Looking for a low-maintenance plant to add some color to your garden this year? Or perhaps you have a particularly hot or dry area in your garden that keeps killing off other plants? Look no further than the damianita daisy (Chrysactinia mexicana), revered for its ability to adapt and thrive in a variety of different gardening conditions. This low-growing shrub sports bright, fragrant yellow flowers nearly year-round and attracts butterflies and other nectar-insects. Plus, damianita daisies are extremely deer and drought resistant. Need we say more? Read on for tips on how to help damianita daisies thrive in your garden.
|Botanical Name||Chrysactinia mexicana|
|Common Name||Damianita daisies|
|Mature Size||1-2 feet tall|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun|
|Soil pH||6.1 - 8.5|
|Bloom Time||Spring, summer, fall|
|Hardiness Zones||8, 9, 10|
|Native Area||Mexico, Southwestern United States|
How to Grow Damianita Daisies
Damianita daisies are attractive, aromatic perennials that are extremely hardy and can survive under a variety of different growing conditions. They are often planted in areas where other perennials can’t survive and are excellent for erosion control; border gardens; ground cover for hot, exposed areas; or regular flower gardens. They are considered a perennial shrub and are characterized by thin green leaves and bright yellow flowers that show almost year-round. Damianita daisies have a slow to moderate growth rate, often taking two or three years to reach maturity. At their largest, damianita daisies tend to reach 1 to 2 feet tall and wide.
Damianita daisies require full sun for best development and flowering. While they can survive in partial shade, damianita daisies will become elongated and leggy without adequate sun. Fungal infections are also more likely when damianita daisies are not given enough light.
Damianita daisies tolerate most types of soil but grow best in poor-quality soil that provides adequate drainage. Choose a well-draining soil, or make your own by combining regular potting soil with some perlite or sand. Soils rich in nutrients will cause damianita daisies to become leggy and flower less often.
One of the most attractive features of damianita daisies is how drought-tolerant they are. They often do well when planted with water-wise plants such as yuccas, aloes, and even some cacti. Regular rainfall should be adequate for damianita daisies when planted outdoors. If necessary, supplement infrequent rainfall with a couple of extra waterings a year to help your damianita daisies thrive.
Temperature and Humidity
Damianita daisies are tolerant of a range of temperatures. They appreciate plenty of sun and heat, but also tolerate cold temperatures and are hardy to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, damianita daisies are often planted in parking lots and near walls where the reflective heat is intense as they are able to survive where many other plants cannot. Similarly, damianita daisies are not picky about their humidity levels and can tolerate both dry and humid conditions.
No fertilizer is required for damianita daisies as they thrive in low-nutrient soils.
Propagating Damianita Daisies
Damianita daisies can be propagated through cuttings, through division, and through seeds (see “Growing from Seeds” below). To propagate damianita daisies using cuttings, start by taking softwood cuttings from the plant in the summer. Cuttings should be between 4-6 inches long and contain at least one node. Remove the leaves and any flowers from the lower portion of the cutting and dip the cut end in a rooting hormone. Plant the cutting in a well-draining soil mix and water immediately. Cover the cuttings and place them in an area that receives bright, indirect light. The cuttings should root within 6 to 8 weeks.
As they mature, damianita daisies take on a woody, shrub-like appearance. Regular pruning will help to keep them low-growing and looking compact. It is best to prune the plants in early spring or summer so new growth occurs during the active growing season. Be aware that cutting back the plant too much will kill it so ensure to prune carefully! Regular deadheading will also ensure that the plant blooms continually throughout the year.
Growing From Seeds
Growing damianita daisies from seed is an easy and rewarding process. However, fresh seeds must be used as damianita daisy seeds do not keep well. Seeds harvested from the past year should be fine to use as long as they were stored properly. Sow seeds directly into the garden in early spring for best results.