The Nippon daisy (Nipponanthemum nipponicum), also referred to as the Montauk daisy, is an herbaceous perennial flower that starts blooming in the late summer and persists until frost. It can grow as tall as 3 feet and will reach its full size within roughly two months. Nippon daisies should be planted in the early fall or spring.
The plant's shiny green leaves are leathery in texture, and its flowers grow on long stalks. The flower heads feature white petals with green center disks. They measure about 2 to 3 inches across. Many people enjoy these blooms as a long-lasting cut flower.
|Botanical Name||Nipponanthemum nipponicum|
|Common Names||Nippon daisy, Montauk daisy|
|Plant Type||Herbaceous perennial flower|
|Mature Size||18 to 36 inches tall with a similar spread|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun|
|Soil Type||Average, dry, well-draining|
|Soil pH||5.5 to 6.5 (slightly acidic)|
|Bloom Time||Midsummer to early fall|
|Flower Color||White petals with green center disk|
|Hardiness Zones||5 to 9|
|Native Areas||Coastal regions of Japan|
|Toxicity||Toxic to people and animals|
Nippon Daisy Care
This perennial is easy to grow in any sunny location with well-draining soil. To plant, dig a hole about three times the size of the plant's root ball. Position the plant in the center of the hole with the top of the root ball at ground level. Then, backfill the hole with soil, lightly press down the soil, and water the planting site well.
Maintenance is minimal for mature Nippon daisy plants. Expect to do some light pruning in the spring to keep the plant looking its best. And water only during long stretches without rainfall.
This plant likes to grow in full sun. However, some afternoon shade is preferable in hot climates.
The Nippon daisy grows well in average, dry soil. It will tolerate most soil types as long as there is good drainage. Soggy soil can kill the plant.
Because this plant prefers dry soil and is quite tolerant of drought, it likely won’t need much supplemental watering beyond rainfall. Water if your area has an extended period of drought and the plant starts to wilt.
Temperature and Humidity
Nippon daisies prefer warm but not excessively hot conditions, and they tolerate a wide range of humidity levels. Any abnormal temperature extremes within its growing zones can damage or kill the plant, though this is rare. Frost will cause the plant to naturally die back into the ground for winter.
Fertilizer is typically unnecessary for Nippon daisies, and excessive feeding can cause yellow or floppy stems. But if you have very poor soil, you can use a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer in the early spring.
Is the Nippon Daisy Toxic?
The degree of toxicity varies throughout the daisy family. But for both people and animals, it is still best not to ingest any part of this plant and be careful about skin contact.
Symptoms of Poisoning
Symptoms of toxicity are similar in people and animals. They include a rash or other irritation on the skin from contact with the plant. Ingestion can cause stomach upset, excess salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea.
This plant doesn't need much in the way of pruning. For a bushy, upright growth habit, slightly cut back new growth in the spring. But avoid pruning once flower buds have appeared. Moreover, remove spent flowers throughout the summer to encourage the plant to continue blooming.
Propagating Nippon Daisies
Nippon daisies are very easy to propagate by lifting and dividing the root clumps. Division is best done in the spring every two to three years just as new growth begins.
First, water the daisies a few hours before you plan to divide them to soften the soil and roots. Then, use a pitchfork or shovel to loosen the soil, and carefully lift the plants out of the ground with their roots. Separate the root clump into sections by gently pulling it apart with your hands, keeping the roots as intact as possible. Discard any portions that look withered or otherwise unhealthy. Finally, replant your divided clumps wherever you'd like them.
Serious pest and disease problems are rare with the Nippon daisy. But fungal diseases, including stem rot and leaf spot, can occasionally occur. Overwatering or excessively wet weather usually are the cause of these diseases. Be on the lookout for brown or black spots on the leaves and stems. An all-purpose fungicide usually will work on these diseases. Also, make sure the plants aren't crowded and have good air circulation.
Varieties of Daisies
Some of the most popular daisies include:
- Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum): This perennial is a classic daisy, with flowers featuring white petals and a golden center. It grows to roughly 3 feet tall and produces long-lasting summer blooms.
- Ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare): This daisy also grows to about 3 feet tall and features smaller blooms than both the Shasta and Nippon daisies. Its flowers have white petals with yellow centers.
- Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii): This plant has a clump-forming growth habit and only reaches around 1 foot tall. Its flowers typically have red, orange, or yellow petals with bronze centers. But there are many cultivars in a range of colors.