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PAL Questions: 1 - Garden Tools:
I have planted at least two Gaura plants (I don't recall which varieties) in the past couple of years, but they only lasted one season. One was planted in a sunny location with excellent drainage. What could I be doing wrong?
I have had bad luck keeping Gaura going for more than a year also. Mine were planted in the sunniest, driest part of the garden, but they failed to thrive. Gaura can succumb to root or crown rot, drought, snails, slugs, or even winter damage (it's a good idea to mulch around it for protection against cold--keep mulch away from crown). Did you notice how they developed after you planted them? If there is any plant matter left, you could bring it to a Master Gardener Clinic for diagnosis.
If you want to try this plant again, you could try obtaining it from another source (just to rule out preexisting disease as a cause), and continue to provide good drainage, full sun, and space around it for air circulation. According to Perennials: The Gardener's Reference by Carter, Becker, and Lilly (Timber Press, 2007), Gaura is "short-lived in heavy soil in the maritime Northwest. [...] We often use it as an annual; it is worth replanting on a regular basis."
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January 13 2017 10:35:53