How to Grow and Care for Painted Daisies

Painted daisy flowers with long stems and bright pink petals in sunlight closeup

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

The painted daisy (Tanacetum coccineum, formerly Chrysanthemum coccineum) is a perennial flowering plant 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 easily grown 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. 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
Family Asteraceae
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  White, pink, red, crimson, magenta
Hardiness Zones  3-7 (USDA)
Native Areas  Asia
Toxicity  Toxic to people, toxic to pets

Painted Daisy Care

Painted daisies are relatively easy to care for, and they won’t aggressively spread. 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 one inch at a time) once the plants are six to eight inches tall. As they grow taller, stop pinching to let flower buds form.

Painted daisy flowers with crimson petals and long stems in sunlight

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Butterflies attracted to pink painted daisy flowers closeup

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Light

The painted daisy needs full sun in northern climates, meaning at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight on most days. In climates with hot summers, it will appreciate some shade, especially from the strong afternoon sun.

Soil

This flower is not too fussy about its soil type but must have good drainage. Loamy or sandy soil is best. The plant might struggle in heavy clay soil.

Water

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 moisten the soil. Do not allow your plants to sit in soggy, waterlogged soil because 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.

Fertilizer

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

Here are several varieties of painted daisies:

  • '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' has pale pink hues and can grow up to 30 inches tall.
  • 'Robinson's Red' 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. Here's how:

  1. Simply dig up a mature plant, being careful not to damage the roots.
  2. Gently pull apart the roots to create separate plants.
  3. 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 sow 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 outdoors once the danger of frost has passed. Harden off the seedlings before moving them permanently outdoors.

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 to space them 18 to 24 inches apart.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

Painted daisies 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. Occasionally leaf miners or aphids can be an issue with painted daisies, but they can be managed using organic substances such as neem oil.

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 three 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.

FAQ
  • Are painted daisies easy to care for?

    These flowers require routine, basic maintenance, including watering and deadheading, and they don't need time-consuming care.

  • 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 the first 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 nursery container.

Article Sources
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  1. Tanacetum coccineum subsp. coccineum. North Carolina State University.