MESEMBRYANTHEMUM – Livingstone daisy

Shimmering colours and friendly daisy-like faces are the charms of these popular summer-flowering annuals. Use them as ground cover on a rockery, in summer bedding and across sunny and dry banks.

Suitable site and soil. Plant them in full sun in well-drained soil. They do best in a light sandy soil.

Cultivation and care. Plant out in early summer. Deadhead flowers regularly to prolong flowering.

Propagation. Sow seed in spring into good seed compost in trays and provide gentle heat. You can sow direct into flower-

M. occulahis ‘Yellow Ice’

Ing positions in late spring. When seedlings are growing well, thin out to leave 20cm – 8in spacing between plants.

Recommended varieties. Mesembryanthemum crinijlorum is available as mixed-colour seed collections. ‘Magic Carpet Mixed’ offers a rainbow of pastel pinks, lilac and yellow to orange. Sometimes the flowers have a lighter shade or zoning near their centres. Botanists have changed this plant’s name and it may be labelled differently. The new name is Dorotheanthus bellidiformis. For plain yellow flowers, choose another species Mesembryanthemum occulatus ‘Yellow Ice’ (also known as ‘Lunette’). Its glowing flowers have a reddish central eye. It flowers early in summer and has a trailing habit that suits rockeries, edges or beds above walls.

Pests and diseases. Generally trouble free, but slugs enjoy its leaves. It can succumb to foot rot, a fungal disease.

FAIR WEATHER FLOWERS

This sun-loving plant will not open if the sun is not shining. In wet weather, in the shade and on dull days it stays tightly shut. To get the best out of it plant it in full sun.

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