Best known for flaunting their bright colors during cooler seasons, you can find the English Daisy everywhere, from your front lawn, to the your neighbor’s carefully landscaped garden, to the fields near the neighborhood playground. They’re great companion plants—not just for other flowers, but for humans, too!
Read on to learn more about the English Daisy’s history, characteristics, and how to grow the lovely flower in your own home.
History of The English Daisy
The English Daisy’s Latin name is Bellis perennis: Bellis meaning “pretty” and perennis meaning “perennial” or “continuing.” Other common names for the flower are simply daisy, dog daisy, and even day’s eye, among others. Originally native to western Asia and Europe, the English Daisy was brought to North America before the 1700s. By then it was a well known garden flower and wildflower appreciated for its medicinal properties.
Perhaps because of this, the English Daisy is connected to many folk legends and superstitions, including as a sign of good luck if you dream about it during the spring or summer. Now it can be found in countries as far as Iraq, Yugoslavia, and even New Zealand and Chile.
Characteristics of The English Daisy
The English Daisy is a cool weather perennial, so it blooms most consistently in cool and moist seasons. Its familiar physical characteristics include a round yellow center surrounded by thin delicate petals in a rosette shape, whose colors can range from white all the way to purple. English Daisies are heliotropic, meaning they follow the direction of the sun, and their petals close in during the night and open again in the day.
Some variations of the flower’s petals grow denser, giving the flowerhead a spherical shape rather than the standard flat rosette shape. On average, all variations of the English Daisy grows to a height of three to six inches, while the flowerhead remains a 3/4th to 1-1/4th inch diameter.
Young English Daisy leaves are also edible and can be eaten either raw or cooked (some people include them in salads!). As mentioned earlier, they are used in herbal medicine because of their astringent properties, and records show that even during the Middle Ages people believed them to be curative.
Despite all these great qualities, some consider the English Daisy a weed because of how easily the flower reseeds and spreads across lawns and fields.
The English Daisy in Your Home
Why Grow English Daisies in Your Home?
The English Daisy is the perfect home plant because it requires little to no maintenance. They’re an easy solution for any garden in need of a little color. In fact, the flower is often used in cottage inspired interior and exterior designing, along with landscaping that includes other short plants.
Planting an English Daisy
Whether you choose to plant your English Daisy in a pot or directly into your garden, you should find a location in which the flower can absorb about six hours of sunlight a day. That means that if you live in an especially hot climate, you should make sure to plant them in a spot with some shade so they can take a break from the sun, and you can ensure the most beautiful bloom, which usually happens from early to mid summer.
The soil should be rich and provide good drainage, similar to what you would plant roses and vegetables in. English Daisies are hardy flowers, but if you’re worried about the soil, you can always choose to include a flower fertilizer in early spring. You should also water them regularly to keep them perky and in bloom as long as possible. In fact, they’re happiest in damp areas with high humidity.
Because the spread of English Daisies is sometimes hard to control—remember that some people consider them weeds!—planting them in pots is always a dependable choice, and gardeners like to match them with hyacinths or Dutch irises. If you’re planting English Daisy seeds (as opposed to buying adult plants from a garden center), you should strive to plant them between six and eight weeks before winter’s last frost.
If you’re wondering whether you’ll need to prune your English Daisies, the answer is that it’s not necessary. Any issues involving the flowers’ bloom is usually due to the temperature being too hot. In the heat of summer, sometimes thrips and leaf miners also eat English Daisies. You can discard the flowers after their bloom, and repot the new plants the next year.
Buying English Daisies
If you’d like an even simpler gardening process and prefer to buy mature plants rather than growing the flowers from seeds, you should head on over to your local gardening store or nursery as the appropriate planting season approaches. If instead you’re looking to grow English Daisies from seed, you can easily order seed packets online.
Home Décor with English Daisies
Because the English Daisey has a short stem, it’s unusual to find it in ready-made bouquets in stores. However, that won’t prevent you from making your own handmade decorations! You can cut the flowers from their plant and arrange them in a small clear or colorful glass—either on their own or with other short stemmed flowers. These small DIY bouquets are cute and unassuming: a lovely detail in any room, especially if you’re going for the shabby chic vibe or modern farmhouse style.
Because they come in a wide variety of colors, you can choose the variety that fits your interior design best. They’re also fantastic to press and dry between the pages of a book, though we suggest doing this with the English Daisy variety that has a thinner circle of petals instead of the spherical ones. They’re easier to press!
Add a Touch of Whimsy to Your Garden With English Daisies!
In conclusion, humans have appreciated the medicinal properties, low maintenance, and bright colors of the hardy English Daisy for hundreds of years. To this day, gardeners living in mild climates love to fill the margins of their gardens with these little perennials.
Excited for more daisy content? Then visit my daisy page for growing tips, comprehensive care guides, and more!
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
Margherita Bassi is a freelance writer, journalist, and editor. She grew up between the US and Europe, and nurtured her love for nature and the outdoors in both countries.
In the US, she went on dozens of RV trips with her family, scouted out the best restaurants in every city she visited, and learned how to grow herbs and veggies of all kinds by watching her mother.
In Europe, she experimented with gardening in small spaces, like the small balcony of her apartment in France. With an MA in International New Media Journalism, Margherita is also a skilled researcher in a wide range of topics, and has extensive experience interviewing both individuals and experts.