Butter daisy in the landscap
Some areas scream for that pop of colour and plenty of it; that’s when butter daisies will serve you well. Exceptionally easy to grow, with phenomenally prolific blossom output, butter daisies always seem to be dappled with 2.5-centimetre-wide (inch-wide) sunshine-coloured flowers against a background of green triangular leaves.
Sometimes called African zinnia or medallion flower, daisies grow 20 to 60 centimetres (eight to 25 inches) tall with a similar spread; their vivid hue can work as an accent rather than monopolizing the scene.
Growing butter daisies
- Butter daisies demand sun.
- Once that requirement is met, they’re perfectly happy to branch out and blossom despite humidity, drought and sweltering heat.
- In fact, they bask in hot weather and beg for more.
- They’re self-cleaning, so your time won’t be wasted with removing spent flowers.
All these qualifications make butter daisies ideal candidates for edging borders or hot driveways, filling sun-drenched hanging baskets or growing in containers.
Increasing the Bounty
- The fastest way to grow butter daisies is from seeds sown indoors or directly in warm garden soil.
- For a head start, sow seed indoors eight weeks before your last spring frost date.
- Cover the seeds lightly and keep them moist and in a dark spot until they germinate.
- Then whisk them immediately into bright light and plant outdoors when the soil warms.
- Transplant butter daisies to their permanent home early and water them regularly until they become established. When they’re comfortably situated, they’ll withstand drought.
Note: Butter daisies develop a long taproot that anchors the plants in the soil and gives them an edge against drought. However, that same trait makes transplanting difficult when the plants gain maturity.
A little smaller, a bit bigger
A comparatively tall ‘Medallion’ grows to 38 centimetres (15 inches) under normal conditions but will expand to 60 centimetres (25 inches) where the soil is rich, all the while covering its branching stems with a bounty of golden blooms.
Or, if space is tight, take the opposite tack and opt for the dwarf 20-centimetre-tall (eight-inch-tall) ‘Derby’ to provide a bite-sized nugget of colour.
If you need flowers fast, 25-centimetre-tall (10-inch-tall) ‘Million Gold’ rushes to the rescue with a profusion of flowers in less than 60 days after being started from seed.
Lime-loving butter daisies prefer a neutral to slightly alkaline, well-drained soil. When grown in beds, butter daisies often reseed, with seedlings appearing late in spring, after the soil is warm.
Although they do endure drought, watering when the soil dries prevents stress. Stressed butter daisies can fall victim to sap-sucking whiteflies or aphids. To get rid of these pests, rinse them from the foliage with a strong stream of water from the hose and spray plants with insecticidal soap.