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The Swan River Daisy


Hailing from Western Australia, the vibrant Swan River Daisy is a delightful botanical import that’s sure to add charm and whimsy to any garden. Not only does it flourish in large garden beds, but the Swan River Daisy also thrives in hanging baskets, pots, and rockeries, making it one of the most versatile flowers you can own.

Closeup of a blue Swan River daisy.

Read on to learn more about this amazing bloom from the Land Down Under!

History of the Swan River Daisy

The Swan River Daisy takes its name from the eponymous Swan River that runs through Perth, Australia. In 1697, Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh noted a number of black swans when sailing up the waterway, and he gave the river its name.

The Swan River Daisy’s scientific name is Brachyscome iberidifolia. Brachyscome is a Greek word meaning “short hair,” referring to the short bristles common among the aster species. In other words, Brachyscome refers to a many-branched, light green foliage with finely divided leaves. Iberidifolia also references the flower’s leaves, which are similar to the Iberis genus.

Despite being a native Australian plant, Swan River Daisies generally don’t tolerate hot weather. They are drought-tolerant but tend to wilt in excessive heat.

A bunch of blue Swan River daisies in a garden.

Characteristics of the Swan River Daisy

Appearance and Physical Characteristics

These tough little flowers bloom in a variety of pastel hues and pair wonderfully with other garden plants. Their ray florets sprout from a central yellow, black, or brown disc in shades of purple, mauve, blue, and white.

The hardy, low-maintenance plant can grow anywhere from one to three feet high and spread twelve to eighteen inches wide. When planted in hanging baskets, they create a beautiful cascade that’s sure to become a conversation piece on your front porch or deck.

Purple Swan River daisies in a mixed planting.

Since Swan River Daisies are highly fragrant, they attract numerous bird species to your garden. In fact, you may want to invest in a pair of bird-watching binoculars — you’re bound to have so many winged visitors!

Blooming Season

In Western Australia, wild Swan River Daisies can be found in various habitats. They thrive on swampy ground, along waterways, on open plains, and in both sandy and clay soils. Since they’re moderately frost-hardy, they have a long flowering season from late winter into spring.

When cultivated in the United States, however, the Swan River Daisy tends to blossom in the spring, summer, and intermittently in the fall. As such, they’re considered an annual or perennial plant depending on your growing region.

Light blue Swan River daisies.

How to Look After the Swan River Daisy

Planting and Growing a Swan River Daisy

Sow your Swan River Daisy seeds directly into your garden soil after any threat of frost has passed. If you prefer starting your seed indoors, plant them in containers about six to eight weeks before the last frost.

These seeds also grow well with the winter sowing method. The benefit of winter sowing is that the seedlings tend to be more resilient and hardier than indoor-sown seeds, giving your Swan River Daisies the best possible start.

Purple Swan River daisies with dark center disks.

Winter Sowing Method

For winter-sown flowers, save any clear plastic containers such as translucent milk jugs and soda bottles. Using a box cutter or similar knife, cut the containers horizontally around the middle leaving an uncut hinge for opening and closing the bottles. Punch several holes in the bottom for drainage.

Fill the containers with two to three inches of your favorite potting soil, water thoroughly, and allow to drain. When the soil is moist but not soaking, sprinkle your Swan River Daisy seeds over the soil and cover according to the seed packet’s recommended planting depth. Close the container hinges and secure them with duct tape, leaving the bottle lids off.

Set your containers outdoors where they’re exposed to rain and sunlight. They should start to germinate in early spring. You can start to open the hinges during warm days but be sure to close them before nighttime. Once the threat of frost has passed and the seedlings are large enough to thrive on their own, you can plant them in areas with full or partial sun.

Milk jugs used as mini greenhouses.

Maintaining Swan River Daisies

One of the great things about Swan River Daisies is that they’re easy to maintain, which makes them great for beginner gardeners. For the most part, Swan River Daisies grow just fine without supplemental watering. During dry stretches without rain, however, you may want to water your flowers a few times a week.

Fertilizer is also key to thriving Swan River Daisies. For ground plants, fertilize them at the start of the growing season and then monthly. If you’ve planted your Swan River Daisy in a container, you can aid its blooming with a weekly fertilizer. These plants do best with a fertilizer made up of ten percent phosphorous, five percent potassium, and five percent nitrogen.

Bright blue Swan River daisies.

Pests and Diseases

Swan River Daisies are prone to fungal infections and root rot if the soil doesnâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t dry between waterings. One of the most common fungal diseases you may encounter with this plant is powdery mildew. The plant also tends to become floppy in too much shade. Planting your flowers in full sun helps avoid these issues.

While this plant doesnâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t attract many pests, watch out for snails and slugs, as they tend to chew on the leaves and leave holes. For ideas on how to deal with these bothersome pests, read this article.

Propagating Swan River Daisies

You can multiply your Swan River Daisies using a simple propagation method.

The first method is propagating by seed. Once a bloom’s color has started to fade, snip the flower head from the stalk, place it inside a paper towel or paper bag, and wait for it to dry. Once fully dried, you can harvest the tiny seeds from the central disc.

To propagate your flowers from a cutting, take a trimming from a plant with at least two healthy leaves and one node that hasn’t yet reached its flowering stage. Use a sharp blade, such as a razor blade, to slice through the node where you hope to encourage new root growth. Place the shoot in water and allow the cuttings to germinate, which will take an average of 15 days.

The Swan River Daisy in Your Home

Why Grow Swan River Daisies?

So, why should you grow Swan River Daisies? That’s simple! Not only are they easy to grow and maintain, but they’re incredibly versatile.

Light blue Swan River daisies with dark center disks.

Whether you prefer growing your plants in containers or planting large areas for groundcover, this Australian import is the perfect choice. Even if you live in an apartment where your only option is a balcony container garden, you can rest assured the Swan River Daisy will flourish.

Buying Swan River Daisy Plants or Seeds

Whether you buy Swan River Daisy seeds or mature plants depends on your preference, but you may find seed packets easier to source. Seeds are available to purchase year-round, while your local nursery may not even carry the blooms in season.

Since these plants are so easy to grow from seed, they’re a great option for gardeners who may lack confidence in starting seed. You also have the option of starting them indoors or out, so why not give it a shot?

Pairing Swan River Daisies with Other Flowers

Other daisy-like flowers that pair nicely with Swan River Daisies include chamomile, ice plants, African daisies, andÔš coneflower daisies. Daffodils, irises, bee balm, and Lily of the Valley are also great choices for adding extra texture and interest.

Pink and purple iris flowers.
Irises come in a multitude of colors for your garden!

When making floral arrangements for your home, choose at least three blooms of varying colors. Adding some greenery will also make your blooms stand out!

Wrapping Up The Swan River Daisy

With its cheery disposition, calming color palette, and happy-go-lucky attitude, the Swan River Daisy makes an ideal addition to any garden. It’s a low-maintenance flower that stands up to dry spells, loves the sun, and has a long blooming season. What’s not to love?

Closeup of a light blue Swan River daisy.

Discover other flowers in the daisy family for more gardening inspiration!