How to Grow Painted Daisies

Painted daisy flowers with light pink petals and yellow centers closeup

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

The painted daisy is a colorful perennial that provides weeks of vibrant color in your garden. Though there are several varieties of flower in the Tanacetum species (including feverfew and tansy), the flower commonly referred to as "painted daisy" is the brightly colored one known as Tanacetum coccineum. It was formerly known as Chrysanthemum coccineum. 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. Reaching an average height of 2-feet tall, it can be grown easily in flower beds or in containers. Plant painted daisy seeds or nursery plants after the last frost date in your region.

Painted daisy flowers in late spring, making it a perfect solution for those spots that become suddenly empty when spring bulbs stop blooming.

Scientific Name Tanacetum coccineum
Common Name Painted daisy, pyrethrum
Plant Type Herbaceous perennial
Mature Size  1-3 ft. tall
Sun Exposure Partial sun, full sun
Soil Type  Well drained, loamy
Soil pH  Neutral to slightly acidic 
Bloom Time  Late spring, summer
Flower Color  Red, pink, yellow, white, purple
Hardiness Zones  4-9 (USDA)
Native Areas  Southwestern Asia
Toxicity  Mildly toxic to humans

Painted Daisy Care

The palette of colors available, including shades of red, white, and pink, makes it an easy-to-use accent for color in the early to late summer garden.

Painted daisies are loved by butterflies, and make a handsome addition to butterfly gardens or cottage-style gardens that rely on a steady stream of color throughout three seasons. They look especially beautiful paired with colorful butterfly-friendly flowers. The stem of the painted daisy is sturdy, making it an excellent cut-flower for arrangements.

Painted daisies are also 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 the vegetable garden as well as the flower bed. The only insects not kept away by painted daisy are leaf miners or aphids. These can be deterred using organic substances such as soap spray or neem oil.

Butterflies attracted to pink painted daisy flowers closeup

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Light

The painted daisy loves sun but grows quite happily in partial sun. Growing in pots means you can move it into sunnier spots during the growing season.

Soil

The painted daisy is not too fussy about soil but prefers a well-drained loamy, sandy soil that is not too acidic. Since the painted daisy is so hardy, and not overly susceptible to pests, it can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, as long as it has good drainage. A top-dressing of composted manure in the autumn will help keep the root system healthy.

Water

This plant is fairly adaptable, and regular water from rain in temperate zones keeps it happy. If there's a dry period of more than a week, give it a good drink to keep it happy and blooming. It doesn't do well in wet areas or standing water, so select a spot with good drainage.

Temperature and Humidity

Painted daisies are perennials in USDA zones 4-9, but are also great annuals in colder or hotter climates. They don't do well in very hot, tropical settings or growing zones above 10.

Fertilizer

Feed your painted daisies after their first bloom with a fertilizer low in nitrogen and high in phosphorous and potassium.

Are Painted Daisies Toxic?

The painted daisy is not toxic for humans to ingest but can be troublesome if handled. It can also cause problems for animals because it contains pyrethrins and other potential irritants. Eaten in large quantities, painted daisies can be poisonous to dogs and cats.

Symptoms of Poisoning

Dermatitis that may be caused by handling painted daisies is usually characterized by red skin, or possibly small bumps, or a mild rash in humans.

Animals like dogs or cats that ingest painted daisies in large quantities may exhibit signs of poisoning including vomiting, drooling, or possibly muscle spasms or convulsions. Contact your veterinarian immediately if these signs occur.

Painted Daisy Varieties

  • "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.

Pruning

Painted daisies need very little pruning. In the spring, pinch away dead flower heads. At the end of summer, cut the plant back with clean gardening shears so it will give you gorgeous autumn blooms.

Propagating Painted Daisies

Painted daisies may be propagated easily from divisions in early spring. When using divisions, choose ones that have several buds or "eyes" visible.

Growing from cuttings is a slightly less reliable method than growing from seed. Choose healthy cuttings and dip the stem in water, then powdered root hormone, then plant in a well-drained potting mix that has been pre-moistened. Keep moist until roots form.

How to Grow Painted Daisies From Seed

This plant may be grown quite easily from seed. Plant seeds indoors in fertile potting mix from four to six weeks before the last frost date. Seedlings can then be planted outside once the danger of frost is past and, once established, will become reliable perennials. You can also direct sow seeds in the garden after the last frost date; sow in well-drained rich soil and cover lightly with 1/8 inch soil. Keep moist until seedlings appear. Thin the seedlings as needed and plant the flowers 18- to 24- inches apart.

Potting and Repotting Painted Daisies


Painted daisy nursery plants can be obtained in early spring. This is a plant that likes to be "pinched" to encourage more flowers, much like mums. Simply pinch back new growth (no more than an inch at a time) when the plants are 6- to 8-inches tall. As they grow taller, cease pinching and you'll notice more flower buds will form than without the pinching method. Deadheading the spent blooms will keep the plant looking neat and encourage new buds.

Painted daisy flowers with light pink petals and bud in garden

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Painted daisy flowers with crimson petals and long stems in sunlight

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

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

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Painted daisy flowers with light pink petals and buds in garden closeup

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova