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Osteospermum

Osteospermum are very popular late winter and early spring bedding plants, commonly known as Cape Daisies. Many daisy-like plants have been bred from our indigenous species and it’s easy to understand why. Osteospermums are tough plants that come in a wide variety of colours and flower shapes.

They are classified as semi-hardy perennials with either a trailing or upright growth habit and are also called Cape marguerites. The foliage is dark green and the plants produce a mass of blooms.

Where to plant them?

  • Plant osteos in full sun.
  • In any soil that is well-draining and do not skimp on compost and bonemeal when planting them. If you have sandy soil, these beauties are especially for you!
  • Use them hanging baskets, pots, window boxes, rockeries, as bright borders in mixed beds, on your pavement, or in retaining wall cavities.

Top Attributes of Osteospermums

  • An abundance of large flowers that come in a range of striking colours and flower shapes.
  • Two flowering peaks. They flower in late winter until midsummer, and again in autumn. They take a break from flowering in the hottest months when you need to cut them back a bit and feed them, but they sure make up for it when temperatures cool down again.
  • The sheer mass of blooms on low compact plants is unbelievable
  • Osteospermums have no special requirements, only watering when the soil feels dry. They can take a bit of dryness if you forget, so do not fuss.
  • A resilience to pests and diseases.
  • They are wonderful flowers for bees and pollinators.

READ MORE: Take a look at these three flower bombs you can use for spring colour in the garden.

Look out for these varieties in your local nursery:

‘Akila’ range

The drought-hardy species Dimorphotheca ecklonis (previously called Osteospermum ecklonis) with its spreading shape and glistening white flowers with their deep-blue centres, is the parent plant of many modern ranges such as Osteospermum ‘Akila’ with lavender, purple and white flowers, plus a variety of sunset colours in orange, soft yellow and even burgundy.

‘FlowerPower’

Called the most vigorous and vibrant, this is a range with unusual colour shades like blue, purple, two-tone pink and the unusual ‘FlowerPower Purple Sun’ with daisies flushed with purple, terracotta, and bright yellow.

‘FlowerPower 3D’

This improved range of double-flowered osteospermums are very compact and mounded and perfect to use in pots or as borders. The blooms with their 3D double centres come in striking colours and with exotic names like ‘Banana Shake’, ‘Berry White’ and ‘Blueberry Shake’.

‘Serenity’

Still the most popular late winter and spring range of osteospermum, with single flowers in pastel, as well as bright shades which seem to change their hues as individual flowers open their happy faces to the sun.

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The Gardener