Growing gazania from seed

Gazania Seeds – Gazania Treasure Flower Ground Cover Seeds

Groundcover Specifications

Season: Perennial

USDA Zones: 8 – 11

Height: 8 inches

Bloom Season: Summer and fall

Bloom Color: Mix

Environment: Full sun

Soil Type: Well-drained, especially in winter; pH 5.8 – 6.8

Planting Directions

Temperature: 68F

Average Germ Time: 14 – 21 days

Light Required: No

Depth: Do not cover the seed but tightly press into the soil

Sowing Rate: Approximately 100 seeds covers 10 square feet or 2 seeds per plant

Moisture: Keep seed moist until germination

Plant Spacing: 12 inches

Care & Maintenance: Gazania

Gazania (Gazania Splendens) – Easily grown from Gazania seeds, this incredible little flower is a delight all summer long! Gazania, or Treasure Flower as it’s commonly called, is a hardy little plant that makes a wonderful ground cover. It is covered with large 3 – 4 inch blooms ranging in colors of red, yellow, orange, white and pink. Gazania ground cover plants will bloom 12 weeks after sowing the ground cover seed! You just can’t improve upon these huge blooms, glowing with bright color, that completely cover the small plants. They reach 8 inches tall and spread 10 inches wide. Gazania Treasure Flower has a lot to brag about as a ground cover plant! With large, showy flowers, an early and long bloom season, and ultra-tolerant low, rapidly spreading foliage, you will want to sow the Treasure Flower seeds in your garden!

Hardy in zones 8 – 10, Gazania ground cover plants are a fabulous long-season annual elsewhere. Start Gazania seeds indoors 4 – 6 weeks before last frost, or sow the ground cover seeds directly outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked in spring. They make a great permanent ground cover in areas where they are perennial — particularly southern California and the deep South!

Shake ‘n Seed – We are now offering shaker bottles filled with our seed starting matrix: rich soil, gardening sand, water absorbing crystals, and starter fertilizer. This not only helps dispense your seed, but it gets it off to a great start! Simply remove lid from shaker bottle, add seed from packet, put back on lid, shake the bottle vigorously for 15 seconds, and then shake your way to beautiful new plants! Use Shake ‘n Seed over good quality soil, and then gently water to keep seed moist until it sprouts. Great for ground covers or mass planting flower seeds.

Q. I have a sunny, barren slope on the far side of my driveway that needs an easy to grow ground cover. I want color, but I don’t want iceplant or other succulent; can you offer a suggestion that will also be water-wise?

A. When looking for trouble-free plants, look at the plants in commercial landscapes. These are usually durable and require low maintenance. One ground cover that stands out is the trailing gazania, Gazania rigens leucolaena.

Trailing gazania, with its bright yellow daisy-like flowers, provide a bright display spring through summer and a lighter flowering the rest of the year. As their name suggests, these gazanias spread by trailing stems. For quick coverage, plant individual plants 18 inches apart; otherwise, a 24 inch planting distance is sufficient.

Gazanias are not fussy about soil quality and require water only once every week or two after they are established. One feeding in the spring with a slow release fertilizer should be enough. If you have a very sandy soil, you may have to water a bit more often and make a second fertilizer application in mid-summer.

Gazanias are usually insect-free. As for diseases, they may occasionally suffer some dieback, but no treatment is necessary and other plants quickly fill in any gaps in ground coverage. Fortunately, new hybrids have been developed with resistance to dieback and they are readily available. Winter is a good time to make a planting so that they have lots of time to develop good roots before summer heat arrives.

Q. I’ve been told that “string‑edgers” can be harmful to trees. Is this true, and if so, why?

A. Under certain circumstances, trees can be damaged or even killed as a direct result of the use of string‑edgers. In most trees (dicots), the conductive tissues that transport water and nutrients between the roots and the top of a plant are located just beneath the bark. If this bark is not tough enough to withstand contact with the cutting string, the bark and underlying conductive tissues may be damaged. This damaged tissue becomes unable to function, and the tree’s health declines. If the damage occurs continuously around the trunk, the tree is said to be “girdled” and this can be fatal.

In monocot trees such as palms, the conductive tissues are arranged in bundles throughout the trunk, like a handful of soda straws, so damage to the surface is not as debilitating. However, in both monocots and dicots, anytime damage is inflicted, the open wound becomes a possible site of infection from plant pathogens. Therefore, care should be exercised to avoid damaging a tree’s trunk, whether from string-edgers, lawnmowers, or other implements.

How to Grow a Gazania

Treasure flower or the gazania is a popular ornamental plant. It is popular for its bright, seasonal bloom. Most gazanias grow about 15 inches tall. Their foliage is very compact. This is why they are used for creating landscaped garden borders and as bedding plants. There are many varieties in the color pattern of gazania flowers. Shades can range from dense hues of red or pink to subtle variations of white or a blended, striped appearance. Gazanias are easy-to-grow, perfectly suited for household gardening. Please remember that gazanias are not suited to regions exposed to freezing temperatures throughout year. A few, dry months are vital for their seasonal blooming. You can establish a gazania spread in your garden by following these simple instructions.

Gazania Planting Basics

Gazania seeds can be bought from garden supply stores. You should enquire about the gazania variety (flowering pattern) and the self-seeding quality from the retailer. Though gazania planters can be started indoors, the norm is to directly, sow the seeds in the garden soil. Gazania roots are sturdy and transplanting them to garden soil is not needed. The best time for sowing the seeds is the early, spring season. You can also sow the seeds after the frosting winter season. However, sowing seeds during the warmer, spring season helps the plant to bloom early.

Preparing Soil

Gazanias need minimal soil nutrition. They grow well in fast-draining, sandy soils. Unless you have a particularly under-nourished soil bed, fertilizers are not needed. However, feeding the soil bed, once before sowing the seeds is advisable. Light dose of an organic fertilizer to the planned, sowing site is sufficient. After this, you need to fertilize the soil just once, every year. You should use slow-release fertilizers. Don’t use fertilizers that have heavy concentration of nitrogen.

Sowing Gazanias

Water the site chosen for sowing the seeds. Allow the soil bed to drain-away the excess water. Dig-up the fertilized soil bed with your hands. Every planting hole should be about 3-mm deep. Ensure that you maintain a minimum distance of about 8 inches between the holes. Fill each hole with gazania seeds and cover it with the dug-up soil. Lightly, clamp upon the moist soil.

Watering & Mulching

Watering the gazania seeds once, every week is sufficient. These plants need a moist soil but without any waterlogging. While watering, ensure that you water the plants slowly, letting the soil bed dry before spraying it again. Once the seedlings begin to sprout, weekly watering can be further slowed down to watering every 8-to-10 days. You can also mulch the seedlings to ensure that the soil retains its moisture and drains well. Use organic compost for mulching young gazanias.

Propagating Gazanias

Gazanias are particularly suited for creating a fast-spreading garden spread. They self-seed and grow very quickly. However, you can fasten the propagation process. For this, systematic division of young gazanias is needed. Choose gazanias that are about 10 inches tall. Using gardening scissors, cut through the basal stem, dividing it into two halves. Each half will now grow as an individual plant.

Pruning Gazanias

You need to prune-off the spent flowers, once the flowering season is over. These can be used for composting. Deadheading weathered flowers stimulates growth. For pruning thick clusters of seasonal foliage and old stems, use bypass pruners.

Gazania rigens (aka: Gazania splendens) pronounced (gah-zay’ni-ah) is a pretty, South African native and a member of the daisy family (Asteraceae).

It is often called the “Treasure Flower”, “African Daisy”, or simply “Gazania.” The Osteospermum is also known as the “African Daisy.”

This rugged African wildflower is the parent of many different types of Gazania available from seed suppliers and nurseries today.

These consist of a wide variety of cultivars in a dazzling array of colors and patterns.

In this article, we discuss Gazania rigens and share information on using and caring for this rugged, pretty plant in your garden. Read on to learn more.

Gazania Plant Quick Growing Guide:

Scientific Name: Gazania rigens (formerly Gazania splendens)

Common Name: Treasure Flower, African Daisy,

Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial, often grown as an annual.

Family: Asteraceae or daisy family. Other members of this family include the common daisy, sunflowers, and dandelions.

Native Habitat: South Africa from the Cape of Good Hope.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9-11

Height: 6″ inches – 1′ foot

Spread: 6″ inches – 1′ foot

Bloom Time: Early Summer through early Fall

Flower Description: Showy, bright, colorful rays with dark, peacock-eye “eyes” at the base and central disks of orange/brown.

Sun Requirements: Full sun is needed for full bloom.

Water Requirements: These drought-tolerant plants need low to moderate watering.

Maintenance Requirements: Very low to moderate. Regularly deadhead flower to ensure ample blooms.

Soil requirements: These hardy plants like poor, sandy, well-drained soil and full sun. The plant is drought-tolerant and does not like being overwatered. Consistent, moderate watering is best.

Is Gazania An Annual Or A Perennial?

Gazania plants are considered tender perennials but are grown as annuals in colder climates.

The plant with silvery green foliage looks similar in shape to those of wild dandelions. In mild climates, the leaves are evergreen.

The stiff flowering plant stems stand between six and ten inches high and topped with three or four-inch daisy-like flowers.

This type of flower is called a “ray flower.” The basic Gazania is orange with a dark, contrasting center.

Cultivars of the species are available in an ever growing range of flower colors, including white, yellow, orange, bronze, lavender and red. All have a central disk of a deeply contrasting color.

Related Reading: Mexican Zinnia Haageana Plant Care

Do Gazania Need Full Sun And When Do They Bloom?

Gazania flower produces a riot of color throughout the summer and late into the autumn.

Because they love the sun, they bloom the most on sunny days. The petals close at dusk and may stay closed on cloudy days.

Encourage more blooms by deadheading spent Gazania flowers!

Why Are They Called Gazania?

Treasure Flowers’ official name comes from a Greek scholar of the 15th century. Theodore de Gaza is best known for translating the very important botanical works of Theophrastus into Latin from their original Greek.

Interestingly, in Latin the word “gaza” means “treasure” and this may be why the plant is commonly called Treasure Flower.

The scientific epithet, “rigens” means “stiff” or “rigid”. This refers to the sturdy, upright flower stems.

What’s The Best Way To Propagate Treasure Flowers?

You can start plants from seed indoors late in the winter. Allow 6-8 weeks before the last predicted frost date to allow seedlings to mature.

Set young plants out after the final frost.

Other Gazania Propagation Options

  • Take basal offsets from outdoor plants at the end of summer and root them to have new plants in the spring season.
  • Overwinter container plants indoors and move them back out in the spring.

Tips On How To Grow Gazania From Seed

There are two ways to grow Treasure Flower from seed. Sow seed indoors late in winter or sow seed directly into your garden after the last winter frost.

Follow These Steps To Sow Seed Indoors.

  1. Six-to-eight weeks before the last predicted frost, sow Gazania seeds about a quarter of an inch deep in a sterile seed-starting formula. Firm the soil lightly.
  2. Keep the soil evenly moist, out of direct sunlight and at a temperature of 68°-86° degrees Fahrenheit. Seedlings should emerge within a week or two.
  3. Once seedlings sprout, move them to a well-lit setting. Place them on a sunny windowsill or under a fluorescent light or grow light (not incandescent lights) about three or four inches above the seedlings. If using artificial light, keep it on for sixteen hours a day, and turn it off for eight hours overnight. As your plants grow taller, be sure to raise the lights to accommodate them.
  4. Seedlings do not need fertilizer until plants are about a month old. At this time, provide a weak solution (half strength) of water-soluble houseplant food.
  5. If starting seeds in small cells, transplant them to three or four-inch pots when they develop a couple of sets of “true leaves”. This will ensure that they have enough space for strong roots to grow.
  6. Before moving plantlets into the garden, be sure to harden them off. Acclimate plants to the outdoors by first setting them out into a sheltered area for about a week. During this time, keep plants protected against hot sun and harsh wind. If frost is predicted, bring them indoors or cover to protect them. When following this hardening off process carefully, your plants’ “harden off” and cell structures are strengthened. This reduces the likelihood of transplant shock.

How To Sow Gazania Seeds Outdoors

  1. Choose a location with porous, well-drained soil and receives full sun.
  2. Remove all weeds and work some organic matter into the top six-to-eight inches of the soil. Level and smooth the surface of the soil.
  3. Sow the seeds thinly and evenly and cover them with about a quarter of an inch of soil. Firm this down lightly and keep it evenly moist.
  4. Seedlings should emerge within a week or two, depending upon the quality of the soil and the weather conditions.
  5. Fertilize lightly when the new plants emerge. Be careful not to over-fertilize. Remember these plants like poor, sandy soil. Use a very low rate of a slow-release fertilizer.
  6. When plantlets are about an inch high, thin out the weaker ones and leave only the strongest standing approximately nine-to-twelve inches apart.
  7. Mulch between young plants to help keep the soil moist and warm and discourage weed growth. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds, and pull them as they appear so they do not rob young plants of nutrients.

Use shredded leaves as a mulch. They will gradually break down to add more nutrients to the soil.

Just be careful not to let the mulch touch the stems of your desired plants as this may cause rot.

In late autumn, you may decide to enjoy your Gazania indoors during the winter.

If so, dig them up and put them in containers before the first frost. In wintertime, keep them in a cool room with bright light. Water very sparingly.

Does Treasure Flower Have Problems With Pests Or Disease?

For the most part, Gazania plants are trouble-free. Excessive watering can cause problems with rot and edema.

Powdery mildew fungal disease infections, Botrytis, downy mildew infections, and leaf spot can also be a problem in damp, humid climates.

Weakened plants may experience attacks from:

  • Aphids – how to get rid of them
  • Mealybugs – and their control
  • Spider mites (getting rid of infestation)
  • Thrips

Generally speaking, providing ample air circulation, careful spacing and watering will control any fungal infections and problems associated with rot.

Overcrowded and overwatered plants result in weak and sickly plants more prone to attracting pests.

To prevent infestation by aphids, mealybugs, spider mites and thrips, keep plants healthy and avoid overwatering.

Engage the help of natural predators such as parasitic wasps, lacewings, and ladybugs for controlling pests naturally.

If you experience problems with pest infestation, foliar applications of insecticidal soap and/or Neem oil solutions can bring insect pests under control with minimal negative impact to beneficial insects.

What Are The Best Ways To Use Gazania?

These versatile, adaptable plants can be used in a wide variety of ways.

  • Gazanias with their neat, compact growth make them a lovely low border plant along a walkway or around a patio.
  • Use the “Gazania daisy” to define the edges of your flower garden by planting a row along the front or around the perimeter.
  • Plant colorful Treasure Flowers in rock gardens to add interest.
  • These pretty plants do well in all sorts of containers, even hanging baskets.
  • Because Treasure Flowers are so rugged and thrive on neglect, they make a wonderful choice for seaside gardens.
  • Bees, butterflies and other pollinators love them, making Gazanias a great addition to butterfly gardens.
  • Deer resistance (annuals) makes them a great choice for decorating around your cabin in the woods.
  • Excellent as a ground cover, so plant a lovely, sunny meadow of Gazania.

Do Gazanias Spread? Are They Considered Invasive?

Gazania linearis (a cousin of Gazania rigens) is naturalized and considered mildly invasive in California.

Originally introduced in California as an ornamental, it quickly escaped and began growing rampantly in grasslands and along creeks. Gazania linearis forms a very dense ground cover and forces out native plants.

Even though Gazania rigens is not currently considered invasive in California, it makes good sense to plant it with care and keep it under control in very mild climates.

With its robust growth habits, it could very easily become invasive in settings that allow it to grow year-round and reseed itself easily.

Why Should You Plant Gazania?

If you are looking for an eye-catching, easy to grow, daisy-like plant, Gazania is a good choice.

These pretty plants come in a wide variety of colors and grow happily in almost any sunny setting.

If you have a:

  • Challenging container
  • Rugged rock garden
  • Narrow strip of dirt by the curb
  • Big flower bed

… you want to fill with gorgeous blooms, Treasure Flower can fill the bill.

Gazania is a hardy, colorful, enthusiastic plant that adds color and cheers to any landscape.

Gazania (Gazania spp.), also known as African daisy, is a colorful flower from South Africa that grows as a low groundcover. It is known for its ease of growing and long bloom period which lasts from early summer until the first frost.

Growing Gazania

Gazania grows as a perennial in USDA zones 9 to 11, but is commonly grown as an annual in colder zones. It is one of the most widely available flowers in nurseries throughout the country.

Appearance

Gazania has two to four inch round blossoms with many petals that radiate from a button-like center reminiscent of a daisy. The flowers come in a range of colors though they are primarily found in warm tones.

The finely cut foliage can be either green or silvery, depending on the variety. The foliage of gazania plants hugs the ground with the flowers rising on short stalks just above it. The overall height of the plants rarely reaches more than 16 inches.

Growing Requirements

Gazania is noted for its tolerance of dry, sandy soil and intense heat. Full sun and well-drained soil is its primary requirement, but it performs best in hot, dry conditions. Cool, damp weather often leads to disease.

Use in Landscaping

In climates where gazania grows as a perennial it makes a very trim and tidy groundcover over areas large and small, forming a dense mat of foliage that out competes weeds effectively. It grows well on slopes and is an excellent choice for rock gardens or to cascade gracefully over a retaining wall.

Gazania is also useful as a low border to frame beds of taller annuals or perennials.

Grown as an annual, gazania is effective in hanging baskets where the foliage will cascade over the edge. It is also useful in small pots on decks and patios and can even be used indoors for a short term splash of color.

Varieties

Gazania varieties vary according to size and the color of flowers and leaves. It is typically available in mixes.

‘Red Stripe’

  • The ‘Daybreak’ mix is known for its large blossoms (four inches) and yellow centers with dark rings around them.
  • The ‘Mini-Star’ mix is smaller in stature than other gazanias (six to eight inches tall) and comes in shade of red, orange, white, pink, and yellow.
  • The ‘Talent’ mix is known for its silvery foliage and comes in shades of pink, yellow, white, and orange.
  • ‘Red Stripe’ is a unique cultivar with yellow petals that have a red stripe down the center.

Planting and Care

To grow as a groundcover or as border, plant small plugs of gazania every six to 12 inches. These can be found as flats in the groundcover section at nurseries. It will fill in to form a dense mat of vegetation within several months.

For potted plants, it is more desirable to start with a full size (one gallon) transplant.

Maintenance

Gazania requires very little care. Fertilizer is unnecessary and may results in fewer blossoms.

Gazania needs regular irrigation to get established, but afterwards only when there has been several weeks of hot weather with no rain. Otherwise, there is little to do other than remove the spent flowers periodically to maintain a neat appearance.

Pests and Disease

Gazania is highly resistant to pests and disease. Powdery mildew, bacterial leaf spot, and crown rot can all occur, though they are generally a sign that the location is too damp to grow gazania effectively.

If these diseases occur, the best defense is to remove the plants and try to find a more suitable location, rather than spraying with pesticides.

A Cheery Plant

Gazanias brings a warm cheery feeling to the garden and attracts loads of butterflies. It has such a sunny disposition that the flowers close each night only to reopen at dawn the following day.

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