They are native to South Africa and have daisy-like flowers in brilliant shades of pink, purple, yellow and orange. They bloom all summer and are pretty drought tolerant once established. They love sun, but the down side is that the flowers will close at night.
Although they are an annual, mine come back every year and often reseed themselves about. In early summer, I remove spent flowers to encourage more, but towards the end of the season, I leave a few flower heads. This ensures there will be babies the following year.
Some can seed themselves pretty heavily in the bark mulch, but the babies are easy to identify and pull out. I have to replace three or four plants each year that die due to winter rot, but in general, they just keep making more and I just move a new baby into the old spot.
I generally like to buy them in a 6-pack, but I was only able to find a good assortment of them as single plants in pots for $1.99 at Tony's Garden Center on Holgate (10300 SE Holgate Blvd). Please check out Tony's if you have not been.
I have had the best luck with the "Kiss" hybrids ('Frosty Kiss', 'Kiss Flame Mix', and 'Kiss and Tell Mix'). The 'Frosty Kiss' plants have more of a grey fuzzy look to the leaves (like a Dusty Miller).
|When the petals get pointy, it's time to dead head.|