Blanket flowers get their name from their appearance. Fields full of them blanket the ground in fiery red, yellow and orange blooms. The perennial flowers are big, sunny and shaped similarly to daisies. They are very popular in gardens all over the United States because they are pretty and easy to grow. They are especially great for butterfly gardens or in wildflower fields. Their flowers can grow up to four inches across, they last a long time, and they'll bloom all the way from early summer to mid-autumn if you remember to deadhead the spent blooms. You can even cut these flowers and keep them looking nice in a vase for up to two weeks.
If you would like to try growing some blanket flowers of your own, pick out a sunny spot that drains well. These plants like full sun and can tolerate drought, but they do not like to sit in puddles or muddy soil that does not drain well. These flowers are grown from seeds that you can seed directly into your garden. If you live in a warm place, plant them in the fall and expect them to bloom in the first spring. If you live somewhere cold, you can still plant them in the fall but shouldn't expect any flowers until the second spring.
Sow your blanket flower seeds early in the season. You can lay them on the ground 15 to 18 inches apart, then cover them loosely with about one-eighth of an inch of potting soil. You could also go a more casual route and broadcast spread them all over an area, then lightly rake them into your soil. Both methods should work and which you choose probably will depend upon how your garden is designed. Blanket flowers can tolerate crowding, but you should thin or transplant seedlings when they reach about two inches to 14 to 16 inches apart. This is because most blanket flowers will grow to two or three feet in height. Some varietals even grow to four feet.
Once you have sown your seeds, add a general purpose fertilizer. After that, fertilize no more than once per month. While blanket flowers are drought resistant, they will bear more blooms if you water them on a regular basis. They are very tolerant of the hot midsummer sun and will continue to bloom until the first frost. Once your blanket flowers are established, they should require very little care or attention on your part. Allow the seed heads to dry completely before you trim them in order to aid in reseeding the following year. Insect and disease problems are uncommon for blanket flowers and your blooms should return with little to no effort on your part year after year.
Blanket flowers are a good choice for you if you are considering turning part of your garden into a wildflower fields. The bright red, yellow and orange blossoms look quite striking in fields full of flowers. Blanket flowers will also attract butterflies to your garden.