Osteospermum (lat.Osteospermum) - a genus of herbaceous annuals and perennials, shrubs and shrubs of the Asteraceae family, or Astrovye, which mainly grow on the African continent. The generic name is derived from the Greek word for bone and the Latin word for seed. Osteospermum is also called "Cape Chamomile", "Cape Daisy", "African Chamomile", "Blue Eyed Chamomile", "South African Chamomile".
Why "chamomile"? Because the inflorescences of plants of this genus are very similar to the flowers of representatives of the Nivyanik genus. Several species of the genus Osteospermum are cultivated as ornamental plants.
Planting and caring for osteospermum
- Bloom: from mid-summer to November.
- Landing: sowing seeds for seedlings - at the end of March or at the beginning of April, planting seedlings in open ground - at the end of May.
- Lighting: bright light or partial shade.
- The soil: loose, light, well-drained, fertile, but without excess organic matter.
- Watering: moderate, and only in dry season.
- Top dressing: twice a month with complex mineral fertilizers at half the dosage indicated by the manufacturers.
- Reproduction: seed.
- Pests: aphid.
- Diseases: rot.
Read more about growing osteospermum below.
The osteospermum plant, reaching a height of 1 m, belongs to evergreen crops. The stems of the plant are erect, although there are species with creeping shoots. The leaves of osteospermum are uneven at the edges, and the flowers are inflorescences-baskets with a diameter of 4 to 10 cm, consisting of white, purple, purple, pink, orange or yellow reed flowers and blue central tubular. Unlike other representatives of the Compositae family, in which the seeds are tied with tubular flowers, in osteospermum the middle flowers are sterile, and the seeds form ligulate flowers, bordering the sterile center of the inflorescence with them.
Osteospermum is grown in a flower bed, in patios, in pots and tubs. Cape chamomile blooms profusely until November, easily tolerates heat, short drought and frost of several degrees. In our climate, the perennial osteospermum is grown mainly in annual crops.
Growing osteospermum from seeds
When and how to sow seeds
Dry seeds of osteospermum are sown on seedlings in late March or early April in peat tablets or in boxes filled with loose peat-sandy soil. If you want to speed up the germination of seeds, do not soak them (osteospermum does not like this), but just hold them in a damp cloth for several hours before sowing. The seeds are buried in a moistened substrate by 5 mm, pushing them deeper with a toothpick. Contain crops at a temperature of 20-22 ºC. Seedlings can appear in a week, and as soon as this happens, the crops are moved as close to the light as possible, and after the appearance of 2-3 true leaves, the seedlings growing in the box dive into separate containers with a buried part of the stem. The tip of the transplanted seedlings of tall varieties is slightly pinched to stimulate more lush flowering in the future and slow down the pulling of the seedlings. At the beginning of May, they begin to carry out hardening procedures, opening a window in the room or taking seedlings to the balcony, first for 10-15 minutes and gradually increasing the duration of the session.
Planting osteospermum in open ground
For planting in open ground, osteospermum seedlings will be ready at the end of May. Chamomile osteospermum prefers sunlit areas, although it feels good in partial shade. Dig holes of such depth in a row at a distance of 20-25 cm so that the roots of the seedlings fit in them together with an earthen clod, and after transferring the seedlings, fill each hole with nutritious soil, consisting of sand, humus, leaf and turf soil in equal parts. Compact the surface and water the plants abundantly. Osteospermum blooms from seeds in June.
Osteospermum care in the garden
Planting and caring for osteospermum is easy and enjoyable. The plant needs moderate watering, feeding during the flowering period and timely removal of wilted inflorescences. If the nights are cold in May, young plants need protection from freezing temperatures.
In a season with normal rainfall, osteospermum in the open field can do without watering, but if a prolonged drought occurs, this can affect the decorative effect of the flowers, which become shallow due to lack of moisture.
In order for the flowering of osteospermum to be long and lush, it is fed once every two weeks with complex mineral fertilizers at half the dosage recommended by the manufacturers. Sometimes, due to extreme heat, the plant stops forming buds, but as soon as the temperature drops, the intense flowering of osteospermum resumes.
Pests and diseases
Growing and caring for osteospermum involves protective measures against diseases and pests, and although African chamomile is extremely resistant to infection and insect attacks, it can also have this kind of problem. For example, growing in the shade with abundant and frequent watering can lead to a weakening of the plant's immunity, as a result of which the osteospermum is affected by fungal diseases: the roots of the plant begin to rot, and the bush withers. Therefore, grow osteospermum in the sun and let the soil dry out between waterings. Treat diseased bushes with a fungicide solution.
Weakened osteospermum is an easy prey for aphids, which settle on stems and leaves and feed on their sap, from which the leaves turn yellow and fall off, and the bush withers. Aphids are destroyed with acaricidal preparations - Aktellik, Aktara or Karbofos.
Osteospermum after flowering
The annual osteospermum dies with the onset of winter, but there is a way to prolong its life and make it a perennial osteospermum. To do this, in the fall, the plant is dug up, transplanted into a pot and brought into a cool room, where osteospermum will delight you with its flowering for a long time.
Types and varieties
In nature, there are about 45 types of osteospermum. The most famous of them are:
Osteospermum Ecklon (Osteospermum ecklonis)
A plant from the east of the Cape region. Some forms of the species have straight stems up to 1.5 m high, other forms are spreading, undersized, almost creeping. Inflorescences in plants of this species, with a red-violet center and white ligulate flowers covered with pink veins on the underside, reach a diameter of 8 cm. There is a variety with bluish median flowers.
Shrub osteospermum (Osteospermum fruticosum)
Originally from the south of the Cape region. It has creeping stems capable of covering large areas. The reed flowers in this species are light lilac, white or red. Osteospermum shrub was introduced to California and spread extremely there.
Osteospermum (Osteospermum jucundum)
Perennial from the interior of South Africa. It blooms almost all year with inflorescences with purple-pink reed flowers, darkening towards the center.
As for the varieties and hybrids of osteospermum, their origin is uncertain. The most popular of them are:
- Bamba - a variety with wider than other osteospermums, marginal flowers, which are painted white at the beginning of flowering, but gradually turn purple;
- Buttermilk - bushes about 60 cm high with gray-green leaves, dark median flowers and pale yellow marginal flowers;
- Cannington Roy - undersized creeping dwarf shrub with inflorescences up to 8 cm in diameter, consisting of white corollas with purple tips, which gradually turn pink-lilac;
- Congo - a variety with small inflorescences and pinkish-purple reed flowers;
- Pemba - a plant, the ligulate flowers of which up to half the length grow together into a tube;
- Lusaka - variety with long, light purple ligulate flowers;
- Volta - a variety in which the ligulate flowers are first lilac-pink, and then they become almost white;
- Silver Sparkler - bushes up to 40 cm high with white marginal flowers and light dots on the leaves;
- Sandy Pink - plant about 40 cm high with pink inflorescences and spoon-shaped marginal flowers;
- Starry Eyes - Plants a little more than half a meter in height with white on the upper side and gray-blue with the lower reed flowers folded in half lengthwise.
- Read the topic on Wikipedia
- Features and other plants of the family Asteraceae
- List of all species on The Plant List
- More information on World Flora Online
- Information about Garden Plants
- Information on Perennial Plants
- Information about Herbaceous plants
- Information about Annual Plants
- Shrub Information
- Information about the Shrub
Sections: Garden plants Perennials Herbaceous Flowering Annuals Compositae (Asteraceae) Shrubs Semi-shrubs Plants on O
Osteospermum: growing and care
Do you love daisies and cannot imagine your summer garden without these sunny flowers? What about African daisies? It is under this nickname that many growers are familiar with the amazingly beautiful perennial plant - osteospermum. In decorative landscaping, this still not very popular culture is highly valued for its elegant, lush flowering, which lasts until the very frost. Despite the African origin of the mysterious stranger, it is pleasant and not burdensome to grow it in mid-latitudes, since the plant does not impose any special requirements on the content. By the way, African chamomiles look as organic in flower beds in middle latitudes as traditional Russian beauties.
How to grow osteospermum
It is not difficult to grow this flower from seeds. You can sow the seeds of osteospermum immediately to a permanent place, in which case they will only need to be thinned out later, but flowering with this method of cultivation will come quite late. For an earlier flowering, it is better to grow the plant through seedlings: sowing should be done in March, the optimum temperature for germination is 18 degrees, seedlings appear in about 10 days.
The grown seedlings must be dived into pots, and after the end of the spring frosts, planted in a permanent place. The plant is very light and thermophilic. The brightest spot in the garden works best for osteospermum. The soil should be loose, permeable, but not rich in nutrients, because in this case the plant will build up excess green mass to the detriment of flowering.
Planting and care in the open field
An open, well-lit place is preferable to a sun-loving plant, a small shade is also acceptable.
Basic soil requirements:
- Acidity about 7 pH, slightly acidic is allowed
- Moderate fertility
- Water and air permeability.
First, it is necessary to dig up the soil, giving it looseness, level it and provide sufficient time for settling. The earth lump cannot be destroyed, so it is worth considering its volume when digging holes. After planting, it is necessary to lightly compact the ground around and moisten it abundantly.
The saturation of flowering depends on the regularity of watering during this period, but the rest of the time it is worth moisturizing as needed.
Pinching and feeding
The branchiness of the plant directly depends on the timely pinching. This primarily concerns the tops of the shoots. Also, cultivation is not complete without the use of mineral fertilizers 3 times per season:
- 15 days after planting in open ground
- At the stage of tying buds
- On the eve of autumn.
To maintain a decorative appearance, it is important to timely release the plant from wilting inflorescences.
Osteospermum is able to winter safely only in relatively warm regions, that is, those where the minimum temperature will not fall below -10 ° C. In this case, the flower needs additional insulation, for example, it can be covered with dry foliage.
If the temperature range does not meet the requirement, it is worth resorting to the following actions:
- Carefully remove the bush, while not damaging its root system
- Place in a wide container
- Leave together with a temperature not lower than -10 ° С and sometimes water
- Plant osteospermum back in the spring.
A shrub that has been called on the street should be cut off all the stems in the spring.
Features of growing and caring for osteospermum
To grow osteospermum, you need to find a sunny place with loose, fertile soil. In shade or partial shade, its gorgeous flowers may not open. Groundwater should not be located too close to the surface, otherwise the root system of the plant will quickly rot, which will lead to death.
See also: When to plant godetia seedlings
Rooted osteospermum will easily tolerate high temperatures and a short lack of watering, and will feel quite comfortable at temperatures down to -5. It is enough only to periodically feed it during budding and flowering, and sometimes water it in a particularly dry summer. Faded inflorescences do not leave the stems for a long time, therefore, to maintain decorativeness, they must be removed by hand.
For continuous and abundant flowering under osteospermum, fertilizers should be applied weekly, alternating mineral with organic matter. Periodically rapidly growing bushes, especially in tall varieties, should be pinched in order to provoke their additional branching. At very high summer temperatures, the plant can "hibernate", stopping flowering and laying new buds. In August, when the heat subsides a little, it makes up for lost time, actively forming buds.
Osteospermum, brought into the house for the winter, needs a rest period. And no matter how great the temptation may be to extend the summer on the windowsill, it is necessary to create the proper conditions for hibernation from December to March. The pot with the plant should be placed in a cool but not cold room, isolated from light, limiting watering to a minimum. The most suitable temperature is + 15-17 degrees.