Gazzania, or gazania, was introduced to Europe from Mozambique. Today it is a popular garden crop everywhere.
Gazzaniums give almost 100 percent sprouts, and flowering is quick. One plant can have over thirty inflorescences.
Not only the golden baskets of the guzanilla are attractive, but also its bright green foliage, and some cultivars have stems and leaves covered with fuzz, which gives them additional decorativeness.
From our article you will learn important details:
- About growing gazzaniums from seeds;
- About the care of the plant during the season;
- how to collect seeds from the plant and how to save the gazanilla until spring.
Planting and caring for the gazzanine
- Planting: sow seeds in seedlings in late March or early April with further planting of seedlings in the open field from mid May to early June.
- Flowering: June to November.
- Lighting: bright sunlight.
- Soil: Light, nutritious, not overwatered soil.
- Watering: moderate.
- Fertilizing: with a solution of full mineral fertilizer once a month or every month and a half, if growing on a stony ground – once every 2-4 weeks.
- Propagation: by seed.
- Pests: aphids, spider mites, snails and slugs.
- Diseases: gray rot.
Gazzania, or gazania, or African daisy, a member of the Asteraceae (Asteraceae) family, is a family of forty species that occurs naturally in Mozambique and South Africa as well as on the coastal dunes of Australia. The gatzanium flower appeared in Europe in the 17th century and got its present name after an Italian priest, Theodore von Gaza, who was famous for his translations of the works of Theophrastus and Aristotle. In Western Europe, the plant is called “midday gold” because of the warm-colored flowers of the gazzanium that open at noon.
An annual or perennial, the gazzanium is a low-growing plant that reaches a height of no more than 30 cm. Root leaves are gathered into a rosette, the stem is either short or not at all. Leaves are dark green or grayish-green in color, dense, varied in shape, with dense silvery tufts on the underside of the plate, serving to protect the plant from the cold and retain moisture in the dry season. The inflorescences are solitary baskets, 5 to 9 cm in diameter, consisting of orange, red or yellow lingual flowers with dark spots at the base, which form a circular pattern around the yellow, tube-shaped flowers in the middle. There may be about thirty-five such inflorescences on one plant. The fruit is a hairy seed with a tuft.
Growing gazzaniums from seeds
Sowing in seedlings
Many amateurs ask how to grow gatzaniya from seeds and when to sow gatzaniya in seedbeds. The timing of sowing the gatzaniya depends on what area you live in. If you have a late, cold spring, too early planting gazaniums in seedlings will require additional light for the growth of seedlings, because otherwise they will develop very slowly. On the other hand, if you sow the seeds late, for example, in May, then the guzanilla will bloom later.
Therefore, the seeds are sown in deep boxes no earlier than mid-March or even mid-April so that the long tap root grows upright and does not bend. The soil in the boxes should be light, well-drained, pH 5,5-6,5.
Sow rarely, but it is better to simply place the seeds in a staggered order, keeping a distance of 2-3 cm between them. You can either cover the seeds lightly with soil, or just press them firmly into the soil. Spray the seeds with a sprayer, cover with cling film and put them in a warm (18-20 ºC), light place. Ventilate and remove condensation daily. Sprouts will appear in one to two weeks.
If the seedlings grow in a deep container, they can not be piked, but if the box is shallow, then after the appearance of the fourth leaf on the seedlings, they are piked in peat-peat pots and transferred to a cooler room (12-16 ºC) for further cultivation. A heated but unheated loggia will do. At the same time start accustoming the young plants to the temperature outside the window by opening the window in the daytime, but so that the plants are not in a draught.
Planting a guzanilla
When to plant
Planting seedlings in the open ground is carried out from mid-May to early June, and later care of the gatzaniya flower will not be a punishment for you.
First you need to find a suitable site for the plant: an open sunny place with nutritious, but light garden soil.
Sunlight is vital for the guatzania, it does not scare even direct sunlight, because it is exceptionally light-loving and even drought-resistant.
How to plant
Transplant the gatzaniya sprouts in the open ground together with the pots in which the seedlings grew. If you grew the seedlings in a box, use a long scoop to remove each seedling with a root ball and transfer it to the hole without damaging the root system. The distance between the seedlings should be at least 20 cm. Gazzaniya from seeds blooms soon after transplanting in the open ground, three months after sowing the seeds.
Care of gazanilla
Conditions for growing gatzania, as already mentioned – bright sunlight and well-drained soil. But, despite its love for heat, the guatzanilla can also tolerate a sharp cold to -5 … -7 ºC. Garden care of the guzaniania includes moderate watering with subsequent loosening of the soil and removal of weeds and timely removal of wilted inflorescences, so that the plant will form new buds faster.
Ground mulching is also welcomed, which allows the soil to retain moisture longer in the summer heat and reduces the number of weeds on the site.
Growing gazzanium flowers also involves fertilizing: if your gazzanium grows on fertile soil, you need to fertilize it once a month to a half solution of full mineral fertilizer at the rate of 20-25 g per square meter, but if you planted it on stony poor soil, then fertilize it once every 2-4 weeks.
Blossoms gatsaniya from June to November, and the flowering of each basket lasts about three weeks. In darkness and in cloudy weather, the lingual flowers of the guatzaniya are rolled up, covering the yellow middle of the tubular flowers.
Sometimes flower growers complain about the fact that the gazanilla does not want to bloom. The fault may be insufficient light, excessive watering or too late transplanting seedlings into the open ground. Try not to violate the agronomic requirements of the gazanilla, and it will bloom in time and abundantly.
Pests and diseases
Anyone who has grown the gazanilla will tell you that it does not get sick. But if the growing conditions are unfavorable for the plant, it weakens, and then it can be affected by gray rot. You will have to remove the diseased specimens and treat the remaining plants with Phytosporin.
Of insects, snails, aphids and spider mites are harmful to gatzania. Snails need to be collected manually, and insects are destroyed by insecticides: aphids – Fytoverm, Acarine, Inta-vir, and spider mites – Actellic, Fufanon or Ditox.
Gazzaniums after flowering
How and when to collect seeds
In our climatic conditions, the seeds of gazzaniums usually do not have time to mature, unless the summer is hot, long and dry. In addition, mostly hybrid varieties of the plant are grown in culture, and their seeds do not retain species and varietal characteristics. And the most important obstacle for those who want to collect the seeds of the gazanilla is that they, like the seeds of the dandelion, once mature, simply fly away. So when the gazanilla starts to bloom, wrap a few large flowers with gauze to keep the seeds from flying out, and secure it to the flower stalk.
Overwintering a guzanilla
If you grow the gazanilla as an annual, simply destroy the remains of the plant after flowering. But you can try to save it for next year. To do this you dig out the most beautiful and still flowering bushes, transfer them to pots or boxes and keep them in a well-lit room at 8-10 ºC, watering them from time to time so the soil does not dry out completely. In spring they are planted again in the open ground, having previously shortened the shoots by half.
Types and varieties
Gazania longiscapa (Gazania longiscapa).
Annual of height 15-20 cm, root leaves smooth-edged, slightly incised, pubescent from below, bright green from above. Basket up to 7 cm in diameter consists of tubular and lingual flowers in bright yellow, but the lingual base is colored brown.
Gazania rigid, or shiny (Gazania rigens, Gazania splendens)
Stems up to 30 cm tall, baskets 4.5 to 6 cm in diameter. Tubular flowers are blood-black, lingual flowers are bright yellow, red or orange with black, brown or white spots at the base. Leaves are usually entire, but sometimes pinnate.
An enlarged copy of Gazania rigidens: the basket is up to 12 cm in diameter.
Distinguished from the others by the shape of the leaves – narrow, long (up to 20 cm). The flower basket is up to 8 cm in diameter, with yellow-orange, lingual flowers with a black base and yellow tubular middle.
Cultivated are also Gazania pinnata, Gazania nivea, Gazania unifiora and Gazania hybrida, which are crosses of different species but mainly Gazania longiflorum and Gazania rigidiflorum. Varieties of Gazania hybrida bred in recent years are capable of blooming even on cloudy days.
Among the most popular varieties of gazzanium hybrid worth mentioning are:
- Daybreak Red Stripe – light yellow with red stripes inflorescences that open in the morning and close only at dusk;
- Talent, a hit in 2001 with beautiful leaves and flowers that only close at night;
- Ministar, a variety with yellow, white and orange baskets.
- Read about the subject on Wikipedia
- Features and other plants of the Asteraceae family
- All Species List at The Plant List
- More information at World Flora Online