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Diascia, a flower that deserves to be rediscovered

Diascia planting

Diascia is a very cute flower that blooms all summer long and even deep into fall.

Diascia facts, a short list

Name: Diascia
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Type: annual, perennial: D. fetcaniensis

Height: 10 to 16 inches (25 to 40 cm)
Exposure: sun or part sun

Soil: rather rich  –  Flowering: early summer → mid-fall

Caring for these plants from planting to blooming doesn’t require much effort and their decorative effect is guaranteed.

Planting diascia

It is recommended to plant diascia in spring, after any risk of freezing is over, because it doesn’t survive freezing at all. Wait for April or May, depending on the area, to plant your diascia.

Diascia plantingWhether the plant is in a container or in the ground, select a sun-filled spot for maximum blooming.

  • It loves very sunny spots.
  • Diascia likes well-drained ground types.
  • Always maintain sufficient moisture in the soil, from the planting all the way up to the blooming.

Diascia in pots

Diascia grows very well in pots, especially smaller-growing varieties. Make sure of the following:

  • Diascia in a potproper drainage thanks to a hole at the bottom of the pot (so any excess water can drain away)
  • upon planting, add a few handfuls of ripe compost to the soil for nutrients
  • when watering, add fertilizer to ensure it gets the food it needs to grow well

Multiplying diascia

To propagate your diascia, it’s possible to sow seeds or to prepare cuttings from stems.

Sowing diascia

Sowing is best when performed in spring (March and April), in a sheltered place if temperatures don’t yet exceed 60°F (15°C).

  • Sow in special seedling soil mix.
  • Sprinkle soil mix over the seeds to bury them lightly.
  • Drizzle water over on a regular basis to keep the substrate moist.
  • When the plants have born 2 or 3 leaves, thin down to 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm).

You can plant directly in the ground starting in May, or transplant your seedlings to garden boxes and pot arrangements.

Preparing diascia cuttings

This is a plant that is often successfully multiplied with the most common method for preparing cuttings.

Preparing diascia cuttings is best done in spring or in fall.

  • Collect cuttings about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long, ideally on stems not bearing flowers.
  • Pinch off lower leaves to keep only the highest pair of leaves.
  • It is possible to dip the cuttings in powdered rooting agents, if you have any.
  • Plant the cuttings in special cutting soil mix.
  • Water regularly.
  • Transfer the cuttings to a spot that’s out of the cold in winter, so that they stay at 50 to 60°F (10 to 15°C).

Caring for diascia

Planting, sowing and propagating dasciaTo enhance flower-bearing, remove wilted flowers regularly.

During spells of high temperatures, feel free to water in the evening to avoid having your snapdragon dry out.

After the first frost spells, you can pull out the dascias that can’t cope with the cold.

D. fetcaniensis is hardy and can be left in the ground over the winter. Simply cut it back in the following spring.

All there is to know about diascia

Mountains of blooming dasciaNative to South Africa, diascia is a plant that is grown as an annual in temperate climates with cold winters, because it cannot survive freezing.

Only Diascia fetcaniensis is hardy and can stay in the ground in winter.

This flower offers a magnificent bloom all summer long, and will be at its best in the sun and in fertile, well drained soil.

Diascias are magnificent in garden boxes or pots, and blend in well with other flowers in a flower bed. Their dense bearing will produce nice colorful spheres of flowers.

The diascia flower is perfectly suited to being grown in suspended pots because its leaves and flowers dangle and tumble along the side like a waterfall.

Interesting diascia species and varieties

There are a great many of them, but some stand out more than others thanks to their remarkable blooming.

These noteworthy diascia varieties are:

  • ‘Apricot Queen’, ‘Blackthorn Apricot’ which are found appealing for their rose-apricot-colored flowers
  • ‘Darla White’ which bears cute white flowers.
  • ‘Genta Orange’ with magnificent orange flowers.
  • ‘Ruby Field’ and ‘Pink Queen’ offer pink-hued flowers.
  • Diascia vigilis, the tallest of all diascias, grows 20 inches (50 cm) tall and produces cute light pink blooms.
  • Lastly, Diascia fercaniensis is the hardiest of all diascia flowers and on top of its beautiful pink blooming that lasts until fall, returns every year on its own.

Smart tip about the diascia genus

Flower your garden, balcony or terrace with Diascia for a landscape that is full of colors!

Images: 123RF: Ekaterina Bespyatova, Robert Biedermann, CC BY-SA 2.0: La Citta Vita; Pixabay: platanus, Virginie
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