Gazanias for Colorado! With this cultivar, those of us in cold-winter areas can overwinter these daisy-like flowers usually reserved for gardens in warmer climates. Clumps of strap-shaped green leaves grow only three-inches high, while the big, sunny blossoms hover above on their short stems, stealing the show. The flowers close up at night, and stay that way on cloudy days. An extra bonus: the leafy clumps are evergreen.
Hardy gazanias are easy to grow. Plant them in average garden soil, and keep slightly moist for the first year or two. Once established, they are somewhat drought-tolerant and can dry out a bit. While full sun may encourage more flowers, the plants will succeed in partial shade as well. A bit of fertilizer applied at the start of the growing season will give both plants and blooms a boost. Hardy gazanias are reliable up to 9,000 ft. elevation (USDA zones 4 – 8) .
The three-inch high plants should be placed in front of the border, or along a path where everyone can see them. They make great additions to a rock garden. To create a small-scale groundcover, space plants ten inches apart. For eye-popping contrast, pair the bright golden flowers with blue-purple catmint (Nepeta) or lavender.
Article and photos by Leslie Holzmann, Certified Colorado Gardener.