HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
Gazania x hybrida
There Gazania is a gorgeous plant also known as daisy that creates stunning splashes of color in our gardens.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The kind Gazania of the family Asteraceae, includes herbaceous perennial plants native to South Africa, which in cold climate areas must be grown as annuals or as perennials but protecting them from the winter cold.
THE drums of the plant are branched and fleshy, 20 to 30 cm tall. The leaves they are lanceolate, often shiny and dark green in color on the upper part and silver-gray in the lower part.
THE flowers they resemble daisies: they are in fact gathered in inflorescences peeking out (photo below) and are very colorful, with colors ranging from yellow, to orange, to white, to pink with all intermediate shades and also with black, red or brown streaks.
They are plants grown for their delightful flower heads that close in the evening to reopen in the morning.
There are about 40 species in the genus Gazania but there are a large number of hybrids that allow us to have flowers of all colors and with all the shades we want. We mention some of them:
GAZANIA HYBRIDA (GAZANIA x HYBRIDA)
There Gazania hybrida (photo below) is a hybrid born from the crossing G. longiscapa x G nivea and other species.
It is a beautiful plant 20-40 cm tall with very decorative 5-8 cm wide flower heads that have ligules of three different colors: orange, black and white but there are numerous varieties with colors ranging from yellow to orange, to pink, red and white. Some have the outer petals streaked or with spots of color.The leaves are lanceolate, toothed at the edges of dark green on the upper side and gray on the lower side. They close in the evening to reopen in the morning.
There are numerous varieties among which we remember: Gazania hybrida 'Monarch Mixed' with yellow, orange, brown, red, pink and ruby flowers with areas of different colors; there Gazania hybrida 'Bridget' with orange-yellow flowers spotted with brown at the base; Gazania hybrida 'Hazel' with dark red flower heads ranging from orange to yellow towards the apex.
There Gazania splendens is a plant native to South Africa. It reaches a height of 30 cm. The leaves are dark green on the upper side and silky-white on the underside. The flower heads are about 8 cm wide with orange colored flowers spotted with black and white. It blooms from the end of May to all of September.
There are numerous varieties among which we remember the Gazania splendens 'Golden Flame' with three-colored flowers (photo below).
The Gazania they are plants that can be grown outdoors both in pots and in the ground in order to create borders or flowerbeds in the gardens, creating spots with incredible colors.
They are perennials that in cold climate areas must be grown as annuals or, if you want to grow them as perennials, you need to protect them from the winter cold. In this case it is advisable to grow them in pots to store them in the shelter during the cold winter months.
However, they are plants that do not require great care and adapt quite well to any type of soil. In fact, we often find them in the most disparate areas and soils used to decorate and embellish gardens and rocky escarpments.
They are plants that love the sun and well-drained soil in fact they do not tolerate water stagnation in any way.
The Gazania during the summer it needs abundant watering to have vigorous and turgid flowers, making sure that the soil dries up between one watering and another as they are plants that hate water stagnation. During the winter they are watered only when you notice that the plant tends to lose its turgor.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
There Gazania it needs a soft and well draining soil as it does not like water stagnation. In any case, it prefers non-acidic soils.
There Gazania it is a plant that requires good fertilization. It is therefore advisable, when you go to buy a fertilizer that you read the label and make sure that it is a fertilizer for flowering plants, therefore richer in phosphorus and potassium than nitrogen. The fertilizer will be diluted in the irrigation water and administered to the plants every 20 days throughout the spring - summer period. If the plants are grown in the ground, a slow release fertilizer can also be administered to be left in the ground (always respecting the instructions above).
During the autumn and winter periods, it is good to suspend the fertilizations.
They are plants that cannot be pruned. Only the leaves or the parts that dry up or get damaged are eliminated to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for disease.
Gazania is a very generous plant giving us very protracted blooms, generally starting from June until the first colds arrive. It is necessary to remove the flowers as they wither to stimulate the birth of new ones. It is important that you are careful to use a sharp scissors in order to avoid fraying the fabrics and that it is clean and disinfected to avoid transmitting parasitic diseases.
Plants multiply by seed.
MULTIPLICATION BY SEEDS
If you plan to do sowing the seeds should be planted in winter (January-February) in a compost formed by peat and sand in equal parts. Place the tray with the seeds in the shade, at a temperature of 16 ° C and keep the soil constantly moist (use one sprayer to moisten it) until the moment of germination.
Once the seeds have germinated, move the box to a brighter position (not direct sun). Eliminate the less vigorous plants to ensure more space for the more robust ones. Once the seedlings are large enough to be handled, they are transplanted into single 8 cm pots and placed in the shelter of direct sunlight until they have grown. Generally in the month of May they can be planted in the garden.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
The Gazania they are not plants particularly prone to diseases. However, we can meet:
Presence of gray mold on the leaves
The leaves become covered with a grayish mold. The damage is caused by a fungus, the Botritys spp. which is favored by too high humidity.
Remedies: In this case it is necessary to dry the soil from excess water and create a drier environment around the plant and treat with specific fungicides after removing the damaged parts.
The Gazania they are plants originating from South Africa, introduced in Europe in 1750 and dedicated to Theodore Gaza (Thessalonica, about 1415 - San Giovanni a Piro, 1475) humanist and translator of the works of Aristotle and Theophrastus in Latin.