With their wide variety of colors, beloved shape, low-commitment caretaking, and knack for attracting butterflies, daisy flowers are iconic. Found in meadows, home gardens, and indoor green spaces alike, daisy plants are the perfect choice for amateur gardeners, while remaining a classic go-to for experienced landscapers all the same.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about how to care for daisies!
The first step in how to care for daisies is deciding which daisy flowers. Depending on the type, daisies will grow to a height of less than a foot up to several feet high, with many different petal characteristics.
Here we’ve outlined some great choices:
- English Daisies love cool weather and can brighten your spaces with colors of pink, red, white, and more.
- Painted Daisies grow tall (which makes them perfect additions to bouquets!) and also come in a variety of different colors.
- Marguerite Daisies are reliable bloomers both in wild meadows and in your very backyard, where they might display their fabulous yellows or a range of pinks.
While all daisies are hardy and reliable bloomers, some types grow better outdoors versus indoors (and vice versa!) so make sure to do a bit of research appropriate to where you’ll be keeping your flowered friend. For example, Shasta Daisies (the classic white and yellow daisy flowers) thrive outdoors better than Gerbera Daisies, which instead flourish perfectly well indoors.
On your journey to figure out how to care for daisies, next you’ll have to choose whether to start from seed or transplant a young plant. If you choose the former, you’ll have to decide whether you’ll be planting the seeds indoors or outdoors.
One thing to keep in mind while considering your options is when you would like your daisies to bloom. Seeds that are planted outside likely won’t bloom in their first season—you’ll have to wait for the following year! If it’s important for your garden that they absolutely flower during their first season, then we suggest you buy young transplants.
If you’ve decided to transplant young daisies, feel free to skip down to the transplant section below!
Whether you’ve planted seeds indoors or outdoors, you should water them as soon as they are planted, and regularly check the soil to ensure that it doesn’t dry up. You can expect them to germinate between ten days and three weeks! Though not essential, you can choose to prep the soil with compost in order to give your daisies the extra boost they might need to bloom bigger and better. And for those of you that are really into the details, you can use even measure the soil’s acidity—daisies do best between 6.0 and 8.0 on the pH scale.
Starting Seed Indoors
Whether you’re planning to keep your daisies indoors permanently, or just looking to get a head start, you’ll want to plant the seeds six to eight weeks before the last winter frost.
Fill containers with a seed-starting mixture (which you can either buy, or make it yourself with peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite) and use a toothpick to poke holes in the mixture. Plant the seeds in the holes pointing downwards to help them grow most efficiently, then cover them with an eighth of an inch thick layer of soil. The soil should be at a temperature of about seventy degrees Fahrenheit, and get about eight hours of sunlight every day!
Starting Seed Outdoors
If you’re planting seeds outdoors, you’ll want to wait until you’re sure that it no longer freezes overnight, which might vary from early to late spring, depending on where you live. Then, find a clear spot in either full or partial sun. Make sure the soil drains well but remains moist, and that it’s not overcrowded with other plants or weeds. Finally, plant your seeds between one and two feet from each other so that the daisies have room to grow without getting in each other’s way.
When it comes time to transplant either your young plants (whether you grew them indoors or purchased them from a nursery!) into your garden in the spring, after the last frost, you’ll want to dig a hole that is twice as big as the container your daisy is currently in. Don’t make it too deep—when you place your plant in the hole, the top of the root ball should be level with the soil’s ground surface. Then fill the rest of the hole, making sure it remains loose and that you’re not packing it in too tightly.
Caring for Daisies
Now that you’ve got yourself young daisy flowers, the next step in learning how to care for daisies is how to care for them in this later stage of their life.
Wherever you’re caring for them, make sure to water your daisies whenever their soil dries up. If you leave them thirsty for too long, they might droop, and then it’s difficult for them to recover. When watering them, direct the flow of water at their base rather than from above, which gets the entire plant wet. This helps avoid damaging young plants, and prevents mold, as well.
You can also use an organic fertilizer early to mid-spring to give them an extra push towards a full, beautiful bloom, and then monthly during the rest of the spring and summer.
No matter where your daisies are, you should practice deadheading and pruning—use garden scissors to snip off any leaves or flowerheads that look old or dry. This also helps avoid the mold that grows on decaying flowers, and supports further flowering. You can learn how to deadhead daisies here!
Indoor daisies should be planted or transplanted into containers about 12 inches tall, with two or more holes for draining. From spring to fall, situate them in sunny spots, but even during the winter make sure they have at least three to five hours of sunlight. And if the light is directed at your daisy plants from only one angle, remember to turn it ninety degrees once a week to give it more complete exposure.
Daisies thrive in temperatures between forty and seventy degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure the spot you choose doesn’t get too cold or too hot. Water your daisies immediately if the top inch of the soil in the pot ever feels dry, but also remember to empty the drip tray if it collects too much water that doesn’t get absorbed by the plant. You don’t want your daisy to be soggy!
Last but not least, if it looks like your daisy plant is outgrowing its container, it probably is! Transplant it into a bigger pot.
Outdoors, pay attention to your daisies’ roots—if they grow too widely and tangle with their neighbors, this will be bad news for them in the long term. To avoid this, dig them up every two years, separate the roots (you can simply cut through them with a garden shovel), and replant them farther apart. Keep in mind that some daisy plants might also need to be attached to stakes in order to grow upright!
Since daisies don’t have a set watering schedule, stick your finger through the top four to five inches of soil—if it feels dry, it’s time to water them! You don’t, however, need to water outdoor daisies during the winter, unless it is a particularly dry season, in which case they could need up to two inches of water every two months.
Like for any other plants, weeds are bad for daisies—they can bring parasites, and also absorb all the necessary nutrients from the soil, which is especially bad when daisies are young. So make sure to weed regularly either by hand or with a weeding tool. To help keep the weeds away, once the ground has dried in the spring you can also consider applying two to three inches of mulch around each plant, beyond a circumference of two to three inches from its base.
At the end of the season, you should cut your daisy plants down to about three inches above the soil level, which should be around where the foliage starts to grow on the stem. Then, prepare your daisies for the winter by adding another layer of mulch to protect the root ball—just make sure not to put any on top of the actual plant!
Common Daisy Pests
Daisies are generally hardy plants, and require little commitment to take care of them. Like any plants, however, they could suffer from pests like aphids and slugs. The best solution is prevention: keep your plants strong and healthy, spaced out, and appropriately watered from the start. This will minimize the chances of having to deal with problems later on!
You’ve Learned How to Care for Daisies!
Now that you’ve learned how to care for daisies, you’re equipped to fill both your indoor and outdoor spaces with color and floral beauty. Pick the daisy plants that suites your needs best, and then prepare to be amazed!
Excited for more daisy content? Then visit my daisy page for growing tips, comprehensive care guides, and more!
- About the Author
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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.