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Osteo winter survivors. What should I do?

B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,017
I know some osteospermums are nearly hardy and I know how to deal with them but  the mild winter has meant that some of the less hardy ones have survived and I'm not sure what to do.
They are leggy. I've brushed off the dead foliage, but should I cut them back? Will they sprout along the stems? If not, I 'll put them at the back to hide the legs.
In London. Keen but lazy.
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  • EustaceEustace OxfordPosts: 1,398
    I would also like to know how to reinvigorate these osteospermums. Mine are looking tatty at the moment.

  • I will be following any advice on here with interest ... for years I have loved and envied the patches of osteospermums  that you see in great clumps in front gardens. In my naivetie I thought the little small ones that appeared in GC's every spring were the same make/model. Then a friend enlightened me  - it seems there are perennial Osteo's and annual ones - those I had  been buying.  Last season I enquired at a large GC in Iver and after a long search, a couple of the perennial ones were located at the back of the storage yard. I bought both, planted one in the front and the other (a white one) in the back garden - that one promptly died and was replaced with another perennial from a large Tesco... not planted but being nursed along in a pot.

    What I need to know now is how I maintain them - do they need cutting back at the end of the season, or just dead-headed ? Anything else I should know ? 

    Thanks in advance and sorry about the monologue above  :#

    No-one knows if you have done your house-work, but everyone knows is you haven't done your gardening 
  • tlchimeratlchimera South WalesPosts: 51
    I cut mine back about half way early spring and they've leafed up nicely and are now flowering. No idea if that was even vaguely right, they caught me off guard. 
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    I have found the best way is to cut back about a third quite hard, then wait for some strong regrowth. Then I do another third, and so on.
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,017
    They never tell you  ( just sorted by colour)but I had one that lasted for many years and spread along a bed about 6 ft until we had a really harsh winter. Do you remember those? 
    It was white with blue underneath the petals.
    I have one or two that I think might be reasonably hardy but I'm not sure what to do with the  weaker ones.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Posy said:
    I have found the best way is to cut back about a third quite hard, then wait for some strong regrowth. Then I do another third, and so on.
    At what times of year please @Posy
    No-one knows if you have done your house-work, but everyone knows is you haven't done your gardening 
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,992
    It's always a bit tricky with the half hardy types that make it through the Winter. Personally l'd be inclined to cut them back by at least a third and see what happens, and you can use the cuttings for, er, cuttings straight away.
    I have a hardy variety called "Stardust" , l basically just keep deadheading all through the Summer. Maybe l'm lucky but it seems to be a very neat variety with little in the way of tidying required. It's been flowering for several weeks already.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    Spring and any time they are growing well, so not late Autumn or winter. I keep some in a greenhouse over winter and you can do those any time.
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,017
    Worth pruning I suppose. They're never going to look great, but I don't want to kill them either.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,017
    @PatsyFagan  I doubt it'll be much help to you but my long lived one was in a bed that  has  gas and water and possibly electric pipes running under it. This might have raised the temperature a bit - or maybe it didn't.
    There is a white job that is definitely reasonably hardy. Finding it is likely to be the problem. I'm following the trial and error method of search😒
    In London. Keen but lazy.
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