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.
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:
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.
- Sow in a sheltered place anytime in March or April and cuttings are possible early in summer.
- 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.
Caring for osteospermum
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!
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
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!