Osteospermum – astounding daisies galore in the garden

Yellow osteospermum flowers indoors.

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.

Planting osteospermum

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.

Propagating osteospermum

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 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.

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).

Cutting back

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!

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 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

Violet osteospermum with some flowers barely unfurling their petals.A 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.

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 run over by aphids.

Smart tip about Osteospermum

Grow it in pots, too: its extended blooming period is a significant gratification!

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Golden osteospermum by Monika Schnabel under Pixabay license
Osteospermum in the field by Dimitris Vetsikas under Pixabay license