To grow and care for white daisies, it is useful to know a bit about their favored conditions and requirements. There are many varieties of white daisies, including the popular Shasta and African varieties. All are members of the asteraceae family and have their origins in north and central Europe. Because daisies are easy to grow and spread easily, some varieties such as the English Daisy, are now considered invasive species and weeds in parts of the United States. Most daisies are perennials, but some, like the African daisy, are annuals. Although we think of daisies as one flower, they are actually two: a central disk floret surrounded by petal-like ray florets. The leaves of daisies are edible and can be used as a salad green.
White daisies can be as small as 3 to 4 inches tall or as large as 4 feet or more. Children often use the smaller plants to make daisy chains. Even the tall varieties have sturdy stems that don't require staking and they make excellent cut flowers. Start them from seed one year and they will begin to bloom the second year. As they spread and become dense, you can divide them every three or four years. This will cause them to produce bigger blooms. If you don't do this, they will become overcrowded and the blooms will decrease in size. After division, plant the extra plants in a new bed.
White daisies are a hardy plant, able to tolerate a variety of conditions. Although they prefer bright sun and well-draining soil, they will still thrive in poorer soils and partial shade. They can survive benign neglect, a trait that makes them a favorite for laissez-faire gardeners, beginners, and children. In the early growth stage each year, give them some general purpose fertilizer. This will give them strong stalks and leaves. A shot of high phosphorus fertilizer just before blooming will promote big, bright flowers.
Choose a sunny area for your daisies and make sure the soil is well-draining. Prepare soil by mixing in plenty of manure rich compost and then plant seeds by the broadcast method. White daisies like to grow in clumps. Water thoroughly once a week during the warm dry months. If you have cold winters, add a thick layer of mulch before the first frost. The annual African daisy can be found in pots at nurseries in spring through late summer. Plant them in a bright sunny area, in well-drained rich soil, about 9 to 12 inches apart. Water and mulch well.
All daisies should be deadheaded to remove spent blooms. White daisies make excellent cut flowers and mix well with other flowers. Daisies seldom develop diseases or pests. If they do, use an insecticidal soap or fungicidal soap.