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Gazania Flowers

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Gazania Flowers Photo © Sid Mosdell
The gazania flower, named for the 15th century Greek-Italian scholar Theodorus of Gaza, is a low maintenance South African annual that will brighten up your hard-to-landscape spaces. The look-at-me color spectrum available in gazanias won’t blend in to a Victorian cottage garden, but butterflies will flock to these prolific summer bloomers.

Latin Name:

Gazania flowers are a member of the daisy family Asteraceae, Genus Gazania

Common Names:

Treasure flower

Zone:

Gazania is a half-hardy annual, and will bounce back from a light frost. In USDEA growing zones 9-11, gazanias may perform as perennials.

Size:

6-10 inches

Exposure:

Gazania flowers thrive in full sun. Morning or afternoon shade may cause the flowers to stay closed for a portion of the day.

Bloom Period:

Summer to frost

Description:

The leathery foliage of gazania plants is a clue to the high drought tolerance of this flower. Leaves are green to gray in color, and grow in a lance shape. The daisy-like flowers grow in a variety of hot hues on the color wheel, with solids and horizontal or vertical variegation on some petals.

Planting:

Gazania is easy to grow to a fault: this ornamental is considered weedy in some parts of Southern California and Australia. If you grow your gazania flowers from seed, start them indoors about 10 weeks before the last frost in your area. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and keep them moist throughout the germination and transplant stage. Harden them off and set them outdoors two weeks after the average last frost.

Plant young gazania plants about a foot apart, allowing them to reach their eventual spread of 10 inches without crowding, which promotes mildew. If your soil is heavy, plant your gazanias in containers.

Maintenance:

In their native habitat of the rocky cliffs of South Africa, gazanias grow in soils of low fertility. Compost and supplemental fertilizer aren’t necessary. Deadhead gazania flowers to extend the blooming time of the plants.

Gazania plants are adaptable enough to overwinter indoors so you won’t need to purchase new plants or seeds for the next growing season. Cut the plant back and keep it in a cool, sunny window. Water when the soil surface is dry. Check the plants regularly for pests like mealybugs that may proliferate on indoor specimens.

Design Tips:

Gazania plants don’t mind the heat that radiates off pavement, so you can include them in your sidewalk garden or alongside your driveway. Plant gazanias with other flowers that like hot and dry conditions, such as vinca, cosmos, verbena, or globe amaranth.

Gazanias shine in containers on your deck and patio. Their preference for sharply drained soil makes them a natural choice for the rock garden or seaside garden.

Varieties:

  • Chansonette Series: Flowers very early for those with short growing seasons
  • Creamsicle: Ivory petals with a simple bronze center disk
  • Daybreak Series: Early large flowers from seed in sunset colors or stripes
  • Kiss Bronze Star: Two tone petals of orange and gold
  • Sunbather’s Sunset: Paprika petals stay open even after sunset
  • Sundrop: Monochromatic gold petals and disks
  • Talent Mix: Foliage appears particularly silver in contrast to bright flowers
  • Tiger Stripe Mix: Red or hot pink stripes on white or gold petals creates a riot of color in your landscape
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