Are Daisies Annual, Biennial, or Perennial Plants?
Are you thinking of adding some daisies to your garden bed this season but aren't sure if they will come back each season, or if you'll have to replant them? In this article, we take a look at if daisies are considered annual, biennial, or perennial plants based on the hardiness zone that you are growing in.
Daisies are an old favorite, and they are notable for their slender petals and prominent center. People are most familiar with white daisies that have a yellow center, but you can also find them in shades of electric pink, yellow, and purple, with green, brown, and even gold centers.
Most types of daisies you see today in homes and gardens worldwide are part of the Asteraceae family. There are more than 1,500 genera and more than 23,000 species of daisies. Each variety looks a little different and has specific growing conditions to live.
When growing these stunning flowers, it’s essential to know which zones they thrive in best and how to care for them accordingly. For starters, are daisies annuals or perennials? Keep reading to get more information about the plant varieties and tips for growing them.
The Short Answer
Daisies are classic flowers that grow in vibrant colors and attractive shapes. There are tens of thousands of varieties available. Daisies are typically low-maintenance perennials, although many are grown as annuals. Many varieties are considered “tender perennials” due to the fact that they don’t tolerate frost very well. It is best to take your climate and the daisies’ needs into consideration before choosing to grow as perennials or annuals.
The Long Answer
Excellent for beginners and children, daisies are very easy to grow. Find a suitable patch of dirt, sprinkle your seeds, and voilà! Nearly all the special thrive just fine in typical gardening soil, and you don’t need a ton of fertilizer or water.
If you grow them in containers, you’ll likely need a light organic fertilizer, a decent amount of sun, and keep up with ensuring the roots are well-drained. Though daisies are perennials, they don’t stick around forever. They look their best for two to three years, and after that, you’ll need a revamping.
By dividing them, you can help get new blooms going since they are self-seeding, meaning they replant themselves. Gerberas and Shasta daisies, for example, will take over your garden if you’re not careful. It’s easy to control because you can use a mulch to cover them or scrape them up with a hoe if you don’t want them to replant.
You can transplant daisies easily even when it’s blooming time because you can replant elsewhere without too much hassle. Many maintenance tips for growing daisies depend on if you’re in a climate that’s hot year-round or if you live further up north, where the frost can be unrelenting at times.
For the most part, it will depend on the type of daisies you’re growing as far as the best techniques and tips. But one reason so many gardeners love this flower is because the roots are easy to establish, and you can produce a stunning garden full of vibrant blooms with low effort.
To be grown as perennial flowers, daisies have to thrive in their specific hardiness zones. You can grow daisies as perennials primarily in the USDA hardiness zones 5-8. They bloom from early to late spring into autumn.
That’s not to say that daisies can’t grow as perennials in other zones, but this is where they strive best. Some verities of daisy are actually native to the United States, and are popular wildflower garden plants in their designated hardiness zones.
They are not very frost tolerant and cannot handle temperatures lower than 30°F. Golden daisies, for example, are just fine in zones 3 and 4 as well as 5-8. They can withstand the first frost, but not for prolonged periods.
Gardeners grow other species of daisies as annuals in USDA zones 9-10 because of the warm climate. The daisies only bloom for one season because there’s never a cooldown resting period.
It depends on your goals and where you live as to how you grow your daisies because some gardeners only grow them as annual flowers, while you can plant others specifically for their long-lasting blooms.
Among the most common daisies to grow as perennial is the Shasta daisy. It’s a hybrid about three to four feet tall, and many gardeners are often familiar with this variety because of how easy it is to cultivate. Perennials such as this daisy species come in bold colors of white, and different shades of yellow, with various types of petals.
You’ll see some dwarfed perennial daisies only 8″-12″. They look amazing on the front of a garden bed, and others form thick luscious clumps that you can separate. The species is very cold-hardy, and you can grow it from the seeds or by taking the roots in a pot once established.
The Shasta daisy is one of the most popular perennials that thrive with moist soil, average light, and low water and fertilizer, making it easy to propagate in the garden or cut flowers.
The steps for growing the flowers are essentially the same for growing annuals. The key differences when you plant them are the length of the blooming season and what to do to make the flowers survive the winter.
Plant perennial daisies in the spring or the fall when planting in a pot. The seeds can go out in winter, spring, and fall. Use an average or sandy soil that is well-draining. You don’t want them to get too dry, or they’ll dry out and die throughout the season.
Water your daisies regularly but without overdoing it. Consistently wet roots can potentially lead to root rot and other fungal diseases. This is where well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes will be helpful.
Perennial daisies need full sun to thrive. They can tolerate partial shade, but the flowering gets diminished. Full sun is at least 6-8 hours of sunlight.
When planting in a flower bed or garden, space the daisies out at least 24″-30″ apart to allow them to be broadcasted alongside other showy plants. This also allows enough airflow to pass through which can help deter fungal diseases.
Growing Daisies as Annuals
If you have the type of daisies you can grow annually, such as Marguerite daisies or African daisies, you can grow them in a garden or a pot. They make for beautiful flower borders in a garden, and some varieties grow from the seeds.
Follow these quick and easy steps to grow daisies as annuals from their seeds or as transplanted daisies that have first sprouted indoors.
To begin, it is best to start the daisy seeds indoors about six to eight weeks before the season’s last frost. Use potting soil or a starter mix and lightly cover the seeds. Put them in a pot and place them in a sunny area where they can absorb a high amount of sunlight.
You will have to water them consistently and regularly so that the soil stays moist. It will take around 14-28 days for the seeds to germinate.
Once spring arrives, take the sprouted seeds to your outdoor garden. Plant them after the last frost in fertile, well-drained soil. Place your plants around 12″-15″ from one another. They need space to grow, whether they’re coming from mature plants or seeds.
Pro tip: To get better drainage, add a couple of inches of mulch and compost for more nutrients to your daisies.
Here are some of the most common daisy species that people grow around the world:
‘Marguerite Daisy’ (Argyranthemum frutescens)
Marguerite daisies are traditionally favored in containers within the home but may also be grown or transported outside in a garden.
They can fit any size pot, and they come in various colors, from yellow to pink to white. They become abundant blooms that fill out rapidly, and they’ll last you all season long.
Marguerites are grown as annuals up north, but they’re tender perennials that cannot survive hardiness zones lower than 9. They face some problems with pests, such as aphids and leaf miners, but overall, they’re low maintenance and look beautiful.
‘Painted Daisy’ (Tanacetum coccineum)
Painted daisies are often called classic or traditional daisies. They come in various shades of red and pink, white, blue, and more. You can purchase the seeds to grow these flowers in a mix of colors or get them as single cultivars.
In hotter regions, they start to wilt after their second season in bloom, so they thrive best when you grow them in zones 3-7. If you live somewhere with harsh summers, try to plant them in an area where they can get a lot of shade. Be sure to water them accordingly.
Daisies are beautiful flowers that come in multiple varieties. Though they are perennial plants, some species are more commonly grown as annuals. It’s essential to consider your climate and the needs of the type of daisies you want to grow when deciding whether you want to grow perennials or annuals.
Following the recommendations for watering, light, spacing, and soil needs will ensure that you have a healthy and satisfying bloom either way. The flowers are overall low maintenance and compliment any home and garden.