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The Livingstone Daisy

Adorning any outdoor space with its colorful array of flowering foliage, the Livingstone Daisy serves as the perfect crown jewel for your garden. This showy succulent provides vibrant groundcover in sunny environments, and is sure to add a touch of whimsy to your landscaping project!

Closeup of a colorful pink and yellow Livingstone daisy bloom.

If you’ve got spaces in your garden that are hard to grow plants in, keep reading — the Livingstone daisy may be just the gardening solution you need!

History of The Livingstone Daisy

Cleretum bellidiforme, commonly called the Livingstone Daisy or Buck Bay vygie, is a popular wildflower export from South Africa’s Cape Peninsula. Its original Latin name was Dorotheanthus bellidiformis, so you may see either scientific name when shopping for this dazzling flower.

It’s important to note that Livingstone Daisies are not actual daisies. They are part of the Aizoaceae family of flowering plants. The Aizoaceae family is also referred to as the fig-marigold, ice plant, or carpetweed family. They’re commonly called “vygies” in their native countries of South Africa and New Zealand, which is how the Livingstone Daisy takes its “Buck Bay vygie” nickname.

A Livingstone daisy plant with flowers in various shades of pink.

Today, Livingstone Daisies are grown all over the world as garden annuals. Seed catalogs may list the flowering plant under a number of synonyms, including those mentioned above.

Characteristics of The Livingstone Daisy

Livingstone Daisies form ample groundcover with their spreading foliage. The succulent boasts bright green or maroon-tinted leaves and daisy-like flowers that stand up to four inches in height. The flowers appear in an array of colors, including orange, yellow, cream, white, crimson, and pink. Blooms consist of long, slender petals circling a black eye, similar to a Black-Eyed Susan, but with more color variety.

Livingstone daisy plants in a strawberry pot.

Depending on your region, the plant blooms in early-to-late summer with a fast growth rate, making it ideal for summertime gardening projects. Cleretum bellidiforme loves the sun, so be sure to consider your garden’s level of sun exposure before planting, as it won’t grow as well in shaded areas.

The Livingstone Daisy in Your Home

Why Grow Livingstone Daisies in Your Garden?

Cleretum bellidiforme thrives in hot, dry soil that many other plants won’t tolerate, making it a great option for first-time gardeners and seasoned pros alike!

Closeup of the succulent foliage of a Livingstone daisy plant.
The succulent foliage of the Livingstone daisy.

Thanks to its drought tolerance, this hardy plant is often used as a convenient, no-fuss covering along flowerbeds and driveways, which boosts your home’s curb appeal with ease! You simply won’t find a flowering cover plant that’s as easy to grow from seed as the Livingstone Daisy.

Planting and Growing a Livingstone Daisy

Keep Livingstone Daisy seeds moist until germination. Average germination time is seven to 21 days. You should start your seeds indoors about six to eight weeks before the last frost, or sow them directly outdoors after any threat of frost has passed.

Livingstone Daisies grow best in dry, well-drained soil, but they’re not fussy about pH levels or soil type. When you’re ready to plant your germinated seeds, press them lightly into the soil at surface level and sprinkle on your preferred slow-release fertilizer. If you started your seeds indoors, transplant the seedlings to your garden and space them 12 inches apart.

Mass plantings of Livingstone daisies.

You should water your new plantings daily for at least two weeks, then adjust to watering every two or three days depending on the weather and soil type. For example, sandy soil doesn’t hold moisture as well as clay soils, so you’ll want to water Livingstone Daisies planted in sandy soils more frequently than if you’d planted them in clay soil. When in doubt, refer to your seed packet or plant label for more precise recommendations.

How you water your Livingstone Daisies also matters. The best way to ensure the plant’s root zone receives enough water is by using a soaker hose or watering wand. Try to water your plants in the morning so the foliage has time to dry throughout the day.

Check your soil’s moisture between waterings using a small trowel or your fingers. When the first two to four inches of soil feels dry, it’s time for more water.

Remember, too much fertilizer can damage your plants, so be mindful when selecting both a fertilizer and application method. Fortunately, Livingstone Daisies are easy to maintain and even first-time gardeners can find success with this hardy plant!

A container of mixed flower plantings, including Livingstone daisies.

Pests and Diseases

Livingstone Daisies are usually free from diseases, but they can suffer from pest damage. Aphids, snails, and slugs are the most common threats. If pests occur, treat your plants as soon as possible with fungicide and insect repellents.

On the plus side, this plant isn’t appealing to deer, which is great news if you’ve dealt with these potentially destructive visitors in the past!

Buying Livingstone Daisies

This popular plant is easy to find both in brick-and-mortar stores and online. Whether you opt for seeds or mature plants depends on your personal preference. Germinating the seeds can be a fun aspect of any gardening hobby, but you can save yourself the hassle with mature plants.

Livingstone Daisies are widely available at gardening stores and plant nurseries, especially as seed packets, and are often sold under the name “ice plant seeds.” If you have trouble finding them locally, they’re available for purchase online.

Home Décor with Livingstone Daisies

Because of its vibrant color variety, Livingstone Daisies are a fun choice to use in floral DIY projects. Try making flower crowns with the kids, or press the flowers between book pages to use in scrapbooking and other crafts.

If you’re interested in poured resin, the fresh or dried flowers can look amazing in various molds. Simply arrange the blooms to your liking with tweezers after pouring the resin to ensure proper placement. With this technique, you can create paper weights, ornaments, bracelets, and other creative pieces.

Add a Kaleidoscope of Color to Your Garden with Livingstone Daisies!

Thanks to its vivid color palette, easy maintenance, and impressive spread, Livingstone Daisies are truly the crown jewel of any garden. When you need a spring border for your rock garden, driveway, or hedges, this easy-to-grow, drought-resistant plant is the perfect choice.

Closeup of blooms of a Livingstone daisy plant.

To learn more about actual daisies and daisy-like foliage such as this one, check out the posts on our informative flowers blog!