African Daisy Growing Guide

African daisies (genus osteospermum) are physically related to common daisies, with elongated petals that form around a central disc. In fact, they belong to the family Asteraceae.

However, its vivid coloration has nothing to do with the colors displayed by the classic daisy. Interestingly, when African daisies were first introduced into commerce, many people thought they had been dyed blue. The round part in the center appears to be painted metallic blue.

African daisy petals can be smooth and flat (like the classic daisy), or they can radiate out in a tubular spoon shape. The leaves vary by variety and can be lance-shaped or more oval, smooth, serrated or even lobed.

The African daisy is usually best planted from spring, after possible frosts, developing vigorously and growing very quickly. If grown from seed, after 2 months it may show the first flowers.

Although there are over 70 species in the genus osteospermummost African daisies in trade are cultivars and hybrids derived from osteospermum ecklonis That is Osteospermum jucundum and other species.

These species are perfect for covering large empty spaces, such as ground cover plants.


Main varieties of African daisies

Many varieties of African daisies can be found, the most famous being the following:

  • osteospermum ‘PassionMix’: compact plant that reaches about 30 cm in height and presents a variety of colors with shades of pink, purple, pink and white, with a bluish center. This variety is easy to plant and propagate from seed, and is known for its good response in warm environments.
  • osteospermum ‘4D’: famous for their fluffy, bushy centers, with flowers that stay open all day, even in extreme heat.
  • osteospermum ‘Flower Power White Spider’: these flowers have flamboyant, spoon-shaped petals with white and lavender petals and a golden center. The plants are about 35-40cm tall.
  • osteospermum ‘Lemon Symphony’: It has light yellow petals with a purple center and an orange eye, reaching between 35 and 40 cm high.
  • osteospermum ‘Apricot Copper Sideshow’: This variety features apricot colored flowers with a central purple disc.
african daisy flower

African Daisy Care Guide

African daisies can be grown both in the ground and in pots. Flowering peaks in late spring and early summer, although other species extend their flowering until late summer or even early fall.

In very hot climates, African daisies will stop flowering, so they can be combined in the garden with flowering shrubs or plants that prolong their flowering in the warmer months.

African daisies don’t require much maintenance when grown in a warm environment. Make sure they get direct sun (except arid areas) and a well-drained substrate.

light needs

As we said, African daisies bloom best in full sun. They can tolerate partial shade, but this may reduce the quality of their flowers. You will notice how they open to their maximum splendor with lots of lighting and partially close on cloudy days or at night.

temperature and humidity

African daisies prefer a temperate climate, especially for the quality of their flowering. They can tolerate very high temperatures (above 40 ºC), but not low. Moisture is generally not a problem for this plant in well-aired conditions and a well-drained substrate.

the type of soil

African daisies prefer soil rich in organic matter with adequate drainage and a slightly acidic pH. The more fertility the better, so it is advisable to add some compost or mixed manure to the soil or substrate.

They can be grown in all types of textures, although they prefer loose soil rich in sand and silt.

water needs

African daisies are drought tolerant, but in the first months of their life they need some moisture in the soil. Grown outdoors, they are usually watered every 3 or 4 days, a little more if the temperatures are very hot and they receive direct sun most of the day.

During periods of drought or excessive heat, its growth will slow, so keeping the soil moist helps it withstand the heat. Never leave standing water around the plant, as this will lead to disease and root rot.

Use of fertilizer

African daisy favors well-nourished and fertile soil, hence the recommendation to add organic matter. At the same time, we can give more nutrients with the contribution of organic or inorganic fertilizers, 15 days before flowering.

We recommend the use of slow-release, easy-to-apply granular fertilizers with a good NPK and micronutrient ratio.

It is recommended to add between 50 and 100 grams per plant every 30 days until the end of the flowering period.

African Daisy Cultivation

African Daisy Propagation

Most African daisies are hybrids and cannot be propagated from seed. However, you have the option of propagating them by cuttings. The steps to perform this operation are as follows:

  • Prepare a low tray with a mixture of universal substrate, coconut fiber and earthworm humus in equal parts.
  • Lightly moisten the substrate mixture.
  • Choose several plant cuttings 5-8 cm long that retain at least 2 leaf nodes.
  • Remove the flower buds that are present as well as the leaves located in the lower part.
  • Place the base of the cutting in the previously moistened substrate, it is recommended to use rooting hormone to improve root production.
  • Cover the tray with a plastic dome (methacrylate or transparent bag) to increase the humidity and place the tray in a place with indirect light and temperatures of 18-26 ºC.
  • Within 4-6 weeks the plants should show white roots of sufficient length to be transplanted to the final location.

Remember that the African daisy can be grown both in the garden and in a pot.

Common African Daisy Pests and Diseases

African daisy is quite resistant to pests and diseases. However, in conditions of high humidity, one should watch for the appearance of fungi on the stems and leaves, such as gray mold.

Among the most common pests of this plant are whiteflies and aphids, which are common in spring. Application of potassium soap or authorized contact insecticides will quickly eliminate the problem.

Promote Greater Blooming in African Daisy

African daisies usually don’t need much help to bloom fantastically. However, certain conditions can reduce its ability to emit flowers.

The most common are:

  • Insufficient light: They generally tolerate partial shade, but too little sun will elongate their stems and reduce flower production. This plant needs a lot of light to develop optimally.
  • Bad nutrition : if it has a lot of light and cannot flower, it will be necessary to provide a boost of nutrients and biostimulants such as amino acids or algae.
  • Extreme heat and extreme dryness: High heat and dry environmental conditions reduce the quality of its flowers. Try to give it some shade in very hot environments like those in the south during the summer.

Can it be grown as a houseplant?

Unlike some herbaceous perennials, African daisies They don’t do very well as houseplants.

Grown in pots outdoors, they often look worse when moved indoors, perhaps due to lack of light. However, if you appreciate a glazed balcony or terrace, this can be a good alternative.

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