Gazania

Gazania (Treasure Flower): Types, How to Grow and Care

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The gazania, scientifically known as gazania rigens and more commonly referred to as the treasure flower, is a beautiful low-maintenance flowering plant that will brighten any garden.

These flowers are so easy to grow and care for that they even grow as weeds in certain climates—they can even become invasive if not properly cared for.

Assuming you want gazania flowers growing in your garden or landscaping, the bright colors are sure to bring a welcomed pop of color. Some of the gazania varieties even grow multi-colored flowers, adding to their color vibrancy.

Growing gazanias can make your home or garden feel professionally landscaped without all of the extra work. 

What Are Gazanias?

yellow gazania

Gazanias are a flowering plant that are native to South Africa. These flowers are a part of the Asteraceae family, which is one of the largest flowering plant families and is often referred to as the daisy family.

Although there is a large variety of plants that fall into the Asteraceae family, many of them have daisy-like flowers. Gazanias are often referred to as African daisies but should not be confused with other plants by this name, like Osteospermum.

In most regions, the gazania is planted as an annual flower, as it requires warmer climates to be grown as a perennial. To grow as a perennial, the gazania flowers need to be planted in zones nine through eleven—during mild winters, some have been known to grow as a perennial in zone eight as well.

pink gazania

If you live in a cooler climate, gazanias grow well as an annual, and they will also do well as a container flower that is brought inside in the winter.

Gazania flowers come in shades of reds, orange, yellow, pink, white, and many different combinations of these colors. The flowers will start blooming in early summer and will continue to bloom through the fall months in most climates.

Even in climates where gazanias grow as annuals, the blooms will last for a decent amount of the season.

orange gazania

Different Varieties of Gazania Plants You Can Grow

Gazanias come in a range of warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow, and different varieties will bring different combinations of these colors along with a few others. 

Some types have only one color while others have a mix of colors, adding to the showiness of these flowers. When it comes to gazanias, having a few different color varieties planted around your home can have a beautiful effect.

Sundrop

Sundrop gazanias get their name from the bright yellow flowers that bloom on these plants. These flowers are smaller than most of the gazania flower heads, but they make up for their small stature in the vibrancy of their colors.

The Sundrop variety has beautiful silver foliage that helps the flowers stand out against the leaves. Not only are the flowers beautiful, but the foliage adds another pop of color, creating a contrasting look within the plant that is sure to draw attention.

Daybreak

Daybreak gazanias are known for their beautiful fading colors that start darker towards the center and gradually fade to lighter colors—or different colors in some cases.

There are varieties within the daybreak mix that have pink flowers, red flowers, orange flowers, and some combinations of these colors.

The daybreak varieties grow to be an average size and have average-sized flower heads, but there is nothing average about their coloration. These varieties have been known to survive light frosts while most gazania varieties cannot.

Although they may be more likely to survive a light frost, they are not considered hardy in cooler climates.

Creamsicle

While most varieties of gazanias have vibrantly bright colors, the Creamsicle variety offers a soft white to mellow out the tone of your other gazanias.

You can find Creamsicle varieties that are a solid white color and some that are two-toned with a little bit of a yellow color in them. Either way, your Creamsicle gazanias are sure to bring soft colors that will contrast nicely against other, more vibrant, colors.

Some Creamsicle flowers may not have as large of blooms as other varieties do. The flower heads can range from two to three inches in diameter, keeping them on the smaller end of the scale.

Chansonette

Chansonette is another sub-variety of gazanias that comes in a variety of colors such as red, pink, and orange. These varieties are known for their spreading and ground cover abilities while most other varieties focus on height.

By properly pruning these flowers to stay on the shorter side, they will effectively spread out and cover large areas of ground.

The Chansonette gazania varieties are also a good choice for those with shorter growing seasons. The flowers on these varieties start to bloom a few weeks before your other gazanias will, allowing for more bloom time.

Tiger Stripe

The tiger stripe gazanias are some of the showiest varieties available. The colors are a mix of reds and yellows forming in vertical stripes along the petals. The yellow stripes generally encompass a red stripe, creating a pop of color that will explode from your garden.

Tiger stripe gazanias are considered hardy perennials in zones eight through eleven, one zone cooler than most gazanias. They are a popular choice for edging and poolside growing. 

Sunbather’s Sunset

Sunbather’s sunset gazania blooms burnt-red flowers that stand out against the yellow centers. These flowers have large blooms that stand approximately 14 inches above the ground.

Although the flowers aren’t as vibrant as many other varieties of gazania, the deep red is eye catching.

One unique aspect of the sunbather’s sunset gazania is that the flowers stay open into the evening hours. In most varieties of gazania, the flowers close up as soon as the sun starts to set, but this variety will give you a few extra hours to enjoy the blooms before closing up for the night. 

These varieties are also better if you need to plant in a partially-shaded area, although full sun is still preferred.

Talent Mix

The talent mix varieties of gazania come in a wide variety of colors and color combinations. What stands out most with this variety is the silver foliage that stands out against the bright colors of the flowers.

These plants are a pretty addition to your garden or landscaping even when the flowers are not in bloom.

The talent mix is also considered a dwarf variety and grows to be approximately ten inches tall in overall height. Although the height of the plant is not as tall as other varieties, the flowers themselves are generally of average size.


How to Grow Gazania Flowers

Just like many popular flowers, you can plant them in containers and in garden bed.

Growing Gazania in Containers

Growing gazanias in containers is a popular choice among those who live in growing zones eight and below, as these flowers are considered annuals in these zones.

Gazanias can thrive as a container plant as long as they are brought inside before the first frost comes—most varieties will not tolerate even a light frost.

When growing gazanias in containers, it is a good idea to leave them outside in direct sunlight when temperatures allow. If kept on your porch or patio, they may even bring in butterflies and hummingbirds for your viewing pleasure. 

As temperatures start to drop, you may need to start by bringing your flowers inside at night. After the first frost has hit, your gazanias will most likely need to be brought inside until the temperatures start to rise consistently again.

One of the most important aspects to consider when planting gazanias in a container is drainage. Gazanias are prone to root rot, which is brought on by standing water around the roots. Proper drainage will allow the roots to absorb the water they need without saturating the soil with water.

When bringing your container gazanias inside, they will still need as much sunlight as possible. Keeping them on an open windowsill is the best way to get natural sunlight to your plants.

If you do not receive much sunlight throughout the day, a grow light may also help to keep your gazania flowers healthy and blooming. 

Starting Gazanias from Seed

When starting gazanias, growing from seed is a popular choice. To start your gazanias from seed, you will most likely want to start them inside, especially if you live in a cooler climate.

Starting your seeds inside will allow you to closely monitor the germination process and gives you more control over the germination timing.

If you do start your seeds inside, start them about ten weeks before the last frost—assuming you live in a location that has frosts. If you do not have frosts, seeds can be started anytime.

To germinate seeds inside, only a thin layer of soil is required. Make sure to keep the seeds moist at all times until germination occurs. Once the sprouts have grown to be between two and six inches tall, they are ready to be transplanted into your garden or into a container, depending on climate and preference.

If you live in growing zones nine through eleven, it may be more convenient to plant your gazania seeds directly into the ground. When planting in the ground, you do not necessarily need to bury the seeds, but covering them with a thin layer of dirt will help to promote germination.


How to Care for Gazanias

When it comes to caring for gazanias, there truly isn’t much to be said. These flowering plants can pretty well take care of themselves, especially once established.

Although gazanias will grow in nearly any condition—in the correct growing zones—there are ideal conditions that will have your gazanias thriving and blooming all season long.

Water

If your gazanias are planted outside, you will most likely never have to water them. These flowers require very little water to thrive and bloom, and rainfall should supply any water needs they do have.

Even if you are going through a dry-spell, gazanias are drought resistant and are built to tolerate periods of time without water.

If you have your gazanias planted in a container that is brought inside, you will need to water them occasionally while they are inside.

It is recommended to let the soil dry out completely in between each watering. In most cases, this is anywhere from one to two weeks in between each watering.

Soil

Gazanias can tolerate nearly any soil type and condition, so you won’t need to put too much effort into preparing your soil for planting. Ideally, the soil should be well-draining so that the roots are not subjected to any water saturation.

The best soil for these conditions is sandy soil; this is the soil composure of the locations the gazanias originated from. 

Sun

When choosing a location for your gazanias, consider a location that will give the plants access to full sun throughout the day. The gazanias thrive in full sun and will provide the highest number of blooms in these locations.

If your gazanias are in a partial-shade location, you may miss out on some of the bloom time, as the flowers will close up when shaded. Gazanias that are planted in the shade may grow taller as well due to the excess energy that is not being put into the flowers.

Pruning

Pruning your gazanias is another fairly simple task that is not necessary, but may help the plant grow more flowers and can keep the plant healthier overall.

If you are keeping your gazanias as perennials, it can be beneficial to cut back about two thirds of the plant after it has gone dormant for the season.

By cutting away a large portion of the plant, you are encouraging new growth to come in which can cause the plant to be healthier overall.

Deadheading is something to consider when caring for gazania plants, as it will result in more blooms. Deadheading is the practice of cutting or pinching off flower heads once they are spent. By removing the dead flower heads, you are encouraging new flowers to grow in their place.

Fertilizing

There is no need for fertilizer when it comes to gazanias, in fact, it may even harm them. 

Gazanias are experts when it comes to using their available nutrients efficiently, and they are used to not having access to many nutrients. Adding fertilizer may shock the plant and will do more harm than good.

If you love gazania rigens, check these African plants and flowers.

*Image by depositphotos.com/Wirestock

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