As many of you who follow this blog know, I have had quite a few African Daisy (Osteospermum sp.) plants pretty much in bloom since I put them in around March last year.
I bought a number of them as tube-stock, and at the time was informed that some of the varieties were less hardy than others (tolerating only light frost rather than the occasional freeze that we endure), so I dutifully potted the tender ones on and had them on the front porch through winter.
And they’ve grown!
With the danger of hard frosts now mostly past, and the fact that after my first winter here I now know where frost pockets are in the yard, I have decided to plant them out.
In my climate (USDA zone 8) Osteospermums flower almost incessantly. As long as the soil is reasonably fertile, free drained and moist, they will reward you with non stop flowers for a few years and then the shrub should be replaced.
The modern hybrids grow from cuttings in summer; but most varieties are available from seed. The gardening books state that they are drought tolerant; but in my experience, regular water will ensure proper flowering.
First up is the spooned/spider wheel flower:
Next some of the purple ‘Passion Mix’ varieties:
I can tell you that these amazingly rich purples of the less hardy varieties really brighten the garden at this time of year: especially given that my garden is very new and only ¼ of the way complete (if a garden can ever be considered ‘complete’!!!!). These should be tough enough by next winter, but I will take cuttings none-the-less.
But still the hardy varieties still keep on giving:
If you like chrysanthemums, and you live in a mild climate (South East England/Southern USA and West coast USA) then I would definitely recommend giving these trouble-free, short-lived perennials a go in your garden.