Plant Profile: Gazania

Gazania-flowers_lr

You’ve got a dry, hot spot that gets full sun all day. What to plant? A perfect choice for a sunny spot like this is the impossibly cheerful gazania. It’s a low-growing, drought-tolerant flowering annual that shines through in those challenging spots.

Many annuals—like the ever forgiving petunia and geranium—can be plunked anywhere and they’ll more or less cope. Shady spots make fewer flowers, but you’ll still have flowers. Not so with gazanias: they are picky and absolutely must have full sun to show their spectacular blooms. If they don’t have sun, they fold up their petals and sulk. (Yes, the petals actually close.) And why wouldn’t they? They’ve got pizzazz and they want to show it off.

Gazanias-colored-blooms_lr

I’ve planted gazanias in spots with too much shade and they were disappointing. But full, hot sun? Bring it on. This is a plant where the correct location is everything. They work well in a sunny front garden where you’ve gotten rid of lawn, and will bloom their heads off for you. As they are short, keep them towards the front of the flower bed. The ones pictured here were growing right next to a hot sidewalk. They also work in containers, and bloom right through the growing season.

These cheerful flowers look a little like something from a child’s drawing, and come in oranges and pinks, with some striping on the petals. I think you can’t look at them without feeling happy.

  • Grows about 8-10 inches high
  • Flowers 2-5” wide
  • Good in garden or in pots
  • Drought Resistant
  • From South Africa
  • Flowers close up in shade, at night and in cloudy weather
  • Like dry, sandy soil
  • Common name: ‘Treasure Flower’
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