Why Are My Blanket Flowers Dying?

Like all other plants, it is inevitable for blanket flowers or gaillardias to experience diseases. But in this case, you want to know why your blanket flowers are dying. Very well, you may now relax since we already researched the answer on the internet. 

Your blanket flowers are dying because they may be suffering from diseases, and you don't even notice it. It could be because of root rot, powdery mildew, aster yellows, bacterial leaf spot, white smut, septoria leaf spot, and viruses.

As mentioned, you may not know that your blanket flowers are suffering from any of these illnesses because you don't know what the source is. So, if you want to learn more about your blanket flowers and how to take good care of them to avoid these problems, it would be best to keep reading. Doing so might also answer some of your additional questions.

A beautiful blanket flower blooming in the mountain, Why Are My Blanket Flowers Dying?

What Are The Blanket Flower Diseases That Can Cause Them To Die

Learning and understanding the things or organisms that cause them to experience such a thing would be best to revive or take proper care of your dying blanket flowers. 

We provided a list below regarding this matter where you can also see their solutions.

1. Aster Yellows

With this disease, the leaves of the blanket flowers turn yellow. Plus, their blooms seem not to grow as they should or are in poor condition. 

A mycoplasma-like organism called Phytoplasma is the cause of this blanket flower disease.


To resolve this problem, you need to get rid of the infected blanket flowers.

And since leafhoppers are what spread them, it would be best to control them immediately. We suggest using insecticides early in the season so that you can restrain the escalation of those organisms from weeks to your blanket flowers. 

In addition, you can also use beneficial predators or pests like ladybugs to control those leafhoppers.

2. Bacterial Leaf Spot

This disease shows that some spaces between the blanket flowers' veins become collapsed and dark brown. And it may cause the whole plant to perish.


The best solution for this disease is to get rid of the infected plants and keep them away from those healthy ones. Additionally, you should avoid utilizing sprinkler irrigation.

3. White Smut

At first, it will show some light green dots on its leaves, some of which have tan cores, and some white spores will develop inside the spots. And the dots on the leaf turn dark brown eventually. 


Just like the first two mentioned diseases, you also need to remove all the infected leaves, and it would be best to spray fungicide to protect your blanket flowers. 

4. Septoria Leaf Spot

These are tan patches that contain dark brown to black dots resembling fungal fruiting bodies that appear on the leaves of a blanket flower. As the name suggests, Septoria is the pathogen that causes this disease.


To manage this issue, all you have to do is not utilize sprinkler irrigation.

5. Powdery Mildew

If you notice some white fungal growth that appears on the leaves of your blanket flower, it is undoubtedly because of the pathogens called Golovinomyces and Sphaerotheca. And the disease they spread is what we call powdery mildew.


This disease is too straightforward to solve. You must apply fungicide to your blanket flowers to protect them from those pathogens. 

6. Stem And Root Rots

You'll know that your blanket flowers are experiencing stem and root rot if the lower stems turn tan to dark brown.


The best thing to do to prevent this disease is to avoid overwatering your blanket flowers. Also, it would help not put too much or to mound mulch on its soil.

7. Viruses

With viruses, your blanket flower plants may experience twisting or color light and dark green patches on their leaves. The causes of these viruses are thrips and aphids.


Get rid of the infected plants. And we suggest using insecticides to eliminate the pests feasting on your blanket flowers. 

How To Properly Care For Blanket Flowers

Beautiful blooming blanket flower in July

1. Provide Adequate Sunlight 

If you want your blanket flowers to grow beautifully, it would be best to provide them a sufficient supply of direct sunlight. 

Blanket flower in the high high mountain

The blanket flower may tolerate partial shade in warmer climates, although it will get droopy and flower less often.

2. Utilize The Right Soil

Gaillardia thrives in poor to ordinary soil. Avoid adding too much fertilizer or rich nutrients to the soil. Blanket flowers do not care about the pH of the soil, but they require soil that drains properly. In addition, they can develop in somewhat damp environments. However, hard clay soil will definitely kill them.

3. Water Just Enough

Water thoroughly after planting to promote healthy root growth. To make sure that the soil is moist but not too saturated one inch below the soil line, we suggest checking the soil often. 

Blanket flowers can handle drought well. Unless it's hot and dry, it's ideal for watering them once or twice a week. In other words, you must avoid excessive watering.

4. Always Keep An Eye To The Humidity And Temperature

As discussed earlier, blanket flowers can survive the summer heat and grow beautifully in broad light. Conditions with high temperatures and little humidity are ideal for these plants; they thrive in hot, dry climates. Mulch your blanket flowers in colder locations to keep them from freezing to death.

5. Be Cautious In Using Fertilizer

As mentioned above, blanket flowers prefer poor soil, which stimulates them to flower more. So, it would be best to incorporate less fertilizer or avoid using it if possible. 

Do You Have To Do Deadheading On Blanket Flowers

Blanket flower or firewheel on the garden with blur green

Deadheading blanket flowers are not necessary. However, doing so would be best so that the plants will look nicer and be fuller when the blossoms begin to fade.

With regular deadheading, you will be able to obtain more flowers out of your blanket flowers. For a beautiful fall bloom, prune the plant back hard in the summer if it has become lax.

How To Grow Blanket Flower Seeds

Gaillardia x Grandiflora seeds are available in a variety of cultivars. But they won't bloom the first year you plant them. It would be best to sow in the late summer and protect the new plants during the cold season to get a jump start.

Blanket flower seed head

In addition, we suggest you divide the blanket flowers once every two years in fall or spring. Doing such will keep them going, especially since they can be short-lived. Moreover, hybrids don't develop from self-seeding. 

Follow the steps below to learn how to divide your blanket flowers:

  • Excavate a circle with a diameter of six to eight inches to start the dividing process of the blanket flowers. We suggest using a spade for this step. In addition, you should excavate the hole for about a foot to release the root ball.
  • Utilize your spade to raise the root ball from the ground and gently shake it to eliminate dirt around it.
  • You can divide the roots into two to three clumps utilizing a sharp knife or your fingers. Do this step carefully and gently. Ensure that there are at least a few shoots of leaves in each clump.
  • Prepare a location where the roots can spread before replanting.
  • Once you cover the roots with soil, you will have to water it adequately until the roots get damp.
  • Cut back on watering as you would with well-established blanket flowers once you realize that the plant is no longer agitated.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is Blanket Flower Toxic To Humans?

    These plants can actually produce skin irritation on contact. If you are ever in such a situation, you must wash the affected area with soap and warm water. 

    What Height And Width A Blanket Flower Can Reach?

    A blanket flower can reach a height of one to three feet. And when it comes to its width, it can be up to two feet wide. 

    Do Blanket Flowers Draw Butterflies?

    Blanket flower with a white butterfly

    Butterflies and other small birds, such as weed-eating finches, are into blanket flowers, making them an excellent inclusion to your garden.

    Wrap It All Up

    A dying blanket flower is not too complicated to take good care of or revive. All you have to do is understand everything about blanket flowers, such as knowing what causes them to die and gathering enough knowledge to execute the solutions. 

    We hope you find this post beneficial to your questions. If you have more questions that you like for us to answer, please feel free to leave a comment. And if you want to continue reading, you might want to check these posts out!

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