If you’re interested in how to propagate gaura, you have three methods to choose from. This herbaceous perennial can grow from seeds, stem cuttings, and root cuttings. And what’s even better with gaura is that it has multiple uses, whether as an airy addition, container plant, trailing plant, or adding color among grasses.
Gaura is generally low maintenance, but you can have a stress-free propagation if you start in the greenhouse. Remember that whatever the plant is, rooting them from any method can be challenging if the conditions are fluctuating and unstable. The greenhouse provides many benefits for propagation to guarantee success, whether you start from seeds or cuttings.
How To Propagate Gaura Successfully
Option #1. Seeds
Gaura is a self-seeding perennial, but you can collect the seeds yourself and store them for future use. Otherwise, gaura seeds are easy to avail but make sure that you get a variety that would thrive best in your area. Depending on your climate, you can also choose to sow gaura seeds directly in the garden or start them indoors.
Where to sow
Starting gaura seeds indoors is ideal for those who want to avoid the danger of frost. However, it can take some time for the weather to warm up, so to be productive, you can use the greenhouse and sow gaura seeds indoors. Whichever location you choose, use fertile, light soil mostly with sand.
The area or container should be well-draining, and if you are sowing directly in the garden, anticipate the root growth of gaura. The shrub needs a deep planting bed because of its long taproot, which is why you can’t propagate it by division easily. More so, gaura won’t thrive in heavy soil due to poor drainage.
Gaura seeds will germinate around two to three weeks. However, it’s worth noting that gaura is one of those plants that you should avoid transferring from one area to another. As mentioned earlier, it has a deep taproot, so once it’s established, it’s better to leave it alone.
Option #2. Stem cuttings
There are also other types of gaura that you can propagate from stem cuttings. One variety called the Belleza dark pink gaura will root well from stem cuttings. If you are looking for a gaura for containers, consider this variety and expect more butterflies in your garden.
Propagating from stem cuttings is an excellent way to create more gaura plants from a parent plant. It is also a straightforward method that will ensure copies of your favorite variety. For gaura, you can start collecting stem cuttings in spring or summer from a healthy plant.
Take a 5-inch cutting below a bud or leaf using a sharp and sterilized knife. You also want to pinch or remove all the leaves except those at the top. Similar to seeds, you can again root stem cuttings in the greenhouse.
Rooting and transplanting
A mix of peat and coarse sand in a planting tray should work well for starting stem cuttings. Dip a piece’s end in rooting hormone powder and insert it in the middle of the cell. Stabilize the cutting using the medium and make sure that the leaves are not in contact with it.
You want to place this container somewhere warm and bright but out of direct sunlight. To maintain moisture, you can also cover it with clear plastic. The cutting should develop roots in two weeks, and you can transplant it in potting soil, waiting for transplant outdoors in spring after frost.
Option #3. Root cuttings
As mentioned earlier, dividing gaura can be tricky because of its long and fragile taproot. However, you can still consider this method when needed and start in the greenhouse for safety. This way, the divisions have established themselves, so they are ready for transplanting in the permanent location.
Because of its deep roots, you need to dig out gaura, preferably in spring. Shake off the soil from the roots and pull them apart to get around four sections. You can then plant these divisions in a fertile and well-draining location, ensuring that the roots are comfortable.
Division may not be the most preferred method of propagating gaura because it’s not a shallow-rooting plant. However, you may find your plant overgrowing after some time, and you can use this opportunity to get clusters for planting new gaura shrubs. Ensure that the location is ideal, similar to how you would root with the previous methods, and your divisions should thrive well.
If you want a versatile plant, consider getting the pollinator-attracting gaura. It would be best if you also took comfort that knowing how to propagate gaura is relatively easy. More so, you can start without any worries about the weather if you root gaura in the greenhouse.
The first option for propagating gaura is from seeds. You can let your plants self-seed, but you can also sow indoors or outdoors. If you have mature gaura shrubs, you can also propagate from stem cuttings or root cuttings.
However, the emphasis is necessary on the plant’s deep taproot. Therefore, propagation by division is only advisable if the plant has overgrown its boundaries. Regardless of the method you choose, there are no specific requirements to establish gaura.
Just choose a fertile, well-draining, and bright location out of harsh conditions.