Osteospermum 'Whirligig' and Osteospermum 'Tauranga'



Common name/s ?

African daisy 'Whirlygig', Cape daisy 'Whirlygig', South African daisy 'Whirlygig' and blue-eyed daisy 'Whirlygig'.

Skill rating




Type of plant ?

Evergreen perennial sub-shrub.

Hardiness zone ?

RHS zone

Half hardy

EGF zone

H3 (to H1 zones in summer)

USDA zone


Eventual size

Will grow to 60cm height and spread.

Growth rate ?

Moderate, will reach full size in 2 to 5 years.

Shape it grows into

Forms clumps of foliage from which flowers grow on longer stems.

Season/s of interest

Flowers from spring to autumn.

Where to grow it

Happiest in full sun.
Prefers well drained soil.

Happy in chalk, sand or loamy soil and any soil pH. Can cope with exposed sites including coastal areas and tolerates hot and dry sites.

Osteospermum 'Whirlygig'


The daisy shaped, white flowers have a blue centre and deep purple edging. The petal-like rays are spoon-shaped and distinctively close up at night (a photonastic response). The aromatic, evergreen leaves are mid to dark green.

What to use it for

A great plant for any sunny spots including in beds/borders and containers. Would be ideal in gravel or Mediterranean style gardens.

How to look after it

While these plants can cope with dry conditions, they should not be allowed to dry out completely, particularly within two weeks of being planted. However, ensure that you don’t overwater them.

Regular feeding from spring to autumn with a balanced fertiliser (weekly to monthly) will help the plant give you the best possible display.

Overwinter under cover (eg a frost-free greenhouse or cold frame) to protect from the harshest of the winter conditions. Alternatively, treat it as an annual and take cuttings each year to grow on under cover and plant out the following spring.

How to prune it

Deadhead regularly to prolong flowering – you can remove part of the flowered stem when deadheading to keep the plant tidy.

Cut back tatty or damaged stems in autumn or early spring to re-shape the plant.

How to propagate it

Take stem cuttings (softwood to semi-ripe) at any time. Can be sown from seed in spring, but collected seeds may not come true to type.

Common problems

Aphids may be a problem. Can be susceptible to downy mildew and verticillium wilt. The Lettuce Mosaic Virus is also known to affect osteospermums.

When the flowers initially open the rays (outer petals) may not have the typical ’spoon-shaped’ appearance. Don’t panic though, they should become more spoon-shaped within a few days.

Other useful information

The name ‘osteospermum’ derives from the Greek for bone (osteon) and seed (spermum).

Has been given the Award of Garden Merit by the RHS.

Plants of the genus Dimorphotheca are sometimes mistakenly sold as Osteospermum. They are similar in appearance but are annuals and do not have the lengthy flowering period of Osteospermum plants.