A fairly infrequently used annual, African daisy is a tough plant native to South Africa. These plants have beautiful silvery gray foliage that perfectly sets off the beautiful flowers. The blooms of this plant come in an array of colors that can put on quite the show for an extended period of time in mild climates.
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Daisy-like flowers burst from the plant every morning. The blooms all consist of a ring of showy outer petals in bright colors and a compact "eye" in the center. The eye of the bloom can be several different colors, typically brown, gold, pink, or green. While the majority of the flowers come in solid colors, some fade into another color toward the center of the bloom for an almost tie-dye effect. With so many colors to choose from, there's no reason not to try out an African daisy.
As if the flower color palette wasn't enough, these South African natives have silvery gray foliage that lends even more visual appeal to the overall plant. When paired with the bright jewel-toned blooms, the silver foliage really sets off the vibrant blossoms.
African Daisy Care Must-Knows
Because these plants hail from sandy and rocky areas in South Africa, African daisies need well-drained soils in order to perform their best. This, however, doesn't mean that they like to stay too hot and dry. In fact, their climate is typically very mild. When grown in areas with hot summers, African daisies take a break from blooming and focus on surviving the stressful heat of the summer. Once things start to cool back down, the show picks up where it left off and continues until frost. If you are planning on using African daisies in your garden, treat them as a cool season bloom as you would pansies and stocks in warmer areas.
Another important thing to consider when deciding where to plant African daisy is that its flowers close up at night. Blooms sometimes don't even fully open when it's overcast or during bad weather. So if you plan on planting in an area that is most used in the evening hours, it might be a good idea to find a substitute that can better be enjoyed in the evening.
To keep the show going all season, it's best to remove any old, spent blossoms from the plants. This will help encourage new growth and keep plants producing flowers longer. If you are planning on using African daisies each year, save some of the seeds from the spent blossoms and start them a couple weeks before the last frost. They'll be ready to sow outdoors once its safe from frost.
More Varieties of African Daisy
'Pink Sugar' African Daisy
'Pink Sugar' features sunset hues of pink and orange that give this cultivar brilliant style. Its silvery foliage is a bonus. Count on it to produce hundreds of blooms over the course of the season. It grows 14 inches tall and 10 inches wide.
Plant African Daisy With:
Angelonia is also called summer snapdragon, and once you get a good look at it, you'll know why. It has flower spires that reach a foot or two high, but they're studded with fascinating snapdragon-like flowers with beautiful colorations in purple, white, or pink. It's the perfect plant for adding bright color to hot, sunny spaces, where it will bloom all summer long. While all varieties are beautiful, keep an eye out for the sweetly scented selections. While most gardeners treat angelonia as an annual, it is perennial in Zones 9-10. Or, if you have a bright, sunny spot indoors, you can keep it flowering all winter.
The quintessential cottage flower, pinks are treasured for their grasslike blue-green foliage and abundant starry flowers, which are often spicily fragrant. Depending on the type of pink, flowers appear in spring or summer and tend to be pink, red, white, rose, or lavender, but they come in nearly all shades except true blue. Plants range from tiny creeping groundcovers to 30-inch-tall cut flowers, which are a favorite with florists. Foliage is blue-green.
Stock offers a wonderfully spicy, distinctive scent. Plant it in spring several weeks before your region's last frost date—this annual thrives in cool temperatures and stops blooming once hot weather arrives. Stock is slightly spirelike and comes in a wide range of colors. It makes a great cut flower, perfuming bouquets as well as the border. It grows best in full sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil.