Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Oenothera lindheimeri:

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Form: Clump-forming herb.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Evergreen in frost-free regions.
Growth rate: Moderate.
Mature Size: 2-3' high and wide.
Flowers: White or pink, four petals, positioned as though the bottom two of six were missing, with long stamens, from pink buds, opening only a few at a time in long terminal spikes. It has little to no fragrance depending on the cultivar.
Bloom: All year in regions without freezes.
Fruit: Seed.
Leaves: Green, lance-shaped, 1-3" long, possibly with wavy margins.
Stems: No thorns. Some cultivars are more compact with shorter flower stalks.
Roots: A deep taproot makes transplanting difficult. This plant spreads by rhizomes.
Wildlife: Attracts insects.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Texas, Louisiana, and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 6-10. This plant dies to the ground in hard freezes and comes back from its roots in the spring.
Heat tolerant: Needs part shade in the afternoon.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Part shade all day or in the afternoon in the hot desert southwest.
Water after becoming established: Once or twice a month. It tolerates frequent watering in well drained soil but root rot can occur if the soil stays damp. Overwatering results in leggy growth.
Soil: Very well drained, pH 6.1-7.8 (slightly acidic to slightly alkaline). Too much organic material in the soil results in leggy growth.
Mulch: A thick layer of mulch is needed in USDA zones 8a and lower. Remove mulch after the danger of freezing is past so the soil can dry quickly.
Prune: Remove spent flowers at the base of the stalk to encourage re-blooming. Cut back if leggy to encourage compact growth.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed, cuttings. This plant self-seeds, except some cultivars may be sterile.
Uses: Ornamental.

This plant is a member of the Evening Primrose family (Onagraceae). The scientific synonym for Gaura is Gaura lindheimeri. Several cultivars are available in white and pink.

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Oenothera lindheimeri: Gaura - flower

Oenothera lindheimeri: Gaura - flowers

Oenothera lindheimeri: Gaura

Latest update: July, 2024
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