Gaillardia Won’t Flower – Reasons For Blanket Flower Not Blooming

Red-Yellow Blanket Flowers
blanket flower 1
(Image credit: damnura)

Blanket flowers, or Gaillardia, look a little bit like daisies, with bright, striped petals of yellow, orange, and red. They are native North American flowers related to sunflowers. These sturdy perennials don’t last forever, but while they do, expect to get a lot of pretty blooms even in tough conditions. When there are no flowers on Gaillardia, consider a few possibilities for what could be wrong. 

Help, My Blanket Flower Won’t Bloom This Year

It’s not that unusual to have blanket flowers bloom prolifically one year and not at all the next. One of the draws of this perennial is that it can potentially produce flowers from spring all the way through summer and into the fall.

The problem is that when the plants flower so extensively, they have put so much energy into it that they fail to put enough in reserves. Essentially, they run out of energy to produce basal buds for next year. If this happens to you, expect to get blooms the following year after an off season.

To prevent it from happening, start cutting back flowering stems in late summer. This will force the plants to direct energy toward next year’s growth.

Other Reasons for Blanket Flower Not Blooming

When Gaillardia won’t flower, the above is the most likely reason. Otherwise, this is a prolific producer of flowers. Gardeners love their ability to keep blooming even in poor soil conditions or during drought.

This may be key to less flowering on blanket flower. They actually do better in soil that is not too fertile and with limited watering. Avoid giving them too much water and don’t provide fertilizer. They should be planted in a spot with full sun.

Another less common issue may be a disease transmitted by aphids. Called aster yellows, the disease will cause flower buds to stay green and not open. Other signs include yellow leaves. There is no treatment, so if you see these signs remove and destroy the affected plants.

As compared to other perennials, individual blanket flower plants don’t last very long. To get years of pretty blooms, let some of your plants reseed.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.