Gaura (Gaura Lindheimeri ‘Baltinblus’ BALLERINA BLUSH)

Plant: Table of Contents

Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri ‘Baltinblus’ BALLERINA BLUSH)

Gaura, also known as wand flower or butterfly bush, is a lovely perennial plant that adds elegance and beauty to any garden or landscape. Its scientific name is Gaura lindheimeri, and the ‘Baltinblus’ variety, also referred to as Ballerina Blush, is known for its stunning pink flowers and graceful, delicate appearance. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various aspects of Gaura gardening, including its culture, uses, care requirements, common diseases and pests, and much more. Let’s dive in to discover the allure of Gaura and how to cultivate and maintain this charming plant in your own outdoor space.

What is Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri ‘Baltinblus’ BALLERINA BLUSH)?

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Baltinblus’ BALLERINA BLUSH, commonly known as Gaura, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to North America. It belongs to the Onagraceae family and is characterized by its long, wand-like stems and delicate, butterfly-like flowers that dance gracefully in the breeze. The ‘Baltinblus’ variety is particularly prized for its captivating pink blooms and compact, bushy growth habit, making it a popular choice for garden borders, containers, and mixed plantings.

Gaura is a low-maintenance plant that thrives in sunny locations but can also tolerate partial shade. Its airy, vertical form and abundant flowering make it an excellent addition to various garden designs, from formal landscapes to naturalistic or wildlife-friendly settings. This plant is loved by pollinators and can attract butterflies and bees with its nectar-rich blossoms, contributing to the biodiversity and beauty of the garden.

Key Takeaways – Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri ‘Baltinblus’ BALLERINA BLUSH)

  • Culture: Gaura is a versatile, drought-tolerant plant that offers a long blooming season and requires minimal maintenance. It is well-suited to various garden styles and can thrive in both naturalistic and formal landscapes.

  • Uses: Gaura is commonly used in garden borders, containers, and mixed plantings. It is valued for its ornamental qualities and ability to attract pollinators, such as butterflies and bees.

  • Water: Gaura has moderate water needs and prefers well-draining soil. While it is drought-tolerant once established, regular watering is essential during the initial growth stage and prolonged dry spells.

  • Sunlight: Gaura thrives in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. It performs best when provided with ample sunlight, which promotes prolific flowering and robust growth.

  • Fertilizer: Gaura does not require heavy feeding. A balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied in spring can support healthy growth and flowering.

  • Soil: Gaura prefers moderately fertile, well-draining soil. It can adapt to various soil types, including sandy or loamy soils, as long as the drainage is adequate.

  • Pruning: Light pruning can help maintain the plant’s shape and encourage continuous blooming. Removing spent flowers and cutting back leggy stems can rejuvenate the plant and promote new growth.

  • Propagation: Gaura can be propagated from seeds or through division. Both methods are relatively straightforward and can be carried out to propagate new plants or rejuvenate existing ones.

  • Container Popularity: Gaura is well-suited for container gardening, adding vertical interest and a touch of elegance to patio spaces, balconies, or small gardens.

  • Common Diseases: Gaura is generally healthy but may be susceptible to certain fungal diseases, such as powdery mildew, in humid conditions.

  • Common Pests: Aphids and spider mites are potential pests that may affect Gaura. Regular monitoring and appropriate pest control measures can help mitigate infestations.

  • Botanist’s Tips: Selecting suitable companion plants, providing adequate support for tall varieties, and vigilant monitoring for pests and diseases are crucial for successful Gaura cultivation.

  • Fun Facts: Gaura is named after German botanist Carl Ludwig von Blume, and its delicate flowers and graceful movement in the breeze have earned it the common name “whirling butterflies.”

To provide an in-depth understanding of Gaura cultivation, we will delve into each of these key takeaways and explore the nuances of caring for this charming perennial plant.


Gaura is a versatile plant that can thrive in various cultural settings and garden designs. Understanding its cultural requirements is essential for successfully integrating it into different landscaping schemes and ensuring its long-term health and beauty.

  • Versatility: Gaura is well-suited to a wide range of garden styles, from formal landscapes with well-defined borders to naturalistic or cottage garden settings. Its airy, ethereal appearance allows it to blend seamlessly with other plants and ornamental features.

  • Drought Tolerance: Gaura exhibits remarkable tolerance to drought once established, making it an excellent choice for water-wise gardening and landscapes with hot, dry climates. Its ability to withstand periods of low water availability without compromising its ornamental value contributes to sustainable garden practices.

  • Long Blooming Season: Gaura is known for its long blooming period, typically extending from late spring to early fall. The profusion of delicate flowers adds vibrant color to the garden for an extended duration, enhancing the visual appeal and providing a reliable nectar source for pollinators.

  • Garden Uses: Gaura can be employed in various garden applications, including borders, mass plantings, containers, and mixed perennial beds. Its upright growth habit and graceful inflorescences lend vertical interest and movement to the garden, creating dynamic visual effects.

  • Wildlife Attraction: Gaura’s nectar-rich blossoms attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators, contributing to the ecological richness of the garden and supporting local biodiversity. Incorporating Gaura into wildlife-friendly garden designs can promote a healthy and vibrant ecosystem.

  • Companion Plants: When selecting companion plants for Gaura, consider species that complement its color, texture, and cultural requirements. Ornamental grasses, salvia, echinacea, rudbeckia, and sedum are often recommended as suitable companions, harmonizing with Gaura’s aesthetic and ecological contributions.


Gaura’s ornamental value and ecological contributions make it a versatile and valuable plant for a wide range of garden and landscaping uses. Understanding its multiple applications can help gardeners and landscape designers make informed decisions when integrating Gaura into their outdoor spaces.

  • Border Planting: Gaura’s graceful form and abundant flowering make it an excellent choice for border plantings. Whether used as a focal point or combined with other perennials, it adds a touch of elegance and movement to garden borders, creating visually dynamic and engaging landscapes.

  • Mass Plantings: In larger landscapes or naturalistic settings, mass plantings of Gaura can create striking displays of color and texture. The subtle movement of its slender stems and the profusion of pink blossoms contribute to a sense of fluidity and motion within the planting, enhancing the overall visual impact.

  • Container Gardening: Gaura’s upright growth habit and compact varieties make it well-suited for container gardening. Whether grown in standalone containers or combined with trailing or mounding plants, Gaura adds vertical interest and a touch of whimsy to patios, balconies, and small outdoor spaces.

  • Mixed Perennial Beds: Incorporating Gaura into mixed perennial beds allows for diverse and dynamic planting combinations. Its ability to bloom over an extended period adds continuity and vibrancy to mixed plantings, enhancing the seasonal interest and visual appeal of the overall composition.

  • Wildlife Gardens: Gaura’s attraction to pollinators makes it an ideal candidate for wildlife-friendly gardens. By providing a consistent nectar source for butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects, Gaura contributes to the ecological richness and sustainability of wildlife habitats.


Understanding Gaura’s water requirements is essential for promoting healthy growth and flowering. While it exhibits remarkable tolerance to drought, especially once established, providing adequate moisture during critical stages is crucial for ensuring its vitality and longevity in the garden.

  • Watering Frequency: During the initial establishment phase, Gaura should be watered regularly to support root development and overall vigor. This is particularly important in regions with hot, dry summers or extended periods of low rainfall.

  • Soil Moisture: Gaura thrives in well-draining soil and does not tolerate waterlogged conditions. It is essential to ensure adequate drainage to prevent water accumulation around the roots, which can lead to rot and other moisture-related issues.

  • Drought Tolerance: Once established, Gaura demonstrates exceptional drought tolerance and can withstand periods of low water availability without significant impact on its flowering and overall health. This makes it an excellent choice for water-wise gardening and xeriscaping.

  • Watering Considerations: During prolonged dry spells or in containers, it’s important to monitor soil moisture and provide supplemental watering when necessary. While Gaura can withstand drought, occasional deep watering can support healthy growth and blooming.


As a sun-loving plant, Gaura thrives in full sun conditions and can also tolerate partial shade. However, providing ample sunlight is crucial for promoting prolific flowering, robust growth, and the overall well-being of the plant.

  • Full Sun Exposure: Gaura performs best when grown in full sun locations, where it can receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Adequate sun exposure encourages strong, upright growth, abundant flowering, and the development of vibrant, healthy foliage.

  • Partial Shade Tolerance: While Gaura prefers full sun, it can tolerate partial shade, especially in regions with intense summer heat or when planted in areas with dappled light. However, extended periods of shade may result in reduced flowering and a more open growth habit.

  • Sunlight Considerations: When selecting planting sites for Gaura, prioritize locations that receive ample sunlight throughout the day. Avoid excessive shading from tall trees or structures that could hinder the plant’s access to sunlight and compromise its overall performance.


Gaura typically does not require heavy fertilization and can thrive in moderately fertile soil without additional feeding. However, providing a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in spring can support healthy growth, abundant flowering, and overall vigor.

  • Fertilizer Type: A balanced, slow-release fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 10-10-10 or similar formulation is suitable for Gaura. Avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers, as they may promote excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowering.

  • Application Timing: Apply fertilizer in early spring, just as new growth begins to emerge. This provides a nutrient boost that can sustain the plant throughout the growing season, promoting robust growth and prolific flowering.

  • Application Method: Distribute the fertilizer evenly around the base of the plant, following the manufacturer’s recommended application rates. Water the area thoroughly after applying the fertilizer to promote its incorporation into the soil.

  • Fertilizer Considerations: While Gaura is not heavily reliant on supplemental feeding, periodic soil testing can help determine nutrient deficiencies and guide targeted fertilization, ensuring that the plant receives essential nutrients for optimal performance.


Gaura thrives in moderately fertile, well-draining soil and can adapt to various soil types with adequate drainage. Understanding its soil preferences and making appropriate amendments can support healthy growth and flowering.

  • Soil Texture: Gaura performs well in sandy, loamy, or well-draining clay soils. It is essential to avoid waterlogged or poorly drained soils, as these conditions can lead to root rot and other issues.

  • pH Range: Gaura prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH range of 6.0-7.0. Conducting a soil test can help determine the pH of the planting area and guide necessary adjustments to create an optimal growing environment for Gaura.

  • Amendments: Incorporating organic matter, such as compost or well-decomposed manure, can improve soil structure and fertility, promoting better root development and overall plant health. Organic amendments can also enhance soil moisture retention and nutrient availability.

  • Drainage Considerations: If the soil has poor drainage, consider incorporating grit, perlite, or coarse sand to improve aeration and prevent water accumulation around the roots, which can be detrimental to Gaura’s health and growth.


Pruning Gaura is a relatively straightforward task that can help maintain its shape, extend the blooming season, and rejuvenate the plant when necessary. Understanding the principles of pruning and when to perform this maintenance task is essential for keeping Gaura in optimal condition.

  • Deadheading: Removing spent flowers, a process known as deadheading, can prolong the blooming season and encourage the production of new flower buds. Regular deadheading prevents the plant from expending energy on seed production, directing its resources toward continued flowering.

  • Shearing: Light shearing or trimming can help control the plant’s height and overall form, particularly in varieties that tend to become leggy or sprawl over time. Shearing also promotes the development of compact, bushy growth and prevents the plant from appearing unkempt.

  • Rejuvenation Pruning: Over time, Gaura may develop woody stems or exhibit reduced vigor. Rejuvenation pruning, which involves cutting the plant back to a lower height or removing a portion of the older growth, can revitalize the plant and stimulate new, more robust growth.

  • Timing: Pruning tasks, such as deadheading and shearing, can be performed throughout the growing season as needed. Rejuvenation pruning is best carried out in early spring before new growth begins, giving the plant ample time to recover and regrow.


Propagating Gaura from seeds or through division allows gardeners to expand their plantings, rejuvenate older specimens, or share this charming plant with others. Both methods of propagation offer straightforward and effective means of obtaining new Gaura plants.

  • Propagation from Seeds: Gaura produces viable seeds that can be collected for propagation. Sow the seeds in a well-prepared seed-starting mix in early spring, covering them lightly with the growing medium. Keep the soil consistently moist and provide warmth and bright light for germination.

  • Division: Established Gaura plants can be divided to create new individuals and rejuvenate older clumps. In early spring, dig up the plant and carefully separate the root clumps, ensuring that each division has a viable portion of roots and shoots. Replant the divisions in prepared soil and water thoroughly.

  • Propagation Considerations: Whether propagating from seeds or through division, provide the newly propagated plants with favorable growing conditions, including adequate moisture, light, and protection from extreme temperatures, to support their establishment and subsequent growth.

Container Popularity

Gaura’s compact growth habit and elegant appearance make it a popular choice for container gardening, allowing it to bring vertical interest and floral beauty to small outdoor spaces, patios, and balconies. Understanding how to cultivate Gaura in containers can unlock creative possibilities and enhance urban or limited gardening environments.

  • Container Selection: Choose a container that provides ample room for the plant’s root system and allows for adequate moisture retention without waterlogging. Ensure that the container has drainage holes to prevent excess water accumulation.

  • Potting Mix: Use a well-draining, quality potting mix suitable for perennial plants. Consider adding perlite or coarse sand to improve aeration and drainage, creating a favorable growing environment for Gaura in containers.

  • Watering: Containers can dry out more quickly than garden soil, especially during hot weather. Monitor the soil moisture regularly and water the plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry, providing thorough watering to ensure even moisture distribution.

  • Sunlight Requirements: Position the container in a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Full sun exposure is ideal for promoting robust growth and prolific flowering in container-grown Gaura.

  • Overwintering: In regions with cold winters, container-grown Gaura may need protection from freezing temperatures. Consider overwintering the plant in a sheltered location or providing insulation around the container to safeguard the root system from extreme cold.

Common Diseases

While Gaura is generally a healthy and resilient plant, it may be susceptible to certain diseases, particularly in conditions that favor fungal growth or prolonged foliage moisture. Understanding common diseases and their management can help maintain the plant’s health and vitality.

Disease Diagnosis

  • Powdery Mildew: Powdery mildew, characterized by a powdery white fungal growth on the leaves and stems, can affect Gaura in humid or poorly ventilated conditions. It may lead to leaf distortion, reduced vigor, and a decline in overall aesthetic appeal.

Disease Management

  • Cultural Practices: To manage and prevent powdery mildew, ensure good air circulation around the plants by providing adequate spacing and avoiding overcrowding. Select planting locations with ample sunlight and well-draining soil to create an unfavorable environment for fungal development.

  • Fungicidal Treatments: If powdery mildew is detected, consider applying a fungicidal treatment labeled for powdery mildew control. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for application rates and timing to effectively manage the fungal infestation.

  • Pruning: Removing and disposing of affected plant parts, such as heavily infected leaves, can help reduce the spread of powdery mildew and prevent its recurrence. Regular pruning can also promote better air circulation, reducing the risk of fungal diseases.

  • Preventative Measures: Implementing preventative measures, such as avoiding overhead watering, practicing good garden hygiene, and monitoring plants for early signs of disease, can contribute to a healthy growing environment and reduce the incidence of fungal diseases in Gaura.

Common Pests

Pests such as aphids and spider mites can potentially affect Gaura, although the plant is not generally prone to severe infestations. Vigilant monitoring and appropriate pest control measures can help manage and mitigate potential pest issues.

  • Aphids: These small, soft-bodied insects may gather on the tender growth tips of Gaura, sucking plant sap and causing distortions or stunted growth. Their presence can also lead to the development of sooty mold on the affected plant parts.

  • Spider Mites: Spider mites are tiny arachnids that may infest Gaura, particularly in dry or dusty conditions. They feed on plant sap, causing stippling or yellowing of the foliage and the formation of fine webbing on the undersides of leaves.

Pest Management

  • Physical Removal: When pest populations are low, physically dislodging aphids or spider mites with a strong stream of water can help reduce their numbers and minimize their impact on the plant. This method is suitable for smaller infestations and can be part of an integrated pest management approach.

  • Insecticidal Treatments: If pest populations become excessive and non-chemical control methods are insufficient, consider applying insecticidal treatments labeled for aphid or spider mite control. Follow the guidelines and safety precautions specified on the product label.

  • Beneficial Insects: Encouraging the presence of beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, lacewings, or predatory mites, can help maintain natural pest control in the garden. These beneficial organisms can prey on aphids, spider mites, and other garden pests, helping to establish an ecological balance.

  • Cultural Practices: Practicing good garden hygiene, maintaining overall plant health, and avoiding excessive fertilizer applications can contribute to pest resistance and reduce the susceptibility of Gaura to pest infestations.

Botanist’s Tips

Successful Gaura gardening involves considerations beyond basic care practices. Implementing botanist-re

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Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.