Native to the Canary Islands, Marguerite daisy (Argyranthemum frutescens) belongs in the family Asteraceae. It acts as an herbaceous perennial grown outdoors in the very warmest parts of the UK (the Scilly Isles). The plant is frost-sensitive. Those living in cooler, northern regions can treat it as an annual flowering plant. Gardeners can utilise Marguerite daisies in a variety of ways in the garden.
Marguerite daisy performs as a subshrub. The plant has a dense, rounded habit, averaging 60 to 90 cm (2 to 3 feet) in width and height. Foliage is green or bluish-green, deeply divided, thin and fernlike. When crushed, the leaves are aromatic. Depending on the cultivar, flowers are white, pink or yellow; blooms are single or double and average 6.2 cm (2 1/2) inches in diameter. Large centre eyes are yellow or pinkish, depending on the variety. The daisy-like flowers fill the plant in summer.
This profuse bloomer brightens garden areas with a massive display of colourful flowers. Marguerite daisy works well used in borders, mixed gardens, flowerbeds or as a flowering specimen. It performs best in rich, well-drained soils. Before planting, work approximately a 15 cm (6 inch) layer of organics, such as peat, compost or manure, into the soil. Plant each daisy into a weed-free area that is at least 90 cm (3 feet) in diameter. Allow 90 cm (3 feet) between each Marguerite daisy, to allow for growth and air circulation. The plant blooms and performs best when planted in full sun.
Marguerite daisy adapts well to growing in containers. Northern gardeners can grow it in pots and bring them indoors during frosts and freezes for protection. Its flowers will add colour to porches, entrance ways or garden decks. For adequate space for root growth, use a 13.5 litre (3 gallon) container that drains well for each plant. Use a potting mix that drains well. Adding slow-release fertiliser to the growing medium gives the plant nutrients for up to three months. Apply the fertiliser according to product instructions. Situate the pot in a location that receives full sun.
Under proper growth conditions, Marguerite daisy is relatively hardy. It has a moderate tolerance to drought and performs best with regular waterings. Water outdoor and potted plants immediately after planting. Depending on your local conditions, water outdoor plants twice weekly, keeping the soil moist. The plant requires water if the foliage begins to wilt. Applying a layer of mulch around the planting site helps retain soil moisture. Feel the soil of potted plants. If the top inch feels dry, water the container. Pruning away spent blossoms promotes more blooms. Use hand pruners to deadhead spent blooms. Use an insecticide product safe for use on Marguerite daisies if whiteflies, thrips or aphids become problematic.
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