Guide and useful tips for the cultivation of gazanie herbaceous perennial plants ideal for creating cheerful and lively splashes of color in the garden and in pots.
General characteristics of gazanias
The gazanie they are plants of African origin belonging to the Composite family. From the fasciculate root system, tufts of leaves about 15-20 cm high develop.
The leaves are elongated and with serrated or whole margins. The upper leaf page is glossy and deep green while the lower lower one is opaque and pale green. intense on the upper page, light green on the lower one.
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The margins of the leaves they are covered with a short and soft whitish down.
At the apexes of the stems about 10-15 cm long, during the flowering period, daisy-like flowers bloom with yellow, red, purple, orange, white petals. In hybrid varieties the petals are variously mottled.
THE flowers gazanias, unlike the flowers of the beauty of the night, close as soon as the sun sets. They attract bees and butterflies so the pollination is entomogamous or entomophilous.
Flowering is abundant from May onwards and if the plants are well sheltered they also bloomwinter.
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Cultivation of gazanias
The gazanie they love warm and sunny places. They are resistant to heat but do not tolerate winter cold and temperatures below 10 ° C. The ideal temperature for cultivation and flowering is between 16 ° and 24 ° C.
Although they grow well in common garden soil, well drained and rich in organic matter, the optimal substrate for growing gazanias is a soil consisting of a mix of earth, peat and sand.
Plants planted in the ground are satisfied with rainwater but, in periods of prolonged drought and in summer, they should be watered regularly. In the absence of water, in summer, the tuft of leaves collapses until it touches the ground. Watering should be reduced in autumn and suspended completely in winter.
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Periodically in order to obtain more abundant blooms, it is good to administer a slow release granular fertilizer specific for flowering plants every 2 months; alternatively, every 20 days, also some liquid fertilizer suitably diluted in the irrigation water, according to the doses recommended on the manufacturer’s package.
Gazanie: cultivation in pots
They are easy to grow plants in a medium sized pot containing soft, light and humus rich soil. They must be irrigated more frequently than those grown in the ground and in winter they must be sheltered from the cold.
Repotting is done in spring and only when the plant has no more space available. A slightly larger pot than the previous one is used, new fresh and fertile soil. When gazanias start to produce few flowers, they should be replaced with young plants, usually after 2-3 years.
Multiplication of Gazanias
Gazanias multiply by seed and division of the tufts.
Sowing should be done at the end of winter, in the month of March. The seeds will be buried in a seedbed with earth and sand, placed in a warm place and away from light. When the tender shoots appear, only then can the container be moved to a brighter place. When the seedlings become robust, we will move on to the definitive repotting or transplanting in the ground.
See the gazanias multiplication guide
The gazanie they cannot be pruned but must be cleaned of leaves that are dry or damaged by the cold. Generally to stimulate flowering, the stems with the withered flowers are cut off at the base.
Gazanias are planted in pots and in the open ground in late spring, generally in May, the month in which the danger of night frosts is completely averted. The holes intended to accommodate them must be slightly larger than the bread of earth that surrounds the root and to obtain a good result they must be 20-30 cm apart.
Gazanias combine perfectly with other flowering plants typical of the summer season such as Marigold, Phlox, Begonias.
Diseases and pests of gazanias
Gazanias are ornamental plants subject to attack by aphids, cochineal, spider mites and snails, parasites that ruin flowers and leaves.
Among the fungal diseases these plants suffer from the white sore or powdery mildew if the climate is excessively humid.
Cures and treatments
In winter they should be protected from frost with straw mulch or dry leaves if grown in the garden and under canopies if grown in pots. Fungal infestations can also be fought with spraying based on natural pyrethrum or with specific products and snails can be kept at a safe distance with wood ash.
Varieties and species of Gazanie
The diameter of its flowers is smaller (about 5cm) than that of most known species and varieties. A feature that in no way limits the plant, which falls into the category of the most fascinating ones. Another peculiarity is that the flowers, usually yellow, do not have the usual dark spots in the central part.
Small flowers for her too, but which blind for the vivacity of yellow. A color that creates a strange, but always pleasant contrast with the silvery leaves. It does not exceed 15cm in height and is widely used in rock gardens.
A creeping species with tufts of leaves usually dark green or tending to gray. It produces large yellow or orange flowers.
A herbaceous plant native to South Africa, no more than 25 cm tall. It has dark colored leaves on the upper side, but lighter in the lower one. In spring it produces very large and decorative flowers with yellow or orange corolla and, with small dark spots in the center.
Gazania x hybrida
A hybrid species obtained from the crossing of Gazania longiscapa and Gazania nivea. It forms 40 cm high bushes formed by lanceolate of intense green color in the upper part. It produces showy flowers with long yellow, orange or red petals, darker in the central part.
A species native to South Africa with a climbing habit, very long-lived and particularly suitable for being successfully cultivated in warm climate areas and also in coastal gardens as it tolerates saltiness. In summer, it produces colorful, daisy-like flowers in shades of yellow, orange, pink and red. It multiplies towards the end of winter, by sowing or by cutting in late summer. It must be fertilized abundantly, mixing organic fertilizer to the earth before implantation and subsequently, every 10 days, from May to August with liquid fertilizers.
You use gazanias
They are flowering plants particularly suitable for the borders of flower beds or for creating lively contours around tall trees. In pots they embellish terraces and windowsills with their abundant flowering.
Language of flowers
In the language of flowers and plants, gazania symbolizes wealth and this meaning is due to its continuous and prolonged production of flowers.
Curiosities about gazania
Gazania’s name derives from Theodore Gaza, a Byzantine humanist and translator, who lived in the early fifteenth century.
The genus was widely described by the German botanist Joseph Gaertner in his great work De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum.
It is a type of flower that attracts bees and butterflies.
Is Gazania Poisonous?
Some parts of the plant are irritating to the skin but are not toxic.