Care Of Twinspur Diascia: Tips For Growing Twinspur Flowers
By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Adding Twinspur to the garden not only provides color and interest, but this lovely little plant is great for attracting useful pollinators to the area. Keep reading for information on growing Twinspur flowers.
Twinspur Plant Info
What is twinspur? Twinspur (Diascia), sometimes known as Barber’s Diascia, is a sprawling annual that adds beauty and color to beds, borders, rock gardens, and containers. The plant is appropriately named for a pair of spurs on the back of each bloom. These spurs have an important function- they contain a substance that attracts beneficial bees.
Bright green, heart-shaped leaves provide contrast to the delicate, spiky blooms that come in various shades of mauve, pink, rose, coral, and white each with a contrasting yellow throat.
Native to South Africa, Twinspur reaches heights of 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm.) with a 2 foot (61 cm.) spread, making this plant a useful ground cover. Although the plant tolerates light frost, it won’t survive intense summer heat.
Diascia Twinspur is a cousin to the common snapdragon. Although it is usually grown as an annual, Diascia is perennial in warm climates.
How to Grow Twinspur Diascia
Twinspur Diascia generally performs best in full sunlight, but benefits from afternoon shade in hot climates. Soil should be well-drained, moist, and fertile.
To plant Twinspur, cultivate the soil and add a shovelful of compost or manure, then plant seeds directly in the garden when the temperature is consistently above 65 degrees F. (18 C.). Press the seeds into the soil, but don’t cover them because germination requires exposure to sunlight. Keep the soil lightly moist until the seeds sprout, usually in two to three weeks.
Care of Twinspur Diascia
Once established, Twinspur needs regular water during dry periods, but don’t water to the point of sogginess. Water deeply, then withhold water until the soil once again feels dry.
Regular feeding with a standard garden fertilizer supports blooming. Be sure to water the fertilizer in to prevent burning the roots.
Trim spent flowers to produce more blooms and cut the plant back to about 4 inches (10 cm.) when blooming stops in summer heat. The plant may surprise you with another flush of blooms when the weather cools in autumn.
Twinspur is relatively pest-tolerant, but keep an eye out for snails and slugs.
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How to Grow Diascia Plants in your Garden
Plants of the Diascia family are low growing half hardy annuals or half hardy perennials.
They bloom in the summer with pink flowers atop 25 cm long stems and their size makes them ideal for in rock gardens or for use in a border.
One of the common names for Diascia is Twinspur.
Diascia personata ‘Hopleys’
Plant does not flower in January
Plant does not flower in February
Plant does not flower in March
Plant does not flower in April
Plant does flower in June
Plant does flower in July
Plant does flower in August
Plant does flower in September
Plant does flower in October
Plant does flower in November
Plant does not flower in December
- Botanical name:Diasciapersonata 'Hopleys'
- Common name: Twinspur
- Family: Scrophulariaceae
- Plant Type: Perennial
- Key features:
Diascia personata is taller and hardier than its cousin Diascia barberae. It’s well suited to growing in a mixed herbaceous border among other perennials such as echinacea and rudbeckia.
Diascia ‘Hopleys’ is bears masses of pink blooms on tall, upright plants, from May to November.
Grow Diascia ‘Hopleys’ in moist but well-drained soil or compost in full sun. Deadhead spent blooms regularly to prolong flowering.
South African natives related to snapdragon (Antirrhinum), bearing spikelike clusters of blossoms at stem ends from spring through early summer and often into fall. They go dormant in hot summers. Flowers are coral to purplish pink, about inches across, with two prominent spurs on the back these spurs produce oils attractive to pollinating bees. Leaves of most types are medium green, heart shaped, from inches to 1 inches long. Not browsed by deer.
Twinspurs are at their best in rock gardens, borders, and containers. With the exceptions noted, all of the species listed here are perennial, though these perennials may die in winter if planted in heavy, wet soil. Shear back after bloom.
- Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS USDA 6-11.
- Mat-forming plant to 10 inches tall, 20 inches wide, with rose-pink blossoms.
- Blackthorn Apricot bears apricot-colored flowers.
- Ruby Field, to 10 inches high and 2 feet wide, bears salmon-pink blossoms and has a long bloom season.
- Selections in the Diamonte series are more compact and full-foliaged, grow about 12 inches high, and come in a range of colors.
- Zones LS, CS USDA 8-9.
- To 10 inches high and 20 inches wide, with rose-pink blooms.
- Zones LS, CS USDA 8-9.
- More show up every year.
- Plants in the Flying Colors series have large flowers in shades of red, pink, apricot, and coral most grow to 612 inches high (some grow upright, others are more trailing).
A group of newer hybrids from England (all to 710 inches high and 1 feet wide) includes coral-pink 'Coral Belle' 'Little Charmer', pink with dark red eye soft pink 'Little Dancer' rosy red 'Red Ace' and deep pink 'Strawberry Sundae'.
Sundiascia series has shown more heat tolerance than any other series trialed. Upright growers to 15 inches tall and available in 'Blush Pink', 'Orange' and 'Rose Pink'.
Whisper series is a group of annual hybrids. These compact, heat-resistant plants grow 810 inches high, spreading to about 2 feet wide, and bear long-blooming, pansylike flowers. Selections include 'Apricot', 'Cranberry Red', 'Lavender Pink', and 'Salmon Red'.
- Zones LS, CS USDA 8-9.
- To 1 12 feet tall, creeping to 34 feet wide.
- Narrow leaves to 1 inches long loose spikes of rich purplish pink flowers.
- Coral Canyon grows 1215 inches high and 1 feet wide, bears salmon-pink blooms.
- Zones MS, LS, CS USDA 7-9.
- Sprawling stems form a clump to 1 feet tall, 2 feet wide, turn up at ends to display 6- to 8 inches spikes of rich pink flowers.
- Cut out old stems.
Diascia, Twinspur 'Sun Chimes Coral'
Requires consistently moist soil do not let dry out between waterings
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Where to Grow:
Soil pH requirements:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From herbaceous stem cuttings
Allow pods to dry on plant break open to collect seeds
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed
This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:
Boulder Creek, California(2 reports)
Port Townsend, Washington(2 reports)
On Feb 15, 2012, treeacres from Hermosa, SD wrote:
2011. Does great on the Great Plains of South Dakota. After first spring flowering into June. I cut it back and the new growth and blooms kept flowering even after first light frost. the end of Sept. kept blooming way into the middle of Oct. when we had a hard freeze.. I had about 8 plants and they all filled-in to give a sea of pretty, rose-pink in about a 12"X24" area. This year (2012) I will plant these again and try some in containers.
On May 2, 2005, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
Wonderful hanging basket or low filler in the secret garden. This year I am holding my breath with last year's seeds.
On Sep 14, 2004, ceedub from Whitby, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:
I acquired my diascia as a small plant in late May, transplanted it into a wooden rectangular planter, and it completely filled the planter within a couple of weeks. It was blooming when I got it, and is still blooming now, Sept 14th, albiet pretty minimally. Our first frost hasn't yet occurred. I just love it, its so cheerful!!
On Jul 29, 2003, ohmysweetpjs from Brookeville, MD wrote:
Adorable little plant. Minimal care. I keep mine in a pot and have trouble getting it to bloom. Cutting it back increases bushiness.
I absolutely love this plant! Living in northern British Columbia (canada) doesn't leave me with alot of options when it comes to plants because we can have an attack of frost anytime of the year, but this plant can handle it. last month (June) we had one night of -2 celcius and it didn't even affect this plant while sadly, my other plants were! I have also found that it is an extremely easy keeper and looks great planted with petunias in hanging baskets. My family owns/operates a commercial greenhouse and this plant was pretty much our best seller. We mixed them with everything from verbena to bacopa, it didn't matter what we planted it with because it always looked great.
Benth Twinspur Overview
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