Osteospermum is a magnificent perennial with flowers that are just as remarkable.
A summary of 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 – May to October
Care from planting and pruning and from spring to fall will significantly increase the blooming.
Osteospermum are perennial flowers that can survive winter in regions with mild climates. The more they’re sheltered and protected from the cold, the higher the chance of keeping them year after year.
How to plant osteospermum
This 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.
- A 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.
Sowing from seeds is the simplest and fasted method to propagate your osteospermum.
As another option, you can sow directly in the ground starting from the month of May.
Lastly, you can also easily divide the growing clump, it’s highly effective.
Pruning and caring for osteospermum
Care is simple and you’ll only have to water in summer whenever dry spells and high temperatures extend for a lengthy amount of time.
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).
If your Osteospermum have grown too tall and leggy, with just a few steps you can cut them 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!
Water only during days of high temperatures, and then again only if you notice the plant suffering due to lack of water.
Osteospermum after flowering
Osteospermum is a very interesting plant because its foliage is evergreen and 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.
All there is to know about osteospermum
The range of colors it offers goes from white to pink, passing through blue and violet.
Although it is vulnerable to freezing, it is often grown as an annual in colder regions.
Native to South Africa, it is sometimes called the African daisy.
Disease that impacts Osteospermum
Osteospermum resists insects, parasites and diseases particularly well.
If you observe spots on its leaves, you’re certainly dealing with downy mildew.
More infrequently, osteospermum may be overrun by aphids.
Smart tip about Osteospermum
Grow it in pots, too: its extended blooming period is a significant gratification!
Osteospermum on social media
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Golden osteospermum (also on social media) by Monika Schnabel under Pixabay license
In a red pot by Julita under Pixabay license
Osteospermum in the field by Dimitris Vetsikas under Pixabay license
White with violet center (also on social media) by Tanya Schildknecht, Nature & Garden contributor