November 22, 2011 - 00:00

Bred to induce flowering at higher temperatures, Tradewinds osteospermum requires no vernalization. These robust bushy plants are durable and easy to grow. Tradewinds varieties have great color for early spring and fall plantings. Two new colors this year are Bronze and Cinnamon.

Select a coarse porous media that drains well. Many commercially available media work well for osteospermum. Transplant directly into finish container with the rooting media level with the potting media in the container. Planting too shallow will promote excessive drying out and wilting of the rooted cutting despite a moist environment.

Osteospermum are heavy feeders. Constant liquid feed with a balanced fertilizer at 200- to 250-ppm nitrogen. Alternate between calcium and potassium nitrate-based fertilizers. Calcium is necessary to promote a strong plant; potassium will discourage stretching.

Osteospermum prefers cool conditions. Provide 60 to 75° F days. After transplant, use 55 to 65° F nights to establish a strong root system and initiate flowering. Lower temperatures will delay flower development and increase crop time significantly. Tradewinds will continue to initiate bloom with night temperatures up to 68° F; however, the number of blooms produced may decrease with excessive temperatures.

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