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5 best indigenous Spring flowers

August is one of those months in which winter, spring and summer can occur in the same week. Fortunately, there are enough warm days to start planting spring flowers that don’t mind the cooler weather.

Cape daisy ( Osteospermum)

Mixed bed of Osteospermum.

Queen of the spring flowers is osteospermum (aka Cape daisy) and the garden centres should soon be filled with flowering plants in pots that can be planted straight into the garden. It is frost tolerant, tough, adaptable and showy in any position that receives full sun or semi-shade.  Plant in fertile, well composted soil and add a potassium-rich fertiliser, like Vigorosa, to boost flowering.

Osteospermum ‘Serenity’ is the most popular garden variety because it is always neat, grows easily and quickly and is heat tolerant. It has the largest range of colours, with some interesting variations like ‘Blue-eyed Beauty,’ ‘Blushing Beauty’ with a pink centre, and ‘Sunset Magic’ where the flowers change colour, giving the impression of a mix.

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There is also ‘FlowerPower’ with its prolific flowers in unique colours and combinations, like ‘Purple Sun’ that has vibrant orange edges that fade into a purple centre. Plants are compact and upright, retaining their neat shape in a container.

The best osteo for hanging baskets is the spreading Voltage ‘Yellow’ that easily fills and over-flows baskets. It is the first of the osteo’s to flower. It does best with morning sun and afternoon shade and should be watered daily.



Three pots of Diascia

Diascia is one of our showiest indigenous flowers. Masses of tiny, delicate flowers cover this compact little perennial for several months. They like full sun and suit small gardens.

Diascia ‘Diamond’ is a hybrid of our indigenous diascia, with extra-large flowers in seven different colours. It is vigorous, upright growing, and produces an abundance of blooms. It works well as a groundcover or border plant, for sunny winter beds as well as in containers and hanging baskets.  Fertilise once a month, to boost flowering.



Scabiosa Butterfly Blue

These long blooming perennials attract bees and butterflies. They do best planted in full sun but can take partial shade although they may not flower as well. Grow in well drained, light fertile soil.  They can be used as edging or in large groups in borders or rock gardens Divide and replant in fresh soil every 3 years.

The three shades of Scabiosa flowers are  ‘Butterfly blue’, ‘Pink Mist’  and  ‘Flutter Pure White’. The plants form tidy mounds of deep green leaves with short strong flowering stems. They grow 30cm high and wide and are neat garden flowers.



Yellow Nemesia Inca

Nemesia Nesia produces mini snapdragon like blooms in striking colours on top of healthy, shiny green leaves. The plants grow upright, into a rounded plant, 25 to 36cm high and wide.

These are problem free, easy to grow plants that that are not shy to flower. Use them together with other seasonal indigenous flowers like diascia and osteospermum. Plant them in a position that receives full sun in spring and semi-shade in summer. Deadheading and regular watering will help to prolong flowering.

The large range of flower colours includes ‘Inca’ which is bright yellow as well as ‘Tutti  Frutti which  has multicoloured flowers that look as if they have been individually hand-painted.



Pink BacopaMegacopa

Bacopa (also known as Sutera or indigenous phlox) is a tough, sun-loving indigenous and its trailing nature  also  suits hanging baskets.

Bacopa ‘MegaCopa’ has pink, white or blue flowers that are double the size of the original species and they glow against the dark green leaves. Plants grow 30cm high and wide; useful as a border or edging plant (space plants 30cm apart). It cascades beautifully if planted in a container, around the base of a taller plant, or in hanging baskets. Plant in full sun to semi shade in rich soil that is kept moderately moist.

For more information visit www.ballstraathof.co.za


TEXT: Alice  Coetzee.

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