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African Daisy / Arctotis
African Daisy Flower Description
African daisies are striking and warm daisy-like flowers with rich vibrant colours. The flowers have silver leaves and flower colours include orange, white, bright pink, and pale yellow. They are equally effective in borders and in containers. African daisies are not particularly good for flower arranging as they only last a couple of days in water.
The flower heads shrink and close in the evening time and in dull conditions so it is best to site African Daisy plants in a sunny position. This tendency to close has been largely bred out of some modern varieties.
Cultivation of African Daisy
It is best to so seeds directly into the permanent site from mid-to-late spring. When the seedlings are big enough to handle they should be thinned out to a distance of approximately 30cm.
African Daisy Pests and Diseases
For earlier blooms seeds can be sown indoors in early spring but the seedlings must be hardened off in cold frames before planting in their ultimate flowering site in late spring.
African daisies will tolerate most soils but do best in a sunny site. To encourage a bushy growth the growing tips of individual plants should be pinched out. Deadheading prolongs the flowering season.
Taller varieties may require staking to provide support.
The African Daisy, and particularly young growth, is prone to attack from aphids. Grey mould can also be problematic in wet conditions.