Gazania is a genus of plants in the Asteraceae family, very popular as a group of ornamental plants among gardening and decorating enthusiasts. It is a plant as rustic as it is beautiful, since its flowering is showy due to its shape and its colors, which are very vivid and sometimes combined. There are varieties of this plant with orange, yellow and red flowers, others with white, pink and lilac flowers, others are solid yellow, and so on.
If you like it and want to know how to grow a gazania at home and what care it needs, keep reading this article where you will find a practical gardening guide on how to care for gazania .
Although this genus from southern Africa has 79 described species , when we talk about the gazania it is common that we are referring specifically to the Gazania splendens , the most common of them in gardening and decoration.
It is a perennial plant, although it is often grown as an annual, which tends not to exceed 20 cm in height . Due to its size, it is very common for it to be used to delimit spaces in gardens and even to replace grass in some areas. In a pot it also brings a touch of beautiful and very distinctive color, since its brightly colored flowers are impossible to miss. The flowering of the gazania occurs during the spring and reaches its maximum exponent during the summer and, if the conditions are suitable, it can last until mid to late autumn.
It is such an adaptable plant and so easy to care for that, in fact, it is common for it to spread naturally to pots or contiguous areas. Due to the ability of their flowers to close at night, gazanias are also sometimes called sleepers.
Gazania care – practical guide
Despite the little care that this plant needs, it is advisable to follow some indications to make them look beautiful and resist as many seasons as possible. This is a practical guide to the care of gazania and you will see more details about these below.
- Climate and location: it has a warm climate and withstands strong heat better than intense cold. Put it in a place with a lot of sunlight.
- Watering: Water it only when you notice that its soil has dried to a certain depth, not just on the surface.
- Soil and compost: it does not need many nutrients in the substrate or soil, but it should be fertilized every two weeks during the hot months to improve its flowering.
- Common Pests and Diseases: Gazanias can be attacked by a variety of insects that cause pests. Regarding diseases, the most common is the fungal disease of downy mildew.
Gazanias can be grown successfully both indoors and outdoors thanks to their great adaptability . In fact, it is so common to see them embellishing pots as being part of massifs and borders in gardens of all kinds. However, a very important point in their care, and practically the only vital one, is that they need to be located at some point where they receive a good amount of sunlight .
If you leave them in the shade, their flowers will not open and the plant will produce less of these, the few that it has being decayed. So find them a particularly sunny spot in your yard or by a window that gets a good amount of hours of sun.
Gazanias are native to a warm climate , but they can withstand mild winters thanks to their ability to adapt. However, they will appreciate warm and very sunny environments. Remember that it will be in the sunniest climates in which your flowers will show all their beauty, if you place it in an area with a lot of sun . However, if you see that the tips of the leaves begin to burn, perhaps the sun in the strongest hours is too much for the plant and, even if it is in a warm climate, it will be better to put it in semi-shade.
How to water the gazanias
These plants are made in dry climates, so they do not need a large amount of water to survive. In fact, it’s best not to risk overwatering them to avoid potential fungal or rotting problems.
Water your gazanias when you notice that the substrate is dry beyond its surface layer, in this way you will prevent excess watering. You can check it with a wooden stick or by sinking your finger a little, if between 3 and 5 cm it comes out dry you can water. Of course, in the hottest months, do not neglect them too much: if you want your flowers to look beautiful and healthy, pay more attention to their watering this season.
Soil and compost for gazania
Gazanias are not demanding about the type of soil or substrate they need. In fact, they do not even need the soil to be rich in organic matter, but the presence of this will help them to be in better shape. Add some humus or compost to the soil or substrate mix, and also fertilize every 15 days in the warm months . In this way, you will prolong its flowering.
Gazania flower care
If you want to keep the plant with an abundant and showy flowering , it is very important to keep the gazanias free of petals, leaves and dried flowers. Remove the parts that have fallen from the substrate and prune the parts that are not in good condition . Thus, you will keep the plant active and help it direct its nutrients and energies to the creation of new flowers.
Also, remember to pay attention to the possible appearance of weeds, because they could rob your gazanias of their nutrients, so remove them as soon as you see them.
Diseases and pests of gazanias
These are the main diseases and pests of Gazans :
- Mildew: if you see white or gray spots appear on the leaves of the plant, it is probably the mildew fungus. This appears with humidity and heat. Remove the affected parts and apply homemade fungicide .
- Insect pests: gazanias are not particularly weak to attack by any specific insect, that is, they will be threatened by the same pests as the rest of the plants in your garden or home.