If you are looking for a gracious and delicate flower to fill your garden with joy during the warmer seasons, look no further than Bellis perennis a.k.a. English daisy! This plant, with its generous number of cultivars, will surprise you with its versatility, bright colours, and easy-going nature. The English daisy is super easy to grow and care for, so it will surely bring you much joy and excitement while having it around. But let’s get you to know it better first!
Bellis perennis is a lovely species of flowering plant in the well-known Asteraceae family. In cultivation, this plant goes by various other names including English daisy, common daisy, lawn daisy, bruisewort, and sometimes woundwort. The plant is native to northern, western, and central Europe. However, it has become naturalized worldwide in several temperate regions, such as Australia, Asia, and the Americas.
About English Daisies
- English daisy belongs to the Bellis genus which is native to Europe, Africa, and the Mediterranean and contains exactly 14 accepted species of flowering plants. Bellis perennis is, however, the most popular species from this genus.
- Its genus name comes from the word “bellus”, which is the Latin for “pretty” while the specific epithet “perennis” means “everlasting” in Latin. Altogether, the botanical name describes this plant as an everlasting pretty.
- This buddy rewards passionate gardeners with many hypnotic cultivars. The most attractive ones are the ‘Bellissima’ series, ‘Galaxy’, ‘Habanera Red Tips’, ‘Pomponette’, and ‘Tasso Pink’.
- The leaves and flowers of the English daisy are edible. Some people use this plant as a potherb, meaning that they treat it as a vegetable. Moreover, this plant is also great for tea and as a vitamin supplement.
- Young English daisy leaves are a great raw ingredient in salads and even cooked. The petals and flower buds work as a nice addition to salads, soups, or sandwiches.
- This species has astringent properties. Folks have been using this plant in herbal medicine as a treatment for broken bones, muscle pain, bruises, rheumatism, and cutaneous wounds, hence the common names bruisewort and woundwort.
- The English daisy is a super versatile plant, making it an excellent member of any plant family in USDA zones 4-10.
- The English daisy makes a perfect addition to cottage gardens, wildflower meadows, butterfly gardens, city gardens, beds, borders, containers, and even garden edging specimens.
- Bellis perennis are often a good species for underplanting tulips or other spring bulbs. Still, it can also be a companion to other interesting species of flowering plants including Hyacinthus orientalis ‘White Festival’, Pansy, Ranunculus asiaticus ‘Delano Red’, Snapdragon, Violet, and Wood Forget-Me-Not.
- English daisies are not toxic to either humans or animals. You can grow this beauty safely near curious children or pets without worries and you can even use these plants in your kitchen.
English Daisies Features: An Overview
- The English daisy is a perennial herbaceous flowering plant. It emerges from short creeping rhizomes that can store relatively generous amounts of water.
- Depending on the variety, this plant can reach from 4 to 12 inches (10-31 cm) in height and 6 to 12 inches (15-31 cm) in width.
- Its foliage contains several beautiful rosettes that consist of small, basal, rounded to spoon-shaped, dark green leaves growing on simple, erect leaves. The leaves measure between 0.8 to 2 inches (2-5 cm) in length.
- In general, English daisy blooms from spring through early summer. During this time, it exhibits masses of flowers that can vary in shape, size, and colour from one cultivar to another.
- While the species has simple, white blooms, some cultivars come along with pompon-like double blossoms. They can show up in different shades of white, pink, red, or in eye-catching mixes of these colours.
Growing English Daisies
As a rule, the English daisy will show all its splendour if you provide it with four to six hours of direct sunlight each day. But this particular lighting condition is viable only in those areas that have cool summers overall. In hotter zones, however, it would be wise to protect them from any harsh afternoon sunlight exposure. This will help your plant bloom for as long as possible.
Temperature-wise, the English daisy prefers the environmental conditions from the USDA regions 4 to 8. The plant will enjoy temperatures that are more on the cooler side and will absolutely thrive when it receives them. Likewise, it will not show any dissatisfaction if it experiences high humidity levels, so go on with it!
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- Bellis Perennis Super Enorma Mix grows as a biennial mix in USDA Zones: 4 - 8 and thrives in full sun to partial shade.
- Bellis, also called English Daisy only reaches a height of 6 inches with white to red blooms from spring through summer.
- These low-growing flowers make wonderful bedding plants and container plants for your porch or patio.
- Sow these heirloom seeds at 3 - 4 seeds per plant in well-drained soil and keep moist until germination occurs in 14 - 28 days.
- Our seeds are always Non-GMO and packaged for the current year.
- QUALITY - All seeds packaged by Seed Needs are intended for the current and the following growing seasons. All seeds are stored in a temperature controlled facility that is free of significant amounts of moisture.
- QUANTITY - Seed packets by Seed Needs offer generous quantities. You can share with friends and family, or save your extra seeds until the next season, if properly stored.
- PACKETS - Each packet displays a beautiful illustration of the variety to be grown, as well as detailed seed sowing information on the reverse side as well. Measures 3.25” wide by 4.25” tall.
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- GERMINATION - Seed Needs packets contain some of the freshest seed available. Direct from the growers. If sown correctly, you will begin seeing results in only a matter of days.
Planting English Daisies
You need to know that the English daisy typically germinates and produces leaves in its first growing year. Only after this period, usually in the following spring, will it start to produce flowers. If you want to add a dash of colour to your garden as quickly as possible, the best option is to purchase plants that already have blooms from a nursery or market.
When it comes to its growing medium, the English daisy performs best in rich, loamy soils that feature excellent drainage. In terms of soil pH, it can tolerate a wide range from acidic to slightly alkaline, though it prefers those that are more on the acidic side.
In case you cannot provide your English daisy with rich soil, you will have to boost their performance with fertilizers. This plant will benefit from a yearly feeding with all-purpose slow-release fertilizers. If your English daisy does not grow in rocky and poor substrates, you are lucky! It will generally take all the needed nutrients from rich soils.
Since the English daisy is a hardy plant overall, you can also plant some specimens in pots and enjoy them on a porch or deck. In this situation, you should plant English daisies in a container that has drainage holes at the bottom, filled with potting soil.
Watering English Daisies
Even with its water-storing rhizomes, the English daisy is not a very drought-tolerant plant. But, do not worry, this does not mean that caring for this plant is difficult! Although this plant needs regular watering to keep its flowers in shape, you will not have to water it every day. In fact, over-watering is a common mistake with this plant, because it does not enjoy having its feet constantly wet.
In general, cool, moist soil will help your English daisy always look fresh and healthy. It is better to water this plant only when the top half of its soil feels dry to the touch. If you are growing yours in a hot climate, make sure you check its soil more often, as it will surely dry faster than in other areas.
Propagating English Daisy
The beauty and charm of the English daisy are absolutely irresistible, so we cannot wait to show you how easy you can keep it by your side for as long as you want. Of course, you can make more English daisies with time by propagating yours through seeds or division. Both methods are a piece of cake and they will not take a lot of time to show great results. Let’s get to work!
About six to eight weeks before the last frost passes, you can start sowing English daisy seeds indoors. You must press the seeds into the damp soil, but make sure you do not cover them with it, since they require lots of light in this process. At room temperature and with proper lighting, germination will occur in two or three weeks. Once the warmth of spring is around, you can transplant the seedlings outdoors and treat them as individual plants.
If you live in a region with cool summers, you are the happy owner of an English daisy that can propagate itself by spreading crowns. Take advantage of your plant’s vigour and generosity! In either spring or autumn, you can dig up your plant from the soil. Next, divide its rhizomes into two or three parts, then replant each in its own spot.
If you feel that you do not have enough space to grow as many plants as you would want, and you happen to have too many young specimens, you can always share some of them with your beloved ones. Go on and surprise your plant-loving friends or family members with one of the spectacular English daisies you have obtained while propagating yours! Everything is better when shared with others.
English Daisy Common Problems
Although the English daisy is not on the priority list of most pests, some intruders like thrips and leaf miners may visit and bother them in a while. Both of these pests will show their presence once the temperatures start to rise and may feed on the foliage of your plant. When this happens, the plants will start to look shabby and you might have to discard the affected plants. To prevent these pests, we suggest you apply horticultural oil to your English daisy at the beginning of summer.
A common issue that you might encounter when growing English daisies is wilting. As mentioned in the watering section, English daisies don’t do well in dry conditions, so underwatering can cause wilting. To avoid this problem, make sure you grow your English daisies in moist soil, in a location where they will get some protection from extreme heat.
What better way to celebrate the warmth of spring and summer this year than by filling your garden with a stunning and low-demanding flower such as the English daisy? This cute and easy-going ornamental has all it needs to become your favourite garden companion for years to come. Are you growing English daisies? Let us know in the comment section!