Deeply Rooted

The Unsung Hero

  • Kristelle Falk, Author
  • Greenhouse Sales Manager, Falk Nurseries
Diascia

Beautiful upright or sprawling form, countless colour options, blooms until the snow with proper care, this sounds like the perfect plant, right? But if only such a plant existed. Well it’s your lucky day because it does! The Diascia qualifies for all of these features.

When it comes to annuals people can sometimes hesitate because they wonder if they want to spend money on something that won’t last beyond September. With the Dascia you can have gorgeous blooms even in the first snow of November. This often comes as a shock to people, especially since it is merely an annual and is native to South Africa no less! What is it doing blooming in the snow? Well as you have probably guessed this little bloomer is a lot hardier than expected. Not only is it great for our climate, it is great for almost all climates! Diascia, also known as twin spur, is award winning for being the most tolerant annual for all climates.

This beauty is often unknown, overlooked, and is ready for the spotlight! Diascia have the perfect structure for baskets, containers, and even in the ground. Reaching 6-8 inches tall and in some species sprawling to 15-20 inches wide! With over 70 Species including Alonsoa, and Nemesia, countless colours and bi-colours, this is the plant every gardener should have in their collection.

Now let’s talk details, how does one care for such a plant? How do you get the most out of your Diascia? Diascia Love their sunshine, but can be sensitive to the overbearing afternoon sun, a little shade from noon till three o’clock would make them most content. When it is hot and dry they appreciate regular watering but not to the point of constant sogginess, so keep their soil well drained! Once you’ve watered, let the soil dry to prevent drowning the Diascia. A regular feeding of a general garden fertilizer will definitely give your plant the boost it needs to keep the blooms coming, but be sure to use light amounts and to water in the fertilizer to avoid burning delicate roots. Cutting back the dead flower by about 4 inches will also inspire fresh growth which means, you guessed it, more blooms! Though the blooms may tone down later in the season, you can expect a surprise set of blooms as the weather cools and even into the first snow, though it won’t last through the winter as Diascia are still an annual. Another benefit is with bugs and insects! Now usually that doesn’t sound like a benefit but hear me out. When I say bugs and insect I mean it is resistant/tolerant to most creepy crawlers and nasty plant eating bugs. That being said always keep an eye out for snails and slugs, they are not a common problem, but they are the ones to watch out for if they will cause trouble. And there are other bug benefits too, they have an oil that attracts butterflies and the right kind of bees, which will help with pollination of other plants, fruits, and veggies you may have!

So have I impressed you yet? Or more accurately, have Diascias impressed you yet?