Native to South Africa, Gazanias (Treasure Flower or African Daisy) are showy tender perennials exhibiting brightly colored daisy-like flowers, up to 4 in. wide (10 cm), over a long blooming season. Ridiculously easy to grow, they tolerate drought, heat, seacoast conditions, and grow well in most soils. Prized by gardeners for their dazzling colors, Gazanias are ideal plants to add drama to sun-baked sites with dry soil, where other plants would shrivel.
- Gazanias belong to the Asteraceae family. They reward us with brilliant flowers in cheerful hues including bright yellow, red, orange, pink and white. Their petals may be adorned with a dark starbust or a ring of black dots surrounding their golden center. The blooms can be so alluring, they will have you crouching for a closer look.
- Gazania flowers close at night and in cloudy weather. They bloom profusely in late spring and early summer. In mild winter areas, they bloom intermittently through the rest of the year.
- There are 2 main types of Gazanias: clumping and trailing. Clumping Gazenias form a mound of evergreen, usually lobed leaves, dark green above and gray underneath. The flowering stems are 6-10 in. tall (15-25 cm) and bear a wide array of flower colors, with solid or striped colors. Trailing Gazenias grow as tall as the clumping Gazenias but they spread quickly by long, trailing stems. Their foliage is silvery gray and their blooms are orange, yellow, white, or bronze.
- Gazanias thrive in full sun and prefer sandy, well-drained soils. However, they are not fussy about soils and will tolerate loam and poor soils. Gazanias perform best in hot weather. Drought tolerant, they do not require as much water as other annuals or perennials. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings to avoid root rots or fungal infections.
- Gazanias are virtually disease and pest free, when grown in adequate conditions. Watch for aphids if overwintered indoors
- Deadhead spent flowers to encourage flowering.
- Propagate by seed, cuttings - Start the seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date, or scatter the seeds where desired outdoors after frost danger has passed. Make basal cuttings in late summer or early fall.
- Gazanias are versatile landscape plants. Clumping Gazanias can be used as edging along sunny paths, or to add color to rock gardens, Mediterranean or xeriscape gardens. They could act as pretty fillers between young shrubs. Trailing Gazenias are useful as ground covers and spectacular when massed on banks and slopes where they will help control soil erosion. Their trailing stems and sparkling blooms make them terrific additions to hanging baskets, containers, over the top of walls where they will cascade gracefully down, creating a waterfall effect.