Ive got Osteospermum (African Daisy), however I cant figure out why the flowers are getting their petals chopped and are mostly dying,

The plant seems healthy and I cant see any insects or bugs around. The flowers just get totally destroyed within 2 days.

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  • 2
    If I have time tomorrow I will give you a more detailed explanation but your flowers should be fine for now. I recommend for now cutting off all of the flowers that no longer look pretty which will force the plant to make more. This is all natural. Commented Sep 18, 2020 at 5:49
  • @DavidWisniewski oh really? wow thats a relief... I was really sad! Commented Sep 18, 2020 at 10:17
  • I'm just wondering if its earwigs- they do like to eat the petals of some flowers. if you have a small terracotta pot (or at least a pot that won't blow away) and a bamboo cane about 3 feet tall, part fill the pot with straw or torn up newspaper (not too tightly), insert a cane into the ground near the plant and invert the pot on top. If its earwigs, one or two may well choose to hide in there overnight, so to check, you empty the contents of the pot into a bucket of water and see what's in there. Where you live though, I just hope one of your nastier spiders doesn't choose to rest in there...
    – Bamboo
    Commented Sep 18, 2020 at 12:36

2 Answers 2


I took a look at some Osteospermum Jucundum that I have. Now if you do not see any mites or insects on your plant this is the best explanation that I can give you for what is going on. Currently, you are growing these daisies outside where they can be pollinated by insects. Once the flowers are pollinated the plant is not focused on maintaining the flower and instead turns its energy to seed production, which takes place in the center of the flower. This causes the outer edges of the daisy to wilt which are no longer being supplied with nutrients. This can be seen in all of the daisies that you have pictured. In one week the center of the flower produces seeds. If you want to get more flowers, cut the flowers off that do not look pretty. This will cause the plant to become fuller and produce more flowers.

  • Thanks for the explanation. This does seem to work as now ive got plenty new flowers and less of them being chopped or rolled. :) Commented Sep 21, 2020 at 1:07
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    I am glad it worked. I hope you have a wonderful week. Commented Sep 21, 2020 at 17:12

I’ve gotta chime in. I’m loving david’s suggestion about cutting off the past-their-prime flowers, as well as the reasoning he provided for doing so.

However. This damage is 100% a chomping insect, not a natural process of wilting during seed development!

If you feel like a little fun, try this. Go and take a look at the flowers in the nighttime, with a lil’ flashlight. I bet you’ll catch your culprit in the act!

Squishing the baddies when you spot them, out there, is just a fun bonus. :)

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