Welcome to my website about growing ornamental plants organically. Few gardens work well without flowering plants, and in an organic garden where insect activity is encouraged, they are vital. My flowering plants bring pleasure by filling the air with wonderful fragrances and stimulate the senses with their beauty............................................John Ashworth 26th December 2015.
Growing African Daisies.
Latest Update 6th October 2016.
Binomial Name: Osteospermum x hybrida.
Classification: Evergreen perennial.
Garden bed type: Drip line irrigated.
Recommended soil pH: 5.5 - 6.5.
Plant Spacings (centres): 2000mm.
Climate: Warm Temperate.
Geography: Southern Hemisphere.
My original African Daisies were bought over 15 years ago. They are extremely hardy and tolerate neglect.
They grow rapidly as a ground cover in winter and flower profusely in late winter and spring.
They get straggly in summer and go dormant to cope with the high temperatures and dry conditions.
I trim the
plants back after flowering and, if I need new ones, take cuttings at
the same time. They are perennial in our climate and regrow every year
with very little attention.
I grow them
next to Marguerite Daisies because they require similar conditions and
flower at the same time. They look great together.
African daisies are not usually effected by insect pests and diseases in my garden.
Minimise soil disturbances to maintain a natural soil structure.
Feed the Soil.
In September, remove old mulch, fallen leaves and other decaying organic material. Dispose of them in the compost heap.
They can be propagated from softwood cuttings on a mature plant in spring.
I cut off
shoots about 100mm long and strip them of their leaves until there is
only one small leaf cluster left at the top of each
push these cuttings 50mm into the compost version of my Mini Ecobeds, water them in
and forget them until Summer when they are ready to plant
Move some of
the mulch in the prepared bed to one side and dig a hole twice as big as the new plant's
root ball. Place the plant in the hole and back fill with compost.
Water it in well and then allow the drip irrigation to take over.
They must be kept well watered during the summer months when the weather is hot and windy.
As soon as the first flush of flowers die back, trim the plant to encourage a second showing of flowers.
Spray the foliage every month with aerated compost tea to help feed the plant and help resist pests and diseases.
Organic Pest Control.
My African Daisies have been pest and disease free for many years, but can be effected by the following:-
mixed with water, Bacillus thuringiensis becomes a potent (organically
certified) killer of butterfly caterpillars. It is sprayed onto the
plants leaves, and when ingested, kills them by
releasing toxins into their gut. They stop feeding and die within a few
I use aerated compost tea
as a foliar spray on all my ornamental plants. I don't claim this is as
effective as the bacillus, but after one year using this spray, I seem
to have less pests of any kind on my plants.
the shelter of an African Daisy. They tend to feed on fallen leaves
and other debris more than the plants themselves, and I dont really
regard them as a pest in this situation.
from time to time I lay organically approved iron chelate baits to keep
them under contol and protect surrounding plants.
foliar sprays of aerated compost tea boost the natural defences of
African Daisies by colonising the leaf surfaces with beneficial
These microbes defend the plant against airborne pests and diseases.
proper soil preparation including regular applications of home made
compost boosts the community of beneficial
microbes, which defend the plants roots against plant pathogens.