Friday, March 8, 2013

Gaura lindheimeri Butterfly flower a drought tolerant option for gardens

Gaura lindheimeri is another plant I had to research for my plant indentification and culture class. It is part of the Onagraceae family which also contains the lovely Fuchsia plant. It originates from North America and is also known by the common name of Butterfly flower. Gaura is a clumping shrub which flowers betwen September and December in Australia. It can grow 1.5 metres high with a spread of about 1 metre. It can be propagated by seed, cuttings or commonly by division. It can be cut back hard after flowering and bounce back. It can be used as a feature plant but I think it would be better suited as a backdrop plant or a border plant (along side the driveway for example). It requires very little water and is very drought tolerant. The pictures I've taken are an example of what not to do in terms of pruning. This plant was not pruned back hard after flowering last year and has become spindly. When properly pruned it can produce a tight clumping growth habit and look quite nice. It likes well drained soil and full sun.

A close up of the flowers 

A very spindly example which is the result of poor maintenance

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