Gazania is very easy to grow due to its extreme heat and drought tolerance. It has beautiful flowers that stretch up to 4 inches across and come in bright colors. Gazania is most commonly grown as an annual. However, there are several perennial varieties that can survive winters down to zone 4.
Although very similar in appearance, hardy and annual gazania have some differences. The most common Gazania are annual varieties and tend to have larger flowers, brighter colors, and slightly larger leaves with silvery-white undersides. They also bloom more often and longer. Perennial varieties, on the other hand, have a simpler color—flowers that are only seen in summer are usually monochromatic with minimal markings. They also tend to have slightly smaller buds and more leaves overall.
How and when to plant Gazania
The most important thing about Gazania is that it doesn’t like to stay wet. Native to the rocky cliffs and grassy hills of the South African mountains, these plants are used to harsh, dry climates.
Plant Gazania in well-drained soil in early spring. pH doesn’t matter as long as the soil stays dry most of the time. If you have heavy soil, plant Gazania in pots rather than directly in the ground.
Care tips for Gazania
These hardy plants don’t require much care or maintenance. They love the sun and mostly dry soil, so they do well in rocky areas of the garden and places with high heat, such as where there is a lot of cement or stones.
Full sunlight and as much of it as possible is the most important element for Gazania. When it perceives shadow or darkness, the flowers close. Gazania can become leggy if planted in a place where there is too much shade. Avoid planting Gazania in places where you spend summer evenings, as the flowers are then closed.
soil and water
Gazania prefers loose soil that is well-draining and somewhat sandy. Additionally, they prefer a neutral pH (7), but do well in more alkaline soils.
Keep the soil dry most of the time and water early in the day to avoid lingering dampness, 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.
When it gets cold in your garden, protect your plants from the cold by covering them with mulch. Even with protection, Gazania will survive at most a mild frost, so planting it as an annual in colder climates is the best idea.
There is no need to fertilize Gazania.
Perennial Gazania should be pruned in early spring. Prune the plants to about a third of their height when they appear spindly or worn down. It may take a while for them to grow back, but then they will look better. Kill Gazania regularly by pinching off the faded flowers to make room for new ones.