How to Grow Daisies in your cottage garden. An easy, drought tolerant perennial that comes in many shapes, sizes and forms.
Daisies seem to come in all shapes and sizes. Though I mostly think of white when the term Daisy is used there are many colors and types. But here I am going to stick to the Shasta daisy because that is what I have grown the most of. Come on over and let me share how to grow daisies.
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Types of Daisies
The Shasta Daisy is a classic perennial, here in my garden, Zone 8, they happily spread by seed of their own volition but are not hard to dig up if they sprout where I do not want them. One packet of seeds can produce plants that look a bit different from each other.
Some with long petals that drape and some with short stubby ones.
Shasta daisies tend to bloom in clumps from 2 to 3 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. Daisies are great for cutting and summer bouquets.
Keep them Blooming
Regularly cutting and dead heading is what keeps them blooming. There is the first flush of tons of blooms and then the later blooms come in spurts and not as many as at first but they do keep blooming.
Another plus in my garden is the deer don’t seem to like them.
Something I cannot say enough is good soil is key to growing most flowers, click on over to read how I started building my soil. Lazy Gal’s Garden Guide 1
Planting of Daisies
- Grow in full sun.
- Soil should drain well, they do not like wet feet.
- Seed directly in Fall or plant a container grown daisy in Spring. (you can start seeds indoors if you like)
- Space plants 1 to 2 feet apart. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the container.
- When placing plant in the hole, make sure the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface.
- Fill around the root ball and firm the soil.
- Water thoroughly.
- Do not over water, this causes overly tall, gangling plants that need staking. Also if they are in shade they will reach for the sun and fall over.
- Water during the summer only if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. (once established these are very drought tolerant and can go without water longer, they just don’t bloom as prolifically)
- When dead heading or cutting for bouquets cut down to a newly forming bud.
- After the first killing frost, cut stems back to an inch or two above the soil line. I sometimes leave them so the birds can eat the seeds in winter but it can look messy. I am not bothered by messes.
- Every spring, apply some compost and mulch to help control weeds.
- Every 3 to 4 years, divide Daisies in early spring or late summer.
Seed starting tips can be found here. How to Start Seeds This is how I have started seeds many times but the past few years I have just started later in March in the greenhouse when I really don’t need added lights. You can also put the potted up seeds in a bright windowsill and not mess with the light racks when it is later in the season.
If there is a particular daisy you just love the form of and want a duplicate of it, you won’t get it from the seeds. You have to either take a cutting and root it or divide it at the roots.
I have never rooted cuttings of daisies so I cannot share how easy or hard it may be but I have taken root divisions.
Here is how I do that:
Dig up the plant in Fall or early Spring making sure to dig well around the root ball.
Have a 5 gallon bucket half filled with water ready to dunk the entire root ball into. As the water gently washes away the soil you can see the individual plants and you can prick them apart.
Or you can skip the bucket of water and just cut through the root ball with your sharp shovel or spade.
I have done both and it depends on my mood.
Dunking the entire root ball in the bucket of water gives the roots a good drink . I pot them up in pots or directly back into the garden if I know where I want to place it.
Soon you will have tons of daisies in your borders and beds. There are varieties of heights from short as 12 inches, like this diminutive Silver Princess.
And some daisies grow as tall as 36 inches or more.
Some daisies are hybrids and cannot be propagated by seed.
I love this one called Aglaia, nicknamed Shaggy Maggy. It’s ragged edged, fluffy flowers are just a delight.
Monrovia carries these so check their garden center finder for a store that carries these near you.
There is no mystery as to why Daisies are a cottage garden favorite. Easy to grow daisies fill in swiftly making for great swathes of white to enhance your other cottage flowers.
Go ahead and plant some seeds today or find a neighbor wanting to divide theirs. Garden centers too should carry the hybrids that are just as much fun.