It is easier to remember the name of african daisy but the real one is "Dimorfoteca" or better Dimorphoteca. It is an ornamental plant that we can find grown both in pots and in the garden and is especially appreciated for the colors of its flowering. Let's find out what its main characteristics are and how we must cultivate it to obtain abundant flowers. For reasons that we will then go to see, the Dimorfoteca is considered a symbol of freedom.
Another name of this flower is Osteospermum but now it is enough to list them all, let's move on to describe what are the two features of this plant native to southern Africa and belonging to the Composite family. It can be grown as an annual or perennial, in both cases it is about 30 centimeters high and looks like a very dense bush of branches with lots of light green leaves and bright and lanceolate.
At the beginning of spring, the flowers that remain to decorate the plant and our gardens until late autumn. We see them appear at the end of the stems and they look like large daisies. In fact, the Dimorfoteca is also called the African daisy, as we have immediately revealed. These large daisies have very bright and very varied colors, they can be simply white but also pink, yellow, orange, or red and even purple. In autumn the plant prepares to go into vegetative rest and gradually its aerial part dries up. We have to wait until the following spring to be able to see a bush.
One of the problems that this plant can encounter most frequently is related to root rot which in most cases is caused by water stagnation. This does not mean that it is not a victim of animal parasites which, on the contrary, target it enough. Among its enemies we also find the aphids and the whitefly which can be easily recognized because it can form whitish clusters on stems and leaves. Another "health" problem is related to the attacks of gray mold. To cure the plant it is necessary to provide treatments with broad-spectrum pesticides and antibacterial agents, moreover the infected branches can also be removed with well disinfected scissors.
To obtain lush bushes it is important to respect the needs of this plant. So let's start not to subject it to too low temperatures, below -5 ° can not resist absolutely. When we grow a Dimorfoteca at home, during the winter we can move it to a place where it is sheltered from both the cold and the currents, and it is also recommended to make a light mulch with straw or dry leaves.
This plant, also due to its origins, loves to be in areas where it receives a lot of sun and a lot of light. If we cannot find such a position for her, we can fall back with the semi-shadow but we will be the first to realize that it is not the same thing. Without much light this plant fails to give its best in flowering and is filled with leaves and bases, or almost.
If we want to grow Dimorfoteca in pots, we must use a soil mixed with sand and peat but in general it is a plant that, at ground level, adapts a lot, although preferring the loose one, rich in organic substance and well drained. To help with flowering, it is a good idea to fertilize by administering a specific liquid product for flowering plants every three or four weeks, properly diluted in the watering water. A slow-release granular fertilizer can also be used, alternatively, approximately every two weeks.
Always during the flowering it is necessary to water this plant a lot and regularly. To favor the replacement of leaves and flowers, as soon as they dry up, it is good to take them even reaching to cut the stems with scissors. In October, every year, the branches must be cut if the one we are growing is a perennial species, this time to promote basal stumbling.
The multiplication of this plant occurs by seed or through semi-woody cuttings. If we choose the first solution, we must equip ourselves for sowing, in May, if we proceed directly in the open ground, or as early as February, if in seedbeds. To proceed with the cuttings, you must always wait for spring if not summer.
Once the small seedlings, the time comes to plant them in the ground and you have to do it so carefully so that they do not disturb each other. They must therefore be 20 centimeters away from each other, this applies whether you are growing the Dimorfoteca in pots or in the open ground in our garden.
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