Gazania, first of all, is a mesmerizing flower thanks to its summer blooming, but it is also surprisingly easy to deal with given that it is extremely resilient.

Key Gazania facts

Name – Gazania splendens
Family – Asteraceae
Type – perennial
Height – 4 to 14 inches (10 to 35 cm)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary, well drained

Flowering – May to September/October

Even without watering a single drop, you’ll have flowers all summer long!

Contents

Planting gazania

Preferably choose to plant in spring in a blend of earth and soil mix.

  • Try to opt for a spot in the sun to have beautiful flowers.
  • Avoid very heavy soil, better to plant in light soil.
  • Water lightly only at the beginning.

For sowing from seed, proceed to sow under shelter in February-March, transplant once to a nursery pot during the month of April, and set in place in May.

  • The sowing isn’t always easy, beginners beware…

Pruning, and caring for gazania

Gazania care is practically pointless, but the blooming will be all the nicer if you:

  • Plant in flower plant soil mix.
  • Cut off wilted flowers as soon as they wilt, so that the plant won’t waste energy and instead dedicate itself to growing new flowers.
  • Water your gazania from time to time if it is grown in pots.
  • Possible to add flower plant fertilizer during the blooming season.

All there is to know about gazania

This cute perennial usually grown as an annual has very beautiful colored flowers in shades of yellow and orange, and their contours are sharply marked.

It is grown in perennial flower beds, along edges or in rocky ground, but also in garden boxes for your balconies and terraces.

What makes gazania so unique and popular aside from its beautiful blooming is the fact that it tolerates drought and so doesn’t need to be watered.

Whether it’s in a pot, a flower bed, and even smack in the middle of a rock mound, its ornamental impact is guaranteed!

Smart tip about gazania

Gazania loves sun a lot and doesn’t fear heat in the least!

Gazania

Gazania

It’s hard to believe that a plant this rugged can be so beautiful! Gazania is a well-known annual and perennial because of its extreme heat and drought tolerance. It also has exceptionally beautiful flowers that can stretch to 4 inches across and come in vibrant colors. It’s easy to see why gazania is such a great plant.

genus name
  • Gazania
light
  • Sun
plant type
  • Annual,
  • Perennial
height
  • Under 6 inches,
  • 6 to 12 inches
width
  • 6-12 inches wide
flower color
  • Red,
  • Orange,
  • White,
  • Pink,
  • Yellow
foliage color
  • Blue/Green,
  • Gray/Silver
season features
  • Fall Bloom,
  • Summer Bloom
problem solvers
  • Groundcover,
  • Drought Tolerant
special features
  • Low Maintenance,
  • Attracts Birds,
  • Good for Containers
zones
  • 4,
  • 5,
  • 6,
  • 7,
  • 8,
  • 9,
  • 10
propagation
  • Division,
  • Seed

Garden Plans For Gazania

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Colorful Combinations

Blooms of the gazania plant come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The color spectrum of gazania is primarily toward the warm end, showcasing bright yellows, oranges, or reds with splashes of hot pinks. In many cases, flowers come in combinations of those colors as well. Blossoms typically have a base color with brushstrokes of a deeper color through the middle. It is important to note that gazania blooms are only open during the day. At night, and even on stormy or overcast days, blossoms are held tightly closed. So if you are thinking about planting these near a popular nighttime hangout, you may want to look for another plant.

See what plant to pair gazania with.

Perennial vs. Annual

While very similar in appearance, the hardy and the annual gazania have a few differences. Most common gazanias are annual varieties and tend to boast bigger blooms, brighter colors, and slightly larger foliage with silvery white undersides. They also bloom more and for a longer period of time. Perennial varieties, on the other hand, are simpler in color—blooms, which only show in the summer, are typically a solid color with minimal markings. They also tend to have slightly smaller blooms and more foliage overall.

Gazania Care Must-Knows

Gazania is most commonly grown as an annual. However, it should be better known that there are several perennial varieties as well, all the way down to Zone 4. The most important thing to note with gazania is that it does not like to stay wet. Thes plants hail from the rocky cliffs and grassy hills of South African mountains, so they are accustomed to harsh, dry climates. If gazanias are planted in heavy soil where they stay moist for long periods of time, there’s a higher risk of plants rotting. This is especially true during winter for hardy varieties—if they remain too wet over a long period of time, they’ll suffer.

Right after planting, gazanias appreciate regular watering until they’re established. Once they are established, plants can handle drought very well. They also don’t mind intense heat, so feel free to put them near driveways and other trouble areas that become too hot and dry during the dog days of summer. Gazanias are one of the most drought-tolerant perennials out there!

Needless to say, give gazanias as much sun as you possibly can. They don’t like anything less than full sun. In any amount of shade, plants become more susceptible to foliage problems like powdery mildew and will become stretched and leggy. It’s also a good idea to remove any old, spent blossoms. This encourages plenty of new blooms to keep coming. You can also easily collect seed in the fall to sow again next year. Perennial varieties don’t have a problem politely seeding around the garden, as well.

See more early-spring flowers for the Mountain West.

More Varieties of Gazania

‘Sunbather’s Sunset’ Gazania

Gazania ‘Sunbather’s Sunset’ offers amber-orange double flowers. It grows 18 inches tall and wide. Zones 4-10

‘Daybreak Red Stripe’ Gazania

Gazania ‘Daybreak Red Stripe’ bears golden-yellow flowers with a bold stripe running down each petal. It grows 10 inches tall. Zones 4-10

‘Daybreak Tiger Stripes Mix’ Gazania

Gazania ‘Daybreak Tiger Stripes Mix’ bears yellow, pink, orange, and cream flowers with a contrasting band down each petal. It grows 10 inches tall. Zones 4-10

‘Kiss White’ Gazania

Gazania ‘Kiss White’ offers lots of creamy-white flowers all summer long over dark green leaves. Zones 4-10

‘Talent Mix’ Gazania

Gazania ‘Talent Mix’ offers blooms in shades of cream, pink, orange, and yellow over fuzzy gray-green foliage. Zones 4-10

Plant Gazania With:

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California poppy, a native wildflower, adds an easygoing dose of color to hot, dry sites. Beautiful, satiny flowers in sunset colors wave above ferny, blue-green foliage. They like poor soils, especially sandy soils. If a soil is too rich and moist, they won’t bloom well. California poppies are a cool-season annual, which means they offer great color early in the growing season but fade once the heat of summer hits. Plant them from seed in the fall or very early spring. They like moist conditions at first, but they are drought-tolerant once established. They dislike transplanting. When the plants start to brown and fade, pull them up. However, California poppies will reseed easily; for more plants next year, allow some flowers to ripen to seed on the plant and scatter when you dig up those plants. Replant in fall if you like, especially in warmer-climate areas.

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Lisianthus flowers make people ooh and ahh. Some varieties of this annual look like a blue rose. It’s such an elegant flower, you’d never guess it’s native to American prairies. And lisianthus is one of the best cut flowers—it will last in the vase for 2 to 3 weeks. Lisianthus can be challenging to grow. They’re extremely tricky to grow from seed, so start with established seedlings. Plant them in rich, well-drained soil in full sun after all danger of frost has passed. Keep moist but do not overwater. Taller varieties of lisianthus often need staking to keep their long stems from breaking, but newer dwarf varieties are more carefree.

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Pentas is one of the best butterfly-attracting plants around. It blooms all summer long, even during the hottest weather, with large clusters of starry blooms that attract butterflies by the dozens as well as hummingbirds. The plant grows well in containers and in the ground—and it can even make a good houseplant if you have enough light. It does best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Pentas is grown as an annual in most parts of the country, but it’s hardy in Zones 10-11. Plant it outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.

Beautiful Annual Flowers for Summer

Gazania is a genus of low-growing, trailing ground covers with daisy-like blooms that open on summer and fall days, closing at night. It only grows 0.5 to 1 foot (15 to 30 cm) tall and 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm) wide, but its vivid flowers more than make up for its lack of height. Although grown as an annual in much of the country, this plant overwinters in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8b through 11. Plant this colorful, low-growing specimen outside in containers or directly into the ground to incorporate it into your landscape.

Growing Conditions and General Care

Plant Gazanias in early spring, in full sun and well-draining soil, spacing multiple plants 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) apart to form a ground cover mat. These flowers can tolerate almost any type of soil — alkaline, acidic, loam, clay and sand — as long as they have good drainage, though they prefer good, fertile loam.

Water the Gazania, keeping it moist after planting until you see new growth. Once growing on its own, this plant is quite drought tolerant, and only requires supplemental water during droughts of three weeks or more. Water in the morning, as Gazanias can succumb to stem and root rots, powdery mildew and leaf spot that can result from staying wet for too long.

Pinch off fading flowers with your fingers to encourage a longer bloom period.

Prune annually in late winter or early spring, beginning in the second season, cutting the foliage back to 2 or 3 inches above the ground with pruning shears. This will refresh the plant and encourage new growth.

Photo via livingfashion.co.nz

Fertilize annually soon after pruning, beginning in the second season, with a teaspoon or two of 10-10-10 granular fertilizer, scattering it evenly around the edges of the plant and watering it into the ground. Gazanias can tolerate soils with low fertility, and actually do not do well with excess fertilizer. In even moderately fertile soil they do not require this application, but it can encourage healthy early season growth.

Plant different varieties of Gazanias in a bunch for a colorful mix.

Propagation

Gazanias are particularly suited for creating a fast-spreading garden spread. They self-seed and grow very quickly. However, you can fasten the propagation process. For this, systematic division of young Gazanias is needed. Choose Gazanias that are about 10 inches (25 cm) tall. Using gardening scissors, cut through the basal stem, dividing it into two halves. Each half will now grow as an individual plant.

Source: sfgate.com

Links

  • Back to genus Gazania
  • Plantopedia: Browse flowering plants by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone or Origin

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Gazania – Perennial Plant, How to grow

How to grow Gazania

Gazania (gaz-ay-ne-a)

Commemorating Theodore of Gaza, fifteenth-century translator of the botanical works of Theophrastus (Compositae). Treasure flower. Half-hardy perennials from South Africa, with showy flowers, which open in the sun and close about 3 p.m. The species hybridize freely and gazanias have been much improved in recent years; seed is offered in red and orange shades and pink and cream shades, both groups coming true from seed. The ray petals are frequently beautifully marked with zones of contrasting colours. All flower from June to September.

Species cultivated G. longiscapa, 6 inches, golden-yellow. G. pavonia, 1 foot yellow and brown. G. rigens, 1 foot, orange. G. splendens, 1 foot, orange, black and white. This, which is probably the showiest species, will thrive out of doors in very favoured districts. Cultivars include `Bridget’, orange with black centre; `Freddie’, yellow with green centre ; `Roger’, citron-yellow with a purple feathering at the centre; ‘Sunshine’, deep yellow with a brown ring dotted white. In addition, under the name G. hybrida, seedsmen offer seed in mixed colours, including shades of yellow, pink, red, brown orange and white, variously marked.

Cultivation Treat the gazanias as half-hardy annuals, sowing seed in gentle heat in February and hardening off and planting out in May. They are not fussy about soil and will do well on chalk, but must be given the sunniest possible positions. G. splendens can be propagated from cuttings in August, rooted in a cold frame. The rooted cuttings should be taken into a frost-proof greenhouse for the winter unless the frame can be made frost proof.

By potting these up in spring, as an alternative to planting them out of doors, in a compost of 2 parts of loam to 1 part of peat and 1 part of sand, they will make fine greenhouse flowering plants in early summer.


Mistakes to Avoid When Growing Gazanias

Gazanias are beautiful flowers that will bloom in many bright colors, but as with other flowers, they should be grown a specific way to reach their full potential. There are many simple mistakes that you can avoid when planting and growing gazanias. By avoiding these mistakes, you can make sure that you have a flower bed full of the flower.

1. Choosing Unhealthy Plants

If you plan to purchase your gazania plants from a nursery, make sure you can identify diseases or potential problems. It is important to get a plant that is healthy, otherwise it could die once your transplant it into your garden.

If a plant looks sickly or wilted, select a different plant. Do not worry if there are currently no blooms on the plant, if the leaves and stems look healthy, it should transplant easily into your garden.

The best way to tell if a plant is healthy is by seeing signs of new growth either in the leaves or in the buds.

2. Planting in the Wrong Conditions

Though you can plant gazanias at any time from spring to fall, they do best when they are planted in the spring after the final frost.

They should be planted in a place where they will receive full sun. Gazanias need the rays from the sun in order to survive and add new growth. Do not plant gazanias any closer than 6 to 9 inches apart. They need to be able to spread out and receive all the nutrients they need. They will get fewer nutrients if they are competing for them.

It is also important to note that if you are transplanting your gazanias to only plant them as deep into the ground as they were in their containers. This way they will not be too buried.

3. Planting in Hard or Unfertizlized Soil

Make sure that you plant your gazanias in well-drained soil and place a thin layer of organic fertilizer around the plant and in the planting hole to give the plant the nutrients it needs to spread out its roots and add new growth. It is also important to water them completely until the soil is moist after you plant them.

4. Improper Maintenance Techniques

Make sure that you water your gazanias when the soil around them is dry to the touch. During the driest part of summer, they may need to be watered at least once a day.

Every spring, use bypass pruners to cut away the old foliage and stems. This will allow for new growth. At the same time, add a thin layer of organic fertilizer around the plant to give it the nutrients it needs to grow quickly.

5. Forgetting to Check for Insects and Diseases

Make sure that your plants are insect and disease free. In most cases, you will be able to tell if harmful insects have attached your plants with discolored leaves. Some insect activity, such as honey bees, is normal, but make sure to protect your plants from other insects.

Remove infected areas and spray with an organic insect repellent that will not harm your flowers.

Gazanias are beautiful flowers and with the proper care, you will be able to enjoy them throughout the year.

Gazania rigens (aka: Gazania splendens) pronounced (gah-zay’ni-ah) is a pretty, South African native and a member of the daisy family (Asteraceae).

It is often called the “Treasure Flower”, “African Daisy”, or simply “Gazania.” The Osteospermum is also known as the “African Daisy.”

This rugged African wildflower is the parent of many different types of Gazania available from seed suppliers and nurseries today.

These consist of a wide variety of cultivars in a dazzling array of colors and patterns.

In this article, we discuss Gazania rigens and share information on using and caring for this rugged, pretty plant in your garden. Read on to learn more.

Gazania Plant Quick Growing Guide:

Scientific Name: Gazania rigens (formerly Gazania splendens)

Common Name: Treasure Flower, African Daisy,

Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial, often grown as an annual.

Family: Asteraceae or daisy family. Other members of this family include the common daisy, sunflowers, and dandelions.

Native Habitat: South Africa from the Cape of Good Hope.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9-11

Height: 6″ inches – 1′ foot

Spread: 6″ inches – 1′ foot

Bloom Time: Early Summer through early Fall

Flower Description: Showy, bright, colorful rays with dark, peacock-eye “eyes” at the base and central disks of orange/brown.

Sun Requirements: Full sun is needed for full bloom.

Water Requirements: These drought-tolerant plants need low to moderate watering.

Maintenance Requirements: Very low to moderate. Regularly deadhead flower to ensure ample blooms.

Soil requirements: These hardy plants like poor, sandy, well-drained soil and full sun. The plant is drought-tolerant and does not like being overwatered. Consistent, moderate watering is best.

Is Gazania An Annual Or A Perennial?

Gazania plants are considered tender perennials but are grown as annuals in colder climates.

The plant with silvery green foliage looks similar in shape to those of wild dandelions. In mild climates, the leaves are evergreen.

The stiff flowering plant stems stand between six and ten inches high and topped with three or four-inch daisy-like flowers.

This type of flower is called a “ray flower.” The basic Gazania is orange with a dark, contrasting center.

Cultivars of the species are available in an ever growing range of flower colors, including white, yellow, orange, bronze, lavender and red. All have a central disk of a deeply contrasting color.

Related Reading: Mexican Zinnia Haageana Plant Care

Do Gazania Need Full Sun And When Do They Bloom?

Gazania flower produces a riot of color throughout the summer and late into the autumn.

Because they love the sun, they bloom the most on sunny days. The petals close at dusk and may stay closed on cloudy days.

Encourage more blooms by deadheading spent Gazania flowers!

Why Are They Called Gazania?

Treasure Flowers’ official name comes from a Greek scholar of the 15th century. Theodore de Gaza is best known for translating the very important botanical works of Theophrastus into Latin from their original Greek.

Interestingly, in Latin the word “gaza” means “treasure” and this may be why the plant is commonly called Treasure Flower.

The scientific epithet, “rigens” means “stiff” or “rigid”. This refers to the sturdy, upright flower stems.

What’s The Best Way To Propagate Treasure Flowers?

You can start plants from seed indoors late in the winter. Allow 6-8 weeks before the last predicted frost date to allow seedlings to mature.

Set young plants out after the final frost.

Other Gazania Propagation Options

  • Take basal offsets from outdoor plants at the end of summer and root them to have new plants in the spring season.
  • Overwinter container plants indoors and move them back out in the spring.

Tips On How To Grow Gazania From Seed

There are two ways to grow Treasure Flower from seed. Sow seed indoors late in winter or sow seed directly into your garden after the last winter frost.

Follow These Steps To Sow Seed Indoors.

  1. Six-to-eight weeks before the last predicted frost, sow Gazania seeds about a quarter of an inch deep in a sterile seed-starting formula. Firm the soil lightly.
  2. Keep the soil evenly moist, out of direct sunlight and at a temperature of 68°-86° degrees Fahrenheit. Seedlings should emerge within a week or two.
  3. Once seedlings sprout, move them to a well-lit setting. Place them on a sunny windowsill or under a fluorescent light or grow light (not incandescent lights) about three or four inches above the seedlings. If using artificial light, keep it on for sixteen hours a day, and turn it off for eight hours overnight. As your plants grow taller, be sure to raise the lights to accommodate them.
  4. Seedlings do not need fertilizer until plants are about a month old. At this time, provide a weak solution (half strength) of water-soluble houseplant food.
  5. If starting seeds in small cells, transplant them to three or four-inch pots when they develop a couple of sets of “true leaves”. This will ensure that they have enough space for strong roots to grow.
  6. Before moving plantlets into the garden, be sure to harden them off. Acclimate plants to the outdoors by first setting them out into a sheltered area for about a week. During this time, keep plants protected against hot sun and harsh wind. If frost is predicted, bring them indoors or cover to protect them. When following this hardening off process carefully, your plants’ “harden off” and cell structures are strengthened. This reduces the likelihood of transplant shock.

How To Sow Gazania Seeds Outdoors

  1. Choose a location with porous, well-drained soil and receives full sun.
  2. Remove all weeds and work some organic matter into the top six-to-eight inches of the soil. Level and smooth the surface of the soil.
  3. Sow the seeds thinly and evenly and cover them with about a quarter of an inch of soil. Firm this down lightly and keep it evenly moist.
  4. Seedlings should emerge within a week or two, depending upon the quality of the soil and the weather conditions.
  5. Fertilize lightly when the new plants emerge. Be careful not to over-fertilize. Remember these plants like poor, sandy soil. Use a very low rate of a slow-release fertilizer.
  6. When plantlets are about an inch high, thin out the weaker ones and leave only the strongest standing approximately nine-to-twelve inches apart.
  7. Mulch between young plants to help keep the soil moist and warm and discourage weed growth. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds, and pull them as they appear so they do not rob young plants of nutrients.

Use shredded leaves as a mulch. They will gradually break down to add more nutrients to the soil.

Just be careful not to let the mulch touch the stems of your desired plants as this may cause rot.

In late autumn, you may decide to enjoy your Gazania indoors during the winter.

If so, dig them up and put them in containers before the first frost. In wintertime, keep them in a cool room with bright light. Water very sparingly.

Does Treasure Flower Have Problems With Pests Or Disease?

For the most part, Gazania plants are trouble-free. Excessive watering can cause problems with rot and edema.

Powdery mildew fungal disease infections, Botrytis, downy mildew infections, and leaf spot can also be a problem in damp, humid climates.

Weakened plants may experience attacks from:

  • Aphids – how to get rid of them
  • Mealybugs – and their control
  • Spider mites (getting rid of infestation)
  • Thrips

Generally speaking, providing ample air circulation, careful spacing and watering will control any fungal infections and problems associated with rot.

Overcrowded and overwatered plants result in weak and sickly plants more prone to attracting pests.

To prevent infestation by aphids, mealybugs, spider mites and thrips, keep plants healthy and avoid overwatering.

Engage the help of natural predators such as parasitic wasps, lacewings, and ladybugs for controlling pests naturally.

If you experience problems with pest infestation, foliar applications of insecticidal soap and/or Neem oil solutions can bring insect pests under control with minimal negative impact to beneficial insects.

What Are The Best Ways To Use Gazania?

These versatile, adaptable plants can be used in a wide variety of ways.

  • Gazanias with their neat, compact growth make them a lovely low border plant along a walkway or around a patio.
  • Use the “Gazania daisy” to define the edges of your flower garden by planting a row along the front or around the perimeter.
  • Plant colorful Treasure Flowers in rock gardens to add interest.
  • These pretty plants do well in all sorts of containers, even hanging baskets.
  • Because Treasure Flowers are so rugged and thrive on neglect, they make a wonderful choice for seaside gardens.
  • Bees, butterflies and other pollinators love them, making Gazanias a great addition to butterfly gardens.
  • Deer resistance (annuals) makes them a great choice for decorating around your cabin in the woods.
  • Excellent as a ground cover, so plant a lovely, sunny meadow of Gazania.

Do Gazanias Spread? Are They Considered Invasive?

Gazania linearis (a cousin of Gazania rigens) is naturalized and considered mildly invasive in California.

Originally introduced in California as an ornamental, it quickly escaped and began growing rampantly in grasslands and along creeks. Gazania linearis forms a very dense ground cover and forces out native plants.

Even though Gazania rigens is not currently considered invasive in California, it makes good sense to plant it with care and keep it under control in very mild climates.

With its robust growth habits, it could very easily become invasive in settings that allow it to grow year-round and reseed itself easily.

Why Should You Plant Gazania?

If you are looking for an eye-catching, easy to grow, daisy-like plant, Gazania is a good choice.

These pretty plants come in a wide variety of colors and grow happily in almost any sunny setting.

If you have a:

  • Challenging container
  • Rugged rock garden
  • Narrow strip of dirt by the curb
  • Big flower bed

… you want to fill with gorgeous blooms, Treasure Flower can fill the bill.

Gazania is a hardy, colorful, enthusiastic plant that adds color and cheers to any landscape.

Gazania, Treasure Flower ‘Daybreak Mix’

Category:

Annuals

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Smooth

Foliage Color:

Bronze

Blue-Green

Height:

under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Danger:

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Orange

Red-Orange

Gold (yellow-orange)

Bright Yellow

Brown/Bronze

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown – Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Fremont, California

Sarasota, Florida

Elk Horn, Kentucky

Gramercy, Louisiana

Greenwell Springs, Louisiana

Bel Air, Maryland

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Austin, Texas

Center, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

show all

If you want a plant that’ll laugh at the drought, consider the humble gazania.

Plant details

Common name: Gazania

Botanic name: Gazania hybrids

Description: Low growing perennials from South Africa. Their silvery-green leaves are usually long and narrow, and are often lobed. They have bright, colourful flowers in white, cream, yellow, red and brown, often with contrasting bands or spots. The main flowering period is spring and early summer, but they flower at other times of the year as well.

Best climate: Gazanias grow in most areas of Australia.

Uses:

coastal landscaping
erosion control on sloping land
urban landscaping
low maintenance gardens
water-wise gardens

Good points:

colourful, cheery flowers
easy to grow
drought tolerant
pollution tolerant
salt tolerant

Downside:

Not suitable as cut flowers (flowers close at night).

Care:

Gazanias love full sun and well-drained soil that is not too rich. Water occasionally during dry spells and mulch annually with compost.

Getting started:

Gazanias can be propagated by soft-tip cuttings all year round, or in the cooler months by division of established plants.
Gazanias are readily available at nurseries and garden centres, and cost about $4 for 100mm (4″) pots, and $10 for 150mm (6″) pots.


Gazania (Gazania spp.), also known as African daisy, is a colorful flower from South Africa that grows as a low groundcover. It is known for its ease of growing and long bloom period which lasts from early summer until the first frost.

Growing Gazania

Gazania grows as a perennial in USDA zones 9 to 11, but is commonly grown as an annual in colder zones. It is one of the most widely available flowers in nurseries throughout the country.

Appearance

Gazania has two to four inch round blossoms with many petals that radiate from a button-like center reminiscent of a daisy. The flowers come in a range of colors though they are primarily found in warm tones.

The finely cut foliage can be either green or silvery, depending on the variety. The foliage of gazania plants hugs the ground with the flowers rising on short stalks just above it. The overall height of the plants rarely reaches more than 16 inches.

Growing Requirements

Gazania is noted for its tolerance of dry, sandy soil and intense heat. Full sun and well-drained soil is its primary requirement, but it performs best in hot, dry conditions. Cool, damp weather often leads to disease.

Use in Landscaping

In climates where gazania grows as a perennial it makes a very trim and tidy groundcover over areas large and small, forming a dense mat of foliage that out competes weeds effectively. It grows well on slopes and is an excellent choice for rock gardens or to cascade gracefully over a retaining wall.

Gazania is also useful as a low border to frame beds of taller annuals or perennials.

Grown as an annual, gazania is effective in hanging baskets where the foliage will cascade over the edge. It is also useful in small pots on decks and patios and can even be used indoors for a short term splash of color.

Varieties

Gazania varieties vary according to size and the color of flowers and leaves. It is typically available in mixes.

‘Red Stripe’

  • The ‘Daybreak’ mix is known for its large blossoms (four inches) and yellow centers with dark rings around them.
  • The ‘Mini-Star’ mix is smaller in stature than other gazanias (six to eight inches tall) and comes in shade of red, orange, white, pink, and yellow.
  • The ‘Talent’ mix is known for its silvery foliage and comes in shades of pink, yellow, white, and orange.
  • ‘Red Stripe’ is a unique cultivar with yellow petals that have a red stripe down the center.

Planting and Care

To grow as a groundcover or as border, plant small plugs of gazania every six to 12 inches. These can be found as flats in the groundcover section at nurseries. It will fill in to form a dense mat of vegetation within several months.

For potted plants, it is more desirable to start with a full size (one gallon) transplant.

Maintenance

Gazania requires very little care. Fertilizer is unnecessary and may results in fewer blossoms.

Gazania needs regular irrigation to get established, but afterwards only when there has been several weeks of hot weather with no rain. Otherwise, there is little to do other than remove the spent flowers periodically to maintain a neat appearance.

Pests and Disease

Gazania is highly resistant to pests and disease. Powdery mildew, bacterial leaf spot, and crown rot can all occur, though they are generally a sign that the location is too damp to grow gazania effectively.

If these diseases occur, the best defense is to remove the plants and try to find a more suitable location, rather than spraying with pesticides.

A Cheery Plant

Gazanias brings a warm cheery feeling to the garden and attracts loads of butterflies. It has such a sunny disposition that the flowers close each night only to reopen at dawn the following day.

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