How to Plant and Grow Gazania

Gazania is a well-known annual and perennial, and it's very easy to grow because of its extreme heat and drought tolerance. It has beautiful flowers stretching to 4 inches across and come in vibrant colors. Gazania is most commonly grown as an annual. However, there are several perennial varieties all the way down to Zone 4.

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 often and for a longer 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 flowers and more foliage overall.

It's important to note that the blooms of all gazania varieties are only open during the day. Blossoms are held tightly closed at night and even on stormy or overcast days.

Gazania Overview

Genus Name Gazania
Common Name Gazania
Plant Type Annual, Perennial
Light Sun
Height 6 to 6 inches
Width 6 to 12 inches
Flower Color Orange, Pink, Red, White, Yellow
Foliage Color Blue/Green, Gray/Silver
Season Features Fall Bloom, Summer Bloom
Special Features Attracts Birds, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 10, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Propagation Division, Seed
Problem Solvers Drought Tolerant, Groundcover

Where to Plant Gazania

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. These plants are heat and drought-tolerant, so they thrive in both oceanfront locations and dryer regions.

Gazanias will do well in nearly any situation, from container gardens to trailing groundcover. They make excellent edging plants for walkways. As long as they get bright sunlight most of the day, Gazania will thrive.

How and When to Plant Gazania

The most important thing to note with gazania is that it doesn't like to stay wet. These plants hail from the rocky cliffs and grassy hills of South African mountains, so they're accustomed to harsh, dry climates.

Plant gazania in early spring in well-draining soil. The pH level isn't important as long as the soil remains dry most of the time. If you have heavy soil, plant gazania in pots instead of directly in the ground.

Gazania Care Tips

These tough plants don't require much care or maintenance. They love the sun and mostly dry soil, so they work well in rocky garden areas and high-heat spots, such as where there's lots of cement or stone.

Light

Full sunlight and as much of it as possible is the most crucial element for gazania. When it senses shade or darkness, the flowers close up. Gazania may become leggy if planted where there's too much shade. Avoid planting gazania in spots where you'll spend summer evenings since their flowers will be closed.

Soil and Water

Gazania prefers less dense soil that drains well and is a bit sandy. In addition, they prefer a neutral pH (7) but will do fine in more alkaline soil.

Keep the soil dry most of the time, and water early in the day to avoid continued moisture, which can lead to root rot and powdery mildew.

Temperature and Humidity

Gazania loves hot, dry temperatures and low humidity. They can grow as perennials in tropical climates.

If it gets cold in your garden, protect your plants from the chill by covering them with leaf mulch. Even with protection, gazania won't survive anything more than a mild frost, so planting them as an annual is the best idea for colder climates.

Fertilizer

There's no need to fertilize gazania.

Pruning

Perennial gazanias should be pruned in early spring. Cut the plants to about 1/3 of their height if they begin to look spindly or worn. It may take a little while for them to grow back, but they'll look better when they do.

Deadhead gazania regularly by pinching off the spent blooms to make room for new ones.

Potting and Repotting Gazania

It's easy to grow gazania in pots where suitable soil can be used. Gazania grown from seeds in pots also does well. Plant them around the edges of the pot to feature their trailing properties. Potted gazanias can be brought indoors to overwinter.

Pests and Problems

Gazanias have few problems with pests or diseases other than common garden pests. However, keep an eye out for mealybugs on indoor plants, and keep soil dry to avoid root rot.

How to Propagate Gazania

Gazania is usually grown from seed, but it's possible to propagate them.

Take several cuttings using sharp pruners near the base of the plant where there's new growth. Plant them in containers with appropriate potting soil. Grow them indoors in bright sunlight. Transplant to the garden in spring.

Types of Gazania

Gazania varieties come in many colors and patterns. The palette 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 tone through the middle.

'Sunbather's Sunset' Gazania

'Sunbather's Sunset' Gazania
Justin Hancock

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

'Daybreak Red Stripe' Gazania

'Daybreak Red Stripe' Gazania
Scott Little

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

'Daybreak Tiger Stripes Mix' Gazania
Justin Hancock

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 rigens Talent White
Graham Jimerson

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

'Talent Mix' Gazania

'Talent Mix' Gazania
Peter Krumhardt

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

Gazania Companion Plants

California Poppy

California Poppy Eschscholzia
Hedrich-Blessing Studio

California poppy, a native wildflower, adds color to hot, dry sites. Beautiful, satiny flowers in sunset colors wave above ferny, blue-green foliage. They like poor soils, especially sandy soils. California poppies are a cool-season annual. They offer great color early in the growing season but fade once the heat of summer hits.

Lisianthus

Eustoma 'Balboa White' lisianthus
John Reed Forsman

Lisianthus is elegant and one of the best cut flowers; it will last in a vase for 2 to 3 weeks.

Lisianthus can be challenging to grow, especially 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 don't overwater. Taller varieties of lisianthus often need staking to keep their long stems from breaking, but newer dwarf varieties are more carefree.

Pentas

Pink Pentas lanceolata
Kim Cornelison

Pentas is one of the best butterfly-attracting plants. It blooms all summer long, even during the hottest weather. The plant grows well in containers and the ground—and it can make a good houseplant if you have enough light. However, it does best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do gazanias self-seed?

    Gazania will self-seed in warmer climates where they grow as perennials (zones 10-11), but not where they're grown as annuals.

  • Do gazanias attract butterflies?

    Yes! Butterflies love gazania plants and will flock to them in large numbers, so they're a wonderful addition to butterfly gardens. They also attract birds and pollinators.

  • Why is gazania called the treasure flower?

    Gazania was named for a Greek Theologian, Theodore of Gaza. “Gaza” means riches in Greek. It's believed that's why gazania is known as the treasure flower.

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