Gardening

African Daisies

African Daisies

Photo Compliments of Serres Fortier

Osteospermum (genus) or more commonly called African daisy’s will add instant cheer to your spring and fall garden with the colorful, daisy-shaped flowers and dark green foliage. The plant does best in full sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil. It likes cool weather, so in hot-summer areas, it blooms best in spring and fall. Deadheading will encourage re-bloom. Leaves vary by species; they can be lance-like or broadly ovate and smooth, toothed or lobed. The flowers arise on stems that reach a height of 1 to 3 feet. The petals of the flowers can be smooth and flat like a daisy, or radiate out in a tubular, spoon-shape. Each flower features a center disk of tiny tubular flowers surrounded by fertile, petal-like ray flowers in a variety of colors including shades of white, pink and yellow. In cool summer climates, flowers bloom freely from spring to fall frost. In hot summer climates, flowers bloom well in spring to early summer, but decline rapidly with the onset of consistently hot summer temperatures. Fruits are seed-like achenes. In most parts of the country, African daisies are annuals, in Zones 10 to 11 they are an herbaceous perennial.

African Daisy

Photo Compliments of Serres Fortier

Osteospermum or African daisies made a big splash in display gardens during the 1990s. They look a little like daisies and are in the Asteraceae family, along with Shasta daisies and zinnias. When they were first introduced to gardeners, they had coloring we weren’t used to seeing. Many have center disks that look as though they were colored with metallic paint.

Many of the plants sold today under the name of African daisy or osteospermum are cultivars and hybrids derived from O. ecklonis, O. jucundum and several other species. The photographs are from the species asti.

African Daisies: Culture

African daisies are more typically grown as annuals in average, loose, moderately fertile, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Best results are achieved when you plant osteospermums in slightly acid soil. Avoid locations near concrete sidewalks and driveways because of the higher pH levels near these structures that will occur due to leaching of lime from the concrete. Plants generally dislike hot and humid summers. Select a location in full sun or partial shade with light to moderate fertility. Soils too rich in nutrients produce leggy growth and fewer blooms. Purchase new plants in spring or plant seed cultivars indoors abut 6-8 weeks prior to last spring frost date. Deadhead spent flowers to prolong the bloom period.

Diseases & Pests

No serious insect or disease problems. You should be on guard for aphids, mildew and verticillium wilt that may occur.

Garden Uses

Use in beds and borders; great as edging plants at the front of a border. This can be a wonderful container plant, and produces outstanding cut flowers.

Additional Information

Family: Asteraceae

Genus: Osteospermum

Common Name: African daisy

Hardiness Zone: Zones 9 to 11

Plant Type: Perennial in zones 10 to 11, or an annual

Plant Height: 1 to 3 feet

Plant Width: 1 to 2 feet

Bloom Time: May to July

Bloom Description: White, pink, lavender, and yellow shades

Light: Full sun, part sun

Water: Medium

Maintenance: Medium

Attracts: Butterflies

Landscape Uses: Containers, Beds & Borders

Special Features: Flowers, attracts butterflies

Photo Search

Flicker – African Daisy Photos

Google – African Daisy Photos

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2 Comments

  1. So beautiful… So annual for me… =-(

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