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On Gardening: Let Mezoo madness take over your baskets and containers

Norman Winter, Tribune News Service on

Published in Gardening News

It’s been 15 years, maybe more, since Mezoo showed up in trials and then some really progressive garden centers. It was way ahead of its time for the succulent craze in which we now find ourselves. Many of us snickered at the time, but today we love it. and our kids in the business think they have discovered a new plant.

Come to think of it, maybe it took our children growing up to show us how to use Mezoo and to push the envelope in our designs.

I suppose I should really give its official name: Mezoo Trailing Red. Botanically speaking, it is Dorotheanthus bellidiformis, commonly called Livingstone daisy. You will find it in the Aizoaceae, or fig-marigold, family (if you recognize even one relative you qualify as a taxonomic genus in my book). Just think, this trailing succulent that no one heard of and most laughed at has hung around for over 15 years and firmly planted itself in Proven Winners' available Proven Accents list.

Mezoo Trailing Red is a glossy green with cream margin succulent that can be used as a groundcover or as a spiller plant in mixed containers and baskets.

You are probably wondering where the red comes from in the name. Does it bleed when you snap a branch? The answer is obviously no. The red comes from dime-sized flowers that accent the plant. Notice I said "accent." The flowers will never steal the show from the foliage.

It is a Proven Accents plant indeed. In the last couple of years, son James has used it as a super trailing spiller in hanging baskets with red Amore Queen of Heart petunias, Boldly White geraniums, Diamond Frost euphorbia, and mandevillas. The dime-sized red flowers produced by Mezoo Trailing Red were the perfect color echo for the red petunias.

As the common name Livingstone daisy suggests, it is from the Cape Peninsula of South Africa. It is tolerant of wet or dry conditions and high or low pH. In other words, anyone can grow this plant.

Although it's tolerant of wet conditions, my inclination would still be to recommend well-drained soil that helps prevent a host of root issues. This will be more critical if used as a groundcover; this is rarely an issue in baskets and containers.


While searching Proven Winners for their Mezoo Trailing Red recipes, I found one called Tracy’s Garden. This is no doubt from Tracy’s Plaids and Poppies in Dorr, Michigan. I follow them on both Facebook and Instagram, and trust me, you should too. The window planter in the recipe features Goldilocks Rocks bidens, Superbells Red calibrachoa, Luscious Royale Red Zone lantana, Superbena Red and Superbena Violet Ice verbenas, Truffula Pink gomphrena and the Mezoo Trailing Red Livingstone daisy at the bottom. As you can tell the window box is a complete garden.

Son James also designed a large container that would be perfect for pollinators. It featured Rockin Blue Suede Shoes salvia, Uproar Rose zinnia, Luscious Marmalade lantana and Mezoo Trailing Red Livingstone daisy as the spiller.

It gets about 6 inches tall with a 15- to 24-inch-plus spread in the South. It is rated as a zone 9 and warmer perennial but worth every penny as an annual in colder areas. It can take all the sun you can give but does quite well with partial sun. If it should grow more than its allotted space, by all means, clip to tidy up.

If you want to have a lot of fun with your friends, neighbors and garden club members, just tell them your new Mezoo Trailing Red is a variety of Dorotheanthus bellidiformis, which was formerly known as "Mesembryanthemum criniflorum."


(Norman Winter, horticulturist, garden speaker and author of “Tough-as-Nails Flowers for the South” and “Captivating Combinations: Color and Style in the Garden.” Follow him on Facebook @NormanWinterTheGardenGuy.)

(NOTE TO EDITORS: Norman Winter receives complimentary plants to review from the companies he covers.)

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