Yellow daisy with purple center

African Daisy

In its native South Africa, the African daisy bursts into bloom when the spring rains come, although in gardens plants bloom copiously all summer. A tender perennial, it is grown most commonly as an annual. Like many of the plants in the daisy family from South Africa, it’s tough enough to live in hot, dry conditions, but a modicum of moisture will bring out stellar blooms. On dull days and at night, arctotis closes its flowers.

Description of African daisy: The native species has pearly white flowers centered with steel-blue and encircled with a narrow, yellow band. The flowers are held well above the plant, which forms a compact mound. The leaves are handsome grayish-green that combines well with other colors in the garden. Hybrids with flowers up to 4 inches in diameter have brought other colors — yellow, cream, white, purple, orange, and red.


Growing African daisy: Bright sunny days and cool nights are ideal. Arctotis also thrives in mild winter areas with high winter light. The plant needs full sun and will tolerate lots of abuse. With richer soil and moderate moisture, there are larger flowers and lusher foliage. Fertilize only lightly. Where summers are very hot, arctotis may cease flowering but will resume again when cooler weather prevails.

Propagating African daisy: By seed primarily, although cuttings of choice kinds will root quickly. Sow indoors 6 to 8 weeks prior to last frost at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Seeds germinate in 15 to 20 days. Plant 8 to 10 inches apart at the same depth they were growing in the flat or pot. For later flowers, sow outdoors after danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed somewhat. Thin garden seedlings to 8 to 10 inches apart.

Uses for African daisy: Plant arctotis in beds or borders where full sun is available. They will tolerate growing in dry rock gardens for early season bloom. They will also bloom indoors in cool sunrooms or greenhouses.

African daisy related varieties: Several seed strains are available, often sold as Arctosis grandis, an obsolete name.

Scientific name of African daisy: Arctotis stoechadifolia


African Daisy

The African daisy flowers reflect the beauty and the burning color of the sun and hence, referred to as the Goddess of the Sun.

The African Daisy (Dimorphotheca aurantiaca), also known as the African Cape Marigold, are one of the colorful flowers for a beautiful garden. The African daisy flowering plant is excellent for naturalized areas and as ground cover for large areas, for parking strips, borders, large pots and tubs.

Kingdom Plantae Division Magnoliophyta Class Magnoliopsida Order Asterales Family Asteraceae Genus Dimorphotheca

The African daisy flowers are 1-1/2 inch wide flowers, which close at night, in the shade, and during cloud cover. The African daisy flowers are in shades of white, orange and yellow and apricot. Synonyms of African Daisy are: Dimorphotheca integrifolia, Dimorphotheca calendulacea, Dimorphotheca dentata, Dimorphotheca aurantiaca.

Facts About African Daisies

  • African Daisies are herbaceous annuals.
  • African Daisies grow to a height of 1 – 1.5ft.
  • African Daisies produces a fruit with abundant seeds.
  • The genus name, Dimorphotheca, means two shapes of seed since the plant produces two non & identical seed forms.
  • African Daisies blooms during April-August.
  • African Daisies start to germinate in 10-30 days.

Growing African Daisies

  • African daisies need full sun and a light dry soil.
  • African daisies seeds can be sown in spring after frosts.
  • Just cover the seeds and keep them moist but not wet.
  • Sow them about 4 inches apart in the soil.
  • Add a general purpose fertilizer to the African daisies once a month.
  • African daisies doesn’s transplant well, so plant where you want them.

Care of African Daisies

  • Remove old and spent leaves to prevent fungus infections.
  • When repotting see that the crown of the plant is above the level of the soil.
  • Generally, African Daisies do not need insecticides or fungicides.
  • If a problem arises treat them with an insecticidal soap and /or fungicide.
  • Mulching is done around but not on top of the plants with 3 inches of organic compost.
  • Water the plant well weekly until soil is completely moist.

The African daisy, with lovely daisy-like flowers, originates from South Africa.

Also known as the Cape Daisy or Blue-eyed Daisy (Osteospermum fruticosum) are members of the (Aster plant) Asteraceae family.

This tender perennial of the daisy family wants a frost-free location, enjoys a well-drained soil with lots of sun.

The flower does very well in warm areas receiving full sunlight for a number of hours daily.

This low spreading bedding plant flowers profusely all summer adding more beauty to your garden or landscape.

The African Daisy likes a frost-free location, a well drained soil with lots of sun.

The African daisy as a drought tolerant plant makes for a great addition to gardeners who want plants that produce quantities of flowers in sun and under dry conditions.

This South Africa herbaceous native, bears solitary terminal flower heads of ray and disk flowers while leaves may vary from one species to another.

African daisies contribute a colorful palette of flowering plant colors to our gardens, which include: white, yellow, pink, purple, apricot and orange.

They look very attractive as ground covers in flowerbeds especially if you mix colors.

Blue-Eyed Daisy Ideal For Beds, Containers and Borders

They grow from 1 to 2 ft. tall in warm sunny locations and love well-drained soils. Ideally suited to low beds or borders and in rock garden as a source of color late in the season. Flowering from early summer until frost.

The plant’s spreading habit covered with an abundance of large daisy-like flowers, generally expand in the sunlight but close towards evening.

In California and other mild States the South they make splendid winter plants.

Make sure to sow african daisy seeds in late fall. In the rest of the United States sow seed indoors in early spring or outdoors in April or May. Propagate the perennial species by cuttings.

The plants brighten up borders, but also make excellent container garden choices when the desire calls for bright, lively, flowering plants.

New cultivars continue to expand the color palette, with purples and pinks the most common flower colors. Flower petals vary from regular and smooth to dipped and spoon shaped.

Cape Daisy Biggest Complaint…

The flowers open fully in full sun but close at night seems like the chief complaint about this huge plant group.

Many gardeners find african daisies especially useful for producing early bloom in bare open spaces which need planting later in the season.

If you can stand the sight of good earth between the time when old plants mature, shed their seed and die, and the time when the new army of self-sown seedlings appears, select this plant for taking over some neglected, out-of-the-way spot.

African Daisy Care

Here’s what you need to know about osteospernum care, osteospernum flowers, osteospernum planting, and osteospernum plants.

Light, Planting, Soil and Mulching

These daisies enjoy a warm light soil, good drainage, along with warm days and cool nights.

On the Cape of Good Hope you’ll find the various perennial daisies scattered from sea level up to nine thousand feet.

At this altitude, some of them spend the Winter buried in snow, and should certainly be hardy in Winter-cold climates.

When planting, make a hole the same size and depth as the root ball and keep the plant at the same level. Spacing between plants should be 8 to 10 inches.

When using mulch in the bed, do not mulch right up to the stem.

Water Regularly

Unless there is rainfall, watering your daisies once a week should be sufficient. Do not overwater during Summer’s drought… like the native plants of Mexico and of California, these South Africans need a period of dry weather.

Use An All-Purpose Fertilizer

When blooming, daisies require lots of nutrients. Apply an all-purpose fertilizer every month during their growing/blooming season. If using a liquid plant food apply weekly.

Pruning And Deadheading Daisies – After blooms become withered, cut dead leaves and blossoms to stimulate growth and produce more flowers.

Like deadheading pruning and pinching allows plants to remain bushy and continually produce flower blooms and reduces plant over-crowding.

Removing overcrowding foliage and stems will allow plants to receive plenty of sunlight.

This helps remove the breeding ground of diseases like gray mold and powdery mildew, and pests like white & black aphids and whitefly.

Related: Learn the best ways to get rid of Aphids

Pruned daisies will look healthier and more beautiful than the bushes.


Cuttings – The stock of all my South Africans came to me by cuttings from other “collectors” but seeds offer a large assortment. Softwood cuttings root easily any time of the year using a rooting hormone.

Seeds – Seeds start easily by sowing them on a bed of well-draining seed starting soil mix.

They take about two weeks to germinate after sowing. Maintain an ideal temperature of around 65 degrees for seeds to germinate well.

Insects and Disease

Few insects and diseases affect the African daisy purple. On rare occasions when insects or diseases attack, treat them with fungicides or insecticidal soap at the earliest sign of trouble.

Buying Tips – Selecting African Daisy Plants

African daisy perennials make excellent garden choices, paying off with an abundance of blooms during the summer and fall.

When selecting Osteospermum flowers at your local garden center, look for well-branched compact plants.

Have you tried growing Montauk Daisies?

The More Important Varieties Include:

Dimorphotheca annua, a rough, hairy annual plant, the rays being white or yellowish above and purplish on the under side. Var. ligulosa is double, with white rays which are yellow or violet on the under surface. Var. ringens has a deep-blue ring around the center.

Dimorphotheca aurantiaca, a perennial, often shrubby and blossoms the first season with rays of orange-yellow. There are many hybrids in white, sulphur-yellow, golden-yellow, salmon, rose and apricot.

Osteospermum ecklonis, a perennial, to 2 ft. Upper side of rays white, under side steely lavender; the disk is dark and ringed with blue.

Cape marigold, Dimorphotheca annua, is one of the best South African annuals for massed effect.

A colony of its white flowers equals the dull tangerine orange and yellow shades of Dimorphotheca aurantiaca in beauty. Avoid watering the leaves and flowers to avoid fungal diseases.

Gerbera jamesonii or Gerbera daisy – an indigenous plant from South Eastern Africa tall colorful flowers of pink, red, yellow or orange. This perennial species reproduces asexually.

Related Reading:

  • How To Care For Gerbera Daisies Plants
  • Care of the common daisy – Bellis perennis
  • Marguerite Daisy (Argyranthemum)

It’s starch white daisies are flat and broad and the purple on the underside of the rays shows through, in some lights giving a bluish cast.

Purple daisy flowers head have a dark purple spot at the base of each ray and these blotches form a ring around the yellow center.


African daisies add colorful value to the garden. Easy to maintain, requiring regular watering weekly and fertilizers once a month.

Pest and diseases do not pose a big issue. They also deliver lots of color for little work. Give the African Daisy flower a try… it deserves to be included in your garden.

Bright Yellow Daisy with Purple Center

“Bright Yellow Daisy with Purple Center”

This beautiful photo of a Yellow and Purple African Daisy (Osteospermum) was captured on a Spring morning at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

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Do You Trim African Daisies: When And How To Prune African Daisy Plants

Native to South Africa, African daisy (Osteospermum) delights gardeners with a profusion of brightly colored flowers throughout the long summer blooming season. This tough plant tolerates drought, poor soil and even a certain amount of neglect, but it rewards regular care, including an occasional trim. Let’s learn the lowdown on pruning African daisies.

African Daisy Pruning

African daisy is a perennial in the warm climates of USDA plant hardiness zone 9 or 10 and above, depending on the variety. Otherwise, the plant is grown as an annual. To keep them healthy and flowering, it helps to know a little about how to prune African daisy plants – which may consist of pinching, deadheading, and trimming.

  • Pinching young African daisies two or three times early in the growing season creates a sturdy stem and a full, bushy plant. Simply pinch the tips of new growth, removing the stem to the second set of leaves. Don’t pinch the plant after flower buds appear, as you’ll delay blooming.
  • Regular deadheading, which involves pinching or cutting wilted flowers down to the next set of leaves, is a simple way to encourage continued blooming throughout the season. If the plant isn’t deadheaded, it naturally goes to seed and blooming ceases much earlier than you’d like.
  • Like many plants, African daisies can get long and leggy in midsummer. A light trim keeps the plant neat and tidy while encouraging new blooms. To give the plant a summer haircut, use garden shears to remove one-third to one-half of each stem, paying particular attention to older branches. The trim will stimulate growth of fresh new foliage.

When to Cut Back African Daisies

If you live in USDA plant hardiness zone 9 or above, perennial African daisies benefit from an annual pruning. Cut the plant to the ground in late fall or early spring. Either time is acceptable, but if you are set on a tidy garden going into winter, you may want to prune in autumn.

On the other hand, if you appreciate the textural appearance of the African daisy “skeletons,” you may want to wait until early spring. Waiting until spring also provides seed and shelter for songbirds and offers protection for the roots, especially when insulating leaves are trapped in the dead stems.

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