When you are a passionate admirer of flowers, your plant family will always be ready to accommodate another irresistible member. The truth is that Gazania is a must-have in every collector’s garden. Many people appreciate it not only for its charming appearance but also for its easy-going style.
Not convinced yet? Keep reading to find out more about this flower and, by the end of this article, you will surely fall in love with it!
Gazania is a genus that contains about 18 species of colourful and hypnotic flowering plants. The flowers of the Gazania genus are native to southern and tropical Africa, growing mostly in open grass veld areas, rocky cliffs, and coastal areas. They have become naturalized and widely cultivated in several regions worldwide as ornamental plants.
The most representative members of this interesting genus are G. rigens (syn. G. splendens), G. linearis, and G. krebsiana. In cultivation, many gardeners commonly know these plants as Treasure flowers or African daisies. They are very easy to grow and care for, adapting to a wide range of conditions including cloudy weather or prolonged drought.
- Gazania plants come in numerous varieties, such as ‘Aztec’, ‘Big Kiss White Flame’, ‘Sunburst’, ‘Burgundy’, ‘Fiesta Red’, ‘Sunglow’, ‘Moonglow’, ‘Copper King’, ‘Goldrush’, or ‘Sunrise Yellow’.
- Thanks to their spectacular flowers, cultivars like G. ‘Aztec’, G. ‘Cookei’, G. rigens ‘Variegata’, and G. ‘Talent Series’ have gained the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
- People named these plants after a Greek-Italian scholar from the 15th century called Theodorus of Gaza.
- African daisies are versatile landscape plants, looking very pretty in rock gardens, xeriscape gardens, Mediterranean gardens, or as edging along sunny paths. Some gardeners use them as fillers for younger shrubs.
- These plants will add a nice dash of colour in masses on slopes and banks, where they can also help in controlling soil erosion. They make for lovely additions indoors in pots.
- Some herbaceous species of Gazania played a big part in traditional medicine. Many folks used these plants to prevent miscarriage and as a treatment for toothache, sore eyes, headache, earache, or pneumonia.
- Gazania plants have various medical properties beneficial for health including antioxidant, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, and purgative.
- They prefer bright and direct light, warm to hot temperatures, and soils with good drainage. These plants require less water than other species of flowering plants.
- African daisies have no known toxic effects. You can grow them safely around your curious children and pets.
Gazania Features: An Overview
- Gazania plants belong to the large and well-known Asteraceae family. They share this family with Daisies, Sunflowers, and Asters.
- They are tender, warm-weather perennials that can reach from 6 to 10 inches (15-25 cm) in height and up to 10 inches (25 cm) in width. In cooler areas, gardeners usually grow these plants as annuals.
- There are two main types of Gazania flowers: trailing and clumping. Although both types grow at the same size, trailing Gazanias spread quicker by slender and trailing stems.
- Gazanias produce long, leathery to hairy, narrow or divided and green to silvery grey leaves. Overall, these plants show off a clumping of grass-like foliage.
- In warm conditions, Gazania plants bloom sporadically from late spring through early summer. In regions with mild winters, they produce flowers intermittently in the rest of the seasons.
- Their daisy-like blossoms measure up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter and come in various cheerful colour mixes of white, bright yellow, reddish, orange, or pink.
- The petals of African daisy can exhibit extra patterns, such as a ring of black dots or a dark starburst surrounding the gold-like flower centre. In general, their flowers close in cloudy weather or during nighttime.
- Gazania plants make for great companions to other curious species of plants including Blue Chalksticks, Century Plant, Coral Aloe, Cosmos, Globe Amaranth, Madagascar Periwinkle, Mexican Daisy, and Verbena.
If you are looking for a high-impact bloomer that is also low-maintenance, Gazania plants are exactly what you are looking for! These stunning and trouble-free plants are one of a kind, thriving in almost any environmental condition with minimal care. Due to this, they are perfect for all gardeners out there, especially beginners.
When it comes to lighting, Gazania plants do well in locations where they can receive plenty of full sunlight daily. Although they can also tolerate partial to full shade, it is not wise to keep your plants in these conditions for too long. Morning or afternoon shade will cause their flowers to stay closed for a big part of the day. Moreover, your plants may grow lanky, exceeding their ordinary height.
In general, Treasure flowers grow at their best as perennials in hot and dry climates. These plants prefer areas with mid-warm to warmer temperatures all year round. In regions with cooler temperatures, they will show nice results if you grow them as annual plants.
In terms of pest infestations and diseases, Gazania plants are typically free of trouble in proper conditions. However, if you over-winter these flowers indoors, you should inspect them regularly for intruders like aphids and mealybugs.
Mealybugs feed on the leaves of Gazania plants and are usually easy to spot. If you notice any suspect presence on your plants, handpick the intruders right away to prevent any future spread. You can also remove the infected parts of your beloved flowers and apply neem oil on the foliage.
The sap-sucking aphids appear in colonies and are very easy to distinguish by their yellowish to orange colour. In case of infestation, spray or wipe the leaves of your plants with a mixture of water and dish soap. For severe cases, make sure you apply suitable eco-friendly insecticides or pesticides.
In both outdoor and indoor settings, Gazania plants will do just fine in a wide range of soils and growing conditions. Yet, they usually perform best in sandy soils that have excellent drainage. If you want to grow your flowers indoors, plant them in a container that has drainage holes at the bottom.
In their natural habitat, African daisies grow in soils with low fertility. These plants are highly independent by nature. They do not require compost applications nor supplemental fertilizing to thrive, so you can forget about fertilizers for good.
Gazania plants are very adaptable for over-wintering indoors. If you live in a region with cooler climates, you can transplant them in pots and bring them inside until next spring. In late autumn, dig up your in-bloom plants and plant them in containers filled with fresh potting soil. Their flowers, however, will not last indoors for too long. You must cut your plants back, keep them in a sunny and cool window, and water them when the top layer of soil seems dry.
Due to their leathery and semi-succulent foliage, Gazania plants are fairly tolerant of drought for long periods. These plants are great for any type of plant lover, especially for beginners or those that have a forgetful mind.
Keep in mind that it is always better to under-water these beauties than providing them with more water than needed. Over-watering can result in root rot and will also increase the chances for fungal diseases to appear.
To avoid this situation, make sure you always check the soil in-between waterings. When their growing medium has dried out completely, this is the perfect time to spoil your Gazania plants with a deep soaking.
The mixture of their silver-like foliage and alluring flowers is what makes Gazania plants worth having around. And once you begin your journey beside these flowers, it will be very hard to part ways with them! But what if we told you that you can have these companions in your plant family for as long as possible? Well, propagating them is the key to do it!
You can easily propagate Treasure flowers through cuttings, no matter how much experience you have in the gardening world. In autumn, make sure you are taking some basal stem cuttings from the area where new growth shows up. Each basal cutting should contain three to five shoots to grow properly.
Once you have your cuttings, plant them in containers filled with suitable potting soil. Keep the Gazania cuttings indoors in a location with bright light. Moreover, provide them with water whenever the soil feels dry to the touch. With proper care, your cuttings will develop a healthy root system in a relatively short time. When the last danger of frost has passed, you can transplant the tiny Gazanias in the garden or their own pots.
Unlike other species of flowering plants, Gazanias have no high demands from their owners. As long as you meet their basic needs, these flowers will be by your side for a long time, especially in warm climates.
Besides lots of love, Gazania plants thrive with plenty of full sunlight, warm temperatures, well-draining soils, and seldom watering. And if you live in a region with cooler climates, no worries! You can grow them as annuals or propagate them easily to enjoy their unique flowers the next year.