How to Grow and Care for Daisies

This iconic flower blooms easily and adapts to many growing conditions.

With their sunny yellow centers, bright white petals, and long green stems, daisies are the very archetype of a flower: The simplest one to draw, the ideal for weaving into chains, and the happiest addition to a pretty bouquet of wildflowers.

Though these low-maintenance plants will thrive with very little care—and sometimes even do too well on their own, spreading throughout your lawn and garden to spots where you didn't expect them—the right amount of water, the correct type of sunlight, and a careful care and maintenance routine allows you to enjoy their cheerful blooms all season.

Varieties of Daisies

Leucanthemum x Superbum shasta daisy

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Daisies are members of a plant family called Asteraceae, which comprises more than 20,000 species, including asters, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and zinnias. The most iconic daisy flower has a yellow center with white, ray-shaped petals surrounding it, though other members of this 180-species group of perennials, like gerber daisies, painted daisies, and marguerite daisies, flaunt brighter and more colorful combinations.

Daisies are also known for their composite heads, which include both ray and disc flowers, says Linda Langelo, horticulture specialist with Colorado State University Extension. The ray flowers surround the yellow center, which is itself made up of many disc flowers.

The Leucanthemum genus is made up of 40 species of daisy, including some of the most popular and established types, like ox-eye daisies, English daisies (or bellis perennis), and shasta daisies. Nippon daisies, also called Montauk daisies, have a similar yellow-and-white appearance, but are part of the Nipponanthemum family—and are known for blooming late in the summer and through the first frost, much later than their summer-blooming cousins.

Before deciding which type of daisy to add to your garden, it's important to check with local gardening resources, extension programs, or nearby botanical gardens, since some types of daisy are invasive in different regions of the country. "They spread by seed, so deadheading will help," says Langelo. "But purchase the cultivated varieties that do not spread from the base or produce viable seed."

beautiful, white daisies in garden

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How to Care for Daisies

In general, members of the daisy family are low-maintenance and easy to care for, says Heather Sherwood, senior horticulturist at the Chicago Botanic Garden. "A lot of daisies came from the prairie," she says, where they survived even in hot, full sun, dry summers, and cold, wet winters. "They don't need a whole lot."


Plant daisies in an area that receives full sunlight—six hours or more per day—for the best blooms. Some cultivars will bloom in shaded areas, but with less intensity.

Soil Requirements

Members of the daisy family don’t like “wet feet,” says Sherwood; look for well-drained soil that will let the roots dry thoroughly between waterings.


Overwatering daisies can cause them to wilt or result in yellowing leaves. Experts recommend giving daisies 1 to 2 inches of water at the base of the plant each week during the growing season, and switching to every other week during the winter. “Traditionally, daisies are good at telling you they need water,” says Sherwood. “They look wilted—that’s when to water them.”


Langelo recommends adding a balanced fertilizer to your daisies once a month, while Sherwood opts instead to mulch with a blend of organic material that adds nutrients to the soil as it breaks down.

How to Plant Daisies

planting daisies in the garden

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Many varieties of daisies are quick growers, able to be planted from seed in the spring and show off their full-grown blooms in late summer, says Sherwood. Daisies are also readily available at garden centers throughout the season. If you plant from division or cuttings in the fall, prepare the plant for winter, says Langelo. “Mulch around the roots for mitigating soil temperatures and protection against freezing and thawing during the winter,” she says.

How to Prune Daisies

Daisies don’t need aggressive pruning, though they should be deadheaded to encourage more blooms, says Langelo. Sturdy varieties can remain in the garden until spring to provide winter interest, while weak-stemmed daisies can be cut back in the fall. You can also trim daisies to control their size and overall look. “Daisies are very quick growers and can take a good pinching for shaping purposes,” says Sherwood.

How to Propagate Daisies

Dividing daisies allows you to add their sunny color to another part of your garden—or share it with a friend. “If you see flower buds, wait until they are finished flowering,” says Sherwood (this typically happens in July). Cut the flowers back to the crown, dig out, and transplant or divide. You can also wait until fall to divide the plant, says Langelo, who recommends dividing the plant after three growing seasons. “They are like ornamental grasses that die out in the center,” she says. “Dividing them creates a healthier clump.”

When to Repot Daisies

If you opt to grow your daisies in containers, says Langelo, move to a bigger pot when the roots are touching the sides. “If they are coming out of the bottom, then you probably should have repotted it already,” she says. Sherwood cautions gardeners not to move to a huge pot too soon, instead increasing the size of the pot by 1 to 2 inches every 18 months. “Most daisies enjoy a slightly smaller pot than a larger pot,” she says. Transfer the plant in the spring, just before moving it back outside.

Common Problems With Daisies

Daisies grown in the right conditions aren’t susceptible to many problems (though deer, rabbits, and some garden insects may be inclined to munch on them). Too much moisture can cause fungal leaf spots like Alternaria or Septoria, says Langelo, which can be treated with fungicide.

Powdery mildew can also try to claim your plant. “High humidity and heat, along with poor air circulation and not enough sun for that plant, will cause powdery mildew,” says Langelo. “Powdery mildew affects the leaves and stems as a whitish or gray film.” Treat the disease with a fungicide solution that includes sulfur or myclobutanil, she says.


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