Growing Tips for Osteospermum: Full Sun and Tough
This plant has changed considerably since I started growing it "back in the day" in our specialty greenhouse business. The first time we grew it in our trial gardens, it gave us a few flowers in the summer earning our negative votes but then when the cool nights of August rolled around, it sprang to life with an amazing display of daisy-like blooms. And it continued right up until snow that year as the last annual in bloom.
The early varieties really only came heavily into bloom when night temperatures dropped in the fall while sporadically blooming. Now, the new breeding has "almost" erased this tendency and the plant is blooming heavier during the summer months (but still kicks into a higher gear for cool nights)
Proven Winners Osteospermum 'Lilac Spoon'
This plant prefers a well-drained sandy soil which makes it perfect for container growing but not clay soils.
Height: 8-18 inches depending on variety
Sun: Full sun
Bloom time: From early summer until hard frost. This is quite frost tolerant and tough.
Sunshine: Full sun to very light shade (this is a full sun plant)
Seed: Sow early April for pack-sized plants in mid-May (8 week from sowing to planting size.) under ideal conditions.
For home greenhouses, it is roughly 80 days from the day the seed goes into the ground until first flower so you may want to sow earlier.
This 80-day period is why you can't sow in the garden and expect to see flowers in the summer. :-)
Seed germinates at 70F (21C) soil temperatures in 7-10 days. Firm soil and sow seed and "lightly" cover seed.
Once germinated, grow in full light at 65F daytime temperatures.
This plant normally doesn't require pinching to get it into multi-branching and heavy flowering. Does that itself.
They will grow from cuttings if bottom heat is used.
Proven Winners Osteospermum 'Soprano Compact Purple'
In Your Landscape
A particularly fine fall flowering annual, it can be used in containers and general landscape use in full sun gardens.
New varieties do not require pinching or deadheading.
And finally, having something in bloom right up to a serious killing frost is always a good thing. :-)
For Seeds and Plants
Osteospermum plants and seeds
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