Saturday, September 19, 2015
Should I prune or replace my Osteospermum?
This is one of the prettiest plants you have grown and it has pride of place in my garden and you can see why. When you first presented it in your newsletter before stock hit the nurseries I knew I had to have one.
It's been in place just over twelve months and "now what" do I do with it?
I looked at it and noticed it's getting straggly and opening up in areas.
Temptation is to prune it and sadly loose the flowers but get a better shaped plant but do they recover from pruning
Or, do I replace it?
No need to replace an Osteospermum, this is a perennial that will give years of faithful service but it does need a little attention along the way.
The first thing I note is the plant has grown enormously. We find that Osteos can struggle to fill a 200mm pot, but just look how far this one plant has spread. This just emphasizes my frustration with our industry's fixation with plant growth regulators. I think this plant is Osteo. Serenity Rose Magic, possibly Pink Magic... seriously I'm red-green colour blind, that's just too subtle. We don't use any PGR's but I'm sure our plug supplier does and it's not until the second season that the plant really gets moving.
After a solid hair cut the plant will start to build some strength and not be tempted to spread so far. My recommendation is to cut them in the late summer so they have the autumn to re-grow and be ready for late winter, early spring flowering. After the first cut I think a relatively gentle tip prune, again annually during the late summer will control the shape easily. Eventually, after say 5 or 6 years the plant may start to lose vigour and the flowering may be less prolific so of course you might like to change the colour scheme.
By the way a feed with general purpose fertilizer or manure after pruning will help maintain vigour.
Osteospermum Serenity Lemonade. Brightening our spec loads this week.