English daisies are a great way to fill out a garden with hundreds of petite flowers. Their hearty nature allows them to grow in any kind of soil. They are also simple and inexpensive to care for. English daisies are often used to cover the tougher growing areas of your landscape. They make excellent companion flowers as their year-round foliage can cover up wilting plants in addition to taking very little nutrients from the surrounding soil. They make great potted plants as well.
What are English Daisies?
Also known as the lawn daisy or common daisy, the English daisy is native to Western Europe. English daisies have bright yellow centers surrounded by petals that come in a variety of colors but are mostly white and pink. They reach a maximum height of six inches.
Originally named after “day’s eye”, daisies close their petals at night and open them in the morning light. In ancient Rome, daisies were collected to make a healing salve for open wounds. They were also used throughout English history as a pot herb. Young leaves can be used for salads while petals are made into teas and supplements.
English daisies are biennial, meaning they will flower every other year. In the first year, English daisies grow their foliage in a small bush. Then, in the second year, they flower and release a huge amount of seeds into the surrounding area.
Growing Your English Daisies
English daisies can survive in temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit and will survive most winters. Plant them in the fall for an early spring bloom. In colder, wetter regions like those found in the UK and Pacific Northwest, plant daisies in the early spring to have them bloom in late summer. English daisies should be planted in full sunlight in cooler regions. If you live in a warmer climate, supply the flower with light shade. You can prep English daisy seeds by growing them indoors at about 70 degrees for 10 to 15 days.
If you are starting with seeds, spread them across moist soil. Daisies require sunlight to germinate, so do not cover them. Germination takes anywhere from 10 to 25 days. As the seedlings begin to grow, spread out the successful plants so they are six inches apart.
Daisies are very hearty and will grow in most soils but prefer a moist environment, free from winter frost. English daisies do not do well in clay based soils or ones with over rich fertilizers.
Caring for Your English Daisies
Water English daisies regularly. A daisy’s main danger is drying out. Check the top two inches of soil for moisture, and water if it’s dry. A top layer of mulch can help the soil retain water if left unattended. Otherwise, with proper placement, they take care of themselves.
Because of the copious amount of seeds each flower can release, your biggest problem may be too many daisies. English daisies can grow repeatedly from the same root cluster. When removing a daisy, be sure to remove the entire root network.
By removing faded or wilted flowers, the daisy can continue to bloom regularly throughout the summer. If you need to move or transplant a daisy, dig down and around the entire root system. Once in their new home, completely bury the roots.