Gaura Siskiyou Pink
Hi, does this need staking and is it hardy?
Not as much staking as the usual one and no, mine died the first winter.
I have one that survived last winter, it looked deader than a dead thing, but new growth appeared at the base and it flowered again. It looks the same at the moment, but I will wait and see.It took until late Spring to show signs of life, so I wouldn't be in too much of a hurry to bin it. I have never staked it.
I had three, didn't need staking. One died the first winter then the other two died a couple of winters later. But here in SW France the winter can be very cold. But in a municipal bed in local town they survived longer. Towns are warmer.
Dordogne and Norfolk
Vendée, Western France
I have 4 different gaura, including one of these, only one of which needed staking in its first year. They all survived outdoors last winter but then the worst frost was only -8C for a couple of days and they are in a sunny, well-drained bed. They were late to get going again but fine when they did.
I never bothered trying when I had my Belgian garden as winters were far colder and wetter. I have friends there who treat them as annuals in pot displays and buy new every year. Taking cuttings would be cheaper and worth trying.
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
Mine have survived the last two winters (Bath, Somerset) but I have mulched around the roots deeply. I did stake them at some time during late summer/autumn when we had high winds, mainly to keep their roots well anchored.
Thank you all for your advice.
I would not recommend it for planting into soil in the ground unless it's very free draining. Growing in a pot allows you more control. This particular one has a tendency to bleach very easily in the heat, so be prepared for the blooms to look more white than pink when the flowers age a bit.
You can stick some pruned branches into the clump to help it along early in the season, but they will flop about if you plant them in too rich soil. Keep the soil free draining, and they will not grow too soft and tall which then tend to lean when it is very windy.
edited 9 January
Please note that botanists have recently reclassified and named this species
. I expect GCs and nurseries will continue to use the 'Gaura' name for some more time!
I've had various un-named varieties of this plant, with varied behaviour. For the past 4 years I've had
which is really pretty. I planted 3 specimens and lost one last winter, in a particularly frosty period. These are my observations about gauras in general and that species in particular:
not very hardy, may survive (or not) periods of frost
tend to re-appear rather late in spring (as late as end of April sometimes)
tend to grow in tall, slender, reclining stems which may need staking --- I use my
general-purpose home-made metal stakes
I leave the faded stems over the winter, as potential frost protection (and decoration) and only cut down to the ground at the end of winter
's observation I've not noticed any "bleach" in the heat, but then we are not talking the same variety.
does not transplant easily (due to its tapering root).
On the whole a really nice plant, well-worth having in the mixed border, and if I had more space I would try other varieties.
You are invited to a
virtual visit of my garden
in English or in French
Thanks Papi Jo, great explanation. Looks great. Looking forward to spring.