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How to care Whirligig (African daisy)

How to care Whirligig (African daisy)

features
The daisy-shaped, white flowers have a blue center and a deep purple edge. The petal-like rays are spoon-shaped and come significantly closer at night (a photonastic response). The aromatic, evergreen leaves are medium to dark green.

What to use it for
A great plant for any sunny spot including beds/borders and containers. Ideal for gravel gardens or gardens in a Mediterranean style.

How to take care of it
Although these plants can tolerate dry conditions, they should not dry out completely, especially within two weeks of planting. However, make sure you don’t overwater them.

Regular fertilization from spring to autumn with a balanced fertilizer (weekly to monthly) helps the plant to present itself optimally.

Overwinter covered (e.g. in a frost-free greenhouse or cold frame) to protect against the harshest winter conditions. Alternatively, treat them as annuals and take cuttings each year to grow under cover and plant out the following spring.

How to prune it
Shred regularly to prolong flowering – you can remove part of the flowering stem as you fade to keep the plant tidy.

Cut back grubby or damaged stems in fall or spring to reshape the plant.

How to spread it
Take stem cuttings (softwood to half-ripe) at any time. Can be sown from seed in spring but collected seeds may not become true to type.

General problems
Aphids can be a problem. Can be susceptible to downy mildew and Verticillium wilt. The lettuce mosaic virus is also known to affect osteosperms.

When the flowers first open, the rays (outer petals) may not have the typical “spoon-shaped” appearance. Don’t panic, they should become more spoon-shaped within a few days.

Other useful information
The name “osteospermum” is derived from the Greek for bone (osteon) and seed (spermum).