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 your Daisies 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
Plant and Grow Daisies
Plant your daisies in full sun. Good soil drainage is also needed. Daisies do not like wet feet.
You can direct seed daisies in Fall. For more info on that I have a full article on sowing seeds in Fall.
You can also Winter sow daisies or you can buy plants at your local garden center.
Space your daisy seedlings or plant 1 to 2 feet apart. Dig a hole about twice the size as the diameter of the container it is growing in. Place in planting hole making sure the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface.
Firm in the soil around root ball. Water thoroughly. Do not overwater, this will cause overly tall, gangly plants that need staking. They will also tend to reach for the sun if they are located in a shady spot.
Water during the summer months only if you get less than an inch of rain a week. Once well established Daisies are much more drought tolerant and can withstand drier conditions.
When deadheading your daisies or cutting for bouquets cut down to a newly forming bud. This is usually at a leaf juncture. Want to know more about deadheading, see this article.
After your first killing freeze you can leave the daisies for the birds to pluck the seeds or you can cut the stems down around an inch from the ground.
I like leaving them for the birds though it can look messy and be warned they will reseed themselves readily.
In early Spring add compost around daisies as mulch to discourage weeds. Every 3 to 4 years divide daisies to prevent overcrowding.
Propagate a Daisy
I already linked to posts above about starting daisies from seed and propagating by dividing.
Many are hybrids, like the Crazy Daisy, that will not come true from the parent plant but you will get some interesting daisies if you let the seeds spread.
But if you want a quick overview here it is.
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 pull or cut them apart.
Replant divisions in pots or your new location for them.
Daisy sizes you can grow
There a a variety of daisy heights depending on the cultivar. So before you plant in your beds or garden check to see how tall you can expect to see from the one you are growing.
There are shorter ones for the front of the beds and taller for the middle or back. I am trying a new to me variety that is supposed to have a much longer blooming time than most others.
With most varieties of daisy you will get a first flush of blooms and then sporadic blooming if you dead head regularly.
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.