Growing Blue-Eyed Daisies
About Blue-eyed Daisies: Want Some Flashy, Dainty Blooms through Cuttings?
The blue-eyed daisy (Arctotis stoechadifolia) flaunts pearly white petals and a steel-blue core, surrounded by a yellow band. The blooms are held in a compact mound above the plant, showcasing an impressive beauty.
The leaves are dark green that greatly complement the blooms. Hybrids have petals (disc florets) in striking shades of cream, pink, yellow, orange, purple, blue and red, and can grow up to 4 inches in diameter.
Blue-eyed daisy, known as Cape Daisy and African Daisy, is native to South Africa. When the spring rains begin, most varieties particularly the hardy types burst into bloom. But in gardens, blue-eyed daisies get a flush of flowers throughout summer.
These plants are known as tender perennials but they are commonly grown as annuals. Like most plants in the daisy family, blue-eyed daisies are tough and tolerate hot and dry conditions.
Keep in mind though that some moisture will elicit stellar blooms. What’s fascinating is that at night, Blue-eyed daisies close their flowers.
Blue-eyed daisies beautify beds and borders. Just make sure full sun is available for optimum flowering and lush foliage.
They also grow in dry rock gardens, as well as in greenhouses. Blue-eyed daisies are not toxic to pets.
Blue-Eyed Daisies Propagation
The best way to propagate Blue-eyed Daisies is to take cuttings from established plants. To do so, follow these simple steps:
1. Set a tray of seedling mixture. Damp it with warm water but not too wet. The mixture’s texture must resemble a tightly-squeezed sponge. If the seedling mixture is too wet, chances are mold will grow, causing the cuttings to rot even before they could begin to root.
2. Selecting good side shoots can be done in two ways: Pinch out the buds or select shoots without blooms. When cutting, follow these rules:
- Use a sterile scissor or knife when cutting the shoots.
- Cut right below the leaf node then strip the leaves off from that joint.
- The cutting must be 2 to 3 inches long and must have a minimum of two clusters of leaf axils.
- To promote the growth of new roots, dip in rooting hormone.
3. Carefully place the stem in the hole and firm the potting mix around it. Take note that the hole must be slightly bigger than the stem in the. The ideal temperature for rooting is between 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Place the cuttings in a bright area out of direct sunlight. These should form roots in about 3 or 4 weeks. When the cuttings have started to put on new growth, they can be hardened off for planting outdoors.
How to Grow Blue-Eyed Daisies
Blue-eyed daisies are easy to grow and do not require too much attention. When planting outdoors, make sure all the danger of frost has passed. Blue-eyed daisies love bright sunny days and cool nights. They also prefer rich, fertile and well-drained soil. Spacing between the plants must be about 9-12 inches apart. Add a light application of organic fertilizer when planting then water well.
Deadhead or remove spent flowers to encourage bigger and healthier blooms. This will also make your Blue-eyed daisies more attractive. For best blooms, apply some general purpose fertilizer on top of the soil during spring and once a month thereafter. There is almost no need for watering if the weather conditions are average. But during dry periods, your Blue-eyed daisies should be watered weekly.
Blue-Eyed Daisies Diseases
Plant disease, particularly fungal disease can sometimes occur especially during wet and humid weather. In this case, treat fungi problem as early as possible with fungicide. In case of insect problems such as aphids, treat with insecticides.