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Osteospermum – astounding daisies galore in the garden

Osteospermum, African daisy
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Osteospermum is a wonderful perennial with abundant, magnificent flowers.

Key Osteospermum facts

Name – Osteospermum
Family – Asteraceae
Type – flower, perennial

Height – 8 to 24 inches (20 to 60 cm)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – well-drained, loaded with humus

Foliage: evergreen  –  Flowering: end spring → mid-fall

Care from planting and pruning and from spring to fall will significantly increase the blooming.

Planting osteospermum

Osteospermum is a perennial flower that can survive winter in regions with mild climates. The more sun, and the better it’s protected from cold, the higher the chance of keeping them year after year.

How to plant osteospermum:

Planting osteospermumThis is preferably done in spring. You may also plant in fall if winters in your region are reliably mild.

Be careful because the plant is vulnerable to freezing below 23°F (-5°C) and it cannot survive temperatures that are lower than that.
That doesn’t mean it can’t be grown; it just means you’ll have to grow it like annuals, sowing new ones every year in spring.

  • Space plants 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm) apart.
  • Choose a sun-bathed area that is also sheltered from wind since wind makes the air cooler.

Osteospermum in pots:

For growing in containers, it’s better to give it a slightly larger pot than is usual for this size of plant.

  • Purple osteospermum in a red potA foot deep and as much wide is perfect (30 cm).
  • Ensure proper drainage.
  • In winter, winterize your pot since osteospermum doesn’t like the cold much.

When repotting your osteospermum, break the root ball up a bit. This helps aerate the soil, helps you check the plant isn’t root-bound, and new soil meshes better with the old one.

Propagating osteospermum

Sowing from seeds is the simplest and fasted method to propagate your osteospermum.

Caring for osteospermum

Care for container osteospermumCare is simple and you’ll only have to water in summer whenever dry spells and high temperatures last for more than a few days.

Remove wilted flowers regularly, this is called deadheading. This step helps stimulate the plant to produce new flowers.

  • Winter is a time when you must protect your plant if you expect temperatures lower than 23°F (-5°C).

Cutting back (pruning and trimming) & Fertilizer:

If your Osteospermum has grown too tall and leggy, with just a few steps you can cut it back.

  • just after winter, at the very beginning of spring, cut all stems back to a finger’s height (3-4 inches or 7-8 cm).
  • topdress with a few handfuls of rich compost
  • lastly, water once a month with a 10% mix of fermented weed tea for fertilizer

This will result in an incredibly rich growth and many blooms!

Watering osteospermum

Water only during days of high temperatures, and then again only if you notice the plant suffering due to lack of water.

Osteospermum after blooming

Osteospermum is a very interesting plant because its foliage is evergreen. It stays magnificent in winter.

But this plant has a hard time coping with frost spells colder than 23°F (-5°C), especially if if they last more than a couple days.

  • In mild-wintered areas, you won’t have any problem keeping the plant both in a pot or in the ground outdoors.
  • Anywhere else, you’ll have to bring them indoors in a spot that is sheltered from freezing. It’s also worth a try to cover it with a thick layer of leaf mulch to help it spend the winter out.

Diseases that impact Osteospermum

Osteospermum resists insects, parasites and diseases particularly well.

If you observe spots on its leaves, you’re certainly dealing with downy mildew.

Though quite rare, osteospermum may be overrun by aphids.

All there is to know about osteospermum

Osteospermum in a fieldA very beautiful perennial with an abundant blooming for the most part of the year, osteospermum is also a very easy plant to grow and it resists most diseases very well.

The range of colors it offers goes from white to pink, passing through blue and violet. It does well along edges and borders thanks to its bushy, dense blooming.

Although it is vulnerable to freezing, it is great for sowing as an annual in colder regions.

Native to South Africa, it is sometimes goes by the name African daisy (or Cape daisy).

Smart tip about Osteospermum

Grow it in pots, too: its extended blooming period is a very gratifying sight!


Images: Nature & Garden contributor: Tanya Schildknecht; Pixabay: Barbara Baldocchi, Dimitris Vetsikas, Manseok Kim, Monika Schnabel, Julita
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  • Sara Kauffman wrote on 20 June 2022 at 22 h 36 min

    will osteospermum flower in the house if i bring it in from outside

  • Marcia stechcon wrote on 11 May 2022 at 16 h 48 min

    When I replant my osteospermum from pot it came in to a new pot do I need to pull the roots apart a little?

    • Gaspard wrote on 12 May 2022 at 4 h 14 min

      Hi Marcia, yes, its always good to pull them apart a bit: this helps you make sure it isn’t root-bound. In addition, it creates spaces for air and water to circulate. It also makes the sides of the root ball more irregular and the new soil can mix in better with the old soil.