Gardening Tips

Care of the dimorfoteca

Care of the dimorfoteca

The dimorfotecas are a whole genus of plants with more than 20 accepted species, highly valued for their flowers, very striking and ornamental, which are similar to those of daisies, but notably more showy.

These are very rustic and resistant plants, although to keep them strong and in good condition, it is advisable to know what their needs are. If you want to learn how to take care of a dimorphotheca, join us in this EcologíaVerde article in which you will find a complete and practical guide on the care of the dimorfoteca.

Characteristics of the dimorfoteca

These are the main characteristics of dimorphothecae:

  • They are usually given the names of African daisy, Cape marigold, or Cape daisy.
  • They are plants that reach a varied height from just 20 cm to almost a meter.
  • They have their origin in South Africa and are species that bloom annually, being the Dimorphotheca ecklonis one of the most representative and common.
  • As we have mentioned, these are plants of great rusticity and resistance, so their cultivation is very suitable even for beginners or amateurs without much experience.
Care of the dimorfoteca - Characteristics of the dimorfoteca

Location and light of the dimorfoteca

This is one of the most important points when caring for these plants, and that is that they need large amounts of light. In fact, the ideal is place them in full sun, since in their original environment in southern Africa they develop in sunny and hot environments. The dimorphotheca can also grow in semi-shade or even indoors if we find a bright enough location for it, but in general, the more light it receives, the better it will grow.

It must be borne in mind that it is a high-growth plant, so it has a capacity for expansion to take into account and it is usual to control its growth so that it does not colonize the entire field.

Another point to keep in mind is that the plant is weak to transplants and sudden changes. This means that if we have just acquired a plant or seedling from a place where it was kept indoors, suddenly exposing it to full sun is likely to damage it. In these cases it is better to protect it with a gradual exposure for a few days before leaving it in full sun.

Care of the dimorfoteca - Location and light of the dimorfoteca

Irrigation for the dimorfoteca

Water is the other important point in the care of this plant, although not because it needs a lot of watering, but rather the opposite. Despite its green and fresh appearance, the plant is native to dry environments, so does not require many risks and in fact does not tolerate excesses at all well on this point.

Must always water without flooding, and if possible without wetting the flowers or leaves of the plant, directly on the ground. To make sure you don’t overdo it, it’s best to wait until the top layer of soil is completely dry before watering.

Here you can learn more about When to water plants.

Substrate and fertilizer of the dimorfoteca

The dimorfoteca has a great capacity for adaptation and manages to develop and grow in all types of soils. However, if you are looking for your plant to grow big and give many flowers, a fertile soil it will help her a lot.

Use a very loose substratewhich offers a great drainage capacity. You can prepare a very good mixture with a part of peat, a part of coconut fiber and another part of earthworm humus, to which you can add a handful of vermiculite and perlite. This results in a light, well-drained soil that is very rich in nutrients and beneficial microorganisms. If you plant outdoors, add coarse sand to the soil and a good supply of humus or compost to improve its properties.

As far as fertilizing is concerned, add a contribution of compost or humus to the soil of the plant in its growing season, or some fertilizer for flowering plants. Here we teach you how to make homemade compost so that you can use it in your dimorfotecas and in other plants that need this contribution.

Care of the dimorfoteca - Substrate and fertilizer of the dimorfoteca

Pruning for dimorphotheca

The dimorphotheca pruning is mainly from maintenance and it consists of pruning low the stems of the flowers that have withered, in order to stimulate their growth and greater flowering. When the flowering ends, also trim the leaves so that when the dry season is over it will grow again later. If you want to strengthen the stems, pinch the taller stems with your fingertips.

Reproduction of the dimorphotheca

These plants can be reproduced both by cuttings and by seeds, one or the other method being preferable depending on the specific species.

Reproduce the dimorphotheca by seeds

If we are going to reproduce it from seeds, the ideal is to plant the dimorphotheca seeds between autumn and early winter, the latter especially in places with mild winters. Sowing in spring is also possible.

  1. Spread the seeds on the soil after loosening it and enriching it with humus or compost, as well as moistening it.
  2. After spreading them superficially, in a sunny area, add a thin layer of sand or earth.
  3. About two to three weeks after germination, the seedlings will be ready to be transplanted if necessary.

Reproduce the dimorfoteca by cuttings

The dimorphotheca cuttingsInstead, they are cut and planted preferably in summer.

  1. Take a stem about 15 cm long, from which you have to remove all the leaves.
  2. Plant in a small container with substrate as explained before.
  3. It is important to always keep it moist while the plant takes root, as well as having it in semi-shade.
  4. Later, when the dimorphotheca has taken root and has become strong, we can transplant it to its final location, although with great care, as it is a delicate process for them.

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