosie,
I will post a picture hopefully tomorrow. This thing is kinda straight up (with my staking). Then it bushes out at the top somewhat. Little strange, but it is kinda neat, anyway. Last year I had a beautiful one from seed that was very full about 3' width by 3.5' tall. That was a masterpiece. After many generations they vary quite a bit. That is why I am going for a bunch by commercial seed. Hopefully they are more standardized.
Bob

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 10:37PM
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rosiew(8 GA)

Bob, hope the picture will show your staking materials also.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 5:39AM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

Rosie, it will. Just one slim plastic pole. Guess I should have said that I tied some twine around the guara and attached it to anything I could grab to keep it from falling into the path where the mailman walks. Believe me it's nothing. Anyway it is raining so I will do the picture when the sun comes out, if the blooms are not closed. Otherwise it's tomorrow. The plant is not amazing; the height is very unusual though since they are supposed to only reach 5 feet.
Bob

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 10:43AM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

Rosie,
Hanging because of the rain. But still over 8 ft. See the yard stick. And, as requested, my sophicated staking techique, as follows:
1. Grab anything I could find.
2. Shove it in the ground
3. Gather any twine I could find
4. Wrap it around the guara so the mailman doesn't destroy it as he walks by. And so I don't have to keep dodging it as I walk by.
:-)
Bob

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 11:50AM
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rosiew(8 GA)

WOW! One question because I can't make out the bottom of the plant well. Are there many stems? Do they have leaves and flowers near the base. Love the airiness, now wondering how in the world you got it to grow so tall. What are you feeding that beautiful monster? Or do you know the variety? I'd love to grow it.

Thanks much for the pic. Gorgeous kitty.

Rosie

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 12:59PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

Thanks Rosie,
I haven't purchased a guara for many years. All that I have grown lately have self seeded and they are very unpredictable. I saved seed found the best plants in the past and they never came up like the mother plant.
I don't fertilize this plant. And the soil in this spot is not really improved.
It has a side spout which is lying near the ground. Don't want to lift it for fear that it might crack off.
I will tell Bobalu that you said he was gorgeous. Actually, I will use the word "handsome". He's a little sensitive about that. :-)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 2:05PM
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emmarene

Wow! is right. I love it.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 7:50PM
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