Daisies are hardy, colorful flowers that you can plant in your own backyard. There are thousands of varieties of them in different shapes and sizes, some of which are perennials and others annuals. The most popular ones include the Shasta daisy, with distinctive white petals around a yellow center, the Gerbera daisy with large bright blossoms, and the African daisy, with orange, pink, and maroon colored flowers.
Because they are easy to grow, daisies are especially recommended for children and beginner gardeners. If you're planting a perennial daisy, you'll have to wait two years to see any flowers, but they will continue to blossom for years afterwards. Daisies grow well indoors in pots and outside in the garden. To enjoy these festive flowers for years to come, follow these simple planting steps.
Daisies can be easily grown from seeds that are directly planted in an outdoor flower bed or a pot. For seedlings to transplant outdoors, start growing them indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost of the season. Plant the seeds in trays or small pots with rich well-drained soil. Water them well and transfer outdoors when shoots form and the weather warms up.
For potted daisies, choose an 8 to 10 inch planter with adequate drainage and a drip tray. Fill the pot with soil to within 2 inches of the top and scatter 10 seeds on it. Do not push them in. Cover pot with plastic wrap and move to a warm location for one to two weeks until germination. Remove the plastic and put the pot in a sunny home location. Keep it watered, but do not let the leaves get wet, which can lead to fungus.
Select a location in your yard where daisies can receive full sun. Don't be discouraged if you have space or light limitations, though. Daisies can fare well in shade and partial sun conditions.
Plant your daisies in rich well-drained soil that is free of weeds and rocks. Avoid areas in your yard that collect rain water. Before planting, mix manure and compost into the soil. Daisies make the best presentation when they are planted in clumps, so scatter the seeds on top. Cover them with a shallow layer of soil, about one-sixteenth of an inch. Water the soil thoroughly but avoid pushing the seeds down too deep into the soil. To germinate, daisy seeds need light.
Depending on the variety of daisy, it may need frequent watering because its roots are shallow and thin. In particular, the Shasta daisy requires a great amount of water, while the African daisy can tolerate drier soil conditions. During the summer time, use a drip garden hose or soaker hose to supply continuous moisture to the plants unless there is regular rainfall. Wilted droopy flowers signal that the daisies need water.
On the other hand, also be careful not to overwater your daisies, which could eventually lead to root rot. Stems that lean to one side signal too much water. Do not water your daisies from above, as the weight can bear down on the flowers or cause fungal disease. Apply the water to the soil only.
Apply a general purpose fertilizer when your daisies are in early development. This will help them grow strong stalks. Before they bloom, feed your daisies are fertilizer that is high in phosphorous, which will promote large healthy flowers. Continue to apply more fertilizer on a regular schedule as needed.
Generally, daisies do not fall victim to pests or plant diseases, so they do not require regular use of insecticides or pesticides. However, check the condition of your daisies regularly for these problems and treat them as soon as you notice them. Use water to spray off aphids and other insects or an insecticidal soap. Introduce lady bugs to your garden to prevent infestation.
Apply 2 to 3 inch layer of organic mulch around your daisies in both hot and cold temperatures. This includes shredded bark, leaves, and saw dust. In the summer, the mulch will help maintain soil moisture and stave off weeds. In the winter, add an extra layer of mulch to the cut back stems, which will help regulate the soil temperature.
Depending on the variety of daisy, you can propagate your plant by harvesting the seeds. Within two months of collection from the parent plant, plant the new seeds and allow at least 3 weeks for germination. In some cases, the resulting flower does not resemble the parent plant much.