Growing African Daisies: Three Garden Choices

Growing African Daisies: Three Garden Choices
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Growing African DaisiesAfrican daisies are a pretty addition to sunny flower beds, porch boxes or containers. However, when you see the name, African Daisy, it gets a little confusing as to what you are actually buying. There are three plants that are generally known as African daisies.

First, the Dimorphotheca varieties, which I tend to like, are known as cape marigolds, as well as African Daisies. Over the years they were also known as Namaqualand or Star-of-the-veldt.

It's an annual everywhere but in Zones 9 and 10. They need full sun and a light dry soil to do well at all. Seeds can be sown in spring after frosts for blooms in June and July. Just barely cover the seeds and keep them moist but not wet.

Sow them about 4 inches apart in the soil; they should be thinned to that spacing later if you sow too thickly. Dimorphotheca doesn't transplant well, so plant where you want them located. 

This African daisy responds well to deadheading and will bloom til frost in the fall. Don't water from above, but at the soil level instead. The white variety are a beautiful addition to a moonlight garden theme. They also come in brilliant colors of orange, yellow, salmon and apricot.

So, what other plants are called African Daisies? The Arctotis genus has about 50 species of annuals and perennials from South Africa. The foliage is a gray green color. They hybrids are popular bedding plants. I've grown then in my porch boxes and they did very well and were stunning.

They can't tolerate night temperatures that are extremely high or humidity. They come in colors such as red, pink, orange, yellow and also white. Arctotis needs full sun, although it will grow in light shade. They can grow most anywhere as far as the soil goes--and are very drought tolerant. Cut the plants back to about six inches when they finish blooming in later summer.

The Osteospermum genus consists of over 70 shrubs, perennials and annuals, mostly from South Africa. The blooms tend to be in white, pink, violet and purple shades. They are also known as blue-eyed daisies or freeway daisy, because they grow wild in California and can be seen along the freeways with pale lilac blooms.

Seeds should be started inside 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Lightly cover the seeds, providing light and they should germinate at temperatures between 65-70 degrees F in 10-12 days. They also can be planted directly in the garden after the frost has passed. Osteospurmum ecklonis is often available in a mix of purple, rose, pink and white blooms--all with blue centers. 

Image: Wikimedia.org

 

About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.

 
 

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