African Daisies: Care, Growing Guide, & Facts
African Daisies Plant Description
African daisies (Osteospermum spp.) have petals that radiate from a central disc, similar to ordinary daisies. They belong to the same Asteraceae family as shasta daisies and zinnias.
Their vibrant coloration, on the other hand, is nothing like that of a traditional daisy. When African daisies were initially introduced to the market, several consumers assumed they were coloured.
The flower’s core discs might even appear to be painted with metallic paint. The leaves can be lance-like or widely oval, smooth, toothed, or lobed, depending on the cultivar. The petals of a daisy might be smooth and flat, or they can radiate out in a tubular spoon form.
These flowers grow quickly and bloom around two months after planting, so they’re best planted in the spring once the fear of frost has gone. It grows up to 1 to 3 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide.
How To Care African Daisies?
African daisies thrive in both the ground and in containers. The blooming season runs from late spring to early summer, and then again from late summer to early fall.
Because African daisies do not bloom during hot spells, they are best cultivated in groups with other plants that will provide visual appeal during the summer months. When cultivated in an area that suits them, these flowers are relatively low-maintenance.
Make sure they get enough of sunlight and well-drained soil. Water and fertilise on a regular basis during the growing season, which runs from spring to October. Deadhead the plants to encourage them to blossom again.
How To Grow African Daisies?
The optimum time to plant African daisies is when they are in full light. They can tolerate moderate shade, but will generally produce fewer blooms as a result.
Furthermore, the flowers open in reaction to light and close at night and under gloomy conditions. Several newer cultivars, such as ‘4D Pink,’ ‘4D Silver,’ and ‘4D Berry,’ do, however, remain open at night.
African daisies like soil that is rich in organic matter, has good drainage, and has a slightly acidic pH. To enhance drainage and supply nutrients, add compost or other organic matter to the soil before planting.
Even though African daisies are drought-resistant once established, they still require at least 1 inch of water each week to thrive. Plants slow down and go dormant amid periods of drought or extreme heat. Maintain an equal moisture level in the soil. Overwatering, on the other hand, can cause illnesses like root rot.
iv. Temperature and Humidity
The best time to see African daisies is when the temperature is moderate, as this is when they flourish the most. They can withstand temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit at night, but frost can harm or kill them.
They don’t mind being humidified as long as they have excellent air circulation, adequate watering, and correct soil drainage.
To develop and blossom at their best, these flowers require a lot of sustenance. Apply a flowering plant fertiliser regularly during the growth season, in addition to adding compost to the soil.
Varieties of African Daisies
There are hundreds of species and variants of African daisies, including:
1. Osteospermum ‘Passion Mix’: This compact plant grows to be about a foot tall and has a range of hues (pink, purple, rose, and white) with blue centres. This type is known for its heat tolerance and is simple to cultivate from seed.
2. Osteospermum ‘4D’: These blooms, with their fluffy, tufted centres, stay open all day, even in hot temperatures. The plants may reach a height of 14 inches.
3. Osteospermum ‘Flower Power Spider White’: These flowers have weird, spoon-shaped white and lavender petals with a gold centre. The plants reach a height of around 14 inches.
4. The butter-yellow petals of Osteospermum ‘Lemon Symphony’ contain a purple core and an orange eye. The plant reaches a height of 14 inches.
5. This variety has spectacular pale apricot blooms with a purple centre disc. Osteospermum ‘Sideshow Copper Apricot’: This variety has attractive light apricot flowers with a purple centre disc. It may reach a height of 12 inches.
How To Propagate African Daisies?
The bulk of African daisy types are hybrids, and seeds stored from the plants will not grow. Cuttings, on the other hand, are a simple way to reproduce your plants. Fill a shallow tray halfway with a sterile seed-starting mixture.
Slightly dampen the mixture. Then, pick 2 to 3 inches long plant cuttings with as least two sets of leaf nodes. Trim the lower leaves and pinch off any blossom buds that are present.
Plant the cut end in the seed-starting mix after dipping it in rooting hormone. Place the tray in an area with bright indirect light and temperatures between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and cover it with a plastic dome.
The plants should be well-rooted enough to transfer to pots or an outdoor garden site in 4 to 6 weeks.
African Daisies Common Pests and Diseases
If African daisies are kept stress-free in the right setting, they don’t attract many pests or illnesses. In moist or humid settings, though, keep an eye out for fungal infections like grey mould.
Damaged or discoloured foliage will indicate the presence of such illnesses. Improve the air circulation around your plant to battle fungal illnesses, and if required, use a fungicide.
Furthermore, several common plant pests, such as whiteflies and aphids, might become a problem, especially when plants are stressed. If found early enough, they can be managed with an insecticidal soap or chemical spray.