By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
Growing painted daisies in the garden adds spring and summer color from a compact 1 ½ to 2 ½ foot (0.5-0.7 cm.) plant. Painted daisy perennials are the perfect height for those hard to fill middle spots in the garden when early spring blooms are dying back. Painted daisy care is simple when they’re planted in the right soil and location. Growing painted daisies is a good way to keep harmful pests out of the garden too.
Pests and the Painted Daisy Plant
Painted daisy perennials, Tanacetum coccineum or Pyrethrum roseum, repel many bad bugs and browsing animals that are prone to munching on your valuable plants. Repellant properties are so beneficial that petals of the white variety are dried and used in the organic insecticide Pyrethrum.
Growing painted daisies in select areas of the garden can deter pests from surrounding plants. Pests and the painted daisy plant don’t normally exist in the same area, although young plants may occasionally be bothered by aphids or leaf miners. Treat with a soapy spray or neem oil if you see these insects.
Painted Daisy Growing Tips
Attractive, fine textured foliage and a range of colors make growing painted daisies an asset to any garden bed. Painted daisy perennials come in shades of red, yellow, pink, violet and white, with yellow centers.
When planting painted daisy perennials, plan the location where they can afford protection to more vulnerable plants. For instance, you can include this multi-tasking flower in the vegetable garden, along with nasturtiums and marigolds, to diminish insect damage.
Painted daisy growing tips include planting in a well-drained soil in a full sun to part shade location.
Start from seeds four to six weeks before your last frost date or by division of existing plants in early spring or fall. Allow room for plants to spread from 18 to 24 inches (45-60 cm.).
Painted daisy care includes pinching back in spring when stems are 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm.) tall, promoting bushiness and a fuller plant. As summer blooms fade, cut the plant back for more blooms in autumn to help protect fall garden crops.
As you become more confident with growing painted daisy perennials, you’ll find yourself growing painted daisies in new areas of the garden to protect other plants as well.
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How to Grow Pyrethrum / Tanacetum Plants
Pyrethrum (Tanacetum) are hardy perennials that are frequently grown as hardy annuals in the garden.
They vary in height from 10 to 90 cm this makes them a versatile plant for use in borders or edging.
Plants bloom from the middle of spring to summer, and carry flowers reminiscent of daisies the petals may be red, purple, pink or white. Foliage is often fern-like.
Some common names for Pyrethrum (Tanacetum) plant genus members include Painted Daisy, Tansy, and Feverfew.
Tanacetum coccineum - Painted Daisies by Hunda.
Propagating daisies can be done in 2 ways: by seeds and by cuttings.
- When growing daisies by seeds, collect the seeds from the parent plant and plant them within 2 months.
- Propagating by stem cuttings require rooting bed compost that consists of equal amounts of peat, perlite and coarse sand. This mixture will provide good drainage yet holds sufficient moisture. The stem cutting must be about six inches long. Any leaves attached within three inches from the stem’s bottom must be removed, along with flowers and buds. Place the cutting in upright position and place its rooting bed in a warm, well-lit location. To avoid the stem from drying out, make sure to water it frequently. You can also cover it with a plastic sheet to trap moisture when the weather is dry. After the roots form, transplant the stem cutting to a permanent. Make sure to keep the roots undamaged. Propagation by stem cutting will produce a plant similar to its parent.
A Montauk daisy is a daisy in name alone.
Sharp-eyed readers will notice that Nipponanethmum is a combination of the words “Nippon” and “chrysanthemum,” a nod toward both the plants’ origins in Japan, and its close genetic relative the chrysanthemum.
It’s known as a Montauk daisy commonly because of the huge swaths of naturalized plants you’ll find growing in Montauk, New York. And it’s also sometimes referred to as Nippon daisy.
You’re likely interested in these perennials for their late-season blooms and general hardiness. They’re an excellent choice if you’ve got a rock garden, or a sunny and fast-draining area that needs some showy flowers.
It’s suitable for cultivation in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 through 9. This is a broad range and allows for these perennials to be used in a huge variety of gardens.
Optimum Growing Conditions
The painted daisy loves sun but grows quite happily in partial sun. Growing in pots means you can move it into sunnier spots during the growing season.
The painted daisy not too fussy about soil but prefers a well-drained loamy, sandy soil that is not too acidic. Since the painted daisy is so hardy, and not overly susceptible to pests, it can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, as long as it has good drainage. No fertilizing is necessary, but a top dressing of composted manure in the autumn will help keep the root system healthy.
This plant is fairly adaptable and regular water from rain in temperate zones keeps it happy. If there's a dry period of more than a week, give it a good drink to keep it happy and blooming. It doesn't do well in wet areas or standing water so select a spot with good drainage.
The painted daisy is not toxic to ingest, but sometimes handling the plant with bare hands can sometimes cause mild skin irritation, so be sure to wear gloves.