Gaillardia and California Poppy, Still Blooming

Gaillardia Arizona Sun by poppy2323
aillardia 'Arizona Sun' by poppy2323

We haven’t had a strong frost yet in my area to kill all the perennials in the garden. So it is interesting to see the last blooming plants of the year. Of course, there are some chrysanthemums and also the pansies that are still blooming.

But as I look around at the plants in flower I am amazed that the Gaillardia flowers are still opening on the stem. I have Gaillardia Arizona Sun. The plant is reputed to have lots of 4” blooms, incredible form, and survivability in harshest of conditions. I guess that means cool as well as hot conditions. It won both the America Selections (AAS) award and the European Fleur select Gold Medal! It likes sun but grows in average soils and is hardy from Zone 3 to zone 9.

Papoila da California // California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) by Valter Jacinto Algarve
Papoila da California // California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) by Valter Jacinto Algarve

Another flower that is blooming in my neighbor’s garden is their orange California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica. If I can find the package of seeds I bought, I hope to plant these poppies in the garden now. These poppies grow from seed and self seed. They are said to grow in zones 3 to 9 but grow best in zones 5 and higher. Broadcast the seeds (to broadcast is to just throw the seeds on the top of the soil and hope the birds don’t eat the seeds) on cultivated well drained soil where you want the plants to grow because the seedlings don’t transplant well. Sow in fall in mild-winter areas, in spring in colder regions. If rain is absent, water to keep ground moist until seeds germinate. These poppies need full sun but will grow in poor soil as long as there is good drainage. The pH can be anywhere from 5.5 to 8. The plants are drought tolerant. Deer don’t like these poppies nor do many insects or diseases. The only thing to remember is that the poppies must get lots of sun because they hate shade. They naturalize in the garden. If they get enough water in the summer, they seem to bloom all summer long. And it was such a surprise to see the brilliant orange flowers blooming at this time of year.