About Gazania: These South African cousins of the daisy can endure blazing heat and drought with continued bloom, and often act as a perennial ground cover in warm climates. The Gazania genus honors Theodorus Gaza, an influential Greek scholar of the 15th century Palaeologan Renaissance. Botanist Joseph Gaertner first described and classified Gazania in his landmark publication De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum in 1791.
Gazania Germination: Direct sow in early spring, planting the seed ¼” below the surface of the soil and keeping evenly moist until germination. To start the seed indoors 4-6 weeks before planting, plant 2-3 seeds in each individual pot; keep the soil moist and at a temperature of 70 degrees F until germination, which should occur within 10-15 days.
Growing Gazania Seeds: Water seedlings occasionally until they become established. Mature plants grow well in heat and drought, though extremely dry periods or temperatures above 110 degrees F may cause wilting. Water in times of extended drought but do not overwater, since this can cause disease. Deadheading will help prolong the blooming. Though often grown as an annual in cooler climates, this plant will often self-seed. In warmer areas, it makes a good choice for a perennial ground cover.
Harvesting Gazania: For fresh flowers, cut long stems of flowers that have just opened and place them in water immediately; strip the leaves that will fall below the water.
Saving Gazania Seeds: After flowering, the plant will produce seed heads containing small clusters of seed with white fluff. Since sparrows and goldfinches love to eat the seed, harvest it promptly to avoid loss. Cut the mature seed heads, or shake them into a container to remove the seed material. Clean the seed as well as possible, then store it in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Gazania Info: Origin: Southern Africa Other Common Names: Treasure Flower Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Summer- Early Fall Height: 10-12 inches Spacing: 10-12 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Dry USDA Zone: 9a -11 Seeds Per Oz: 9,600 Produces long, narrow, dark green leaves and 3-4” daisy-like flowers that range in color from yellow to orange to red, with occasional contrasting spots or rings near the center.