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Whirling Butterflies Gaura

Gaura lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies'

Plant Height:  12 inches

Flower Height:  18 inches

Spacing:  10 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade

Hardiness Zone:  4b

Other Names:  Butterfly Gaura; Wand Flower


Compact well-branched plants bloom continuosly throughout the season; striking white flowers with a blush of light pink, and dark green foliage on an upright airy plant; lovely when massed in the garden and is great for mixed containers

Whirling Butterflies Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies') at Hicks Nurseries

Ornamental Features

Whirling Butterflies Gaura features airy spikes of white star-shaped flowers with shell pink overtones rising above the foliage from late spring to early fall, which emerge from distinctive ruby-red flower buds. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its narrow leaves remain green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Whirling Butterflies Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies') at Hicks Nurseries

Landscape Attributes

Whirling Butterflies Gaura is an open herbaceous perennial with tall flower stalks held atop a low mound of foliage. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

Whirling Butterflies Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies') at Hicks Nurseries

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Whirling Butterflies Gaura is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Whirling Butterflies Gaura will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity extending to 18 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 12 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 10 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 8 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by cuttings; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Whirling Butterflies Gaura is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a ‘filler’ in the ‘spiller-thriller-filler’ container combination, providing a mass of flowers against which the larger thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.