Osteospermum, otherwise known as the Cape or African daisy, is a brilliant choice for long-lasting, colourful blooms through the summer and into autumn.
Often used as a front of border plant in milder parts of the country, or annual bedding, osteospermums also make great container plants. There are many colours and named cultivars to choose from and the vibrant daisy flowers are good for attracting pollinators.
Where to plant osteospermum
Grow osteospermum in a sheltered spot in well-drained soil in full sun or plant in a container on a sunny patio or windowsill.
How to plant osteospermum
Osteospermum used to be treated as an annual in this country and was grown from seed. However, if buying one of the many ready-grown varieties, make sure you incorporate some grit for added drainage and water in well. Osteospermums look great planted in containers with grasses and other summer bedding plants.
How to propagate osteospermum
A tender perennial, ensure the survival of your favourite osteopermum by taking cuttings in spring or late summer. Select a non-flowering shoot and cut the tip off, strip the leaves and dip in hormone rooting powder. Plant several cuttings in well drained compost around the edge of a pot. Water well and pot on when roots have formed.
Osteospermum: problem solving
Osteospermums can attract aphids. Find out ways of dealing with aphids in our guide. Osteospermums can get downy mildew if not regularly watered.
How to care for osteospermums
Some varieties of osteospermum are tender or half-hardy, particularly in cooler areas. These can be grown as annuals or moved indoors in autumn to overwinter. Cut back hardy osteospermums in early spring or after flowering in autumn. All osteospermums need watering regularly – don’t allow them to dry out.
Feed weekly through the growing season with a general plant food to encourage continuous flowering and dead head as flowers fade.
Great osteospermum varieties to grow
- Osteospermum ecklonis has beautiful white blooms, which are deep blue on the reverse of the petals, with a dark blue centre
- Osteospermum jucundum var. compactum has narrow, green foliage and has the added bonus of being an attractive, weed-suppressing ground cover plant with purple flowers through summer and into autumn
- Osteospermum ‘Sunny Philip’ has highly ornamental white flowers, with petals that twist to reveal a purple underside. Good for growing in a mixed, sunny border, it also makes an interesting cut flower. It’s tender and best grown as an annual
- Osteospermum ‘Sunny Mary’ has masses of bold, purple-pink flowers through summer. It’s perfect for growing in a mixed, sunny border among other bold colours, and makes an excellent cut flower. A tender perennial, grow it as an annual or move pots indoors in autumn to overwinter