En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Tuesday - August 03, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Will non-native gazania bloom in winter?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am quite familiar with Gazania and l-o-v-e it as a summer plant. My question is: while I know it may/will survive the winters here, will it actually be blooming during the coldest months here in Austin? I work in west-ish Austin and there is a proposal on the table to use Gazania "Kiss Orange Flame" as our winter bedding plants, rather than pansies. I am fairly sure they will not bloom all winter because we are on the edge of their "perennial-status zone" and the person that signs my paycheck wants me to confirm my suspicions. Can you enlighten me? Do you know if they will bloom all winter here in Austin? Thanks,

ANSWER:

Frankly, we have two problems with recommending Gazania rigens for Austin. The first problem is that it is not a native to North America, including Texas , but to Africa. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we recommend only native plants. The other problem is that we saw no indication that they would bloom all winter. There are very few plants that even pretend to bloom year round. Since the gazania is an annual, it has to allow time in its bloom cycles for blooms, followed by seeds, and then it usually dies. As you pointed out, this plant is only hardy to Zone 8b, south of Austin, and loves hot, dry summers, which we won't be having in January. For more information, from Old Fashioned Living, here is a site Growing Bold and Brilliant Gazanias.

As far as that is concerned, pansies are non-native also, and the ones you buy in the Fall have probably been propagated in greenhouses, and will certainly die if they are exposed to very cold weather and/or snow, etc.  And under no circumstances would Mr. Smarty Plants ever recommend that anything, native or non-native, would bloom at a certain time or stay in bloom under certain conditions. Sorry.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Questions on non-native St. Augustine from Austin
October 15, 2013 - I have St. Augustine grass in my yard. I am having work done in my yard soon, which will require new sod. I know the St. Augustine has to take root in the ground before the first freeze, to assure t...
view the full question and answer

Does non-native Crown of Thorns cause cancer?
August 24, 2013 - Does the plant, Corona De Cristo (Crown of thorns) cause cancer?
view the full question and answer

New plant introductions in Georgia.
October 15, 2009 - Can you list 5-10 brand new plants to the marketplace this 2009-2010 season for my area in GA? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Non-native Norfolk Pine suffering in Corpus Christi TX
August 02, 2011 - About ten yrs. ago I transplanted my Norfolk Pine into the ground in my backyard. With all the frosty weather of 2010/2011 the Spring brought a browning/dying of a lot of the Norfolk Pines in this are...
view the full question and answer

Preservation of a non-native Norfolk pine after hurricane damage
October 11, 2008 - I had a 25ft. Norfolk pine blow down during hurricane. I have the top 6ft.in water living after 3 weeks. Can I plant this hoping it will survive? Do I need to cut into the trunk or just trim back the ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center