There are many different varieties of Daisies. In fact, there are more than 20,000 Daisy species.  Here are also some more interesting facts about these pretty flowers:

  • They are found on every continent on this planet except for Antarctica.
  • Daisies are the largest family of flowering plants and they make up almost 10% of the flowers on this planet.

Daisies belong to the Asteraceae family.  Other flowers and plants in this family include sunflowers, chrysanthemums and I know it is hard to believe, lettuce. If a flower is in the daisy family it is categorized by a single flower head with many tiny flowers called florets, which are surrounded by rays of longer petals.  The “Aster” in Asteraceae refers to the star-shaped construction of the flower heads. 

As we previously mentioned there are many types of and we could not possibly tell you about all of them. Here are six of our favorites:

Bidens

Bidens are most often seen spilling out of containers.  The abundant blooms of Bidens look great on their own or as part of a color combination.  This flower is available in yellow, gold, pink, orange, red, pink, or white.  Recently, there have been introductions that include different shapes, colors, and patterns.  Our favorite one is a new bi-color introduction that is named BeeDance Red Striped Bidens.

Bidens are easy to grow and are one of those annual flowers that do well under many conditions. Once they are established they are drought tolerant. Plant them in well-drained soil with a good amount of organic matter as they are heavy feeders. 

Gerbera Daisy

Gerbera Daisies are one of the most popular daisies. They are available in many different sizes and come in bright, cheerful colors including orange, pink, yellow, and white. Gerbera Daisies also have different flower shapes (single, double or multiple petals).  We really like the Patio variety, which is one of the larger varieties. The flower originates from South Africa and is often used in floral arrangements or garden borders. The plant was named after the German botanist Traugott Gerber.

Gerbera Daisies can be grown from seeds or seedlings. They love the sun and sandy soil. Crown rot is a common problem with these flowers, so make sure when planting seedlings the crown is visible above the soil. If your climate is hot and humid or your garden has heavy soil, it is recommended to plant the flowers in well-drained pots.

What is great about this flower is it can also be a houseplant. They are not the easiest houseplant to grow, but if you have the right conditions, you can get several blooming seasons out of them.

Helenium

The common name for Helenium is Sneezeweed. This perennial is native to North and Central America.   Helenium are fully hardy and thrive in the sun. This pretty flower will brighten your garden late in the season. They come in yellow, brown and mahogany with noticeable yellow or brown centers. The yellow ones are our favorite. To extend their bloom season, try deadheading them and make sure you divide them every couple of years.

The best time to plant them is in the spring. They grow best in rich, moist soils and don’t do well in dry conditions. Regular watering is important to make them thrive.  Bees and butterflies love the flowers in the summer and in the winter, the birds pick over the seed heads.  They are also deer resistant.

Osteospermums

Osteospermums are native to South Africa. The name Osteospermum comes from the Greek osteon (bone) and Latin spermum (seed).  It is sometimes referred to as the African Daisy.  They are often considered an annual but they are actually half-hardy perennials, which mean they are not entirely hardy and will therefore not survive persistent frosts. When these flowers were first introduced in the 1990’s they were a big hit because of their vivid colors. There have been many new varieties introduced including flowers with different colored centers.

They will bloom profusely in the sun, but since they are a cool-season bloomer they like a little shade. If it is too hot they might not bloom as much but will come back when it cooler temperatures return. Once established they are drought tolerant but grow best with regular watering.

Senetti Pericallis

Pericallis is native to the Canary Islands and Madeira. Senetti is the well-known brand name of the Pericallis hybrids. These flowers come in vibrant colors that include blue, magenta, ultraviolet, and bi-colors. Senetti bloom from are early spring to summer and prefer cool weather.  The bloom count on this annual flower can be as high as 200 on a plant grown in a 10-inch pot.

Pericallis do best in full or partial sun and rich, slightly moist soil. These easy-to-grow beauties attract butterflies and are deer and rabbit resistant.

Shasta Daisy         

This flower was named for the snowy slopes of Mount Shasta in California. Shasta Daisies were first hybridized by famed horticulturist Luther Burbank at the turn of the 20th century. Shasta Daisies have a strong resemblance to the daisies you see growing along highways and in wildflower gardens, but they are actually related to chrysanthemums. Their flowers are much larger than these wildflowers and they bloom more profusely as well.

The best time to plant these perennials is August to guarantee you have plenty of blooms the following summer.   Shasta daisies grow best in garden zones 5 to 8 and generally start blooming early in the summer. Once the first blooms are done, if you cut the plant back, and give the plant a little fertilizer, it is possible the plant will bloom again for you in the fall. Butterflies love these flowers but the deer do not.  For more details read our post on Shasta Daisies

Why not try growing one of these Daisy varieties this year.  If you do, let us know how you make out!

Photos Courtesy of Jill Mazur

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