Know your Daisies
Choose wisely and sunny daisies can be cheering up your garden all year.
There are daisies for garden beds and for containers in warm colours and cool. Here are a handful of favourites.
Osteospermum 'Blue-eyed beauty'. Photo - Dan Wheatley
Large, showy flowers with dark centres adorn these South African natives through spring and summer. Tolerant of full sun, some salt, mild drought and frost, they make colourful fillers and ground covers in cottage and coastal gardens. Most will reach 30-60cm tall in a loose bun shape. Prune to shape in autumn. A favourite is ‘Blue Eyed Beauty’ with yellow petals and an iridescent centre.
Australian daisy Brachyscome 'Pacific Breeze'. Photo - Robin Powell
This spreading, bun-shaped native has yellow-centred, blue-lilac flowers for most of the year, with large flushes in spring and summer. Try it as a ground cover or container spill-over in full sun to part-shade. Many species and cultivars are available, most 10-30cm tall. For something different try ‘Pacific Coast’, a showy pink. Tip-prune spent blooms to promote more flowers.
This trailing ground cover plant, originally from Mexico, is covered throughout summer in white flowers that age to pink. It spot flowers at other times, and is tolerant of neglect, drought, second-line salt, swimming pool splash and root competition. Prune to shape after flowering. ‘Spindrift’ has a neat compact habit.
Winter is peak flowering time for these single or double flowers in white, pink, yellow or red. They grow to 60cm high and wide, in full sun to part-shade. One plant will easily fill a good-sized pot. In the garden, mass-plant them for a showy display or to create a colourful informal hedge. Protect from strong winds and prune after flowering, by no more than one-third.
Everlasting Daisy. Photo - Robin Powell
Papery white, yellow, pink or orange flowers bloom from spring to autumn in a sunny spot. Plants range in size from 30cm-1m tall. Pick the flowers to enjoy them indoors, and to keep plants tidy. ‘Daisy Fields Gold’ has pretty lemon flowers.
Strawflower rhodanthe 'Paper star'
These native annuals and short-lived perennials flower white from pink buds, and their papery flowers last well in a vase. Full sun to part-shade and good drainage will ensure they reach 15-30cm tall and wide. Cast seed in autumn to create drifts of flowers in spring. We prefer perennial types such as ‘Paper Star’ and ‘Paper Baby’.
Shasta daisy. Photo - Vahan Abrahamyan / shutterstock
Leucanthemum x superbum
Annual and perennial daisies with golden centres and white ray florets, these flower from late spring to autumn, forming large clumps in sunny positions with moist, well-drained soil. Use them to fill out borders and cottage gardens. Grow from seed, cuttings or self-layering. Prune in autumn, after flowering. Excellent cut flower.