Gazania is a perennial grown as an annual that grows well in rock gardens or in other hot, dry areas (Fig. 1). It forms a very low, ground-hugging ground cover, producing bright yellow, orange, or red, daisy-like flowers. The stripped petals set this group of hybrids apart from other gazanias. Flower sclose at night and on very cloudy days. Plants grow 6 to 12-inches tall with bluish foliage. Do not plant in the partial shade. Full day sun is required for healthy plants.
Scientific name: Gazania x Harlequin Hybrids
Common name(s): harlequin hybrid gazania
Plant type: ground cover; perennial; herbaceous
USDA hardiness zones: 8B through 11 (Fig. 2)
Planting month for zone 8: Apr; May
Planting month for zone 9: Mar; Apr; May; Sep; Oct
Planting month for zone 10 and 11: Feb; Mar; Apr; May; Nov; Dec
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: ground cover; edging
Availablity: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant
Height: .5 to 1 feet
Spread: 1 to 2 feet
Plant habit: round
Plant density: moderate
Growth rate: moderate
Leaf arrangement: most emerge from the soil, usually without a stem
Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more
Invasive potential: not known to be invasive
Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pest
Use and Management
It is a good plant for erosion control in dry areas. It should be planted 12 to 18-inches apart to form a solid ground cover several months after planting. Good soil gives best growth but the plant tolerates poor, sandy soil. Provide excellent soil drainage when growing this plant in the eastern part of the US. Gazania requires less water than most annuals or perennials. Full sun is preferred, and the flowers do not open fully on wet or cloudy days. Extended wet weather or poorly drained soil can promote disease which can kill portions of the plant. Removing the old blossoms may increase the number of blooms produced.
Pests and Diseases
No pests or diseases are of major concern, but gazania can susceptible to root rot on wet or poorly drained soils.