How to Plant and Grow Gayfeather
Plant Gayfeather Seeds: Sow gayfeather seed in cell packs or flats, press into soil and lightly cover. Needs light to germinate. Kept at 70° F., seedlings emerge in 21 to 35 days. Can direct sow into prepared seed beds, in groups of 3 to 4 seeds, spaced 18 in. apart. Thin to the strongest plant.
Grow Gayfeather: Full sun. Best performance in moderately fertile soil with regular water. Gayfeather will tolerate drought and poor soil. Plants stand up to heat, humidity, and cold, and are deer resistant. Cut back flower spikes by half to encourage repeat bloom. Late summer flowers can be allowed to mature, will provide winter seed for birds. Gayfeather flowers attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. Divide plants every 3 to 4 years in spring or fall. Use gayfeather in beds, mixed borders, cottage and cutting gardens, or plant with ornamental grasses, echinaceas and rudbeckias to create a beautiful and easy care, prairie-like garden.
Dig Deeper: Flowers are long-lasting in fresh or dried arrangements. Blooms open from the top of the spike down. Fresh cut flowers last 1 to 2 weeks when picked with about one-third of the flowers open on each stem. For dried flowers cut stems when two-thirds of blooms are open, remove foliage and hang in a dark, dry place with good air circulation for about 3 weeks.