The plant Gazania is also called African chamomile or gazania. It is directly related to the Aster family. This genus has about 40 different species. In natural conditions they can be found in South Africa and Mozambique, and even in the coastal dunes of Australia. In European countries about this flower became known in the 17th century, at which time it got its present name in honor of the Italian Theodore von Gaza, who was a priest who translated the works of Theophrastus and Aristotle.
In Western Europe, such flowers are also called "midday gold". The fact is that the flowers, which have a warm color, bloom at noon.
Peculiarities of the gatzania
Gatzania can be either an annual or a perennial plant. The bush is about 30 centimeters tall. The root leaf plates are part of the rosette, with no or very short stems.
The dense leaflets can be greenish gray or dark green and have a wide variety of shapes. On the underside surface of the leaves are dense villi of silvery color, they protect the flower from cold weather and during drought help to retain water. The inflorescences are in the form of single baskets, which can reach 5-9 centimeters in diameter. They consist of reeded flowers that may be red, orange or yellow. They have a dark colored spot at the base, resulting in a circular pattern around the yellow-colored middle.
The midrib includes tubular florets. There may be about 35 such inflorescences on a single bush. The fruit is a hairy seed with a tuft.
Gatzania -Growing, preparing for winter
Growing gatzania from seed
Sowing a seedling
The time of sowing this plant in a seedling directly depends on the area in which the gardener lives. If the spring is cold and late, sowing seeds too early will require extra light.
Without additional light, the plants will grow and develop much slower due to the lack of light. Sowing seeds in May, for example, means you will only be able to enjoy the flowering of the gazzaniums much later. In this regard, it is recommended to sow the seeds in the second half of March and preferably in mid-April. Use high containers for sowing, it is necessary so that the long tap root will not bend in the process of growth. Sowing soil should be well-drained and light, with a pH of 5.
5 to 6.5. Sowing should be carried out sparingly. You can simply distribute the seeds on the surface of the substrate in a staggered manner, with 2 to 3 centimeters between them. A thin layer of substrate can be placed on top of the seeds and they can also just be pressed into the ground.
Moisten the seeds with a sprayer and cover the container with foil or glass. Then it is removed to a well-lit sufficiently warm (18 to 20 degrees). Remember to remove condensation from the shelter and arrange airing every day. The first seedlings will show up after 7-15 days.
If you are growing seedlings in a deep container, then they will not need picking.
Otherwise, once the plant has developed its fourth true leaf, it will need to be planted in a peat-pot. Then the seedlings are removed for rearing in a place where it is a little cooler (12 to 16 degrees), and a loggia, which is insulated, but not heated, would be an excellent option. From now on, you should start hardening the plants. In order to do this you should open the window a little bit during the day every day and prevent draughts.
Gazania: cultivation and care
Transplanting in the open field
What time to plant
You should start to plant this plant from the second half of May until the first days of June.
Once planted, it will be much easier to care for the guzania. However, before planting, you need to find the most suitable location. An open, well-lit area will do. The garden soil should be light and rich in nutrients. Remember that this plant needs direct sunlight, and it is not harmed by direct sunlight.
The fact is that it is very fond of light and has a high drought tolerance.
How to plant
The seedlings should be planted in the open soil in the same peat and peat pots in which they grew. If growing in a deep box, you will need a fairly long scoop to take out the long root of the plant without injuring it. When moving the flower into the hole, try not to traumatize the root as well. Between bushes should be left a distance of at least 20 centimeters.
Flowering of gazanilla begins very soon after planting in the garden. Thus, the flowering of this plant is observed only 3 months after sowing the seeds.
To grow well and enjoy its appearance, you must choose the right place for planting, namely, sunny and with well-drained soil. This flower is rather thermophilic, but it tolerates frosts up to 5-7 degrees below zero. Such a flower needs moderate watering.
Once this procedure is done, you need to loosen the surface of the soil and remove all weeds. To make the flowering more abundant and long, you just need to remove in time those inflorescences-baskets, which began to wither. It will be good if you mulch the surface of the soil. This will help significantly reduce the number of watering, as well as and weeding. For the normal development of such flowers need timely feeding.
If you planted gazanilla in a nutrient-rich soil, fertilize it once every 4-6 weeks with full mineral fertilizer (20 to 25 grams per 1m). If the plants were planted in a poor stony soil, fertilizing should be done once every 15-30 days.
Flowering of such plants is observed in June-October. Each basket-shaped inflorescence fades only 20 days after opening. When it is dark or overcast the reed flowers curl up covering a yellow heart of tubular flowers.
In some cases, florists may complain that the plant does not bloom. The most common reasons for this phenomenon: little light, excessive watering or late planting of seedlings in open soil. If everything is done correctly and in time, the flowering will be long, lush and spectacular.
Diseases and pests
Those who have grown such a flower know that it is not subject to diseases. However, if the gazanilla is grown in conditions unsuitable for it, it weakens, and it may well be affected by gray rot.
In this case, the affected bushes should be dug out and destroyed, and the remaining ones should be sprayed with phytosporin solution.
Aphids, snails and spider mites are dangerous pests for the plant. Snails are removed from the bush by picking them up by hand. To cope with spider mite use: actellic, ditox or fufanon, and to kill aphids use: acarin, fytoverm, inta-vir.
Gatzania after flowering
In medium latitudes the seeds of this plant most often do not mature.
This can only happen if the summer period is relatively dry, sultry and long. It should also be remembered that, as a rule, hybrid varieties of such a plant are cultivated, and their seeds do not have the ability to retain the varietal characteristics of the mother plant. And you should also remember that the ripe inflorescences of gazanilla are very similar to those of the dandelion, with a strong gust of wind the seeds simply fly away. You should therefore wrap the flowering baskets with gauze which is fixed to the flower stalk so that the seeds stay in place.
If you cultivate an annual plant, then when it blooms, remove the remains and burn them.
However, some gardeners save it for the following year. Choose the most spectacular bushes, which should still bloom. They are dug up and planted in containers or pots. After that, they are placed in a cool (8 to 10 degrees) room with good light. Watering should be infrequent and not abundant, but allowed to completely dry out the ground ball should not be allowed.
In the springtime, they are planted in the garden and their stems should be shortened by ½ part.
Main species and varieties of gazania with photos and names
Gazania longiscapa (Gazania longiscapa)
This annual plant can reach a height of 15 to 20 centimeters. The whole-edged root leaves are slightly incised and are deep green on the front side and pubescent on the underside. The inflorescence is about 7 centimeters in diameter, and both types of florets are deep yellow. The bases of the lingual florets have a brownish coloration.
Gazania rigid, or shiny (Gazania rigens, Gazania splendens)
The bush reaches about 30 centimeters in height. The diameter of the inflorescences varies from 4.5 to 6 centimeters. The color of the tubular florets is blood-black. The reed flowers may be red, deep yellow or orange, with brown, black or white spots at the base.
The leaf blades are usually solid, but pinnatipartite also occurs.
Gazania pottsii (Gazania pottsii)
This plant is similar to Gazzania rigidis, only it is larger. The inflorescence is about 12 centimeters in diameter.
Gazania pavonia (Gazania pavonia)
It stands out from the other species by the shape of its leaf plates, so, they are narrow and long (about 20 centimeters). The diameter of the inflorescence is about 8 centimeters.
The reed flowers are orange-yellow with a black base, the tubular flowers are yellow.
Cultivate also Gazania pinnata, Gazania snow-white (Gazania nivea), Gazania unifiora and Gazania hybrid (Gazania x hybrida), which was obtained by crossing various species, but mainly Gazania longiflorum and Gazania hardiflorum. Varieties that can bloom in cloudy weather have now been obtained. The most popular hybrid varieties:
- Daybreak Red Stripe. The baskets are pale yellow and have red stripes.
They open in the morning and close at dusk.
- The Talent variety. Very popular since 2001, with very showy leaves and flowers and only closing at night. Varieties have inflorescences of white, yellow and orange color.
DO NOT DISCARD TRANSPLANT FOR WINTERING AT HOME