7 Species of Daisies for Your Flower Garden

yellow and white daisies

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Daisies are a popular choice for gardens—and for good reason. Bright, cheerful, and easy to grow, the flowers are readily identifiable and are mainstays of cottage gardens and classic perennial borders alike. But the term "daisy" is far broader than you may realize. There's a multitude of options when it comes to choosing daisies to grow in your garden.

The common name "daisy" is applied to a large handful of species among several genera within the huge Asteraceae family of plants, a group known for blooms that are flat and disc-shaped, with petals that form rays projecting outward from a central hub. The family also includes chrysanthemums, zinnias, asters, and sunflowers as well as a number of common weeds, such as dandelions. However, the daisy species that's best for your flower garden depends on several factors. A daisy that's perfect for one growing zone might be a total pest in another.

Here are seven gorgeous species of daisies to consider for your garden.

Warning

Some types of daisies are considered weeds and are categorized by states as invasive (and thus discouraged) because they grow so rapidly, thanks to self-sowing and their robust nature. Check with your local county extension office before planting a new daisy variety.

  • 01 of 07

    English Daisy (Bellis perennis)

    The English daisy with pink petals and yellow centers

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    The common English daisy, Bellis perennis, has a somewhat deserved reputation for being a weed; it's even considered invasive in some areas. The species has flowers with white rays and yellow centers, but there are many cultivars with semi-double and button flowers, such as the Galaxy Red. These cultivars are both showier and better-behaved than the primary species. English daisies are hardy in growing zones 4–8 but are often grown as biennials in warmer zones and as annuals in cooler zones. These low-growing daisies, especially the showier cultivars, can make excellent ground cover plants.

    • Native Area: Northern Africa, western Asia, Europe
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–8
    • Height: 3–6 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full
  • 02 of 07

    Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

    The gerbera daisy with salmon petals and a red center

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    The National Garden Bureau named 2013 the Year of the Gerbera, declaring the pleasing shape and luminous colors of the flower to be irresistible to gardeners. And we're still in love with the species today. Unlike some daisies, this South African native is a tender perennial, hardy only in warm climates. However, the plants can thrive in a container garden and make fabulous cut flowers, as many florists and brides can attest. Gerbera daisies prefer morning sun, although full sun is tolerated in cooler climates. Irrigate the plants at soil level to keep water off the foliage and prevent fungal diseases. Look for the Festival series in a rainbow of colors, or try one of the lush, semi-double types, such as the peach-hued Cartwheel Chardonnay.

    • Native Area: South Africa
    • USDA Growing Zones: 9–11 (grown as an annual elsewhere)
    • Height: 12–18 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full
  • 03 of 07

    Marguerite Daisy (Argyranthemum frutescens)

    Marguerite daisies in shades of pink with yellow centers

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    The Marguerite daisy, Argyranthemum frutescens, also known as the cobbitty daisy, thrills gardeners with its blazing yellow and pink color choices as well as its demure white petal variety. These are annuals in all but the warmest growing zones, so they won't return after winter, but you will get a full season of repeating blooms. Marguerite daisies are at their best during spring and fall when nighttime temperatures are below 75 degrees. However, if you shear them back in the summer, they'll bounce back with a new flush of blooms when the autumn rains arrive.

    • Native Area: Canary Islands
    • USDA Growing Zones: 10–11 (grown as an annual elsewhere)
    • Height: 2–3 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full
  • 04 of 07

    Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

    Oxeye daisies with white petals and yellow centers

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    What's considered a vigorous plant in one garden is considered a weed in another, and that's true for the oxeye daisy, Leucanthemum vulgare. It's a native flower in Europe, where the spreading nature and drought tolerance of the plants make them pasture pests. These short-lived perennials are discouraged in a dozen continental states because they're considered invasive. However, in tamer settings, oxeye daisies are welcome for their three-month bloom time. Consider using them in a small, well-kept wildflower garden, or allow them to naturalize in your cottage garden.

    • Native Area: Europe
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3–8
    • Height: 1–3 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full
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  • 05 of 07

    Painted Daisy (Tanacetum coccineum)

    Painted daisies with pale pink petals and yellow centers

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    The easy care and vivid blooms of the painted daisy, Tanacetum coccineum, make it deserving of a spot in every cutting garden. It starts blooming in early summer and may even put on a second, smaller showing in the fall if you deadhead the faded blooms. After the fernlike leaves appear in spring, watch out for aphids and leafminers. Varieties like James Kelway are easy to start from seed, or try the pale pink Eileen May Robinson.

    • Native Area: Caucasus, western and central Asia
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3–7
    • Height: 2–3 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial
  • 06 of 07

    Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)

    Shasta Daisies with frilly white petals and yellow centers

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    A cross of the oxeye daisy and three other wild daisies yielded the beloved Shasta daisy, Leucanthemum x superbum, which received its common name from the white snow of Mount Shasta in California. The many cultivars of this daisy offer gardeners several different looks for their flower borders, ranging from the yellow Banana Cream to the frilly, fringed Phyllis Smith. The Becky and Alaska varieties are widely sold and look like the classic daisy flower seen in many cottage gardens. These plants bloom across a long season but reach their peak in June and July. Although they're low-maintenance, Shasta daisies don’t like wet feet and will sometimes fail to reappear in the garden after a soggy winter. Divide the plants every two years to keep them vigorous.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid; parent species are native to Europe, Japan
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–10
    • Height: 3–4 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full
  • 07 of 07

    Swan River Daisy (Brachyscome iberidifolia)

    Swan River daisies with lavender petals and yellow centers

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    A warm-weather perennial from Australia, the swan river daisy produces small flowers, only about 1 inch in diameter. But the blooms are so colorful and abundant—and the flower works so well with other garden plants—that it can serve as a central feature of any flower garden. Lavender, blue, yellow, or white blooms appear in abundance from summer into fall, while the foliage is a softly textured gray-green hue.

    • Native Area: Australia
    • USDA Growing Zones: 9–11 (grown as an annual elsewhere)
    • Height: 12–18 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full