Arctotis (African Daisy)

Arctotis Red Flowers

A showy, tender, South African perennial with attractive grey leaves, that flourishes in hot dry conditions and full sun. The striking colourful daisy like flowers are available in a range of bright colours.

Family: Asteraceae (aster or daisy family)
Botanical Name: Arctotis
Common Names: African Daisy

Foliage: Narrow, grey-green leaves.

Flowers: Large daisy-like flowers, in a range of bright colours. Some varieties have coloured central disks and attractive colour bands.

Flowering Period: Mid-summer to first frosts.

Soil: Well-drained soil (chalk, sand or loam). Any pH. Dislikes waterlogged conditions.

Conditions: Thrives in full sun. Best grown in a west or south facing aspect, in a sheltered possition.

Habit: Low growing, mat forming.

Type: Grown as a half-hardy annual or tender perennial in the UK.

Hardiness: Not hardy the UK. Protect from frost.

Planting and Growing Arctotis

Choose a hot sunny site for the best show of flowers. Suitable for most garden soils except heavy clay. Add a little horticultural grit or sand to improve drainage, where necessary.

Plant in borders for a splash of summer colour. Ideal for raised beds, well drained borders, pots and containers.

Tall stemmed forms are very useful for cut flowers.

Note: The flowers close in the evening or in dull shade.

Taking Care of Arctotis

Water container grown plants daily. To improve flowering, apply an all purpose flowering plant food (slightly higher in phosphorus and potassium) every few weeks, or use a slow release form. Do not over fertilize.

Pruning

Deadhead regularly to extend the flowering period.

Pests and Diseases

Generally trouble free, although young plants can be affected by aphids.

Propagating Arctotis

Arctotis is not hardy in the UK but seed can be sown under glass in March at around 18°C. Pot-on and hardened off before planting out in late spring, once all danger of frost is past. Pinch out the tip shoots when about 6in high (15cm) to encourage more bushy growth.

Popular Varieties of Arctotis Grown in the UK

The most popular forms are the large flowered hybrids, such as Arctotis x hybrida.

Arctotis breviscapa has flowers in shades of orange with black/purple central discs.

Arctotis grandis produces flowers with white or pastel petals surrounding a central blue disc with a yellow band.

Arctotis stoechadifolia (blue-eyed African daisy) a fast growing tall stemmed form with white flowers.

Arctotis x hybrida produces large (4in / 10cm) striking flowers, usually in a mix of colours (white, pink, red, bronze, yellow and orange), with contrasting central discs. Height to 18in (45cm), spread 12in (30cm).