gaura -Perky Pinks struggling

nccmama(z8 TX)June 8, 2009

I planted several gauras of the variety Perky Pink in the late spring. This was in some beds in the common area of my neighborhood owned by the HOA. The other plants in this bed (trailing rosemary, Rainbow Knock-Out roses, Mexican feather grass, sun drops) are doing well. But, the gauras are struggling. We had a lot of rain early on, and they seemed to be fine. Since the rain has slowed significantly now, we have been hand watering occasionally to supplement the 3x a week sprinklers. The leaves look mottled and dry, almost as if something is eating it. But, I don't know of any pest that likes this plant. I do think that they got a bit stressed going from too much rain to suddenly pretty dry. But, I'm not sure if they can be saved. They're still alive, but look awful. Any thoughts? Thanks.

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I don't have an answer but my gaura (Cherry Brandy) look awful as well. Nice blooms earlier this spring but now they look like they are drying up. They were my star performers last year through the heat of summer. So sad that it doesn't appear to be the case this year.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 11:04AM
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nccmama(z8 TX)

One of the neighbors took a sample of the gaura to the nursery where we bought them, and they said that it's beetles. Not sure what kind, but they are itty bitty black ones with a tiny little black larvae that is eating the leaves. So, we put some neem on them and are hoping that they will perk up and live up to their name.

Maybe too much rain this year for gaura?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 3:10PM
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petzold6596(8b southern NM)

Most of the employees of a nursery know next to nothing about plants and their problems. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for the most accurate info. In the mean time, the guara is suffering from wet feet. Allow the soil to become rather dry before watering again. Hard to tell what the insect is without a photo but the extension would your best resource.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 6:35PM
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My guara looks like it might be dieing too. What is really weird is that it was in full bloom doing great, and then all of a sudden started drying up. Reading above post, I may have compounded the problem by thinking it wasn't getting enough water and watering it more often. Most of it is now dry and brittle with a few green branches. I'm not sure if it is salvageable? So less water is what it needs?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 10:47AM
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freshair2townsquare(z7/8, D/FW)

just to see what would happen, i cut back my white gaura by 1/2 in early july - i came back very healthy & is blooming profusely

you may want to cut it back a bit to allow the roots to relax - not so much above ground for them to support while they're fighting off the whatever

~ freshair

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 4:16PM
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I gave mine a haircut today, hopefully it'll recover.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 12:33AM
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My gaura plant and leaves look healthy, and there are plenty of spikes on the plant where there should be flowers. The problem is there are no flowers. I heard not to cut out the spikes, but what else can I do to bring back the flowers?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 1:14AM
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I cut mine way back and its bigger than ever and has more blooms. I added some compost to it.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 4:42AM
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bobbi_p(z8/9 Cypress, TX)

Hey Toucan,

I didn't get mine dead-headed/trimmed back after its first bloom and it's blooming on new spikes amongst the old now.

If you're certain that yours hasn't shot up new growth for the new blooms, you could probably trim it back to the leaves with no problem...

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 7:51PM
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kcail(6A KY USA)

I lost one of my gaura over our vacation. We had 105 temps and I soaked my flower beds before leaving. We are also in a moderate drought here in KY.

When I returned one gaura was dead, root rot and crunchy leaves. I have four more that are showing signs of this stress.

I read that powdery mildew is an issue: ( from

Problems: Rust, Cercospora and Septoria leaf spots, sometimes downy and powdery mildews. Root rot may occur in heavy, poorly drained soils.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:06PM
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I have four different varieties of Gaura, they have been my favorite plant blooming this spring. The smallest started having brown leaves and looking stripped on the stems, then I noticed tiny black beatles, and tiny black larvae, less than 1/4". I sprayed it with water to no avail, then I cut it back and sprayed it with neem oil. Now I see the larvae on all of my Gaura. Is anyone else having this problem this year, what kind of beetles and larvae are these, and what can I do to save my plants. I have a large butterfly garden and I am trying to be insecticide free. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 5:25PM
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