Daisies bloom over a long period of the year, filling the garden with vibrant, colourful flowers. Bloom times range from early spring through late fall, depending on the variety of daisy that you have planted. Whether your garden is filled with African, English, Shasta, Gerbera or Ox Eye daisies, basic pruning requirements and techniques remain the same. Proper plant care and regular pruning maintain plant health and encourage abundant blooming.
Examine the plant periodically to identify any broken stems, dead stems or evidence of disease. such as white, powdery patches or spots (which indicate powdery mildew) or brown spots on leaves that may indicate leaf spot. Begin by removing any diseased stems and pruning stems with wilted or diseased leaves. Cut these stems to the ground or to a healthy shoot to prevent the disease or fungus from spreading to healthy parts of the plant.
Deadhead flowers by removing faded and dead daisies. Cut stems back to the main stem or just above the next bloom on the same stem. Trimming the stem along with the flower will avoid the awkward "decapitated" appearance that may result from removing only the blossom. Regularly deadheading your daisies will encourage longer bloom times and keep plants healthy and tidy.
"Pinch" fall blooming varieties, such as Michaelmas daisies, in June. Pinching involves pruning between half and two-thirds of the plant's growth and will result in abundant fall blooms. Pinching fall blooms late in the season (later than mid-July) may cause fall daisy varieties to bloom late in the autumn season -- exposing young buds and flowers to deadly frost.
Wait until the plant has stopped blooming and there are no buds left on the daisy's stems to cut the entire plant down to ground level. This will encourage the plant to grow vigorously and result in lush foliage for the remainder of the season along with vigorous blooming next year.
Use sharp pruning shears or small loppers to perform daisy pruning. Pruning shears are usually designed to efficiently cut stems as thick as 1/2 inch in diameter. Two types of shears are available on the market: scissor and anvil. Scissor shears are generally slightly higher priced than anvil shears and are characterised by one thin, sharp blade that closes near a thicker sharp blade; use scissor shears to make a clean, close cut. Anvil shears are characterised by one sharp blade that cuts against a flat and broad blade. Lopping shears cut plants from 1/2 inch to 2 inches in diameter and are characterised by long handlers and scissor-like cutting action.