Are you looking to add a touch of beauty to your cottage garden? Look no further than daisies! These easy-to-grow, drought-tolerant perennials come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. There’s a daisy for every garden, and in this article, we’ll explore how to plant and grow these delightful flowers.
The Many Faces of Daisies
When you think of daisies, you probably envision the classic white flower. However, daisies come in a plethora of colors and types. One popular variety is the Shasta daisy. These charming perennials can be easily grown from seed, making them perfect for your cottage garden. But before we delve into the details, let’s take a closer look at the different types of daisies available.
The Shasta Daisy: A Classic Perennial
Don’t be fooled by the name “Shasta” – these daisies are not limited to Shasta County. In fact, they can thrive in various climates, including Zone 8. Shasta daisies have a tendency to spread on their own, but they can be easily removed if they sprout where you don’t want them. The interesting thing about these daisies is that even seeds from the same packet can produce plants with unique characteristics. Some may have long, draping petals, while others have short and stubby ones.
These versatile flowers form clumps that can reach heights of 2 to 3 feet and widths of 1 to 2 feet. They are perfect for cutting and adding to your summer bouquets. The Alaska Shasta Daisy, a famous cultivar of this European wildflower, boasts large white flowers that are ideal for cutting. If you’re looking for longer blooming times, Daisy May Amazing Daisies from Proven Winners are newer hybrids worth considering.
How to Keep Your Daisies Blooming
To ensure a continuous display of blooms, it’s important to regularly cut and deadhead your daisies. The first flush of blooms is always abundant, followed by sporadic blooming. Additionally, the great news for gardeners is that deer tend to steer clear of these lovely flowers. But there’s something else you should keep in mind: good soil is the key to growing most flowers. Building nutrient-rich soil is crucial, and you can find out more about it in my Lazy Gal’s Garden Guide.
Planting and Growing Daisies
Daisies thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. They don’t like wet feet, so make sure the soil is properly drained. You can sow daisy seeds directly in the ground in the fall, or you can try winter sowing. Alternatively, you can buy young plants from your local garden center. When planting seedlings, space them 1 to 2 feet apart, and dig a hole twice the size of the container. Ensure that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface, and firmly pack the soil around the root ball. Water thoroughly but avoid overwatering, as this can lead to tall, lanky plants that need staking. It’s also worth noting that if daisies are located in a shady spot, they may stretch towards the sun.
Watering Your Daisies
During summer, only water your daisies if you receive less than an inch of rain per week. Once they become established, daisies are more tolerant of drought and can withstand drier conditions. When deadheading or cutting for bouquets, make sure to cut down to a newly forming bud, usually at a leaf juncture. After the first killing freeze, you can either leave the daisies for the birds to enjoy or cut the stems down to about an inch from the ground.
In some regions, daisies may stop blooming earlier than in others. To introduce a pop of white to your garden, consider planting White Echinacea. Keep in mind that daisies tend to readily reseed themselves, so leaving them for the birds may result in a slightly more chaotic garden. To discourage weeds, add compost as mulch around your daisies in early spring. And every 3 to 4 years, divide your daisies to prevent overcrowding.
If you’re interested in starting daisies from seed or propagating them by dividing, I have previously shared detailed articles on these methods. While some daisies are hybrids and won’t produce true offspring from seeds, you can still enjoy the excitement of seeing what new varieties may emerge. For an overview of dividing daisies, dig up the plant in fall or early spring, ensuring you dig around the root ball. Prepare a 5-gallon bucket filled halfway with water to gently wash away the soil and reveal the individual plants. Then, you can pull or cut them apart and replant them either in pots or in their new location.
Different Heights for Different Beds
When planning the placement of daisies in your garden, it’s important to consider their heights. The height of the daisy variety you choose will determine whether it’s best suited for the front, middle, or back of your flower beds. There are shorter varieties available for the front of the beds, while taller ones can make a statement in the middle or back. If you’re curious about a variety with an extended blooming time, keep an eye out for updates after my trial period.
Daisies: A Classic Cottage Garden Favorite
It’s no wonder daisies have long been cherished in cottage gardens. They are not only easy to grow, but they also fill in quickly, creating beautiful swaths of white alongside your other cottage flowers. So why wait? Plant some daisy seeds today or find a neighbor willing to share their divisions. Local garden centers also offer a wide array of fun hybrid varieties. Enjoy the beauty and charm these lovely flowers bring to your garden!
Until we meet again, happy gardening!