Gazanias are a popular choice for gardeners looking to add color and interest to their gardens. These plants are native to South Africa and belong to the Asteraceae family, which includes sunflowers and daisies. Gazanias are also commonly referred to as African daisies due to their appearance, but they should not be confused with Osteospermum even though it goes by the same name. They are also called treasure flowers because of their bright, colorful blooms that come in shades of orange, yellow, pink, red, and white. Typically, they have large petals with dark centers and grow on long stems that can reach up to 18 inches in height. One of the reasons why gazanias are so popular is because of their ease of care. They thrive in sunny locations with well-draining soil.
Gazanias come in different sizes depending on the variety you choose. Some dwarf varieties grow up to six inches tall while larger ones can reach up to two feet tall. The plants also have different flower shapes ranging from single petals with a dark center disk to double flowers with frilled edges. Whether you're looking for a striking focal point or colorful ground cover, these plants provide an eye-catching display of color that is sure to enhance any garden or landscape setting.
One common question that arises when planting gazanias is whether they are annual or perennial. The answer is not straightforward as it depends on the specific variety of gazania being grown and the climate in which it is planted. The blooming of plants is a highly anticipated and visually stunning event, as it marks the arrival of spring. The timing of plant bloom can vary depending on various factors such as location, climate, and plant species. Each region in the US has its unique bloom season, which is influenced by the weather and temperature changes. Some varieties can survive down to zone 4. Most perennial gazanias are hardy for zones 9-11.
The flowers of annual gazanias tend to be larger and more vibrant in color compared to those of perennial gazanias. Annual gazania flowers may bloom for a longer time than their perennial counterparts. They bloom from spring to fall. Deadheading spent flowers can help encourage new growth and extend the overall bloom time of these plants. With regular attention and care, Gazanias can provide a beautiful display of vibrant color in your garden throughout much of the growing season.
Gazanias are known to attract a variety of pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds. These pollinators are attracted to the bright colors of the flowers, which serve as visual cues for them to find a source of nectar. The plant produces copious amounts of pollen that can be easily accessed by pollinators. This makes them an excellent choice for gardeners who want to attract and support pollinator populations in their area.
Growing and Planting Tips
The best way to start gazanias is to grow them from seeds. They can be planted in mid to late spring when the soil is warm enough. It takes around 12 weeks for the flowers to bloom. They can also be grown from seedlings.
Soil – The best soil for growing gazania plants is well-draining soil with a neutral pH (7) which needs to be protected from becoming waterlogged. Slightly acidic or alkaline soil will be tolerated. While the plant tolerates many different soil types, sandy soils are suitable as it allows excess water to drain away quickly.
Light - Gazania plants need full sun exposure for at least six hours a day. This means that they should be planted in an area where direct sunlight falls on them for a considerable time during the day. Gazanias grown in shady areas do not produce as many flowers or may not flower at all. If they receive sufficient sunlight according to their needs, these stunning flowers will flourish and add vibrant colors to your garden.
Water - These plants can withstand drought conditions and do not require frequent watering. The best type of watering for gazania plants is deep and infrequent. This means giving the plant a thorough soaking once or twice a week rather than shallow watering every day. This method allows the water to penetrate deep into the soil, encouraging the plant's roots to grow deeper and become more resilient to drought conditions. Avoid getting water on the leaves as this can cause fungal diseases.
Temperature and Humidity – Gazanias love a hot, dry, low-humidity environment.
Fertilizer – There is no need to fertilize gazanias.
Pests and Diseases – They also tend to be resistant to pests and diseases.
Toxicity – These flowers are not considered toxic. If they are ingested, they can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.