Osteospermum - a hardy coastal favouriteThe lovely Osteospermum or Cape Daisy as it is more commonly know. It reminds me of holidays in Cornwall where it has naturalized itself on the cliffs and along the sides of the endless winding Cornish lanes. Of course, you don’t have to live in Cornwall or be lucky enough to own a coastal garden to grow Osteospermum.

It is such a rewarding plant. It is reasonably hardy, fast growing and profuse in its delivery of flowers, from June until October. Osteospermum makes for a very feisty plant. It suppresses weeds with its dense foliage, tolerates drought or wet and most forms of neglect. A great choice for the occasional gardener.

A truly hardy Osteospermum collection

There are plenty of varieties of Osteospermum to choose from, so here is a collection that is tailored for UK-hardiness. The collection comprises of the following varieties:

  • Osteospermum ‘Snow Pixie’ – A perfect contrast to its purple-pink coloured cousins, sporting clean, white petals with a golden yellow eye.
  • Osteospermum ‘Tresco Purple’ – Bold pink daisy flowers open every morning to greet the sun.
  • Osteospermum jucundum var. compactum – Irrepressibly cheerful, bright pink daisy flowers smother carpets of low growing foliage.

Caring for your Osteospermum

Plant in a sunny spot, either in the ground or in containers and pots. Water well, until the plants are established and feed with a general organic fertiliser. To encourage a succession of flowers, ensure that you regularly deadhead spent blooms. If your Osteospermum plants become straggly, then prune them back. This will encourage plenty of fresh growth. I usually take cuttings from the prunings as they do tend to take very easily.

If you live in a colder part of the country, I’d recommend you over winter your Osteospermum plants in a greenhouse for extra assurance.

James Middleton

An obsessive gardener since 1982. Day-time job - web designer and developer and University lecturer.

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