Pronounciation: Ga-ZA-ne-a SPEE-sheez
Sunset All as annual, 8-24 as perennial
Landscape Use: Annual or perennial ground cover, bank cover (trailing variants only), edging, raised planters, containers, winter to spring color
Form & Character: Bright and cheerful when in bloom
Growth Habit: Clumping or trailing (to 6 to 8 feet) variants to 12 inches tall.
Foliage/Texture: Gazanis leaves are sessile (no petiole), linear to lanceolate in shape to 5 inches in length, some varieties have leaves that are nearly pinntified. The adaxial surfaces of gazania leaves range from being glabrous and dark green to densely tomentose and gray. The abaxial leaf surfaces are typically tomentose white; medium texture.
Flowers & Fruits: Gazania produces radiant single or double ray flowers that are usually about 3 inches in diameter on peduncle up to 6 inches long. Flower colors are many and range from white, yellow, orange, pink, red, burgundy to purple. Gazania fruit is a villous (hairy) achene.
Seasonal Color: Bright flowers in late winter and spring
Temperature: Cold hardy to 25oF. Gazania grows well in mild to warm Mediterranean climate conditions and struggle when temperatures exceed 110oF.
Light: Full sun
Soil: Tolerant of alkalinity, but must be well drained
Watering: In Phoenix, gazanias treated as perennials in the landscape require supplemental water throughout the summer because of the intense heat.
Pruning: Confine spread if trailing too far
Propagation: Easily propagated by seed, division, or cutting
Disease and pests: Aphids, thrips, snails and spider mites can be a major problem if left unchecked. Clumping variants are more susceptible to root rot if soil is poorly drained.
Additional comments: Gazania provides a wonderful spring floral display but mostly looks poor and suffers stress during the summer because of the high heat of the Arizona deserts. In my opinion, it is best used in Phoenix as a cool season annual. This is actually (as Mediterranean plants go) a true California landscape plant transported into the Arizona urban landscape by flower buffs. There's an absolute myriad of cultivars! Many new ones each year. Gazania rarely reseeds in desert urban landscapes.