GAZANIA

GAZANIA

Gazanias belong to a genus native to South Africa that includes a few dozen species and numerous varieties selected by growers and geneticists. The Gazania genus belongs to the large Asteraceae (Composite) family as do daisies, chrysanthemums, sunflowers, etc.. This name is tied to the famous byzantine humanist Theodorus of Gaza, who lived from 1400 to 1470 and who is also known for his translation of the botanical work of Theophrastus. These herbaceous plants are perennial in their natural habitat, but are usually cultivated as annuals in Italy. These hardy, strong plants are highly resistant to drought and direct sunlight. On the other hand, they do not tolerate humid and scarcely illuminated conditions. During spring and summer, they produce bright-coloured flowers similar to big daisies. The flowers of the Gazania can also be gathered and placed in vases, however, they must be exposed to light or else their petals will close. These shrubby plants, with their heavy flowering and excellent resistance to the heat, are ideal for sunny borders, balcony vases, and even rock gardens. Cultivation soil must be loose and well-drained. For potting, it is advisable to mix 50% peat or compost with the same amount to sand, perlite, or expanded clay in order to obtain a permeable substratum, completely free from waterlogging. In gardens where the soil is clayey or heavy, we suggest planting the Gazanias on ridges above the level of the ground to avoid waterlogging. As we have already said, Gazanias suffer more an excess rather than a penury of water: irrigation must be spaced out in order to allow the soil to dry out between one watering and the next. It is always advisable to provide water on a regular basis, however, without creating waterlogging. Gazanias must be fed once a month with a complex fertilizer dissolved in the irrigation water. Gazanias are usually not prone to attack by parasites. They can, however, be attacked by the red spider mite and by even more insidious fungi that damage the roots of plants placed in wet areas.

pianta da fiore gazania