Osteospermum is grown for its showy daisylike flowers in shades of yellow, white, or pink. Osteospermum makes an eye-catching summer display.
Osteospermum is closely related to Dimorphotheca. Both share the common names African daisy, Cape marigold, and star of the veldt.
Osteospermum has a spreading habit. It is well-suited as a groundcover in sunny, dry areas. It grows well in average, well-drained soil and can tolerate drought.
There are about 70 species in the genus. All are evergreen in Zones 9 to 11.
Get to Know Osteospermum
- Plant type: Shrubby perennials or annuals
- Growing zones and range: Zones 9 to 11
- Hardiness: Not frost tolerant
- Height and width: 12 to 24 inches (30-61cm) tall or taller depending on variety; plant spread via rooting stems
- Foliage: Medium green, narrow oval leaves with smooth edges 2 to 4 inches long.
- Flowers: Profusion of daisylike flowers open only in sunlight. Petal-like ray florets surround a dense cluster of disk florets that produce seeds.
- Bloom time: Midsummer to fall.
- Uses: Borders, mass plantings, slopes
- Common name: Groundcover, mixed beds and borders, containers
- Botanical name: Osteospermum
- Family name: Asteraceae
- Origin: South Africa
Where to Plant Osteospermum
- Plant Osteospermum in full sun
- Osteospermum will grow in average, well-drained soil.
- Osteospermum grows best in regions with a long growing season. Plants thrive in heat and tolerate dry soil. They do not grow well where summer is hot, humid, and rainy.
When to Plant Osteospermum
- Sow seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost in spring at 60° to 65°F (15.6-18°C). Barely cover the seeds.
- Germination takes about 2 weeks.
- In Zones 9 and warmer, seeds can be sown directly in the garden after the last frost.
Planting and Spacing Osteospermum
- Space Osteospermum 12 to 18 inches (30-45cm) apart
How to Water and Feed Osteospermum
- Give Osteospermum regular to moderate water. Mature plants can withstand drought.
- Fertilize lightly in spring with an all-purpose fertilizer
- Deadheading spent flowers will prolong flowering.
Osteospermum Pests and Diseases
- Osteospermum is usually trouble free.
- Perennials can be propagated by cuttings taken in spring or summer.
- Overwinter seedlings in a sunny, well-ventilated place at 50°F.
Osteospermum Varieties to Grow
- Osteospermum ecklonis: Sprawling subshrub grows 2 to 4 feet tall; long stems bears 3-inch flower heads with white rays and dark blue centers; tender perennial or warm-weather annual.
- O. fruticosum, trailing African daisy: Perennial trailing plant; will cover 2 to 4 square feet in a year with mat-forming stems; stems root as they trail; grows 6 to 12 inches (15-30cm) tall; ray flowers to 2 inches wide; cultivars include ‘African Queen’, ‘Burgundy’, and ‘Whirlygig.’
- O. jucundum: mounding tender perennial to 24 inches tall; magenta-purple daisylike flowers; tender perennial or warm-weather annual.