Mesa gaillardia named La. Super Plant

Mesa Yellow gaillardia. Photo courtesy of LSU AgCenter.

Mesa Yellow gaillardia. Photo courtesy of LSU AgCenter.

 

By Allen Owings, LSU AgCenter horticulturist

What better plants to add to the landscape in Louisiana than Louisiana Super Plants. This LSU AgCenter program is now on its’ 5th year of educating, promoting, recommending and marketing truly great landscape plants that have performed well in LSU AgCenter test gardens in Hammond and elsewhere around the state. Plant selections are announced each spring and fall.

The Mesa gaillardias are a Louisiana Super Plant flower for this fall. These are also called blanket flowers and are native perennials (can be grown as an annual or a short-lived perennial in Louisiana) are available in peach, yellow and bicolored flower forms.

Mesa Yellow was an All-America Selections winner in 2010. It was the first hybrid blanket flower with a controlled plant habit and prolific flowering. Its performance has been very impressive in LSU AgCenter trials.

The 3-inch daisy-like flowers of all three varieties and globe-shaped seed heads offer a superior presentation of color which continues throughout the summer. The bright yellow flowers are rich

in nectar and will attract butterflies. Especially notable is the improved plant habit. These do not get tall, loose and floppy. Individual plants are neat and mounded – reaching about 16 inches tall and about 20 inches wide.

Plant Mesa gaillardia in a full sun, well drained landscape bed. They aree adaptable to smaller space gardens or any type of container. When planted near the inside edge of the container, they will cascade down the container. They are relatively maintenance free, since they are drought tolerant and not prone to insect pests. Dead-head old flowers through the season and fertilizer at planting with a slow-release product and then re-peat fertilization as needed depending on plant performance.

Mesa gaillardia can be planted in the spring or fall. We are encouraging a September or October planting. If Mesa gaillardia is planted early enough in the fall they will begin flowering in October, November or December. Plants are winter hardy and will not be severely damaged by cold weather. In mild winters, you may see flowers through the winter. The main advantage of fall planting is the improved spring and summer performance in the landscape that will be achieved the following year.

Mesa gaillardia will attract beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies to the landscape. Mesa gaillardia have been sold at garden centers around Louisiana regularly the past few years. Plant some of these great plants soon.

Mesa Gaillardia

  • Short-lived herbaceous perennial
  • Full to part sun
  • Grows 14-16 inches tall, 16-18 inches wide
  • Space 15-18 inches apart in well drained soil
  • Plant in early fall for fall flowers and flowers next spring and summer
  • Plant in early spring for flowers through the fall
  • Hybrid variety with improved garden performance and longer lasting flowers
  • Bicolored (yellow and red), yellow and peach colored varieties
  • Attracts butterflies

Some previous flower Louisiana Super Plant flower selections that would be great for fall planting include Swan Columbine, Amazon dianthus, Diamonds Blue delphinium, Camelot foxglove and Sorbet violas. You can also plant Drift roses and Belinda’s Dream roses in the fall months – these are two Louisiana Super Plant rose winners.

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