Members of the Gazania genus are usually grown as half hardy annuals in the garden though in reality they are perennials.
Gazania plants range in height from 8 to 16 inches (20 to 40 cm), and bloom in the summer, and sometimes through into the autumn. Members of the Gazania genus in the garden usually go by the name of Treasure Flower.
When in bloom the plants are reminiscent of large daisies with flowers of pink, red, yellow and brown or orange; many species have very attractive striped petals.
The Gazania genus consists of 16 species and is itself a member of the Asteraceae or Compositae (Aster and Daisy) family. Indeed, its flowers consist of rayed petals around a central disc like many other members of the Aster family. It is a native plant to South Africa and common names for members of this genus include treasure Flower (many individual species use this name), Yellow Calendula (Gazania lichtensteinii). In its native habitat treasure flowers are usually some of the first to flower in the spring and hope to provide colour to the landscape. Other members of the genus produce long lasting blooms well into the summer and sometimes even into the autumn.
Gazania by Daryl_mitchell.
Members of this genus have trailing roots and can make very interesting specimens for hanging baskets. They also make for an attractive ground covering plant. Members of the genus seem to be fairly drought tolerant and can thrive in poor soils, but must have lots of sun.
Gazania by Audreyjm529.
A commonly grown member of this genus in the garden is Gazania rigens, the Treasure Flower. This perennial does well in US growing zones 9 to 11 and UK Zone H2. It has attractive flowers consisting orange rays and orange to brown discs in the centre. Though a tender perennial it is easily grown as an annual in cooler climates. It makes a great container plant, especially hanging baskets, and also looks fantastic in beds and borders.
As an often grown and interesting garden plant, there are many cultivars available. The fast growing Gazania rigens var. leucolaena can be grown in mass but is more prized for its ground covering ability. Cultivars of this include Sunrise Yellow and Sunburst. Other garden cultivars of this species are designed to be clumpy and thus better to grow as stand alone plants.
Common Names: Treasureflower, Gazania, Coastal Gazania.
Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 4 to 14 inches (10 to 35 cm).
Native: Southern Africa.
Growing Region: Zones 5 to 10. As a perennial in zones 9 and 10.
Flowers: Late spring, summer and autumn.
Flower Details: Yellow, red, orange, pink, bronze. Daisy-like ray and disc florets.
Foliage: Dull green, silver/blue, blue/green. Basal rosettes. Oval shaped.
Sow Outside: 1/8 inch (3mm). Following last frost. Spacing 5 to 14 inches (10 to 35 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: one to three weeks in the dark. Temperature 65°F (18°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors a few weeks after the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight. Soil pH 5.5 to 7.5. Light soil. Sandy soil. Dry soil. Deadhead. Propagate: cutting in late summer or early autumn.
When growing Gazania plant species such as Treasure flower outdoors from seeds it is best to sow just after the last frost at a depth of about 3 mm. Space the plants at 20 to 40 cm apart depending upon the size of the Gazania variety. Ideally treasure flowers should grow in a sunny part of the garden that has a light sandy soil and a slightly acidic to neutral pH (5.5 to 7).
If you first plan to grow treasure flowers indoors then sow about 7 or 8 weeks in advance. It should take most species from one to three weeks to germinate at a temperature of 15 to 18 degrees centigrade in the dark. Transplant the Gazania seedlings into the garden in spring a couple of weeks after any chance of frost.
It is really easy to look after Treasure flower and other Gazania plants. They can tolerate drought so no need to water; you may like to remove (deadhead) old flowers for appearances sake. If you require more Gazania then propagate by taking cuttings from towards the bottom of the plant at the end of summer.