Do Osteospermum (African daisies) spread? | What to know before you plant

Osteospermum otherwise known as Veldt Daisies, African daisy or Cape Daisy will spread. The pure form of these plant will spread through runners quickly taking over the space in Mediterranean climates. Hybrid Osteospermum however are bred not to spread by runners but will grow into a large bush covering around 3 square feet.

Osteospermum are a bushy evergreen perennial meaning they will be green all year round. They have bright flowers that start as early as late Winter and continue all the way to late Summer even into Fall in some areas.

Osteospermum hybrids will not spread and become invasive.

These plants are native to South Africa so love a warm, dry climate and well-draining soil. These plants will produce the most flowers in full sun and one they are established are drought tolerant.

Give Osteospermum plenty of water in their first season and remove dead flower heads to keep them blooming for longer. Once established these plants need limited attention, they will grow on their own but will grow better if you trim them.

Pure Osteospermum will spread rapidly

Pure Osteospermum can become an invasive weed in Mediterranean climates like southern Australia and California. They will send out runners and quickly cover large areas of the ground taking over. I always look to plant hybrids which are bred not to be invasive.

Choose this plant carefully if you have well-draining sandy soils, warm summers and cool winters. Osteospermum will spread slower in clay soils and humid climates.

Hybrid Osteospermum and spreading

Hybrid Osteospermum will be bread to stop them becoming an invasive weed, sending out runners and taking over your whole yard. These hybrids which come in beautiful colors such as bright purples, reds and pinks look amazing and will grow in clumps rather than spreading.

I like to plant these in my front garden as they are hardy, will fill a nice 3 square feet space if I let them and are a low cost plant.

This hybrid Osteospermum is a single plant but produces 2 flower colors.

I have planted a bright purple and another that is a mix of orange and deep red out the front of my yard to mix in with my deep purple Gaura plants. These are full of flowers and it is only late winter.

How to stop Osteospermum from spreading

Here are my favorite ways to stop Osteospermum from spreading and taking over your yard and your neighborhood.

Choose hybrids

The best ways to keep Osteospermum from spreading and taking over your yard is to choose a hybrid plant. These will have bright, beautiful flowers, will clump together in a single plant and will not seed. These plants will not send out runners and can be kept contained.

Trim them regularly

To keep the Osteospermum plant itself contained to a small area trim the excess stems from the edge of the plant. You can trim these daisies back to whatever size you want, keeping it small, growing it in a pot or allowing it to spread as wide as possible.  

Trimming off old flower heads will keep it flowering for longer.

Do Osteospermum come back every year?

Osteospermum are a perennial which will grow and stay green throughout the year. They should be trimmed back after flowering and cut back to the size you want. Trim the dead flower heads off throughout the growing season to keep them flowering for longer.

Fertilize with pelleted chicken manure and fish emulsion throughout Spring. This will keep it green and flowering for longer.                                                                                                             

Do Osteospermum reseed themselves?

Hybrid Osteospermum will not re-seed themselves. The seeds generally do not form in a way that they will be viable and sprout. They will not be true to the plant if they do sprout but in the many years I have been growing Osteospermum I have never seen them successfully seed themselves.

Pure Osteospermum do spread quickly but this is generally not by seed. They will spread quickly through runners and take over a large area that has well-draining soil.

Do Osteospermum flower all year?

Osteospermum will flower from late Winter all the way to late Summer in some areas. I live in a sub-tropical area and my Osteospermum have started flower late winter this year and they had started when I planted them in Fall. For those with colder winters they will have a shorter flowering season but will still look great.

Osteospermum are the perfect flower for the beginner as they are hardy, forgiving and look great. They have bright flowers and will survive if you forget to water them once or twice. They like well-draining soil but will be pretty happy in any soil type.

My Osteospermum started this size and is now over 2 feet wide.

Preparing the soil for Osteospermum

To prepare the soil before planting a new Osteospermum plant it is always a great idea to add compost first. A handful of pelleted chicken manure and a good mix through with a garden fork. Water the plant in well and surround it with bark mulch.

Your plant will be happy for the rest of season ready for another addition of fertilizer in spring and a top up of mulch after around 6 months.  With a trim after flowering in Fall, your plant will be happy and grow well in the long run.

I like to use bark mulch around my daisies because it looks great and keeps the weeds away. This mulch will last 6 months and improve the soil as it breaks down.

Do Osteospermum (African daisies) spread? | Summary

Osteospermum will spread quickly if you plant a pure-bred plant. To save your yard and the environment choose a hybrid which will grow in clumps, have bright beautiful flowers and will be a hardy plant that will grow well for years.

African daisies are a great plant for your front or back yard to add color. They are low cost and easy to find in most nurseries. For a cottage garden feel a hybrid Osteospermum will look great and is easy to care for.