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Growing Daisies

Feel Relaxed and Happy! Feast Your Eyes on a Scenic Landscape of Daisies!

by Frances Santos

How To Grow DaisiesDaisies are popular blooms to grow at home, thanks to their simple, unrivaled beauty. Whether you see a cluster of daisies in your garden or a single cut flower in your center table, you’ll always feel a welcoming charm.

Throughout time, their cheerful blooms and long stem have identified it as a symbol of summer. Descriptive names for daisies include moon flower, moon pennies, Saint John’s flower, Mary’s Star and Priest’s collar.

There are many flowers that resemble them, but the true daisy belongs to the family Asteraceae that originated in northern Europe. A daisy usually has white petals and yellow centers, but due to extensive hybridization, some varieties now display pink, lavender and rose petals.

The name “daisy” originates from the Anglo Saxon word that means “day’s eye.” This name references the fact that daisy flowers close at night. The petals open again at daylight and are visited by various small insects.

There are many varieties of daisies but the most popular are Shasta Daisy, Painted Daisy and African Daisy. Generally, daisies grow 1-3 feet tall. Most varieties are perennials, meaning the plants grow back year after year. Daisies are perfect components in flower arrangements when cut. They also do well in containers and flowerbeds to add sparkle in your front porch.

Their showy blooms are well-liked for use in corsages. Hey, did you also know that daisies are actually made up of 2 types of flowers: the petal-like white florets and the disk florets? Additionally, daisy leaves are edible and are often used in salads. Interesting stuff! Read on for our full guide on how to grow daisies in your own garden.

Propagating Daisies

Propagating daisies can be done in 2 ways: by seeds and by cuttings.

  • When growing daisies by seeds, collect the seeds from the parent plant and plant them within 2 months.
  • Propagating by stem cuttings require rooting bed compost that consists of equal amounts of peat, perlite and coarse sand. This mixture will provide good drainage yet holds sufficient moisture. The stem cutting must be about six inches long. Any leaves attached within three inches from the stem’s bottom must be removed, along with flowers and buds. Place the cutting in upright position and place its rooting bed in a warm, well-lit location. To avoid the stem from drying out, make sure to water it frequently. You can also cover it with a plastic sheet to trap moisture when the weather is dry. After the roots form, transplant the stem cutting to a permanent. Make sure to keep the roots undamaged. Propagation by stem cutting will produce a plant similar to its parent.

How to Grow Daisies

Daisies are easy to grow. In fact they’re best for starters and for aspiring gardeners who lack a green thumb.

Starting from Seeds

You can sow the seeds directly outdoors. Like most ornamental plants, daisies love full sunshine and fertile, well-drained soil. But they are not so fussy and can tolerate average soils and semi-shaded area. Choose a well-protected location.

  1. Mix compost into the soil. After leveling the planting area, scratch the top of the soil using a rake or hoe. Scatter the seeds on top of the soil and lightly cover them with about one-eighth of an inch of garden soil. Keep the soil moist to achieve successful germination. Take note that germination is quick, certainly within three weeks.
  2. Thin the seedlings to a single plant for every twelve inches of space when the seedlings are about two to three inches in height. This means, you should remove plants that are too close together. Do not water the plants too much. Sprinkle the plants with water when they seem dry.
  3. Transplant daisy plants to their permanent location in early fall or the next spring.

Daisies usually bloom in the second year and succeeding years. But if you want them to bloom the first year, start daisy seeds indoors, 6 to 8 weeks prior to the last frost date in your location. Before planting the seeds outdoors, be sure to get them acclimated to their new environment. How? By exposing the plants outside for a few hours daily for 2-4 weeks or longer.

Purchasing Young Plants

To conserve time and effort, you can actually buy young plants from your local gardening center instead of starting them from seeds. Just make sure to plant them only as deep as how they were already planted in the original pot/container. Water the plants well until the roots have developed. Afterwards, water the plants only when they seem dry. Feed the plants with a flower fertilizer every month throughout the growing stage.

Care For Your Daisies

Throughout the first year, daisies need extra attention. Feed them with general purpose fertilizer to help develop big and sturdy stems and leaves. Also, protect your daisies by adding a heavy layer of mulch during winter.

Although daisies look so pretty when planted in clusters, avoid overcrowding. Divide your plants every 3 to 4 years. Why so? It’s because overcrowding will force them to compete for nutrients, resulting to unhealthy plants and smaller blooms.

Additionally, in order to promote big, showy and bright blooms, provide a fertilizer high in Phosphorous just before the blooming season.