Gazania plants produce dazzling, daisy-like flowers. Grow these sun-loving flowering plants along pathways, at the edges of flower beds or in hanging baskets for a colorful display of flowers from late spring to early summer.
What is Gazania?
Gazania (Asteraceae) is a South African flowering plant that belongs to the daisy family. It takes its common name from the 15th-century Greek-Italian philosopher Theodorus of Gaza. It is sometimes referred to by other common names, including treasure flower and African daisy. Gazania plants are drought tolerant, tender perennials. With a flowering season that lasts from late spring to early summer, its clumping foliage grows ten inches wide, six to ten inches tall, and produces showy, daisy-like blooms.
Depending on the variety, Gazania offer a wide range of flower colors, including bright yellow, red, orange, and variegated (multicolored). They make a great addition to the borders of flower gardens and rock gardens and can be used as a decorative ground cover. These plants are known to attract pollinators like butterflies.
How to grow and care for Gazania
As wildflowers, Gazania are easy to grow and relatively low maintenance. Consider these factors before adding Gazania to your garden.
1. Climate: Native to South Africa, Gazania plants thrive in warm climates. In the US, they perform best in USDA hardiness zones nine and ten. Plant gazania in early spring after the last frost.
2. Light: For best results, plant Gazania in areas with full sun. Shaded areas can stifle the plant’s ability to fully open its buds.
3. Water: Gazania plants are drought tolerant and don’t need a lot of watering. Overwatering your plants can lead to root rot and powdery mildew. To avoid the risk of overwatering, allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
4. Soil: Gazania plants tolerate a variety of soil types, but thrive in well-draining, sandy soil.
5. Spacing: Space the Gazania plants a foot apart to allow for good air circulation. Overcrowded plants can lead to powdery mildew problems. With proper care, these plants will eventually spread to a width of ten inches.
6. Potting: Gazania can be planted in containers. In cooler climates, overwinter the plants indoors during the harsh winter months. When keeping it as a houseplant, make sure it has enough light and water to avoid pest infestation and fungal diseases.
7. Pruning: Deadhead blooms throughout the growing season to encourage new growth.
8. Pest Control: Gazania are susceptible to infestations by aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. Check the undersides of leaves regularly for pests and keep your plants pest-free by providing the right amount of sunlight and water. Apply a natural insecticide like neem oil in case an infestation occurs.