How to Plant & Care for Daisies
Daisies, members of the aster family of flowers, include many varieties of plants. Many flowers with radiating petals around a large central disk are referred to as daisies. Many are perennial flowers, though there are some annual varieties. Ox-eye daisies are the common variety with white petals and yellow centers, but there are also exotic varieties such as Gerbera that have brightly-colored petals and are larger. Most daisies have similar requirements for planting and for the care needed to thrive.
Fill seed starting pots with a quality potting mix four weeks before the last expected frost in your area. Water the mix until it is evenly moist.
Sow two seeds per pot. Place seeds on the surface of the potting mix and the cover with 1/4 inch of soil. Cover with a plastic bag to retain moisture during germination.
Set pots in a warm room to germinate; germination takes from three to seven days for most daisy varieties. Remove the plastic bag once seedlings emerge, and move the pots to a well-lit window. Keep the soil moist at all times until transplanting.
Prepare a well-drained garden bed that receives full sun after the last expected spring frost in your area. Remove any weeds or dead plant material, then lay a 1-inch layer of compost over the bed, and till it in.
Dig a hole to the same depth as the seedling pot and 2 inches wider. Remove the pot and set the daisy in the hole, firming the soil around the plant. Space the daisies as recommended on the seed packet for the specific variety.
Water immediately after planting until the soil is moist. This collapses any air pockets around the roots, so they are in contact with the soil to take in nutrients.
Pinch off flowers once they begin to wilt. This stops seed production and encourages further blooming from the daisy. Remove any wilted, dead or damaged leaves at the same time.
Use a low-analysis fertilizer in spring once daisies begin growing again. Follow label instructions for the exact application amount, as it differs by brand.
Mulching around the daisies preserves soil moisture and prevents weeds.
Allow some daisies to go to seed in fall. This feeds the birds and encourages plants to self-seed in the garden.
Always read the instructions on the seed envelope for the particular daisy type you are planting. Most daisies prefer full-sun, while a few need some shade. Know the specific cultural requirements for your type.
- Mulching around the daisies preserves soil moisture and prevents weeds.
- Allow some daisies to go to seed in fall. This feeds the birds and encourages plants to self-seed in the garden.
- Always read the instructions on the seed envelope for the particular daisy type you are planting. Most daisies prefer full-sun, while a few need some shade. Know the specific cultural requirements for your type.
- Seed pots
- Potting mix
- Plastic bag