March 28, 2011

Love of Blooms
African Daisy

African daisies are also known as Osteospermums. They like full sun and well-draining soil. African daisies are perennials, but are vulnerable to frost. So, in Calgary, treat African daisies as annuals. Plant them in the garden after last frost and either bring them in for the winter or just pull them out.

The flowers will open in full sun, but will close up during the night. Throughout the season, remove any spent blooms to encourage more blooms. To grow bushier plants, pinch back the branches.

This year I grew the ‘passion mix’, which is a variety of African daisies that has blooms with three different colors. I have only seen the one ><. Next year, when they have more time to grow, I hope they will show all the colors of blooms they have to offer.

Elle’s first cuttings – Sitting pretty in a reused pot (Aug 31)

African Daisies tend to be hybrids, so propagating this plant by seed will not guarantee that you will have the same color of flowers. For hybrids, the best way to propagate is by cutting.

*Note: Some types do not produce seeds.

The Process – By Cuttings (4 – 8 weeks)
1. Fill pots with potting mix of 50-50 perlite and potting soil.
2. Moisten soil with warm water until slight dribble from the bottom of the pot occurs.
3. Select a 8 cm or longer healthy branch of the African daisy plant that has no flower buds. Count two or three leaf axles from the top and cut below the last axle. Remove any leaves that are within 2 cm of the bottom.
4. Place in water.
5. Place the cutting into the hole and using the back end of the spoon, gather soil around the stem.
6. Place in a warm and bright area out of direct sunlight.
7. When the cuttings have developed 2 to 3 cm roots, separate and replant the cuttings into individual pots. Over the week, move to pots to areas of increasing sunlight, until they can sit in direct sunlight without yellowing or wilting.
10. If you plan to plant the daisies outside, harden 20 cm or taller plants outside over a few days.

Gardening Journal

July 16, 2012 – Winter came and swallowed up my African Daisies and the rooting ones rotted. My office is just to warm, and the soil choice was poor. I bought seeds on eBay from Southern Seeds for $3.58 CAD (75 seeds) to replenish my stock.

Apr 18 – I’ve received a lot of hits on this page about seedlings and plants falling over. Now, if the daisy does not show any signs of yellowing or wilting, but the leaves are a bit curled and the plant doesn’t stand up straight, then what’s missing is humidity! The air is just too dry for the daisy to grow upright.

Indoor daisies – place pot in a dish filled with water. The water dish should be a separate dish from the drainage dish and should not be used as a way to bottom water.

Outdoor daisies – gently mist your daisies with water before and after the hottest time of the day.

Sept 12 – I took a look at the cuttings again today and one of them has grown two roots and they are over 2 cm long! Time to plant it in its own pot ^^. I will be keeping it here in my warm office for another week before moving it to the cooler basement. Opting out for the cheaper materials, I potted this cutting in a 30-70 sharp sand and potting mix soil. I bought a 30 kg (over 15 L)  bag of sand yesterday for $6 to mix with the potting soil for better water drainage. I used to use vermiculite but for the same price I only half the amount ><.

One week old cutting

Sept 05 – I dug up the cuttings today and one of them had grown roots! I cleaned up the other cuttings with a spray bottle and added rooting powder before replanting them. I placed the cutting that had grown roots into its own pot and labelled the pot. I will keeping the size of this plant to four inches, so it won’t overgrow the pot over the winter.

Aug 31 – I bought a sad looking pot of African daisies from Wal-mart during the dollar sales. That’s right! I got my daisies for a buck!! After cleaning up the dead leaves and squishing all the bugs, I repotted the daisies into my landscaped pot where it would get over 6 hours of direct sunlight. It struggled for a while with the fluctuating temperatures of this crazy city and Cashew, our Chow-Chow, but it survived and gave me some beautiful blooms.

So, today I decided to grab some cuttings. I want to have another set of African daisies in the other half of the landscaped plot – the geraniums there are not doing a well as I had hoped for. I cut a 10 inch stem and made two cuttings from it. They are show above. ^^ Right now they look pretty healthy, but i’ll see how they do over the next couple of weeks. Countdown to the return to the garden is 6 weeks. It’s a good thing this city doesn’t expect snow until October or November. ^^

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