The term daisy can refer to several species of flowering plants, both annual and perennial. The annual African Daisy (Osteospermum sp.) is a frost-tender perennial member of the Asteraceae family that is typically grown as an annual. Native to South Africa, the plants are named osteo- (bone) spermum- (seed). The Osteospermum is a perennial that can be propagated by cuttings or overwintered in frost-free areas and is different than the true annual "African Daisy," which is in the genus Dimorphotheca and is also from South Africa. Seeds germinate in 14-21 days. Ideal germination temperature is 60-65 F. Start indoors 8-10 weeks before last frost date and transplant out after all chance of frost has passed. Surface sow seeds and cover with a thin layer (1/16 inch) of fine seed starting mix. Keep plants well watered until they reach 4 inches tall, after which you can cut down on irrigation, as the plants will flop over when over watered. Plants prefer full sun; they can handle drying out and are considered moderately drought tolerant. They handle a wide range of soils as long as the soil is well drained. Space plants at 10 inches apart. Keep plants deadheaded to encourage a longer blooming season. Plants dislike excessive humidity, so be mindful of air circulation. An excellent choice for container growing and bedding, daisies make a statement planted en masse. Another type of African Daisy is Latin name Dimorphotheca sinuata, a drought-tolerant flower whose blooms follow the sun and open and close with the day and night. It prefers well-drained soils. Ideal germination temperature is 65F. Seeds germinate in 7-14 days. Space plants 8-12 inches apart. Provide full sun. The Chocolate Daisy (Berlandiera Lyrata) is a clumping perennial native wildflower. Native to the dry and rocky Southwest, it is hardy from USDA zones 4-9. The plants can grow in just about any soil conditions as long as they have access to full sun. Space plants 12-18 inches apart. Ideal germination temperature is 60-70F. Direct sow seeds outdoors after chance of frost has passed. Surface sow seeds and cover lightly. Keep seeds moist until germinated and plants regularly watered (deep infrequent watering is best) until established.
(Berlandiera Lyrata) An easy-to -grow native wild flower with darling yellow blooms that smell of hot cocoa, especially strong in the early morning hours. The stamens of the flower are edible and taste faintly of chocolate! Various medicinal uses of this plant have been documented among Native American communities. This clumping perennial will reach 1-1.5 feet tall, and the plant will slowly grow year after year. A popular border plant best planted en masse. Hardy from USDA zones 2-10. Highly attractive to beneficial insects.
(Dimorphotheca sinuata) This annual flower is the most pleasing blend of orange and yellow colors, a cheerful addition to beds, borders and containers. An easy-to-grow compact variety, stands just 15 inches tall with blooms about 3 inches across. We love it planted en masse for a stunning design effect. This South African favorite is great planted in sunny, well-drained areas.