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Osteospermum has only been in trade since the early '90s, making it a fairly recent addition to the horticultural world. With their daisylike blossoms in a myriad of colors, osteospermums were a quick hit. Plant these cheery blooms with other cool-season plants for a pleasing pop of color.
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Part Sun, Sun
1 to 3 feet
1 to 2 feet wide
Garden Plans for Osteospermum
When osteospermums first came to the market, there were only few colors to choose from, primarily white and peach. Even with a limited color selection, their bright blue-purple centers made them a popular garden choice. With more breeding under their belt, there are a variety of new colors to choose from. They are one of the hottest plants on the market.
Osteospermum Care Must-Knows
Osteospermums, similar to snapdragons and pansies, are most often grown as cool-season annuals that pack a fragrant punch. Some varieties are hardy to Zones 10-11, but it's best to grow them in mild climates. In many instances, the plants will take a break from blooming during the hot summer until cool nights resume in fall.
Ideally, osteospermum prefers full sun—the more sun you can give them, the better they will bloom. Osteospermum prefers evenly moist, well-drained soils. Be cautious, though—too-wet soil is a sure way to stress out, and even kill, osteospermums. Once they are established, they are fairly tolerant of drought. Remove any spent blooms and fertilize regularly to keep them blooming and looking their best. See cool-season container ideas.
One common pest you may see on osteospermums is thrips. These are long, green bugs that like to feed on flower pollen and use their sharp mouthparts to scrape the petals for water. This damages buds and contorts new growth. Luckily, there are many other beneficial insects out during the growing season that will keep these pests in check.
Because this is a group of plants still fairly new to the horticultural industry, there are exciting varieties popping up every year. Research is being done to create longer-lasting blooms that stay open all day and night. Also, the center disk flowers have been modified to be longer and denser, creating a 3-D effect. New colors of osteospermum are constantly being created, as well.