Angelita Daisy Care: Tips On Caring For Angelita Daisies
By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Angelita daisy is a hardy, native wildflower that grows wild in dry, open grasslands and deserts across most of the western United States. Angelita daisy plants bloom throughout spring and summer in most climates, but if you live in a climate with mild winters, you can enjoy the bright yellow, daisy-like flowers all year long. Read on for angelita daisy info and learn about angelita daisy care.
Angelita Daisy Info
Angelita daisy plants (Tetraneuris acaulis syn. Hymenoxys acaulis) are suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 8. This little perennial is so tough it can easily withstand sub-freezing temperatures as low as -20 F. (-29 C.), although it will go dormant at about 10 F. (-12 C.). During the summer, angelita daisy tolerates punishing heat, but will begin to flag when the mercury soars to 105 F. (41 C.).
Angelita daisy tops out at about 8 inches (20 cm.), with a spread of 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm.). This plant displays mounds of fragrant, grassy leaves, which are usually blanketed with masses of 1 1/2-inch (3.8 cm.) blooms. Angelita daisy plants are happy in mass plantings, in borders or edges, as a ground cover, or even in containers.
It is perfect for a wildflower meadow garden or rock garden. Angelita daisy is highly attractive to butterflies and native bees.
Angelita Daisy Care
Learning how to grow angelita daisy and its subsequent care is simple. In its natural environment, angelita daisy grows in dry, rocky soil. In the garden, the plant tolerates dry or average soil and even withstands poor, clay soil, but the soil must be well drained, as this desert plant will rot quickly in soggy soil. Similarly, full sunlight is ideal. Although the plant tolerates filtered shade, blooming is reduced.
Keep in mind that in its natural environment, angelita daisy does just fine with no human interference, so caring for angelita daisy basically involves just leaving the plant alone. The plant will reseed itself if you give it an occasional drink during hot, dry weather.
If your angelita daisy plant looks scraggly, you can rejuvenate it with a light haircut. Although angelita daisy plants benefit from deadheading, this is a daunting task due to the sheer number of blooms.
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How to Split Daisies
Daisy is a word used to describe many colorful perennial flowers in the aster family, recognized by multiple petals that grow from a dark center. Familiar daisies include ox-eye daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum), black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Shasta daisy (Chrysanthemum x superbum) and Transvaal daisy (Gerbera jamesonii). Although some daisies tolerate chilly temperatures, nearly all thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11. All daisy varieties benefit from division every three to five years, which rejuvenates the plant, stimulating new growth and healthy blooming.
Divide daisies in autumn when the plant is no longer blooming. Although spring is also appropriate, dividing in autumn gives the roots of the plants time to establish before spring.
Prepare a planting spot for the divided daisies ahead of time. Although most daisies prefer full sunlight, they tolerate partial shade. Spade the ground to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. Dig in 3 to 6 inches of organic material such as rotted manure, peat moss or compost, along with a granular fertilizer with a ratio such as 5-10-5. Use approximately 2 pounds of fertilizer for every 100 square feet of planting space.
Insert the shovel straight into the ground approximately 6 to 8 inches from the center of the plant. Dig deeply to avoid damaging the roots, and then rock the shovel back and forth to loosen the roots. Continue loosening the roots by digging around the circumference of the plant, and then lift the daisies carefully from the ground.
Divide the clump of daisies by pulling it apart gently with your hands. Usually, it's best to divide the outer part of the plant and discard the center, which is often woody and nonproductive. Be sure each division has a healthy top and several healthy roots.
Dig a hole for each division. Make the holes wide enough to accommodate the spread roots. Plant the divisions at the same soil depth it was planted previously. Planting too deep may kill the plant.
Add soil around the roots. Pat the soil gently to remove air bubbles, but don't compact it.
Water the plant deeply enough to soak the roots.
Spread 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the plant. Use a natural mulch such as dry grass or bark chips, which conserves moisture and moderates soil temperature.
Plant of the Month: 5 Plants That Can Take the Southwest Heat
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It’s no surprise that the biggest challenge to growing plants in our region is the intense heat and dryness of summer, which is a stressful environment for plants. Thankfully, there are several plants that thrive in a hot, dry climate. Here are a few of Southwest Gardening’s Noelle Johnson’s favorite plants that can take the Southwest heat.
Bush Lantana ‘Radiation.’ Photo by Noelle Johnson
1. Bush Lantana (Lantana camara)
Color and lush green foliage unite in bush lantana to create a welcome splash of color in the landscape. This medium-sized shrub can handle full sun and reflected heat. Lantanas flower spring through fall and make excellent container plants. Both butterflies and hummingbirds like to visit their colorful blooms. Bush lantana is available in different color combinations, including ‘Radiation’ shown above. Although frost tender, they grow back quickly in spring. Hardy to 20 degrees F., this lantana can be grown all year round in USDA Zones 9 and above, while treated as an annual in colder climates.
Spanish Lavender. Photo by Noelle Johnson
2. Spanish Lavender (Lavendula stoechas)
The fragrant foliage and beautiful flowers of lavender delight gardeners throughout the world. However, many species of lavender can struggle in desert gardens in the intense heat of summer. Spanish lavender is one species that does reliably well through hot, dry summers and its blooms add lovely spring interest. Like most lavender, it attracts bees and butterflies and does best in full or filtered sun. It is hardy to 0 degrees F. and can be grown throughout most areas of the Southwest.
Pink Muhly Grass. Photo by Noelle Johnson
3. Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)
This colorful ornamental grass adds varying color to the landscape depending on the season. Pink muhly is a fine-textured ornamental grass with medium green foliage in spring and summer. With the arrival of fall, burgundy plumes appear, adding a delightful color element. After that, as the weather cools, the plumes fade to an attractive wheat color that lasts through winter. Pruning them back to 3 inches tall in early spring is the only maintenance required. This grass is grown throughout the U.S. in full sun or bright shade and is hardy to 0 degrees F.
Firecracker Penstemon. Photo by Noelle Johnson
4. Firecracker Penstemon (Penstemon eatoni)
Penstemons are found throughout the western half of the United States, and firecracker penstemon is one of the most colorful. Orange-red, flowering spikes attract hummingbirds and appear winter through spring in desert gardens while waiting to bloom later in upper elevation landscapes. Above all, they do best in full sun and need very little care other than pruning away faded flowers. When not in bloom, they fade into the background, and warm-season flowering plants take center stage. Firecracker penstemon can handle intense cold and heat and is hardy to -20 degrees F.
Angelita Daisy. Photo by Noelle Johnson
5. Angelita Daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis)
The petite size of the flowering perennial makes it an excellent choice for smaller areas where gardeners want color. Angelita daisy blooms almost all year long in low desert gardens and provides welcome color throughout the warm season in colder regions of the Southwest. They look best in groups of three or five for maximum color impact and are a favorite companion for boulders in the landscape. Also, although Angelita daisy can grow in filtered sun, the plants will flower best in full sun. And don’t let their delicate appearance fool you — they can handle frigid temperatures down to -20 degrees F. and shrug off temps over 110 degrees.
These plants are a few that can handle intense heat as well as add beauty to your garden. However, if you would like to see more, we have a FREE list of “20 Plants That Can Handle the Heat” for subscribers to Southwest Gardening.
Did you know that up to 70 percent of water use is outdoors? That’s why we love desert plants and feature them each month. Find even more beautiful plants on our Arizona Low-Water-Use Plants page, and visit our page on Choosing and Planting Low Water-Use Plants for tips on plant selection and how to plant properly
Growing Daisies Throughout the Season
Growth Habit: Shasta daisies have a rounded upright habit with stiff stems and single or double flowers that are held above the foliage. Flowers can also have a ‘shaggy’ appearance depending on variety. Leaves are lanceolate and serrated and in warmer climates basal foliage is often evergreen. Ox-eye daisies have smaller, single flowers and stand 18-30” tall.
Staking: Some varieties of Shasta daisy need extra staking as they will flop over in a heavy storm. Other varieties, such as 'Becky' or dwarf cultivars do just fine even during heavy weather events. Ox-eye daisies generally do not need staking.
Watering: Shasta daisy prefers regular moisture but does not like overly wet feet. It can tolerate limited periods of drought in the garden. Ox-eye daisy will tolerate drier, meadow conditions. In a partly shaded site, too much moisture after blooming can set up both plants for fungal diseases, disfiguring leaves and weakening the plants.
Fertilizing: Established plants benefit from a top dressing of compost or well-rotted manure, or a balanced fertilizer worked into the soil around the clump after division.
Mulching: Shasta daisies tend to become woody in the center and rhizomes eventually move to the surface of the soil. Rejuvenating them by dividing and applying some organic mulch is a good idea.
Propagation of Shasta Daisies
Shasta daisy seeds are readily available and this is one of the most common methods of growing the plant. The plant grows from rhizomes, which spread under the soil, so the size of the clump can increase fairly quickly.
To propagate existing plants, divide every 3-4 years in early spring or late summer.
Once your clump of Shasta daisy plants get to be about 3 years old, like many perennials, the plant will become woody and die out in the center.
To divide the plant, dig up the clump and discard the woody center. You will likely have two or three outer sections with more healthy young rhizomes.
Replant these in your garden just below the crown of the new plants.
Be sure to check local regulations if you plan to grow Oxeyes. They are considered invasive and are banned in some states, since they grow TOO quickly.
Companion plants for Shasta Daisy
There are many perennials that will make nice companions for daisies. Since it has a white flowering habit, other more colorful cottage garden perennials will look great growing nearby.
Some popular choices of companion plants are:
- Bee Balm
Special Features of Shasta Daisies
The plants are a great attraction for bees and butterflies. It is a deer resistant plant and makes great cutting garden flowers. The plant is great for both garden beds and containers.
Pests and Diseases
There are a few bugs that could be a problem for Shasta Daisies. Earwigs, and aphids will sometimes appear and slugs seem to enjoy them too.
As far as diseases go, leaf spots can also be an issue. Over-watering can cause fungal diseases. Generally speaking, most forms of daisies are low maintenance when it comes to pests and diseases.
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Coneflowers, also known as Echinacea, are tough little native flowers that draw butterflies, bees, and birds to the garden! Here’s how to grow this American native—and important tips on plant care, from deadheading to cutting back in June.
Bright upright plants, coneflowers are a North American perennial in the Daisy family (Asteraceae). Specifically, the plant is native to the eastern United States, from Iowa and Ohio south to Louisiana and Georgia. They grow 2 to 4 feet in height with dark green foliage. They are fast growers and self-sow their seed profusely. These midsummer bloomers can flower from midsummer through fall frost!
Their genus name Echinacea comes from the Latin name for hedgehog, echinus, referring to the often prickly lower stem of the plant. Coneflowers have raised cone-like centers (hence, the name) which contain seeds that attract butterflies. Leave the seed heads after bloom and you’ll also attract songbirds!
Trouble-free, coneflowers are drought-tolerant, once established. They can take the heat! As native plants with prickly stems, they are more deer-resistant than most flowering plants.
The most common species available to gardeners is Echinacea purpurea, the purple coneflower. If purple doesn’t pair well with your garden’s color palette, don’t fret: coneflowers can be found in a range of bright or subdued colors.
Coneflowers are at home in a traditional garden or a wildflower meadow they are striking in masses, especially as a mix of various colors.
Choosing and Preparing a Planting Site
- Coneflowers prefer well-drained soil and full sun for best bloom. Choose a location where the coneflowers won’t get shaded out nor shade out others.
- They may reach between 2 and 4 feet in height, depending on variety.
- Coneflowers are very tolerant of poor soil conditions, but they perform best in soil that’s rich so mix in organic matter if needed.
- Coneflowers are drought tolerant.
- Loosen the soil in your garden using a garden fork or tiller to 12 to 15 inches deep, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. (Learn more about preparing soil for planting.)
When to Plant Coneflowers
- More commonly, coneflowers are bought as small plants with blooms already on the way. These should be planted in spring or early summer.
- Coneflowers can be started from seed in spring indoors (about a month before the last spring frost date) or outdoors (when the soil temperature has reached at least 65°F/18°C).
- Note: Coneflowers started from seed may take 2 to 3 years before producing blooms.
- Better yet, don’t cut back coneflower plants and they’ll self-seed successfully!
- If dividing or transplanting coneflowers, do so in the spring or fall.
How to Plant Coneflowers
- Plant coneflowers about 1 to 3 feet apart, depending on the mature size of the variety.
- If you are moving a potted plant into the ground, dig a hole about twice the pot’s diameter and carefully place the plant in the soil. Bury the plant to the top of the root ball, but make sure the root ball is level with the soil surface. Water it thoroughly.
Check out our video to learn more about the benefits of growing coneflowers.
How to Grow Coneflowers
- Put a thin layer of compost around the plants, then a 2–inch layer of mulch to help keep the plants moist and prevent weeds.
- Native coneflowers really do not need fertilizer as discussed above, just ensure your soil has plenty of organic matter when you plant.
- In late spring, provide supplementary water only if the season is extremely dry or your coneflowers are newly planted.
- Optional: To encourage delayed blooming for fall enjoyment, cut coneflower plants back by 1 foot when plants come into bloom. This will result in later-flowering, more-compact growth because coneflowers can get leggy. Cut some and not others for more staggered bloom heights and times.
- Optional: When flowers are faded/done blooming, deadhead if you wish to prolong the blooming season. But consider leaving late-season flowers on the plants to mature the seed heads will attract birds and promote self-seeding. Deadheading will prevent self seeding if this is your preference. To deadhead, cut the dead flower back to a leaf where you can see a bud ready to swell.
- Watch for beneficial soldier beetles in August and do not harm them.
- In the fall, a light mulch in colder regions is beneficial.
- Cut back in late winter/early spring when you’re tidying up the garden.
Growing Coneflowers in Pots
We tend to grow coneflowers in the ground as perennial plants, but you can certainly grow them in pots if the containers are deep enough for the plant’s taproot (at least 2- or 3-gallon pots).
- Ensure there are holes in the bottom of the pot. Put a thin layer of crushed gravel at the bottom of the pot for drainage.
- Fill container halfway with potting mix. Tamp down. Plant the root ball an inch below the rim of the container, spreading out the roots and adding soil slowly until even with top of root ball, tamping soil lightly along the way. Water deeply.
- Keep pots in partial shade for two or three days and then move to a site that receives full morning sun and partial afternoon shade.
- Always water deeply when the soil is dry to touch.
- Fertilize pots every couple of weeks with a water-soluble 10-10-10 fertilizer.
- Deadhead for continued bloom, clipping right below base of the flower stem. Do not water leaves from above, as this can encourage fungal disease on leaves. Instead, water at soil level. Use an insecticidal soap or neem oil solution spray if you see any aphids or pests.
If you wish to keep the coneflowers in pots through winter, wait until the plant growth begins to slow in fall, then prune your plants back to soil level, and then move the pots to an area with low-to-moderate, indirect light where the temperature will stay between 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the soil every couple of weeks and water lightly when the top 3 inches are dry.
When new growth appears in the spring, transition the plant to a brighter, warmer (60 to 70 degrees) setting. Moving the plant helps to prepare it for living outdoors in the spring and summer.
Every 3 to 4 years, it’s fine to divide and repot your echinacea plants. Do this in the springtime after new growth has started.
Dividing Shasta daisies not only gives you free plants, but also keeps the plants healthy by preventing overcrowding. Transplants from divisions should be planted as soon after the division is made as possible. This keeps the roots from drying out. You can divide Shasta daisies once they stop flowering in early fall. Dividing in fall allows you to see which areas of the plant are healthy and which aren't. Older areas in the center of the clump that aren't thriving should be discarded when dividing. Transplant only healthy portions of the plant. You can also divide Shasta daisies in spring, but it can be harder to assess the plant's health at this time of year. Aim to make divisions on cool, cloudy days after watering the plant well to lessen the stress on the plants.