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Gaura or orchid plant

The genus Gaura counts dozens of plants, often weeds, spread a little throughout the northern hemisphere; only one species is grown in the garden, Gaura lindheimeri, native to the American continent, and the varieties derived from it over the years. In Italy it is a little known plant, the reason is unclear, given that it is a perennial of the type: the crying in that corner and I forget it, and every year it will give me a long flashy and spectacular flowering.
The Gaura is a very beautiful plant, it produces a small rosette of green leaves, often edged with red, in case of strong insolation or slightly low night temperatures; throughout the warm season, therefore from April to May until September-October, among the rosettes of leaves stand thin stems that bear numerous white flowers, consisting of 4 petals and numerous golden stamens; the flowers in the distance remind of small orchids. The botanical species of gaura it has pinkish-white flowers, there are varieties with white flowers, bright pink, flesh pink, and also varieties whose flowers vary in color from white to rosé over the course of days.
This plant is very suitable for the borders of perennial plants, the dimensions are quite large, since the flower stems can reach 50-70 cm in height, so we will place it on the bottom, behind other lower plants.
If desired, it is also possible to appreciate the Gaura planted in spots, where the splendid flowering will become even more striking.

Cultivating Gaura

In the nursery we often hear ourselves say: "don't worry, this plant is very easy to grow"; we take the poor unfortunate home and after a few days of poor care the plant perishes irreparably, and our efforts to revive it do not bear fruit.
The Gaura is really an easy plant to grow, once placed at home, after engraftment, we will always have a beautiful plant, even when returning from vacation.
In fact this perennial with an elegant and delicate appearance, is actually a vigorous plant, many of its close relatives are weeds in drought-sunny pastures.
It is planted in a very bright place, possibly sunny, but it tolerates the partial shade; we avoid the dark shadow, where the plant will stop flowering within a short time.
Before placing our specimens of gaura we work the soil thoroughly, lightening it with sand, and enriching it with fresh universal soil. Once home, let's water the plant; we will go back to watering it only when the ground is well dry, in fact the gaure do not fear drought, and on the other hand high humidity and stagnant water scares them.
These plants are not afraid of drought, but we can water them sporadically during the summer, possibly adding fertilizer for flowering plants to the watering of the water approximately once a month.
Once well rooted our Gaura plant will give us continuous and uninterrupted flowering for months, without the need for treatment, pruning, shelter.
The plant dries completely towards the end of winter, and easily replenishes the following year, in spring, often producing slightly reddened foliage.

Multiply the Gaura

Not all nurseries have Gaura plants, which in Italy is a plant considered strange and particular; if we want to have our Gaura and the only one we have seen, our neighbor has it, we can proceed with the propagation.
These plants develop without seed problems, if we want an early flowering it is good to sow the plants already in autumn or winter, then keeping the seedbed in a sheltered place until the end of the cold; in the spring we will obtain small plants to be placed directly in the house.
If our neighbor has a particular Gaura hybrid, with flowers such as bright pink, rather than "steal" the seeds, we take a small cutting, or, if there are good relations with the neighborhood, in autumn we ask to have a portion of the head of roots and leaves, from which we will get a new plant; the head can be placed directly in the garden, as long as the climate is not already cold. If the minimum temperatures are already very low we keep our new plant in pot, to be placed on the terrace, in a place sheltered from the wind and the most intense cold.

The little known plants

Every year, plant producers try to introduce new hybrids or new plants into the market for garden cultivation. For fans of plants and flowers the arrival of the first spring fairs is always a pleasure, with the hope of finding an unknown plant or a flower of color never seen.
Unfortunately, these newly introduced plants tend, over time, to enjoy poor recognition, and return to oblivion; many plants in Italy tend not to be able to enter the gardening market, where the plants that even our grandmothers put in the garden have been starring for decades.
The reason for this conservative tendency, which tends to dare very little, is unknown; the more that anyone who has ever planted an unusual plant in the garden has seen that the neighboring islands and passers-by immediately became interested in the alien.
Perhaps many Italian gardeners tend to fear novelties for fear that they will be difficult to cultivate, and therefore remain in well-known and well-tested lands, for fear of obtaining a gray and bare garden.
In fact, instead, the plants that are suggested each year by the producers are often very easy to grow, do not fear pests, do not need much care, are the dream of every gardener, if only these dared try to grow them.
The Gaura is one of these plants, which we periodically find at fairs, but which for some inexplicable reason is cultivated in Italy only by some bizarre admirer. Sin.

Land for the Gaura

As stated in a very general way above, gaura is a plant that needs rich and drained soil to give its best. Before planting a plant of gaura in a flowerbed we make a hole in the ground and create a layer of draining material on the bottom, after which we fill the hole with a few centimeters of soil. We then position the plant in a central position and taking care that it is straight, after which we fill the empty spaces with soil to fill the hole.
After this phase we will compress the soil with our feet, using our weight, after which we will give a nice watering to the area of ​​interest of the plant and eventually we will add some more soil if the level is lowered too much.
The situation is different if we want to plant gaura in a vase. In this case we will have to equip ourselves with soil in sufficient quantity, draining material (eg expanded clay) and of course pots. First we shake the pots if it is already present on the earth and we spread a 3 cm layer of expanded clay or other draining material. Without this we are going to spread a first layer of soil of a few centimeters above which we put the plants of gaura. After placing the plants we proceed to fill the empty spaces with the soil and once all the spaces are filled we press the earth well and water.


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