Osteospermum: planting and care in the open ground, growing from seeds
Such an annual or perennial herbaceous plant as osteospermum (Osteospermum) belongs to the aster family or asteraceae. This genus is represented by shrubs and shrubs, which in the wild can be met on the territory of the African continent. The name osteospermum is derived from the Greek word, which translates as “bone”, as well as from the Latin word meaning “seed”. Such a plant is also called “Cape daisy”, “blue-eyed daisy”, “Cape daisy”, “African daisy”, and also “South African daisy”. Osteospermum is called chamomile, because the flowers of representatives of this genus are outwardly similar to inflorescences of plants belonging to the genus Leucanthemum. As ornamental plants, gardeners grow only a few types of osteosperm.
Features of osteosperm
Osteospermum is an evergreen plant whose height does not exceed 100 centimeters. As a rule, bushes have erect shoots, but there are species with creeping stems. The edge of the sheet plates is uneven. Flowers are inflorescence baskets, the diameter of which is 4-10 centimeters. They consist of reed flowers painted in purple, pink, yellow, white, purple or orange, as well as central tubular flowers of blue color. Osteospermum differs from other representatives of the aster family in that the median tubular flowers in it are sterile (infertile), and the seeds are tied with reed flowers.
This plant is decorated with courtyards and flower beds, and they are also grown in tubs and pots. Lush flowering ends only in November. Such a plant is resistant to heat, short-term drought and slight frost. In middle latitudes, perennial osteospermum is grown, as a rule, as an annual.
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Growing osteosperm from seeds
Sowing seedlings of dry seeds of osteosperm produce in the last days of March or the first - in April. To do this, use peat tablets or containers filled with a loose mixture of sand and peat. In order for the seeds to sprout faster, they should be placed in a moistened napkin for several hours before sowing. At the same time, remember that you cannot soak these seeds, as they react extremely negatively to this. One seed is laid out on the moist surface of the substrate and is buried half a centimeter into the soil with a toothpick. Crops are harvested in a fairly warm place with a temperature of 20 to 22 degrees. The first seedlings may appear after 7 days, after which they need to be moved to a very well-lit place. If seedlings are grown in a container, then when they form 2 or 3 real leaf plates, they will need to be dived by individual containers, while remember to deepen part of the stem. If tall varieties are grown, then after their transplantation, it is necessary to pinch a little plantlet, this will help in the future to obtain more abundant flowering, and also will not allow seedlings to stretch very much. From the first days of May should begin to temper seedlings. For this, a window is systematically opened in the room or seedlings are transferred to the balcony. First, the duration of this procedure should not exceed 10-15 minutes, and then it must be gradually increased.
Planting seedlings in open ground
Osteosperm seedlings are transplanted into open soil in the last days of May. For planting, you should choose a sunny area, however, this flower can be grown in a shaded place. Between the planting holes, a distance of 20 to 25 centimeters must be observed. Their depth should be such that not only the root system fits, but also the earthen lump.Seedlings must be carefully transferred to prepared holes, which are covered with a mixture of humus, sod and leafy soil, as well as sand (1: 1: 1: 1). Tamp the surface of each well. Planted seedlings need abundant watering. Flowering will begin in June.
Osteospermum. Seedlings of osteosperm.
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Care for osteospermum in the garden
Growing osteospermum is very simple. All that is needed is moderate watering, timely feeding during flowering, and also in time to pick off the inflorescences that have begun to fade. In the event that in May at night it is still quite cold, then osteosperm will need to be covered.
Watering such flowers, as a rule, is required only in a long dry period. The fact is that due to a lack of moisture, flowers can begin to fade. If it rains systematically, then the osteospermum can do without watering.
To increase the splendor and duration of flowering, you need to feed this plant 2 times a month with complex mineral fertilizer, and you need to use ½ part of the recommended dosage indicated on the package. If prolonged sultry weather is observed, then the formation of buds in the osteosperm is suspended. After the air temperature drops, lush flowering continues.
Pests and diseases
Despite the fact that osteospermum is highly resistant to diseases and pests, it can still have problems of this kind. For example, if a flower grows in a shaded place and is watered quite often and plentifully, its protective system weakens, which leads to the defeat of fungal diseases. This is manifested in the fact that the root system of the bush rots, and it dries out. In this regard, it is best to grow osteospermum in a sunny area, while remembering that between watering the soil surface must necessarily dry well. Treat affected specimens with fungicide.
If the plant is weakened, then aphids can settle on its shoots and leaf blades, sucking juice from it. In the affected bush, the leaves turn yellow and fall off, while the plant itself withers. In order to get rid of aphids, it is necessary to treat bushes with acaricides (Aktara, Aktellik or Karbofos).
After the winter period, the annual osteospermum will die. But there is a way to make it a perennial plant. In the autumn, dig up the bushes and plant them in pots, which should be put in a cool room, where they will bloom for quite some time.
HOW TO KEEP OSTEOSPERMUM IN WINTER
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Types and varieties of osteosperm with photos and names
In the wild, approximately 45 species of osteosperm are found. The following types are most popular:
Osteospermum of Eklon (Osteospermum ecklonis)
It is found in nature in the eastern part of the Cape region. Some forms have straight shoots of half a meter height, others - are stunted, sprawling, almost creeping bushes. The diameter of the inflorescences-baskets is about 8 centimeters, their central part is violet-red, and on the lower surface of the white reed flowers there are many veins of pink color. There is a variety in which the middle flowers are painted in a pale blue color.
Shrub Osteospermum (Osteospermum fruticosum)
The native land of this species is the southern part of the Cape region. Its creeping shoots can cover vast areas. Reed flowers are painted in white, pale lilac or red. Such a plant was brought to California, where it spread very much.
Marked Osteospermum (Osteospermum jucundum)
This is a perennial plant native to the interior of South Africa. Flowering lasts almost year-round. Reed flowers have a pink-purple color, which becomes darker towards the center.
There are many hybrids and varieties of this plant, but how they came into being has not been clarified to date. The most popular of them are:
- Bamba. This variety, in comparison with other varieties and types of osteosperm, has wider marginal flowers. When they only bloom, they have a pure white color, which eventually changes to purple.
- Buttermilk. The height of the bushes is approximately 0.6 m. The color of the leaf blades is greenish-gray. Marginal flowers are light yellow, and median flowers are dark.
- Cannington roy. This undersized shrub is creeping. The diameter of the baskets is about 8 centimeters; they consist of white corollas having purple tips; over time, their color changes to lilac-pink.
- Congo. This variety has small inflorescences, and the color of the reed flowers is purple-pink.
- Pemba. Reed flowers in such a plant grow together in a tube to the middle.
- Lusaka. Reed flowers are long and pale purple.
- Volta. At the beginning, reed flowers have a pink-lilac color, but then it changes to almost white.
- Silver sparkler. The height of the bushes is about 0.4 m. The color of the marginal flowers is white. There are dots of light color on the sheet plates.
- Sandy pink. The bush reaches a height of 0.4 m. The color of the baskets is pink, while the shape of the marginal flowers is similar to a spoon.
- Starry is. The height of the bush slightly exceeds 50 centimeters. The lower surface of reed flowers folded in half is bluish-gray, and the upper is white.