The painted daisy (Tanacetum coccineum and formerly Chrysanthemum coccineum) is a perennial flower that provides weeks of vibrant color in the garden. It has a classic daisy-like structure with a circle of petals surrounding a dense round center. The leaves are somewhat fern-like in appearance. It can be grown easily in flower beds or in containers.
Plant painted daisy seeds or nursery plants in the spring after the threat of frost has passed. The plant grows fast and flowers starting in the late spring, making it a perfect solution for garden spots that become empty when spring bulbs stop blooming. Butterflies love painted daisies, so they make an attractive addition to butterfly gardens or cottage-style gardens that rely on a steady stream of color. Plus, the stem of the painted daisy is sturdy, making it an excellent cut flower for arrangements. However, be aware that the plant's leaves and sap have toxic qualities to both humans and pets.
|Common Name||Painted daisy, pyrethrum|
|Botanical Name||Tanacetum coccineum|
|Plant Type||Herbaceous, perennial|
|Mature Size||2–3 ft. tall, 1–1.5 ft. wide|
|Sun Exposure||Full, partial|
|Soil Type||Loamy, sandy, well-drained|
|Soil pH||Acidic, neutral, alkaline|
|Bloom Time||Spring, summer|
|Flower Color||Red, pink, yellow, white, purple|
|Hardiness Zones||3–7, USA|
|Toxicity||Toxic to people, pets|
Painted Daisy Care
Painted daisies are relatively easy to care for, and they won’t spread aggressively in the garden. They also generally don’t have issues with pests or diseases, including being relatively deer resistant. An added benefit of planting painted daisies in the garden is their natural insect-repellent properties. This makes the painted daisy a valuable plant for a vegetable garden as well as a flower bed. However, occasionally leaf miners or aphids can be an issue with painted daisies, but they can be managed using organic substances such as neem oil.
This is a plant that likes to be pinched back to encourage bushier growth and consequently more flowers. Simply pinch off new growth (no more than an inch at a time) once the plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. As they grow taller, cease pinching to let flower buds form.
The painted daisy needs full sun in northern climates, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days. But in climates with hot summers, it will appreciate some shade, especially from the strong afternoon sun.
This flower is not too fussy about its soil type as long as it has good drainage. A loamy or sandy soil is best. The plant might struggle in a heavy clay soil.
The plant likes a moderate amount of moisture but can tolerate some drought. Rainfall in temperate climates is often enough to keep it happy. But in hot weather or if there's a dry period of longer than a week, give your painted daisies a good watering to make the soil moist but not soggy. Do not allow your plants to sit in waterlogged soil, as this can result in root rot.
Temperature and Humidity
Painted daisies prefer temperate climates, and they don't do well in very hot or very cold weather. They also don't like high humidity. The seeds germinate in temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Feed your painted daisies after their first bloom with a fertilizer low in nitrogen and high in phosphorous and potassium, following label instructions. A top-dressing of composted manure in the fall will help to keep the root system healthy.
Types of Painted Daisies
There are several varieties of painted daisies, including:
- 'Brenda' has large bright magenta flowers with yellow centers.
- 'Mrs. James Kelway' offers creamy white petals that turn pale pink as they mature.
- 'Mont Blanc' features white petals with yellow centers.
- 'Eileen May Robinson' boasts pale pink hues and can grow up to 30 inches tall.
- 'Robinson's Crimson' features bright crimson petals with yellow centers.
Propagating Painted Daisies
Painted daisies can be propagated easily from divisions in the early spring. Dividing mature plants also helps to keep them vigorous and flowering at their best. Simply dig up a mature plant, being careful not to damage the roots. Then, gently pull apart the roots to create separate plants. Replant them in a suitable growing site, and water to moisten the soil.
How to Grow Painted Daisies From Seed
This plant grows easily from seed. You can plant seeds indoors in a seed-starting mix roughly four to six weeks before your area's last projected frost date in the spring. Keep the growing medium moist but not soggy. Seedlings can then be planted outside once the danger of frost has passed. Bring them outside for progressively longer periods for about a week before moving them outside permanently.
You can also directly sow seeds in the garden after the threat of frost has passed. Sow the seeds in well-drained soil, covering them with about 1/8 inch of soil. Keep the soil moist until seedlings appear. Then, thin the seedlings as needed for the plants to be spaced 18 to 24 inches apart.
How to Get Painted Daisies to Bloom
Painted daisies will readily start blooming in the late spring each year, usually around the beginning of June, with their bright flowers that have many narrow petals and can stretch up to 3 inches across. The bloom period will continue into July. Deadheading, or removing the spent blooms, will keep the plant looking neat and encourage further flowering. After the plant is done flowering in the summer, cut back the stems to encourage an autumn bloom. Flowering might diminish on crowded plants, so be sure to divide mature plants if you notice a drop in their flower production.
Are painted daisies easy to care for?
These flowers require straightforward maintenance, including watering and deadheading, and they aren't time-consuming to care for.
How fast do painted daisies grow?
Painted daises have a quick growth rate, but they won't spread aggressively in the garden.
How often do painted daisies bloom?
Painted daisies will start blooming in the late spring and carry on into mid-summer. If you cut them back after this flowering period, you might get an autumn bloom as well.
How deep do you plant painted daisies?
Plant seeds about 1/8 inch deep. Plant nursery painted daisies at the same depth they were in their previous container.