Arctotis – bedding bestie
If you are looking to brighten up an area in your garden with an indigenous, hardy groundcover, Arctotis (which is a genus of annual and perennial plants in the family Asteraceae) is a great choice.
Arctotis are one of our “African daisies" and they typically have bold, beautiful foliage and large, intensely coloured flowers with bright, contrasting centres. It is a hardy, evergreen, fast-growing and drought-resistant groundcover. The attractive silver-grey leaves brighten up the garden and the flowers attract butterflies and bees.
The daisy-like composite flowers tend to close in the late afternoon or in dull weather, however, numerous cultivars have been developed for garden use, which stays open for longer. These are available in a wide variety of colours ranging from cream, yellow, orange, pink and red.
The rosette forming grey to silvery green foliage is usually coated with soft, downy silver hairs and the daisy-like flowers appear singly on each stem. These beautiful plants grow best in areas where summers aren't too hot, where they will bloom continuously until the first frost.
In tropical regions, Arctotis will take a vacation from blooming in the middle of the summer, but the foliage will remain robust and beautiful. Your daisies will bloom again as temperatures moderate in Autumn.
These low maintenance plants perform best in full sun, in sandy, well-drained soil. They only require moderate watering and are easy to cut back if they start to look a bit untidy.
Arctotis are excellent plants for a dramatic border, rock gardens, or in small groups. They are very well suited for growing in containers as well.