Mr Fothergill's Seed Daisy Swan River Summer Skies
Name: marguerite daisy, bush daisy, federation daisy (Argyranthemum frutescens) and varieties.
Height: around 1m × 1m, but varies according to the variety, with many smaller forms available.
Foliage: evergreen, green to grey-green that is often quite fine.
Climate: best in cold temperate, warm temperate and arid/semi-arid areas. Will grow in sub-tropical and tropical, areas but may be short lived.
Soil: prefers well-drained soil but is adaptable to most soil types, except wet clay.
Position: full sun, but will tolerate light shade.
Flowering: showy daisy-type flowers throughout the year, peaking in late winter and throughout spring.
Feeding: occasional feeding with a complete fertiliser.
Watering: young plants require reliable watering as they establish. Older plants will need supplemental watering in very dry periods.
The daisy is an evergreen, rounded shrub that usually grows to be as wide as it is tall. Its foliage is fine, and often has a greyish colour. The flowers are the typical daisy flower, and can be either single or double—that is, they can have just one row of petals or many. Daisies are most commonly seen in white or many different shades of pink, although nowadays daisies come in just about any colour.
Daisies flower for many, many months, which adds colour and life to any garden. Because daisies are also fast growers, they are great for filling in empty spots in a garden.
They are also bee attractors, so can be planted near fruit trees and vegetables to bring in the bees to pollinate these plants.
Daisies can also be grown in pots to bring life to balconies, decks, entertaining areas and doorways.
Full sun is best for this plant, but it will flower as long as it gets a few hours of sun each day, and lots of indirect light. Daisy grows in most soils except really wet soils, which can cause it to rot. To avoid this, prepare the ground well before planting and raise the garden bed a little to ensure drainage. If growing in pots, use a good-quality potting mix.
A daisy will grow in a coastal garden, but is not good in areas with heavy frosts, which can seriously damage it.
Another great thing about daisies is that they are pretty low care. They will need an occasional water in hot and dry times, but are really quite dry tolerant.
A great way to keep your daisy bushy and looking good is to give it an occasional all-over trim using hedge shears or hedge trimmers. Do this at least once a year when it starts to look a bit straggly. If you’re not sure when to do it, just do it each year in early spring. Don’t remove too much, just take a bit off all over.
The daisy doesn’t don’t suffer much from pests or diseases, but can sometimes be affected by fungal problems, particularly in humid districts. This can be reduced by ensuring you grow your daisy in a sunny and breezy spot.
Apply a fungicide if required.
You can grow your own daisy from a cuttings. The best times to do this are autumn and spring—you could even use the material that you cut off during the plant’s annual trim. Cuttings should be about 10cm long, and should preferably be from pieces that haven’t got a flower. Strip off the bottom two-thirds of the leaves from the stem. You can place a dozen or so cuttings into a 15cm pot filled with damp propagating sand. Keep the mix damp and leave for at least three months before checking if they have formed roots.
Lavender: long-flowering shrubs with scented foliage and flowers.
Chrysanthemum: showy daisy flowers on a perennial plant.
Hebe: long-flowering, easy-to-grow evergreen shrub.
Osteospermum: ground-cover plant with daisy flowers for many months of the year.
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