Godetia, pronounced [go-DEE-sha], is an annual with pale apricot flowers.
It belongs to the Onagraceae family of flowering plants called the willow herb or evening primrose family.
The scientific name is clarkia amoena, pronounced [KLAR-kee-uh, am-oh-EN-uh], but people typically call it “farewell to spring” or godetia.
Clarkia amoena is native to the western coast of North America, from the San Francisco Bay Area to British Columbia.
In these regions, the plant remains a wildflower, growing freely through the hills and mountains.
It also produces a dry capsule containing numerous seeds, making it easy to propagate and grow new annuals each year.
Size & Growth
These elegant plants reach a height of about 14” – 16” inches.
They produce green stems with thin leaves.
As an annual, this plant dies out each year.
Flowering and Fragrance
The godetia flower tends to bloom in the late spring, and then it flowers throughout the summer.
It produces a cluster of flowers at the tips of the stems.
The flowers are typically various shades of pink or red and may appear with double or single bulbs.
While the flowers don’t have a noticeable fragrance, they are attractive to look at.
These plants make great cut flowers.
After the flowers appear, cut several stems.
Trim off the spent blooms to encourage new buds to appear in their place.
Light & Temperature
Godetia grows wild throughout North America.
It’s suitable for outdoor growth in USDA hardiness zones 2 to 11.
These plants can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and may even survive outdoors.
However, they also need lots of sunlight.
Godetia thrives under warm, full sun, but it’s not a particularly picky plant.
Watering and Feeding
If grown in a tub, pot, or any container, the plant needs frequent watering.
Watering may not be as crucial for godetia grown in the ground.
During hotter, dryer weather, the plant typically needs more water.
Use plant food once a week throughout the warmer months.
Before adding the fertilizer, dilute it with water, and then pour it over the soil.
Soil & Transplanting
Use rich soil with fast drainage.
It also helps to add a drainage layer near the base of the container, especially if the pot or container doesn’t have drainage holes.
Add up to 3” inches of gravel before adding soil.
The plant doesn’t require transplanting, as it’s typically grown as an annual.
Remove dead-head and withered flowers.
This helps encourage new blooms the following year.
How to Propagate Farewell to Spring
Propagate with seed each year.
As an annual, the plant dies out at the end of the year.
- Purchase new seeds and plant any time of the year.
- To encourage an early bloom, sow the seeds indoors in early spring.
- Use a propagating tray to spread the seeds over light soil.
- Cover the seeds with plastic and poke holes for ventilation.
- Place the tray in a bright spot, such as a windowsill or balcony.
- When sowing outdoors, sow the seeds after the last threat of frost.
Sowing outdoors provides the easiest way to grow new godetia, as the seeds can grow directly in the tub or flower bed where they’ll remain for the rest of the year.
After the seedlings appear, thin out the plants.
When growing in a balcony box, people tend to keep the plants a little more crowded together.
This is fine, but the plants may require a little extra care.
Ensure they receive more water and sunlight.
Throughout the summer, ensure the new plants receive plant food about once per week.
Farewell Godetia Pests or Disease Problem
A lack of water is the biggest threat to godetia flowers.
This is especially a problem when growing the plant in a container, as it cannot take up as much water from the soil.
If the plant doesn’t produce a lot of flowers, it’s likely suffering from a lack of water.
Increase the frequency of watering until the plant recovers.
The plant may also suffer from occasional attacks from aphids or whiteflies.
Spray the plant with soapy water to remove the pests.
This may work with aphids, but whiteflies often require additional steps.
Continue to spray the plant every few days.
After a week or two, if the pests remain, use an insecticide.
Toxicity and invasiveness are also minor concerns.
While godetia is not toxic, it may cause vomiting if it is ingested.
Pets may also experience gastrointestinal problems after eating the leaves or stems.
The USDA does not consider the plant invasive, but it can overtake gardens if allowed to grow wildly.
Suggested Uses for Godetia
The plant looks great growing from a large box or tub on a balcony.
Godetia is also a pretty flower for cutting and placing in a vase after it blooms.