There are a lot of people who may be wondering what Osteospermum is. This flower is more commonly known as the African daisy.
African daisies resemble ordinary daisies in appearance, with petals spreading from a central disk. They are even members of the Asteraceae family, which includes Shasta daisies as well as Zinnias.
What Is African Daisy
Their vibrant coloration is quite unlike that of a traditional daisy. In fact, when African daisies first appear ed on the market, several people assumed they had been colored.
The center disks of the flowers might even appear to be painted with metallic paint. The leaves differ depending on the cultivar as they might be pointed like a lance or widely oval, smooth, serrated, or slightly curved. Petals can be perfectly smooth, like a conventional daisy, or they might radiate out in the shape of a tubular spoon.
Every morning, daisy-like blooms emerge from the shrub. The flowers are all made up of a ring of colorful outer petals and a small eye in the middle. The bloom’s eye can be a variety of hues, most often brown, gold, pink, or green. When the bulk of the flowers are solid colors, a few of them fade into a different color in the core of the bloom, creating a tie-dye appearance.
As though the flower color pallet wasn’t enough, these South African natives feature silvery gray foliage that adds to the entire plant’s aesthetic attractiveness. The silver foliage, when combined with the vivid jewel-toned flowers, truly highlights the beautiful blossoms.
With all these different hues to pick from, there’s no excuse not to give an African daisy a shot!
These flowers bloom approximately two months after planting and are ideally planted in the spring after the fear of frost has gone. They have a very rapid growth rate and bloom about two months after planting.
How To Grow African Daisy
African daisies grow best in a bright area with enough light, since they may not blossom in a gloomy environment. As a result, it is advisable to choose a site with no shadow while taking care against strong winds. These flowers grow well in well-drained soil and will bloom from late spring until late October.
Because the majority of Osteospermum available has been hybridized to better fit our circumstances, some may be sterile and will not grow from stored seed. The best bet is to get guidance on which cultivar would work best in your environment. They are quite hardy, but will require some early care to keep the soil wet.
Start pushing the seed into the soil and keep an eye on it during the germination process. Dig a planting hole for cultivars, leaving 2.5-5cm of the stems just below the surface. After that, fill the hole with a mixture of excavated soil and organic debris and water it thoroughly.
Note: Plant an African Daisy in well-drained soil as soon as spring arrives.
Grow From Seeds
You can purchase African Daisy seedlings from a local farmer’s market if they are available, and if they’re not, you can grow them from seed. Since they are African plants, many people are curious about the best time to grow African daisy seeds. They must be started indoors at the same time as your other annuals, which really is around 6 to 8 weeks before your area’s last frost date.
Because African daisies require sunshine to grow, just scatter the seeds on top of the soil to plant them. Do not hide them. Place them in a cool, well-lit spot once they’ve been planted in the soil. Heat should not be used to germinate them. It irritates them.
In around 2 weeks, you should observe developing the seedlings. When the seedlings are 2-3 inches tall, transfer them into separate pots to thrive until the very last frost. Put the seedlings in your garden after the first frost. Plant them 12 to 18 inches apart for optimum results.
Care For African Daisy
African daisies thrive in both the ground and in pots. Blooms are at their best from late spring to early summer, and then again from late summer to early fall. Since African daisies do not bloom during hot periods, they should be planted together with other plants that will provide visual appeal during the summertime.
When cultivated in an area that suits them, these flowers are relatively low-maintenance. Try to ensure they get enough sunlight and have well-drained soil. Hydrate and fertilize on a regular basis during the growth season, which runs from spring through October. Deadhead the plants by removing wasted flowers to promote reblooming.
African daisies like organically rich soil with good drainage and a pH that is somewhat acidic. When planting, add manure or other organic matter to the soil to promote drainage and supply nutrients.
Although drought resilient once planted, African daisies require at least one inch of water each week to thrive. Plants will slow down and fall asleep during periods of drought or extreme heat. Maintain an equal moisture level in the soil. Overwatering, on the other hand, can promote illnesses such as root rotting.
African daisies thrive in broad light. They can withstand moderate shade, but will generally produce fewer blooms as a result. Furthermore, the blooms open in reaction to light and close at night and during cloudy conditions. A few other newer cultivars, however, such as 4D Pink, 4D Silver, and 4D Berry, stay open all the time.
Temperature and Humidity
African daisies enjoy warm temperatures, because that’s when they bloom the most. They can withstand overnight temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit, although frost can harm or destroy them. Humidity is usually not a concern for them if they have adequate air circulation, irrigation, and soil drainage.
These flowers require a lot of nourishment to develop and bloom properly. A fertilizer for blooming plants should be used weekly during the growth season, in addition to putting compost into the soil.
Tips For Caring:
- Once your flower has established itself, keep in mind that, while they love consistent light, they do not handle heat or drought successfully.
- To prevent the plants from becoming inactive and refusing to bloom, make sure to water them fairly consistently during these times, never allowing the soil to dry up.
- Keep an eye out for drought if you’re growing your Osteospermum in a container. They will also require a consistent feeding plan throughout the growing season to maximize their growth. Fertilizer should be used once every two weeks.
- Although Osteospermum is robust enough to survive the winter in highly protected locations, it is a good idea to take some cuttings in October to assure blossoms for the next winter.
- It’s preferable to remove any old, wasted flowers from the bushes to keep the display continuing all season. This will stimulate new development and keep plants generating blooms for a longer period of time.
- If you want to grow African daisies every year, keep some of the seeds from the dead blooms and sow them a few weeks just before the frost. They’ll be ready to sow outside once it’s no longer frosty.
African daisy grows as a perennial in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 or 10 and higher, depending on the cultivar. Unless specified, the plant is cultivated as an annual. To maintain them healthy and blossoming, it’s a good idea to know how to prune African daisy plants, which might include pinching, deadheading, and pruning.
Early in the growing season, pinching young African daisies twice or three times results in a robust stem and a big, bushy plant. Gently pinch the tips of fresh growth, eliminating the stem until you reach the second set of leaves. Pinching the plant after flower buds develop will cause it to blossom later.
Regular deadheading, which is cutting wilting flowers down towards the next set of leaves, is the simplest technique to ensure that flowers bloom all through the season. If the plant is not deadheaded, it will naturally go to seed, and blooming will end much sooner than you would like.
African daisies, like many other plants, can get tall in the middle of summer. A simple trim maintains the plant clean and encourages fresh blooms. Use garden shears to cut one-third to one-half of each stem, giving special attention to older branches, to give the plant away from heat. The trimming will encourage the growth of new, fresh leaves.
When Should African Daisies Be Pruned?
Perennial African daisies benefit from annual trimming if you live in USDA plant hardiness zone 9 or higher. In late autumn or early spring, cut the plant to the soil. Both times are appropriate, but if you want a clean garden for winter, you should prune in fall.
If, however, you like the gritty appearance of African daisy bones, you should wait until early spring. Holding until spring also gives seed and habitat for songbirds, as well as protection for the roots, particularly when insulating leaves become stuck in the dead stems.
They are generally pest-free, but keep a look out for whitefly and aphids, which can harm petals and foliage. Detecting these issues early can make it easier to manage them.
In terms of illnesses, grey mold is the only one to be concerned about. This most commonly affects Osteospermum when air circulation is inadequate and circumstances are moist. Make sure your plants are adequately ventilated wherever they are growing. This will also assist to prevent root rot.
African Daisies In Your Garden
The unique hue of African Daisies makes them a really lovely flower, but it also makes them quite difficult to combine with other flowers. You may combine Osteospermum with other more popular bedding plants by using leaves sparingly.
However, if you can address this problem, Osteospermum perform well in a variety of garden settings, such as pots, and are extremely popular for seasonal beds. Some of the shrubbery types will look great in a head display, maybe among other shrub blooms like fuchsia.
Tips For Decorating:
African daisies may be incorporated into your landscape in a variety of ways. Here’s how to do it:
- When perennials are out of flower, mass them towards the front of a mixed border for long-lasting color.
- In hanging baskets, pair with trailing plants like Lobelia, Calibrachoa, or Verbena.
- Alternate groups of similar hues, such as purple and yellow, along a slope for a beautiful display also aids in soil retention.
- At the end of a pathway, place a big ornamental container. Plant African daisies and other brilliantly colored annuals to attract the attention across the area.
- Shepherd’s hooks are an excellent method to display hanging baskets for immediate color near a patio, balcony, or pool. Hooks may be simply rearranged for a new appearance.
- This is a wonderful cut flower because of the large branching branches and the longer vase life.
The bulk of African daisy types are hybrids, and seeds stored from the plants will not grow. However, you may simply reproduce your plants by taking cuttings.
- To begin, fill a shallow tray halfway with a sterile seed-starting mixture. Slightly dampen the mix.
- Next, pick 2 to 3 inch long plant cuttings with at least two sets of leaf nodes.
- Remove any flower buds that are visible, as well as the lower leaves.
- Put the cut end with rooting hormone before planting it in seed-starting mix.
- Place the tray in a position with bright natural daylight and temperature between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and cover it with a plastic dome.
- In four to six weeks, the plants should be well-rooted enough to be transplanted to pots or an outside garden setting.
Why Should You Plant?
The coloration of these blooms is certainly the most remarkable feature, which was reported to have created surprise upon the plant’s first arrival to Britain.
Unlike many other flowers frequently cultivated in the UK, the petals of the Osteospermum are tinted with purple, orange, and white colours that resemble metallic paint. This makes the plant a real attention catcher, whether in a pot display or as part of a border with other varieties.
Besides the unusual coloration, these flowers are generally comparable to daisies, with thin petals spreading around a central disc, a classic and well-loved sight.
African daisies are renowned to produce flowers that close up at night; as a result, gloomy and dreary days may fail to draw forth the unique beauty. Many gardeners, however, believe that this just adds a seductive aspect to these timid bloomers, resulting in landscapes that positively open up when the weather improves.
Varieties Of African Daisy
- Pink Sugar African Daisy
Pink Sugar has sunset pink and orange colours that give this cultivar a dazzling appearance. It has silvery foliage as an added feature. You can count on it to generate hundreds of blooms throughout the season. It reaches a height of 14 inches and a width of 10 inches.
- Passion Mix
This small plant grows to about a foot in height and is available in a range of hues, including pink, purple, rose, and white, all with blue centers. This cultivar is noted for its heat tolerance and is simple to cultivate from seed.
- The Ravers Hearts and Tarts
Ravers Hearts and Tarts has gray-green leaves and orange-and-pink blooms. It reaches a height of 12 inches and a width of 16 inches.
- Flower Power Spider White
The petals of these blossoms are oddly spoon-shaped, white and lavender with a gold core. The plants grow to be around 14 inches tall.
- Lemon Symphony
The butter-yellow petals of this shrub feature a purple core and an orange eye. The plant grows to a height of around 14 inches.
- Sideshow Copper Apricot
This cultivar features eye-catching light apricot blooms with a purple center disk. It may reach a height of 12 inches.
These blooms, known for their fluffy, curled centers, stay open all day, even in hot temperatures. The plants may reach a height of 14 inches.
Pairings For African Daisy
Stock has a lovely spicy, unique aroma. Plant it in the spring, many weeks before your area’s last frost date, because this annual thrives in relatively low temperature and stops flowering as the weather warms up.
Stock is available in a variety of colors. It’s a fantastic cut flower for perfuming bouquets and adorning the border. It thrives in full sun or partial shade, as well as wet, well-drained soil.
Pinks are the classic cottage flower, prized for their grass-like blue-green leaves and numerous starry blooms, which are frequently fragrant. Flowers bloom in spring or summer, depending on the type of pink, and are often pink, red, white, rose, or lavender, but they exist in virtually every hue except pure blue.
Plants range in size from small crawling groundcovers to 30-inch-tall cut blooms popular with florists. The foliage is a blue-green color.
Angelonia is also known as summer snapdragon, and once you see it, you’ll understand why. It has flower spikes that reach a foot or two in height, but they’re filled with interesting snapdragon-like blooms with lovely purple, white, or pink embellishments.
It’s ideal for bringing vivid color to hot, sunny areas, where it will bloom all summer. While all kinds are lovely, look for the pleasantly fragrant ones.
Even though most gardeners consider Angelonia to be an annual, it is actually a perennial in Zones 9-10. Alternatively, if you have a bright, sunny area indoors, you may keep it blooming throughout the winter.
It’s a wonderful bloom that we planted in our yard and had a great time with!
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