Image by Anika Malone
By Becca Badgett
(Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden)
Growing guara 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 guara plants have earned it the common name of Whirling Butterflies. Other common names of the delicately flowering plant include Bee Blossom.
Guara 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.
Guara Perennial Care
A tap rooted perennial, growing guara 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 guaras involves planting them into a full sun area with rich soil and deep drainage. Growth needs of the guara plant include organic soil. This encourages development of the tap root. Guara growing info indicates the plants are drought tolerant once established, consequently, little care of guaras is needed.
Water and fertilization needs are minimal once growing guara 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 guara to perform best when cut down to the roots in autumn.
Additional Growth Needs of the Guara Plant
Unfortunately, guara growing info also indicates that growth needs of the guara plant may include more area than the gardener is willing to devote to them. Consequently, the removal of growing guara plants outside of their boundaries may be a necessary part of guara perennial care.
Now that you have this guara growing info, give them a try in the sunny flower bed. Growing guara 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.