These tough, low-spreading plants, have large gaily coloured flowers (up to 3in across), which open only in bright sunshine. Gazanias are true sun worshippers, requiring a warm unshaded spot to flourish.
Family: Asteraceae (daisy)
Botanical Name: Gazania
Common Names: Treasure flower, one-flowered
Foliage: Deep green, lobed lance-shaped leaves. The undersides are usually white-felted.
Flowers: Wide daisy-like blooms with large centres. In bright shades of yellow, red, pink and orange.
Flowering Period: Mid summer to early autumn.
Soil: Well-drained to dry, light fertile soil. Sand or loam. Any pH. Dislikes waterlogged conditions.
Conditions: Best in full sun. The flowers close-up in shade or dull weather.
Habit: Bushy, spreading.
Type: Tender perennial or half-hardy annual.
Origin: South Africa.
Hardiness: Half-hardy, protect from frost.
Choose a bright east or south facing aspect, in a sheltered possition. They are tough wind and polution resistant plants. Excellent for seaside gardens. They will often overwinter in a warm border or against a south-facing wall, but are generally grown as half hardy annuals in the UK.
Ideal for rock gardens, flower beds, borders, pots and containers. Makes a good warm greenhouse specimen.
Tall-stemmed varieties are great as cut flowers.
Feed every few weeks with a weak solution of general liquid fertilizer.
Deadhead regularly to extend the flowering period.
Outdoor grown plants are generally pest and disease free.
Sow seeds under glass, in a gentle heat, in late winter or early spring. Prick-out and grow on undercover. Harden off in mid May, before planting out when all danger of frost is past.
Alternatively take cuttings in late summer and overwinter at 7°C with good ventilation.
Species include G. bracteata, G. pavonia, G pinnata, G. rigens and G. uniflora. Many modern varieties have been developed from G. x hybrida.
'Big Kiss White Flame' (F1 Hybrid) has large blooms with white and rose striped petals. Height to 10in (25cm). Available from Thompson & Morgan.
'Carnival' (F1 hybrid) has pink, bronze and red flowers, often striped or two tone, over silver green foliage. Height to 14in (35cm).
'Firecracker' in various different hot shades and stripes. Height to 10in (25cm). Available from Gardening Direct.
'Harlequin Hybrids' with brightly coloured zonal flowers in yellow, orange, brown and red hues. Height to 15in (38cm).
'Kiss' series are F1 Hybrids in a range of colours. Height to 12in (30cm). Available from You Garden.
G. rigens (syn. G. splendens) has contrasting striped and patterned flowers in a diverse colour range. Height to 18in (50cm). Available from Thompson & Morgan.
'Sunrise Mix' in a variety of colours and zonal shades. Height to 8in (20cm). Available from Gardening Direct.
'Tiger Stripes Mixed' in shades of yellow, rose, bronze and cream, with an attractive, contrasting stripe on every bloom. Height to 10in (25cm). Available from Thompson & Morgan.