Daisies are instantly recognizable thanks to their yellow discs and white ray-like petals. But just because they are so common doesn’t mean you shouldn’t grow them at home. There are many wonderful types of daisies out there that are just perfect for your garden—or for nurturing in a flowerpot! In this post, we’ll take a closer look at them and show you how to grow beautiful daisies without any hassle. Read on!
Daisies grow on all continents except Antarctica. And they make up around 10% of the world’s flowering plants. So, you shouldn’t have a hard time growing them at home, right?
Discover all you need to know to grow healthy and beautiful daisies that will cheer you up every day.
The Meaning of Daisies
Daisies get their name from an Old English word meaning “day’s eye.” That’s because wild daisies open during the day and close at night. It’s one of the reasons why the daisy is a symbol of innocence.
Daisies are some of the most cheerful and uplifting wildflowers around. And, of course, they are sweetly romantic. Just think of all those “He loves me, he loves me not” that dreamy lovers say even as they pluck daisy petals.
Each daisy is made up of two flowers—the core being one and the crown the other. This blend reinforces the romantic meaning of the flower and is a strong symbol of true love.
Let’s review the core meanings of daisies.
- Cheerfulness – Just look at a white daisy blooming in the sun and you’ll understand why.
- Love – Daisies are an enduring symbol of love. But unlike roses, which are usually associated with passion, the love that daisies evoke tends to be more youthful and innocent.
- Simplicity – In the West especially, these flowers stand for simple beauty, unlike more sophisticated flowers like orchids.
- Innocence – For Christians most of all, daisies symbolize innocence. They are a sacred symbol of the Christ child and the Virgin Mary.
- Fertility – Daisies are also associated with fertility and motherhood. This meaning has probably come down to us from Norse mythology. Daisies are a great gift for a mother who has just given birth.
- Freshness – Have you ever heard the saying “Fresh as a daisy?”
Note: When offering daisies as a gift, remember that the white daisy is more often associated with innocence and purity than other types of daisies.
Popular Types of Daisies
There are over 20,000 daisy flower types out there. In other words, you’re looking at one of the most prolific species of plants on Earth. That means lots of options to choose from!
Do you live in a colder climate? Or in a hot and dry one? No problem! You can grow fresh and beautiful daisies almost anywhere.
Browse the following types of daisies to find the right one for you.
1. English Daisy (Bellis perennis)
The English daisy is the quintessential daisy flower. Also known as the “lawn daisy,” this perennial belongs to the Bellis genus which reaches up to 8″ in height.
That’s admittedly small, but these flowers compensate with their delicacy and bright looks.
The English daisy doesn’t mind cool weather and shady spots, though it does need lots of sun to thrive. Outdoors it blooms in early spring. You can also grow it indoors with ease.
Tip: While the classic English daisy is white, you can also find more colorful variants wearing pink or red petals. Whichever you choose, this variety is great for beginners.
2. Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum daisies)
Shasta daisies are some of the most popular garden perennials. Noted for their tallness, these low-maintenance plants have pretty flowers and attractive foliage that stays green all year.
A popular Shasta daisy is the Leucanthemum maximum or Max chrysanthemum which likes moist soil and full sun and is cold hardy. Its big and spectacular white flowers with golden centers are a magnet for bees and butterflies, making it perfect for a bee garden.
Also, check out Shasta Daisy Becky whose large flowers, strong stems, and adaptable nature make it the darling of many gardeners.
Tip: Shasta daisies love the sun and thrive in fertile soil provided you don’t overwater them. The thing to remember about them is that you should renew them every year through new seeds or cuttings.
3. Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
This wild daisy flower stands out thanks to its distinctive toothed foliage and upright stems. Up to 30 petals grow around its yellow eye.
It’s common in grassland areas but can grow in just about any type of soil provided it has good drainage. It spreads easily through seed and grows quickly.
4. Gerbera Daisies (Gerbera jamesonii)
Gerbera daisies are widely cultivated as houseplants. They are often used in bridal arrangements and as cut flowers. But growing your own can be even more rewarding as most varieties grow easily from seed!
This genus of daisies tends to have richer coloring and different petal arrangements compared to common daisies.
Most Gerbera varieties sold today are crossings between the spectacular Transvaal Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) and the quieter but equally fetching Blushing Barberton Daisy (Gerbera viridifolia).
These plants flower profusely in spring or early summer and are popular commercially.
Tip: If you’re looking for a pink, purple, orange, or red daisy flower, Gerberas are for you. But bear in mind that the coloring depends on the cultivar you choose.
5. Annual Daisy (Bellis annua)
This cute variety looks a lot like the English daisy with the exception that it has smaller flowers. If you like the classic daisy look but want to add a bit of variety to your garden, Bellis Annua can be an inspired choice.
Tip: Like many daisy varieties, this one has strong medicinal properties. You can make tea from its dried flowers to treat coughs and bronchitis.
6. Marguerite Daisy (Argyranthemum frutescens)
Popular with the bees, this perennial daisy shrub likes warm temperatures and lots of sunlight. No surprise there since it’s native to the Canary Islands.
Depending on the cultivar, it produces blooms in shades of white, pink, or yellow. To ensure it thrives, plant it in soil rich in organic matter. It also requires good drainage conditions.
Tip: If you live in a colder region with strong winds, this flower isn’t ideal for you. Look for hardier types.
7. Royal Haze Daisy (Argyranthemum foeniculaceum)
Some daisies have not only pretty flowers but also interesting leaves, and Royal Haze is a case in point. This compact shrub grows blue-green foliage that can cover all those dull spaces in the garden.
Royal Haze loves the sun and thrives in warm climates. It produces classic white blooms with rich yellow centers.
8. Easter Daisy (Townsendia incana)
Native to North America, the Easter Daisy has stems covered in hoary white hairs. From a distance, it looks almost silver.
The charms of its foliage aside, this plant has attractive flowers that grow at the same level as the leaves. This gives it a rich and dense appearance.
Tip: Another reason to grow Easter daisies is the large number of flowers they produce given enough sun and good soil.
9. Daisy Bushes (Osteospermum daisies)
Also known as African daisies, the plants in the Osteospermum genus are colorful perennials. Unlike common varieties, they tend to grow larger and have denser flowers.
They come in rich shades of purple and pink and often have dark centers. On fresh, breezy summer mornings, these bushes look as if fairies planted them overnight.
Tip: Daisy bushes don’t tolerate frost. Still, you can grow them in colder regions in pots if you bring these indoors during the late fall.
10. Delightful African Daisy (Osteospermum jucundum)
It’s hard to say no to a plant with this name, isn’t it? Of all types of African daisies, this bushy plant is one of the most vibrant. You’ll fall for its pink-purple flowers with dark centers.
Now, we haven’t said much about the scent of daisies because these flowers don’t smell all that much compared to others. But this variety has scented leaves that make it all the more interesting.
Tip: This flower is easier to grow from cuttings than from seed. Also, it needs lots of sun to thrive.
11. Echinacea Daisies (Echinacea purpurea)
Echinacea has attractive colorful flowers and powerful medicinal properties. The Echinacea tea and extracts, for example, boost the immune system and help treat anxiety and skin diseases.
Also known as coneflowers, these daisies are resistant to drought and fairly easy to cultivate. Their spiky flower heads set them apart from other varieties.
Two popular varieties are the Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida) and Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). Both love the sun and like to be sheltered from strong wind.
12. Tufted Arctosis (Arctotis acaulis)
The Tufted Arctosis is not your average daisy. This sun-loving African plant is a dependable perennial that spreads up to 3” wide. Petals can range in color from yellow and orange to pink and deep purple.
If you’re looking for a spreader to add color and foliage to your garden, try this one. It’s frost hardy and requires only moderate watering. It’s easy to grow and you get beautiful silver-gray foliage you can enjoy most of the year.
Growing Daisies from Seed
Daisies grow easily from seed, provided that you choose a variety that’s adapted to your region. Shasta daisy flowers are especially popular among gardeners. They are not fussy and grow quite fast.
One thing to bear in mind, though, is that plants grown from seed can exhibit variations. These variations usually involve the shape and size of the petals, their arrangement, and the size and hue of the inner core.
But a bit of variation never hurt anyone, right?
- The easiest way to grow daisies from seed is to sow them indoors 8 weeks before the last spring frost.
- Use a seed starting formula and keep the soil moist at around 70°F (21°C).
- Once the seeds emerge, move the container to a sunny windowsill or use fluorescent light. Daisy seedlings need about 16 hours of light and 8 hours of dark to keep on growing.
- Use a starter solution to fertilize the seedlings when they are 4 weeks old.
- Before planting outdoors, accustom the plants to outside conditions. Move the container with the seedlings to a sheltered space and keep it there for a week or two.
- Choose a planting spot where your flowers will get full exposure to the sun.
- Ensure the soil is moderately fertile before planting. In rich soil, daisies tend to grow more leaves than flowers.
- Turn the soil to a depth of 12” to prepare the bed for planting.
- Make sure to add some compost to the soil you loosen.
- Plant late in the afternoon to reduce transplant shock.
- Dig a hole that is large enough for it to contain the root ball.
- Water and apply a 2” layer of mulch.
- Watch out for weeds and keep watering at least once a week. Ideally, the soil should be damp just below the surface.
- Apply a light fertilizer after the plants put forth new growth.
Note: You can also seed directly and wait for the blooms next spring. But with this method, you may get more mixed results.
Daisy Growing Tips
Growing daisies in the garden can be a joy. You don’t have to fuss over them much and when the flowers bloom, well, that’s just a treat. There are just a few things you should pay attention to.
- Water them more often during the summer if it’s a dry season.
- Cut the stems down after the first killing frost.
- Apply compost and mulch in the spring to prevent weed growth.
- Divide your perennial daisies every 3 years in early spring. This is good for the plant’s health. Place divided roots at least 34” inches from their parent root and any other plants.
- When dividing the plants, you can discard the wooden center.
- If you get a hard frost in the fall, remove the foliage.
- If you live in a cold region, apply a double layer of mulch in the fall after the ground freezes. But don’t forget to remove this extra layer of protection in the spring!
Growing Daisies in Pots
Some daisies prefer growing outdoors while others do better indoors. For example, Shastas and English varieties are established outdoor plants. Gerbera daisies, on the other hand, thrive in pots and greenhouses.
Here are some important things to keep in mind when growing daisies in pots:
- Fertilize once a month during the growth season. Potted daisies need fertilizer to stay at their best!
- Ensure your potted plants get at least 6 hours of sun every day.
- Water once a week. Make sure that the pot has enough drainage holes. Don’t let the soil dry out completely in between waterings.
- Repot your flower in a larger pot every year to promote optimal growth.
- You can move potted daisies into the garden in the fall or early spring.
Important: In a pot, most daisies survive for about 2-3 years, so don’t get sad if your flower begins to wither after this time. It’s not your fault!
Daisy Care: Tips for Growing Gorgeous Flowers
What else do you need to pay attention to when growing daisies? Here’s a breakdown of the most important things. But keep in mind that individual varieties may have specific preferences, so always check for that.
Daisies tend to grow best in soil that is average to moderately fertile. They also grow in sandy soil. As already noted, it’s best to avoid planting them in very fertile soil or you’ll end up with many more leaves than flowers.
Ensure that the soil retains moisture while also offering good drainage conditions. These flowers don’t do well in dry soil.
Spacing is also important so that the plants don’t compete too closely for nutrients. Plant them at least 24” or so apart.
To encourage maximum flowering, keep your daisies in the sun. They can grow in part shade too, but they won’t produce as many flowers. Nor will the flowers be as beautiful.
What about potted daisies? The same applies to them. Keep them next to a South-facing window.
Daisies tend to grow best in warm but not too warm climates. Daytime temperatures around 75°F (24°C) are just great.
At the other end of the scale, the plants may suffer if they face temperatures below 43°F (6°C).
In general, daisies like moist but not wet soil. Some varieties can tolerate drought better than others, most notably Shasta daisies.
Tip: Water established plants once a week and you won’t go wrong.
But if your daisies grow in a partly shaded spot, it’s good to check moisture levels regularly. This is important because they will be more likely to develop fungal diseases.
Use a balanced fertilizer once a month for indoor daisies when they are actively growing. Potted plants need constant fertilization to stay healthy. Make sure to dilute the fertilizer according to the instructions on the label.
Daisies planted in the garden don’t usually need fertilization. But you can give them a top dressing of compost without any worry. Like most flowers, they won’t mind a layer of organic mulch, either.
Remove spent daisy flowers to encourage reblooming. But bear in mind that not all varieties rebloom if deadheaded. Even so, the plant can still benefit from deadheading.
It will grow with more vigor and look neater. The downside is that deadheading prevents seed development.
Daisies Frequently Asked Questions
Find here answers to the most common questions that people ask about daisies.
Do daisies need full sun?
Daisies need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily during summer to stay healthy. If you plant them in the shade, they won’t thrive. That said, in hot climates, they can benefit from afternoon shade.
What is the symbolic meaning of daisies?
Daisies symbolize innocence, purity, motherhood, fertility, romance, and freshness. They are an enduring symbol of cheerfulness and joyfulness. White varieties, in particular, are associated with purity and innocence.
Where do daisies grow?
Daisies grow in sunny meadows, grasslands, roadsides, and gardens. Some varieties grow in dry soil while others can handle wet conditions, too. You can find them on all continents except Antarctica.
What are daisies good for?
In addition to fresh bouquets, daisies are good for herbal medicine to improve digestion and treat coughs. You can also eat the leaves in salads.
A Daisy a Day Keeps the Bad Mood Away
You don’t need a cottage garden to grow daisies. These pretty little plants may have a countryside flavor to them, but their hardy freshness and undemanding nature make them a lovely addition to almost any garden.
You can also grow daisies in pots with equal success. Whether it’s Shastas or some other varieties, they can add a touch of color to your house and happily join the ranks of your other house plants.
In return for your work, you’ll get a cheerful bunch of flowers that will freshen up your days. Whether you go for the classic white and gold varieties or explore more colorful species, you won’t regret growing daisies!
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