A native of South Africa, the daisy-like gazania flower is a member of the aster family and can tolerate dry climates. Gazanias are hardy and will thrive in most soils, no matter how poor the quality is. Ranging from terra cotta to bright yellow in color, gazania plants grow an average of 12 inches and bloom during the spring and summer months. These flowers grow as a perennial in zones nine to 11 and as an annual in zones three to eight. Gazania flowers can blossom to their fullest using some simple care tips.
1. Coat Gazania Seeds with Sand
Gazanias like well-drained soil and will blossom more profusely if the seeds are first coated with sand before planting them in the ground. Pour a thin layer of sand in a pan and sprinkle the gazania seeds on top. Sift the flower seeds so they will have some sand remaining on the outside. Separate the seeds to one side of the pan, with the remaining sand on the other side. Do not throw the sand out, as this will be used when the time comes to plant.
Tip: For faster bloom, purchase gazania transplants from your local flower distributor.
2. Plant Them in Moist Grooves
The best time of year to plant gazania seeds is in the early spring after the last frost. Using the end of a thick stick, make the groove in the soil, and use a light spray on your garden hose nozzle to water each groove. The moist soil will aid in the germination of the seeds. Sprinkle the seeds in each row, placing them at even intervals. Then, take the sand from the tray and put down a light cover. Finish covering the seeds with a 1/4-inch layer of soil, but do not pack it down over them. Water the seeds again after you sow them in the garden.
Tip: Apply a light application of organic fertilizer when planting.
3. Water Gazania Flowers Seldomly
You do not need to water gazanias as frequently as other annuals in your garden. Gazanias can go for long periods without watering and will actually blossom more if soil conditions are kept dry. Water from rain is sufficient enough in most areas of the country. Give your gazania flowers a light watering once a month without soaking the ground.
4. Mulch During the Winter
Add a layer of mulch to the base of the gazania plants at the end of the fall season to provide the plants protection during the cold winter months.
5. Prune the Plants in Spring
These plants can be pruned early in the spring to remove old growth and stimulate new growth. Use garden clippers to remove dead stems and leaves, cutting down to the bottom of the plant. Do not cut off any new stems or leaves, and dispose of all cuttings in the garbage. The gazania flowers will start to blossom during mid-spring.
Tip: Sterilize your garden tools before pruning using hydrogen peroxide.