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Large flowers that stand out against the green adorn the cape baskets. The popular plants of the genus Osteospermum come from South Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and tropical African islands and inspire with their intense flower colors and the maximum growth height of up to 50 centimeters, which makes the plant ideal for the summer garden. If you are also one of the gardeners who keep a Cape daisy, you should definitely think about the winter.
Are Cape daisies hardy?
The Cape Marguerite is not a native plant. As the name suggests, most of the taxa of the genus come from South Africa and grow there as evergreen, perennial subshrubs. In Central Europe, on the other hand, it is a plant that is usually kept in the garden as an annual because it cannot withstand constant frost. are cape baskets not hardy and die from a temperature of -5 °C, which can quickly become a problem in Germany. For this reason, it is normal to discard the old specimens in October and buy new ones in the spring. But with the right winter protection, hibernation is not impossible.
Overwintering Osteospermum outdoors?
You do not always need winter quarters for the daisy family (bot. Asteraceae). With a lot of luck, the plants can even overwinter outdoors if you are in a climatically favorable place region reside. If you live in the Mediterranean, for example, winter quarters are usually not necessary and the plants can survive the winter outside without any problems. In Germany, however, only the following wine-growing regions are suitable for outdoor overwintering based on their winter conditions:
- to bathe
- Hessian Bergstrasse (limited)
- Middle Rhine
- Rhenish Hesse
- Württemberg (only conditionally)
Here the winter average is usually between 2 °C and 3 °C and on the Kaiserstuhl even between 3 °C and 5 °C, which is ideal for overwintering. In general, the closer you live to the south-west of Germany, the more suitable the climate is for the Cape daisies. However, the climate alone is not enough, because even in these regions the thermometer can suddenly drop. Therefore, when wintering outdoors, you must definitely prepare winter protection:
- cover root area
- use mulch, brushwood or leaves for this
- Pack the plant carefully
- Use garden fleece, reed mats or linen bags for this
- no bubble wrap, as there is a risk of heat build-up
This protection should suffice, but you must be aware that the Cape daisy is not per se hardy. Therefore, a little luck always plays a part in spending the winter outdoors. There is no guarantee that the plant will survive.
Hibernation in winter quarters
For overwintering in the roost, you must first dig up and pot the specimens planted in the garden. The substrate should therefore meet the requirements of the crop and be made as follows:
- well drained
Conventional potting soil of high quality and standard soil has proven to be a good soil variant. These should be enriched with one of the following drainage agents to improve permeability:
- quartz sand
If you use potting soil, it is recommended to mix in some clay. As a result, the Cape daisy feels good and can easily survive the winter at a sufficient temperature. Proceed as follows when planting in the pots:
- carefully dig out cap daisies
- taking care not to damage the roots
- Free roots from substrate
- check for root rot
- trim roots if necessary
- use clean scissors for this
- Bucket should have drainage hole
- Fill the bucket with sufficient substrate
- Use cape daisy and fill up the substrate
- do not fill to the brim
- tap lightly to remove voids
- Finally, slightly moisten the substrate
After you have transplanted the plants into their pots, a pruning is absolutely necessary. Because the crop expends a lot of energy maintaining the shoots, pruning helps distribute nutrients easily without becoming distressed. Proceed as follows when cutting before putting away:
- Tool: secateurs
- must be clean and sharp
- disinfect if diseased plants have previously been cut
- shorten to a third of the total length
- Dispose of clippings on compost
Be careful not to leave the plant outside after cutting. If a sudden frost hits the country, they can suffer major damage and even die within a short period of time. Therefore, always transport the Cape daisies to their winter quarters immediately after cutting and care for them over the winter according to the instructions below.
Overwintering Cape Marguerite: Instructions
After you have prepared your Kapkörbchen, you can now put them in the appropriate winter quarters and care for them over the winter. Winter care must be tailored to the needs of the plant and at the same time protect it from frost so that it does not die. Follow these instructions when hibernating:
The best time to take the Cape daisies to winter quarters is now before the first frost, which appears in most regions of Germany in early to mid-October. A temperature of around 5 °C serves as a guideline. As soon as the nights cool down to this degree, you should pot the plants and bring them indoors as soon as possible. On the other hand, you do not have to fear cool winds with 5 °C, because the Cape daisy tolerates them quite well.
Although the plant is not hardy, it can withstand cooler temperatures quite well. This is important when overwintering, because the quarters are allowed not too warm be, since the daisy family insert a long-lasting hibernation. For this reason, the location must be as follows:
- Light requirement: bright
- direct sun not recommended
- Frost free
- Temperatures: 5°C - 15°C
- higher temperatures not desired
- no permanent draft
All frost-free rooms or buildings that can provide the Cape Marguerite with sufficient light and in which the temperatures do not fall below 5 °C are well suited as winter quarters. Some recommendations:
- cold houses
- Conservatories (unheated)
- garages with windows
- cool guest rooms
- cool dining room
Bedrooms are not always recommended. Although these are cooler than the rest of the apartment, they are often too warm at night. A lot of light is necessary for the cap daisies, but no direct sunlight. They won't hibernate if they get too much sun, which will negatively affect their growth the following season because they've budded too much over the winter.
Important in the winter quarters is the possibility of regular intermittent ventilation. Bad air can severely affect the Cape daisy, since drought has a positive effect on infestation by pests such as spider mites. You don't need to ventilate every day, just periodically to improve air quality.
Reduce the water additions over the winter. The cape baskets should never dry out, but watering them too often can quickly lead to waterlogging. Therefore, always use your finger to check whether the substrate has dried heavily. Pour accordingly. Remember: Osteospermum tolerates drought better than waterlogging.
There is no fertilizer throughout the entire winter period. In most cases, the substrate ensures a sufficient supply of nutrients.
regular pest control
Check the substrate and the plant regularly for pest infestation or possible rot. Act accordingly to bring the Cape daisy safely through the winter.
4. Winter out
From mid-February it is important to carefully get the little daisies used to the sun again. Although the plants are not planted out or placed on the balcony until mid-May, after the ice saints, it is important to expose them to the sun. However, since the plant is slow to wake up from its dormant state, you should only expose it to a little sun at a time. You can then enjoy the full sun again in mid-May.
Before moving the plant back outside in May, trim to hand height again. This promotes sprouting and flowering.
tip: Keep in mind that the hibernation of Osteospermum species can often be playing with fire. Even if the winter protection and the quarters are right, even small mistakes in care can lead to the loss of the plant.