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Gazania Plant – Care Tips for Gazania Rigens – How to Grow African Daisy

Today we’ll be discussing gazania plant – a lovely and bright perennial which is native to South Africa. If you like a low maintenance flower that gives a lot of bang for its buck, try growing gazania rigens.

Lovers of English cottage gardens will find gazania a nice choice to add to their cottage garden flower varieties.

There are two main types of gazania – clumping and trailing. Butterflies love the flowers and will be attracted in large numbers to the plant.

Gazania makes a great rock garden plant, since it doesn’t mind the heat from the stones, and is also easy to grow in planters.

Gazanias growing in a rock garden.

Gazania rigens

Gazania is named after Theodorus of Gaza who was a 15th century Greek-Italian scholar. Plant gazania to brighten up areas in your garden that are hard to landscape with other flowers.

The plant grows so readily that it is considered a weed in some areas of California and Australia.

Although gazania rigens is not considered invasive in California, its cousin gazania linearis is.

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If you love daisy types of flowers, try growing gazania rigens this year. This clumping tender perennial is a prolific bloomer all summer long. #gazania #daisies #Africandaisy  Click To Tweet

Butterflies feeding on gazanias in a field.

More about gazania plant

Brush up on your knowledge of gazanias with these fun facts:

  • botanical name – gazania rigens
  • family – Asteraceae 
  • common names – treasure flower, African daisy
  • native to : South Africa
  • plant type – tender perennial
  • uses – rock gardens, cutting gardens, planters, to attract butterflies

Hands with garden gloves holding a gazania plant.

How to grow gazania plant

Follow these gazania plant care tips to grow the plant in your garden:

Growing gazania from seed

Gazania is grown from seeds or you can purchase seedlings from a garden center.  (Mine started as seedlings in a 6 pack that I got from the local farmer’s market.)

Plant gazania seeds indoors in mid to late spring after the soil has warmed, about 10 weeks before the last frost in your area. Cover with soil and keep moist.

Harden off the seedlings when the weather is suitable and place them outdoors two weeks after your last frost.

Gazania seedlings in small black pots.

They will give you flowers about 12 weeks after planting.

You can also scatter seeds directly in your garden after danger of frost has passed.

Do gazanias self seed?

If you live in USDA zones to to 11, your gazania plants will reseed easily so you’ll have flowers each year. In colder climates self-seeding is less likely to happen.

Warmth and sunlight needs for gazania

Gazanias need warmth and plenty of sunlight.

Yellow gazanias in sunlight.

The plant will bounce back after a light frost but prefers it when the weather is warm. The more light you give it, the better the plant will flower.

Partial shade can keep flowers from opening and may cause the stems to reach for the light.

Gazania grows best when it gets at least 6 – 8 hours of sunlight. I have gazania growing in a full sun part of my test garden and it blooms beautifully all summer long.

Soil requirements for gazania

Choose a sandy soil that drains well. Gazania does not like wet feet. 

Since gazania likes sandy soil, fertilizing is not usually necessary. If you have heavy or dense soil, amend it with sand, compost or organic matter to ensure the proper drainage.

Hands holding soil near a gazania plant.

Water well, but then let the soil dry out at least partially before watering again. Once established, it is a fairly drought tolerant plant. Overwatering can lead to fungal diseases.

Gazania likes a neutral soil near the 7.0 pH range but will tolerate acidic and alkaline soil.

Bloom time for gazania and size

Gazania has pretty daisy like flowers that start blooming in summer and continue into late fall.

Gazania is a tender clumping perennial that will grow to about 12″ in height and just about as wide.  It has blooms that look almost like daisies.  The common names for it are Treasure Flower and African daisy.

The flowers are often seen in shades of yellow but white, creams and dark reds are possibilities too.

Yellow and red gazania flowers.

How to prune gazanias

Life most flowering plants, it’s good to follow a few pruning tips. Gazania pruning involves keeping an eye on your dead blooms.

It’s a good idea to pinch off the growing tips of young plants to encourage them to be bushier.  Also pinch off dead flowers to extend the bloom time.

Gazanias perform better when they are regularly deadheaded. Removing the spent flowers will allow the plants to devote more energy in producing new blossoms.

Gazania plant with pruning shears.

Do you cut back gazanias?

If you are in a zone where you can grow gazania as a perennial, prune the plant each year, in late winter or early spring, beginning in the second season. 

To do this, cut the foliage back to a third to half of it’s height with pruning shears. This will refresh the plant and encourage new growth.

Be sure to remove old, tired stems in spring each year for gazania perennial.

Propagating gazania

Gazania is normally grown from seed, or as a purchased nursery seedling, but it is possible to propagate it by taking stem cuttings.

The best time to take cuttings is late fall. Overwinter them, and you’ll have new plants in spring without the need of a trip to the nursery.

Choose a stem with new growth of 3-5 shoots. Plant the stem in good quality potting soil and keep them in a bright location.

Why to gazania flowers close up at night?

Gazania is a nyctinastic plant. The flowers of gazania close up at night to protect the reproductive parts of the plant.

Plants that close up their flowers at night such as tulips, poppies, oxalis, and gazanias, are day bloomers. They close at night and reopen in the morning.

Closed up gazania flowers.

Think of the flowers as “going to sleep.” This normally happens when the nights are cold and wet.

Find out more about nyctinasty here.

Companion plants for gazania

Gazania plants work well with other sun loving flowers. Some good choices are:

  • Vinca
  • Cosmos
  • Verbena
  • Globe amaranth
  • Coreopsis
  • California poppy
  • Pentas

Is gazania annual or perennial

Although classified as a perennial, gazania is normally grown as an annual in cooler areas of the country.

Gazania will withstand a very light frost, but the tender perennial is only cold hardy in zones 9b to 11a, so unless you live in the warmer zones, you’ll only be able to enjoy it for one year. It performs as a perennial in zones 10 and 11.

Common pests and diseases of gazania plant

Gazania plant is low maintenance and relatively trouble-free. Fungal diseases from over watering can be a problem. 

Humid environments lead to plants that are prone to powdery mildew and leaf spot.

Small snail on a gazania flower.

Mealy bugs can also be a problem with gazanias, as can slugs and snails.

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Where to buy gazania plant seeds

Most big box stores stock gazania seeds. You will often find seedlings in 4 or 6 packs at small nurseries or your local farmer’s market.


You can also buy gazania seeds from many online suppliers.

Pin this post for growing gazania plant

Would you like a reminder of this post for how to grow gazania rigens? Just pin this image to one of your gardening boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

Three different gazania flowers with words Growing Gazania.

Admin note: this post for growing gazania plant first appeared on the blog in August of 2013. I have updated the post to add all new photos, more tips for growing gazania rigens, a project growing tips card, and a video for you to enjoy.

Yield: Great rock garden plants

Growing Gazania From Seed

Growing Gazania From Seed

Gazania is a low maintenance tender perennial. It grows easily from seed.

Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $10

Materials

  • Gazania seeds
  • Good quality potting soil

Tools

  • Watering can or hose

Instructions

  1. Add good quality potting soil to small containers about 10 weeks before your last expected frost date.
  2. Cover the seeds with soil and keep moist.
  3. A heat mat will help germination.
  4. Place in a well lit spot, or use grow lights.
  5. Harden off the seedlings when the danger of frost has passed.
  6. Flowering is normally 12 weeks from planting.
  7. You can also scatter seeds directly in your garden after danger of frost has passed.
  8. Gazania likes sandy soil so fertilizing is not normally necessary.
  9. Water well and allow to dry between waterings.

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Cathy

Saturday 3rd of August 2013

These will sometimes self sow in Georgia. I love Treasure Flowers.

admin

Saturday 3rd of August 2013

Neat! I'm in NC. Hope to see some come back next year!

Carol

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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