Definitely an explosive bloom!

I loved the beauty of the Gazanias last year, so this year I seeded again (New Day mix). I usually seed in a seed starting medium, and it grows to a certain mangled looking stage and then it’s almost like it freezes in time and does nothing more. Last year I seeded on February 29, but this year I started March 26. Looking at my journal entry, I had made a note that perhaps I had seeded too late and maybe I wouldn’t get to enjoy any blooms. Why did I fear this? Right on the seed packet it says: Sow indoors Feb. 15th to March 1st for July blooms. Hmm. I missed that. To make matters worse, I only set up one grow light as there wasn’t any space for the Gazanias, so they were not exposed to long periods of light.

About a month later, this is what they looked like. Nothing impressive. I had to flip them around daily otherwise they’d be leaning so far toward the light it sometimes looked like they were laying down.

 

In my opinion, they remained about this size right up until I transplanted them. But now that I dig through some of my photos from last year, the seedlings that I planted a month earlier were not that much bigger. The seeds last year and this year are from Stokes.

I transplanted my seedlings on May 22 this year. Half went into my herb barrel, and the rest had it’s own planter. Trust me, the planter looked pretty sad, but I had lots of hope based on my previous experience with Gazanias. They really do spread. 

I guess they did grow a little taller between April 29 and May 22 because in the above photo, they can barely hold themselves up. Placement of the planter is half under cover, and the spot is a more protected area from gusty winds.

I allow myself 10-15 minutes every morning before work to water and take in the beauty of my garden. I noticed flower buds emerging, but it was still a pot of green this morning. When I got home this afternoon, I was greeted to a brilliant pop of colour!

You can’t tell me that nature isn’t just incredible. Do you see how some of the top leaves look like they are curling? Gazanias are very interesting plants in that they close up when it’s cloudy/night time, and re-open during the sunny days. 

Want to see what that pathetic looking planter looks like today?

I told you it fills out. And I suspect more flowers will be opening up over the weekend. I can’t wait to see what other colours will appear!

I’m just reading the seed packet again (online) and I’m learning a few more things: Gazanias are excellent for dry, windy areas, when air temperatures reach the high 80’s or 90’s. Use in planters, etc., or lift plants in Sept and re-pot as a house plant. They never stop blooming in the house. Outdoors Gazania blossoms close during cloudy weather and at nights – therefore are unsatisfactory cut flowers.

I wonder how the flowers learn to adapt to the indoors and remain in bloom all year? Maybe I’ll have to give it a try if they don’t have a high pest problem.

So did I make the right move by seeding indoors a month later? You bet! 

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