In U.S., Gazanias with double blooms (Gazania Sunbather™) were introduced this season. They differ from the standard varieties not only in the number of petals but more importantly - the flowers stay opened at all times/any light conditions. Their blooms are 'semi-double, and pompom-shaped in the center, with no dark eye like traditional Gazanias. The color is so intense that it won't fade even in extreme summer heat and sun. ' Gazania Sunbather™ is also great for cutting.
Although Gazania is not a Florida native plant, I found it to be one of the most reliable outdoor flowers and one of the most persistent bloomers in our zone 9.
It doesn't mind the highest or the lowest (freezing) temperatures we get around here, it comes in many different - but always brilliant colors or with multi-colored blooms, it's draught-resistant, not picky about the soil, does well in flower beds as well as in containers and on and on goes the list of Gazania's valuable characteristics.
If you don't have much time for gardening or you think you have a brown thumb, maybe you are a novice to gardening - but still want something other than plants from the cacti family, give a shot to Gazania. I'm sure you'll find it just as hardy as I'm describing it here - or even better.
Origins: According to Wikipedia, Gazania is native to South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Angola and naturalized in Australia and New Zealand. It's a perennial in temperate climates (or indoors) and an annual in colder climates.
More Gazania facts:
- does well in windy and south-facing locations
- suitable for balcony planters
- prefers full sun - its blooms close in shady or cloudy conditions
- some parts of the plant are poisonous when digested but there's a report from CA that bunnies really enjoyed munching on Gazanias in one yard in San Diego area
- over-watering causes crown rot and decreases their blooming performance
- suitable for xeriscaping
- great groundcover
- blooms repeatedly and even more so with deadheading
- grows 6-12 in. (15-30 cm) tall
- spacing: plant 6-9 in. (15-22 cm) apart in well-drained soil
- propagation: from seeds (outdoors after the last danger of frost)
- attracts bees, butterflies and birds
- some species bear different colored blooms on the same plant
- proved to do well in seaside gardens
- many gardeners find Gazania 'the easiest, most prolific plant' in their gardens
- regular deadheading makes tons of flowers