African Daisy Plant
The cape capitulum (Osteospermum), which is native to South Africa, belongs to the asteraceae family. Particularly common and popular in our country are the numerous Osteospermum hybrids, which provide colour in pot gardens and beds throughout the summer.
The sun-hungry capitulum has a compact growth and can grow between 20 and 40 centimetres high, depending on the variety, its long-stemmed flowers even slightly higher. It grows upright and bushy
The leaves of the capitulum are oblong lanceolate and green.
The flowers only open in the sun. Because of the similarity of the flowers to the marguerite, Osteospermum is also called Cape Marguerite. With a flowering period from May to September, it is a true continuous bloomer. The capitulum flowers are often two-coloured, often the underside of the petals appear in a different shade, sometimes the colour changes from the inside of the flower towards the edge, which makes the capitula extremely versatile and decorative. The colour palette of the flowers ranges from violet to soft pink and yellow. Orange-flowering and white-flowering varieties are most common in our country. It is one of the few recognized purple flowers.
The seeds of Osteospermum develop in so-called achenes, i.e. nut-like drupes. They are winged
Cape Baskets need a sunny and warm location in the bed or on the balcony. In small, multicoloured groups they appear more luxuriant. Because they love the sun and warmth, the Cape Baskets should not be placed on the balcony, terrace or flower bed until after the ice saints’ day. To avoid bending the flowers, it is best to choose a place that is slightly sheltered from the wind.
The soil for the capes should be permeable and under no circumstances too wet. To prevent waterlogging, the substrate can be mixed with a quarter of sand or chippings.
Keep the plants evenly moist. Slight dryness can better absorb osteospermum than permanent moisture. Full coasters on balcony or terrace should always be emptied immediately.
Add some liquid fertilizer to the watering water of the capitula for 14 days. Caution: If over-fertilized, the plants will become slightly rotten in flower.
The cheerful and colourful garden plants are very easy to care for and therefore also suitable for garden beginners. Our tip: Some varieties always take short flowering breaks. If you continue to care for the plants, the flowers will come back again and again The summer flower thanks a lot of light with a full flowering, in rain the leaves can become stained. For a beautiful flower, cut back withered stems regularly so that they can branch out again and start to bloom at the ends.
Hibernation or winter protection
Bring the Cape Baskets to safety even before the first frost in October. At about 10 to 15 degrees Celsius in a bright room, the plants can be overwintered relatively easily. During this time Osteospermum is in a resting phase and only needs to be watered sparingly and not fertilized. Before wintering in early summer you can cut back the plants – this way they gather enough strength for the next flowering. In April, slowly accustom the wintered plants to the warmer temperatures and do not place them in direct sunlight immediately.
In summer balcony planting, cape baskets have long since established themselves and have become real favourites. They harmonize well with ornamental grasses or upright growing summer bloomers in the balcony box as well as in the bedding. A particularly beautiful effect is created in combination with plants that have similar characteristics. The same applies to the summer flower bed. Cape cups are ideal for bringing more colour into the garden. Different coloured varieties of Osteospermum can be mixed and transform the bed into a colourful sea of flowers with an impressive long-distance effect.
The “Flower Power Double” range has been available for some time now, which includes capitula with double flowers. New on the market are the varieties of the 3D series, which are also filled, but differ from the Double series. A special feature of this new variety is that the double flowers do not close even in the dark.
Capitula are sown in late winter in pots or in the cold frame and are brought forward there. For this you can harvest and dry the seeds of the previous year’s plants in September. If you want to sow directly outdoors, you should wait for the last frost in April or May. The seeds germinate after about two weeks. Sun-hungry South Africans react very sensitively to cold spells with persistent damp weather, as is often still to be expected at the beginning of June. The plants remain small and the flowering is delayed. This is also the reason why one should not rush to plant out.
In a warm location with permeable soil, cape capitula flowers until late summer. Eastern spermum is actually biennial and can therefore be overwintered in the cold house after the season. However, the plant is usually cultivated as an annual as a bed or balcony plant. Those who winter their cape cups can cut cuttings from the plants in February. To do this, choose a non-blooming, strong, approximately six to eight centimetre long stem and remove the leaves. The cuttings will take root quickly in a light, warm location.
Diseases and pests
If you avoid stagnant air and do not keep the capitula too moist, you have a good chance of keeping the plant healthy for a long time. Unfortunately, capitula are susceptible to aphids. You can prevent an infestation by applying a broth of horsetail or wormwood to strengthen the plants.
- Growth height
- from 20.00cm to 40.00cm
- Growth characteristics
- Flower colour
- Flowering time (month)
- May to September
- Flower characteristics
- slightly filled
- Type of soil
- gravelly to loamy
- Soil Moisture
- moderately dry to fresh
- weakly alkaline to weakly acidic
- Lime tolerance
- Nutrient requirements
- Decorative or utility value
- Flower decoration
- Winter Hardness
- Garden style
- Flower garden
- Pot garden
I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide. I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.