Gazania is a flowering plant with blooms reminiscent of daisies, albeit in a variety of distinct colors. It’s simple to cultivate and can enhance gardens and terraces. Let’s explore the care steps to foster its growth.
Gazania: plant description
Native to Southern Africa, Gazania is a genus of flowering plants of approximately 40 species. They are also known as “African daisies” or “treasure flowers.”
Recognized by its fleshy herbaceous stems, ranging from 15 to 30 cm in height, Gazania displays a distinctive downy covering. The star attractions are undoubtedly its daisy-like blooms, showcasing a brilliant array of colors including orange, red, yellow, white, and purple. Hybrid species introduce mottled varieties, adding an extra layer of visual intrigue.
Blossoming from April to October in moderate temperatures, Gazania leaves are bright green, petite, and serrated along the edges.
Gazania species and varieties
There are several popular Gazania species and varieties, each known for its distinctive characteristics and colorful blooms. Here are a few well-known ones:
- Gazania rigens (Treasure Flower or Trailing Gazania): This is one of the most common and widely cultivated species. It features daisy-like flowers in various colors, including shades of yellow, orange, and red. The plant is known for its trailing growth habit.
- Gazania splendens (Splendens Gazania): This species is appreciated for its vibrant flowers, which can be orange, red, yellow, or a mix of colors. The blooms often have attractive contrasting patterns, making them eye-catching in gardens.
- Gazania linearis (Linear-Leaf Gazania): This species is recognized for its linear or strap-shaped leaves and large, colorful flowers. It is often cultivated for ground cover or in rock gardens.
- Gazania krebsiana (Bushman’s Clock or Gazania Sunflower): Native to South Africa, this species has yellow to orange flowers and is known for closing its flowers in the late afternoon or in cloudy weather, giving it the name “Bushman’s Clock.”
- Gazania nivea (White Treasure Flower): This variety stands out with its white or cream-colored flowers, and it is sometimes cultivated for its silvery leaves. It is a smaller species, making it suitable for container gardening.
- Gazania ‘Tiger Stripe Mix’: This is a hybrid variety known for its unique and striking tiger-stripe patterns on the petals. The mix includes a range of colors such as yellow, orange, and red.
- Gazania ‘Big Kiss’ Series: This is a series of hybrid Gazanias that are known for their large, bold flowers and a variety of colors. The ‘Big Kiss’ series includes shades like white, pink, and bronze.
Keep in mind that new varieties and hybrids are continually developed, offering an ever-expanding range of options for gardeners and plant enthusiasts
Gazania: how to grow it
Originating from the warm climates of Africa, Gazania may pose challenges as a perennial in most climates in Europe and in the U.S.A. To overcome this, it is often cultivated in pots, allowing for easy relocation during the winter months.
With this context, let’s delve into the key requirements for fostering healthy and vibrant growth.
Soil and Exposure
Opt for a well-draining soil rich in organic matter, and consider enhancing it with sand and peat. When choosing a location, prioritize an area that receives ample sunlight.
Gazania thrives in sunlight and high temperatures, so planting it in partial shade may result in suboptimal flowering. Guard against frost, ensuring temperatures stay above 8°C / 46°F.
Applying a generous layer of mulch can provide added protection during mild winters.
Planting is best carried out during the spring season. Dig a hole at least twice the depth of the roots, place the plant, and water generously.
Throughout the summer, regular watering is essential. During the remaining seasons, natural rainfall is generally sufficient. If cultivating in pots, consider increasing watering frequency to once a week. In the ground, watering every two weeks is usually adequate. Gazania exhibits tolerance to short periods of drought.
Use a standard fertilizer for flowering plants rich in potassium and phosphorus to support early growth. From spring to autumn, administer the fertilizer at least once every 20 days.
- Head Division: Separate heads from the mother plant and replant immediately. Ensure thorough watering of the potting soil to yield a plant identical to the parent.
- Seeding: Collect seeds from dried flowers, store until the end of January, and then plant in seedbeds. Protect them from cold and light. Once sprouts appear, transfer them to the ground or pots.
- Cuttings: Take a cutting from the plant in late summer, plant in a mix of sand and potting soil, wait for sprouts, and then transplant into a pot.
Gazania generally doesn’t require pruning. Simply remove dried and wilted flowers and any damaged parts for maintenance.
Diseases and Pests
The plant is resilient, but potential threats include white mildew and aphids. Address these issues with suitable products, preferably opting for natural remedies. Regular intervention can help maintain the plant’s health.
Fascinating Facts About Gazania
Widely employed in gardening to craft stunning flower beds and enhance gardens and balconies, gazania adds a vibrant touch. It’s essential to exercise caution, though, as certain parts of the plant can be toxic.
The captivating, colorful flowers of gazania are adept at drawing the attention of bees. However, on overcast days or as the sun sets, the flower delicately folds in on itself, unveiling yet another facet of its intriguing behavior.
What does the Gazania symbolize?
The Gazania flower symbolizes a variety of sentiments, including happiness, positivity, prosperity and vitality. Its vibrant and bold hues, ranging from oranges and yellows to reds, evoke feelings of joy and energy.
Additionally, the Gazania is admired for its resilience, thriving in challenging conditions and representing strength and endurance. In some cultures, flowers are associated with specific meanings, and while interpretations may vary, the Gazania is generally recognized as a symbol of radiance and the power to overcome adversity with a cheerful spirit.
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