Growing Whirling Butterflies

in the Northeast Florida Landscape 

It is near impossible for me to see the blooms of these unassumingly beautiful plants in the garden without taking the time to stop and admire the flowers for a bit. They are held high above the foliage on wiry stalks that bend and sway in the breeze giving the little blossoms the appearance that they are flitting about in the garden like little butterflies. 

Although the old fashioned albeit taller white Gaura remain my personal favorite ( and much to my dismay are becoming increasingly hard to find ) there are many new hybrid cultivars with bright showy hot pink blooms or red tinged foliage for a bit of added interest in the perennial flower bed. There are even dwarf forms for gardens with limited space or mixed container gardens that remain an easily manageable height making them even easier to incorporate into tight garden spaces and decorative mixes.

They are easy to care for, with just a hard trim every now and then when the plant begins to look messy, Guara will resurge with beautiful healthy new growth and loads of little whirling butterflies to enjoy.  And they tend to last a few seasons in the garden like a perennial plant is supposed to, no disappearing act come the very next spring!  Florida critters can be tough on flowering perennials sometimes, but Whirling butterflies seems to be able hold its own. 

With the many new cultivars on the market that I have tested one thing has remained the same, they give you loads of reward for very minimal effort. I cant help but smile when one of these plants leaves the nursery site for it’s new home. I know their new owners are in for a treat. No matter which Gaura you choose to try for your garden, I think you will come to love them as much as I do. 

S & J Nursery’s Gaura cultivars that have been available through the years

Whirling Butterflies White

Pink Fountain

Belleza Dark Pink

Belleza White

Pink Cloud

Siskiyou Pink