Although plants of the Dimorphotheca genus are half hardy perennials they are usually treated as half hardy annuals in the garden.
They carry daisy-like flowers of many colours that bloom in the summer (or in the late winter/spring in hot climates when grown as perennials).
Members of Dimorphotheca include African daisy, Star of the Veldt and Cape Marigold. Latin names include Dimorphotheca sinuata.They make great plants for use in the border.
Dimorphotheca sinuata - Namaqualand daisy by Bkleinh.
Common Names: African Daisy, Cape Marigold, Namaqualand Daisy, Rain Daisy, White Daisy Bush, Star of the Veldt.
Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial usually grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 8 to 18 inches (20 to 60 cm).
Native: Southern Africa.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10. Grow as an annual in zones 3 to 8.
Flowers: As an annual: summer and Autumn. As a perennial: winter and spring.
Flower Details: Yellow, red, apricot, orange, pink, purple, salmon, white. Daisy-like. Bisexual flowers.
Sow Outside: Perennials: cover seeds. Early autumn to winter. Spacing: 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm). Start annuals indoors.
Sow Inside: Germination time: ten days to two weeks. Temperature 65°F (18°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors three or four weeks after the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Rich soil. Regular watering (morning/avoid leaves) for best results, though fairly drought tolerant. Deadhead. If growing as a perennial then cut back leaves once flowering has finished. Propagate: cuttings in summer.
Unless you live in a very hot climate it is probably best to start Dimorphotheca indoors first. The seeds should be sown about 6 to 7 weeks before they are due to be transplanted into the garden towards the end of spring. the seeds of African daisies and other Dimorphotheca species should be lightly covered once sown and take about two weeks to germinate at about 18 to 20 degrees Centigrade.
Once growing the Dimorphotheca seedlings should be put in the garden with a spacing of about 25 cm into a sunny part of the garden that has good drainage. They prefer a rich soil.
Dimorphotheca plants should be watered in the morning and care should be taken not to get the leaves wet to prevent rot. After the flowering season the stems should be cut back to ground level if you plan to grow them as a perennial. if you require more plants then it is possible to take cuttings from Dimorphotheca during the summer.
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