Caring for Daisies | The Care and Feeding of Your Daisy Plant

Shasta Daisies Close Up | Caring for Daisy

Caring For Daisies

Daisies are children of the sun. They follow it dotingly as it makes its trek across the sky. Without the sun, they will close up their petals and deprive us of their splendid beauty.

Key to the caring for daisies is understanding the flower’s intimate relationship with the sun. Moderating how much sunlight your daisies are exposed to is essential to raising a healthy plant with gorgeous blooms.

As a general rule, daisies enjoy full sunlight. Some types of daisies will tolerate a little shade, like echinacea, but for the most part, shade tends to weaken daisies, leading to anemic growth and less ample blooms.

You must strike a delicate balance between making sure your daisies get the sunlight they need while protecting them from what can be the ravaging rays of the burning sun. The mildness of morning light is a gift, especially for more delicate daisies such as Gerbera, which performs its best under the Sun’s rays muted by the crisp, forenoon temperatures.

With proper care and attention, you will find that daisies are actually quite easy to grow and maintain. Just do your best to understand the relationship your daisies have with the sun. Seek to fulfill its desire to bask in its glow while doing your part to give them the water that they need, and you will be rewarded with beautiful blooms that last all season long.

Choosing Daisies

You will find that you have a whole spectrum of color, shapes foliage types to choose from when considering which type of plant to start your daisy-growing journey.

Don’t feel pigeon-holed to strictly the white variety of daisy when the daisy colors run the gamut from bubblegum pink to bumblebee yellow; daisies that are lilac purple, fire orange, and even deep candy red. [2]

The foliage can also vary depending on which daisy plant you choose. Some daisies have shrubby foliage, like the cool-loving Marguerite daisy. Others have foliage that resembles a fern, like the boldly-colored painted daisy.

Something to also consider when picking the right daisy is whether or not you seek the perennial variety, with blooms you can look forward to all year round, or the annual variety, which stuns with its blooms once yearly.

It Starts With The Seed

When starting daisies from seed, be sure to sow your seeds early into Spring. Expect that it will take about 10-20 days for the plant to germinate and the first sprout to appear.

If starting from seed sounds too intimidating, you can also consider starting with daisy plugs which you can purchase from your local plant nursery.[1][2]

How Much Sun?

Daisies enjoy basking in the full warmth of the sun – something to consider when deciding where to plant your daisies. Most daisies will tolerate a little shade if that’s all that can be provided, but others can be sensitive to shade, such as Gerbera daisies.[1]

Watering Your Daisy Plant

While daisies can be drought-tolerant, this is not an excuse to neglect their need for water. Some need less water than others, like echinacea that you will only need to water about once a week.

However, it will be important to make sure that your daisies receive water to withstand dry spells. They are also quite thirsty when they are blooming.

When you water your daisy plant, aim the water at the base of the plant, avoiding the flowers. This will lessen the risk of mold developing on your plant. Also make sure that your soil is well-draining, as pooling water can lead to undesirable maladies for your plant, such as mold and rot. [2]

The Green Thumb Rule

To keep your daisies robust and healthy, trim or pinch off any dying or decaying flowers. This action, called deadheading, will help encourage your daisies to bloom more abundantly, as your plant will dedicate its energy to parts of the plant that can use the strength, as opposed to being weighed down by withering flowers.

Daisies tend to winter well, especially Marguerite daisy and echinacea, with proper preparation. However, they may not survive freezing temperatures. Do your part to protect your daisies from the elements by loosely applying mulch around the base of the plant. [2]

Gerbera Daisy: Botanical Name: Gerbera jamesonii

Gerbera daisies are highly treasured for their brightly-colored, dramatic blooms. They are exceptionally versatile, being able to grow both indoors and outdoors.

A native of Africa, Gerbera daisies are a glutton for sunlight, without which they will not flower. However, they cannot withstand the sun at its harshest heat. The balance between heat and light will need to be moderated.

Strategically plant your Gerbera daisies in a place where they will have access to the subtle warmth of morning light. This place should also provide them some protection from the direct heat of the blazing afternoon sun.

Gerbera daisies are also known as Transvaal daisies or Gerber daisies. They tend to bloom in hues of porcelain white, sparkling pineapple yellow, blush pink, fuchsia, and tangerine orange. Their wonderful color array makes them a much sought-after inclusion in Easter bouquets. [13][14]

Caring for Gerbera Daisy

Caring for Gerbera daisies will require a little more attention to detail and care than you would give other, hardier daisies.

Soon after you open your Gerbera seeds, you will want to act quickly to plant them, as they lose viability rather rapidly once opened. Locate a spot in your garden that receives indirect sunlight to sow them.

Gerbera daisies love copious amounts of sunlight but will struggle if left to deal directly with the potent rays of the fervent sun head-on. This is especially true of afternoon sunlight, which can overwhelm the plant with acute heat.

While a little shade doesn’t prove to be a hindrance for most daisy varieties, with Gerbera daisies, shade can affect the quality of your plant. Gerbera daisies need full sunlight to produce their best and brightest blooms. As a consequence, the more time Gerbera daisies spend in the shade, the fewer blooms they will have.

Try to water your Gerbera daisy in the morning so that the leaves dry out throughout the course of the day. This will help prevent the plant from developing mold. [15]

African Daisies: Botanical Name: Osteospermum

The beauty of African daisies is stunning, captivating, and hypnotically mesmerizing. It entrances with its softly muted hues such as Tuscan sun yellow, Lapis blue, and Fuschia. It blends these colors seamlessly and fluently, bewitching the eye, and indulging the senses.

With other names such as Blue-Eyed beauty and daisybush, the African daisy tends to bloom in copious abundance. The flowers bloom in such exuberance that they blanket the deep, emerald green foliage generously, to breath-taking effect.

African daisies are native to Africa. They bloom late in the summer as they prefer the cooler temperatures found in the late summer season. The foliage, however, will remain plush and evergreen all year round.[3]

African Daisy’s scientific name is osteospermum. It comes from the Greek word osteon, meaning “bone” and the Latin word spermum, which means “seed.” [4]

Caring for African Daisy

African daisies are the children of Africa, the great cradle of life. There, they enjoyed the full warmth and power of the sun. You will want to simulate this experience when you go to plant your African daisies. In addition, seek out a place in your garden where they can bask in the warmth of the sun uninhibited.

You will want to aerate your soil to fluff it so that it drains water more adequately. Moreover, this will help make sure the soil properly drains water instead of pooling it. Finally, this will help prevent your African daisies from developing decay, mold, and rot.

Use a garden till or shovel to break up and aerate the soil to a decent depth. 12 inches is optimum. In addition, you can add supplements such as pearlite, mulch, and compost can help keep the soil from condensing.

Be attentive to your African daisies’ need for nourishment by adding fertilizer or nutrient-rich compost to the soil. This will fortify the plant, making it more capable of producing its stunning blooms year after year.

African daisies are quite tolerant in that they can weather soil that’s dry or poorer in quality. Just do your best to provide the best conditions for your plant, but don’t overwhelm yourself in seeking perfection. [19] 

Shasta Daisy: Botanical Name: Leucanthemum x superbum

When you think of daisies, it’s usually the Shasta daisy that you picture in mind. It has that classic daisy appearance – white flowers with a yellow disc.

Shasta daisy is named for Mount Shasta, as its brilliant white petals resemble the color of freshly-fallen snow.

They are easy to confuse with their close counterpart – the oxeye daisy, but Shasta daisies are actually larger than oxeye daisies and not as invasive.

While Shasta daisies are perennial, their blooms are short-lived. The flowers will only return after a few years before they stop blooming. You will want to introduce new Shasta daisy seeds into your garden to keep the beautiful blooms coming. [5][6]

Caring for Shasta Daisy

Shasta daisies love their sunlight, so be sure to give them full sun. They will grow just fine if cast by a little shade; just make sure the shade is at a minimal.

It is important to sow your Shasta daisy seeds after the danger of the last frost has passed. Shoot for spring or early summer, although this can vary depending on where you live.

When it comes to watering, it’s much better to underwater your plant than overwater, as overwatering can lead to problems such as mold or rot.

Provide rich, fertile soil that drains well for your Shasta daisies if you seek a healthy plant with beautiful blooms. [16]

Marguerite Daisy: Argyranthemum frutescens

The Marguerite daisy is a native of the Canary Islands, a place so beloved for its picturesque beauty that many movies have been filmed there, such as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Solo: A Star Wars Story[24]

As a perennial, Marguerite daisies will bloom year after year. You can find them in any number of colors, from lemon yellow, hot pink, and magenta.

It might be easy to confuse Marguerite daisies with Shasta daisies, as they look so similar. But in fact, Marguerite daisies tend to have more rounded petals than Shasta daisies.

Another difference you will find between the two is that Marguerite’s daisy foliage resembles a shrub. In comparison, Shasta daisy foliage consists of glossy, deep green leaves.

Marguerite daisies are also known as the Paris daisy, and in fact, the french word for daisy is marguerite[7]

Caring for Marguerite Daisies

Marguerite daisies are quite fond of cool weather and are tolerant of surprisingly low temperatures. However, as freezing temperatures can spell the downfall of many plants, so too will Marguerite daisies succumb to frigid cold. [8]

If you live in an area where temperatures reach freezing or below, you can protect your Marguerite daisy roots with a blanket of mulch at the base of the plant. The mulch will help insulate the plant’s roots so that they don’t freeze during the winter.

Like most other forms of daisy, marguerite daisies enjoy full sunlight, but a little shade won’t hinder that plant’s growth too much. Prune the plant regularly to keep it in tip-top shape. For a robust plant that is bushy and vibrant, deadhead spent flowers regularly by pinching them off using your thumb and forefinger. [17]

Painted Daisy: Botanical Name: Tanacetum coccineum

With blooms in bright, bold colors such as magenta, bubblegum pink, and ruby red, and the distinctive, banded patterns that color the petals, you would think that the Painted daisy’s color is…well…painted on. But alas, this is quite a natural phenomenon and part of the magical eye candy of the Painted daisy.

Not your typical daisy, the Painted daisy flowers grow atop long, wiry stems. These stems make them very suitable for use in cut flower arraignments. The painted daisy’s foliage is also unique in that it closely resembles a fern.

Painted daisies, also known as pyrethrum, are native to southwestern Asia. Its genus name, tanacetum, comes from the Greek word athanatos, which means “immortal”. This is because its flowers tend to last a long time. [9]

Caring for Painted Daisy

Painted daisies do best when they have access to full sunlight, however, they will tolerate a little shade if that’s all that can be provided.

Painted daisies are quite the pest repellent, and an ingredient within painted daisies is even used in pesticides — a testament to its strength to repel insects. Plant them strategically in your garden wherever you wish to ward off unwanted insects and allow them to protect your other plants.

If you want your painted daisy foliage to reach peak bushiness, pinch back the longer stems in the spring. [18]

Echinacea: Botanical Name: Echinacea purpurea

It might surprise you to find out that Echinacea is a daisy. Nevertheless, Echinacea is part of the daisy family — asteraceae.

Echinacea is also known as Pink Shimmer. It has characteristic taffy pink blooms and a center shaped like a cone, hence its other moniker, coneflower.

Your chances of finding Echinacea in the wild greatly increase if you happen to live in central and eastern North America. They tend to enjoy the dry prairies and wooded areas found therein. [10]

Caring for Echinacea

In order to germinate properly, Echinacea seeds need to experience a period of cold and extra moisture. The plant is used to woodland conditions, so it doesn’t mind a little shade as long as it gets at least four hours of sunlight throughout the day. [11]

For your Echinacea plant to be at its strongest, it will need at most 8 hours of sunlight a day. Echinacea can persist on as little as four hours of sunlight a day, but the less sunlight it receives, the weaker its stems will be. Lack of sunlight can also result in the plant developing powdery mildew.

If you’d like to feed your plant nutrients with a little bit of compost or fertilizer feel free to do so. However, you will want to use these sparingly. Overfeeding Echinacea can cause the plant to bloom fewer flowers and create an abundance of foliage instead.

You don’t need to water Echinacea every day. At most, your Echinacea plant will need about 1 inch of water per week. [20]

Shasta Crazy Daisy: Leucanthemum superbum Crazy Daisy

The Shasta Crazy daisy is the wild child of the daisy family. It has characteristic shaggy blooms that make it look more like a rebel rockstar than a dainty and delicate flower,

Shasta Crazy daisies have double blooms, which means double the flower power. The double blooms almost give it the appearance of a cheerleader’s pom rather than a daisy.

You can enjoy the Shasta daisy’s eccentric blooms as they flower early to late summer. Outside of that, the plant produces gorgeous, deep green foliage. The foliage will provide an arresting feast for the eyes despite the absence of flowers.

Butterflies are quite fond of Shasta daisies. If you’re looking to attract butterflies to your garden, be sure to plant them.[12]

Caring for Shasta Crazy Daisy

Caring for Shasta Crazy daisies is pretty much standard and relatively easy. Provide your plant with well-draining soil, allow them full access to sunlight, and you should be rewarded with gorgeous blooms for minimal effort.

Good drainage matters particularly during the winter months, in which water pooling around your Shasta daisy plants can significantly compromise their health.

If you live in an area that gets quite hot during the summer months, you may want to plant your Shasta Crazy daisies in an area that gets just a little shade.[21]

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