Osteospermum, a South African plant group, belongs to the same family as the daisy and it produces similar blooms. The flowers begin to appear in spring, with production decreasing in the summer and picking up again when the temperature drops in the fall. Osteospermum is a varied collection of species that includes annuals, perennials and shrubs of different heights, hardiness and bloom colour. Besides following general guidelines for growing Osteospermum, provide the care your specific plant type requires.
Plant Osteospermum in full sun, providing a site that drains within one hour of irrigation or average rainfall.
Provide consistent moisture. Avoid overwatering, which causes root rot, but do not let the soil dry out. Drought stress halts flower production. The drought-resistant variety Asti White is an exception. In general, irrigate Osteospermum with enough water to reach the root zone whenever the soil surface begins to dry.
Feed the plant a general fertiliser once a week. Select a formula with equal percentages of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, such as a 10-10-10 analysis. Apply it according to the rates listed on the manufacturer's label.
Cut faded blooms off to keep the Osteospermum producing new flowers. Prune perennial plants back to the ground early in spring or the fall to rejuvenate them. Hard pruning of perennials also promotes the growth of new branches, making Osteospermums denser.
Plant non-hardy Osteospermum species in pots and take them indoors for the winter.
Tips and warnings
- Plant non-hardy Osteospermum species in pots and take them indoors for the winter.
- UMass Extension; Production Guidelines for Four Crops -- Osteospermum, Angelonia, Calibrachoa & Ornamental Sweet Potato (Ipomoea Batatas); Tina M. Smith; November 2007
- Michigan State University Extension: Osteospermum
- Washington State University Extension; Osteospermum a Winner; Marianne C. Ophardt; February 16, 2008