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Daisies are part of the picture of a lush summer meadow. Their large white heads on long stems gracefully turn towards the sun, nod elegantly in the wind and often find themselves in the company of other beauties such as poppies, clover and cornflowers. As a native wildflower, she is as well-known as her little sister, the daisy, and graces gardens and terraces as readily as pastures and meadows.
The genus of daisies (Leucanthemum) includes 42 different species. It belongs to the daisy family (Asteraceae), which comes from many medicinal plants such as chamomile and marigold. Allergy-plagued people can therefore be sensitive to pollen and contact. The genus name Leucanthemum comes from the Greek and means something like "white flower". All marguerite species are native to Europe, but individual species are limited to specific areas. For example, the black-marguerite marguerite (Leucanthemum atratum) grows wild only in Austria, while the Portuguese marguerite (Leucanthemum lacustre) only exists in Portugal.
Butterflies and bees love the daisy flowers
As a native garden and meadow flower the marguerite is well known. Most daisy species are similar in appearance, although some are short-lived and others long-lived. Daisies grow from a basal leaf rosette, grow between 50 and 100 centimeters and are thus among the larger wildflowers. Their undivided leaves are characteristic feathered edges. The lower leaves grow on short stalks, while the upper ones sit directly on the stems. Their large white single flowers with the yellow center show up depending on the species and variety between May and August and mark the genus. The white, depending on the species also pink, red or yellow flower petals are just a show - the real bloom are the more than 200 small yellow tube flowers in the center. Newer breeds have now also produced filled flowers. Daisies grow horstig and so often form small groups.
In the meantime daisies are also available with filled flowers
Location and ground
As wild and meadow flower one meets the marguerite on the most different surfaces. It is a robust and very easy to maintain genus that can cope with almost any soil. Of course, among the 42 species there are also specialists such as the autumn marguerite (Leucanthemella serotina), which prefers a slightly acidic and moist soil. All have in common the preference for a sheltered, sunny location. Most varieties also thrive in partial shade.
In the garden, the marguerite comes into its own best when placed in larger tuffs. High varieties can be combined well with perennials such as larkspur, coneflower, lupine and yarrow. Dwarf varieties are suitable as lush flowering ground cover or for Beetbegrenzung. If you want to spice up your lawn with daisies, you should pick the meadow marguerite (Leucanthemum vulgare). It sows itself and appears every year in different places in the green. The Marguerite is a bee and butterfly magnet. Due to its long stem and the large flower, it is also very popular as a cut flower. In the pot, different colored daisies decorate the terrace and the balcony.
The marguerite likes to be used as a cut flower. Caution: In closed rooms, their fragrance can be somewhat penetrating!
A peculiarity is the shrub marguerite (Argyranthemum frutescens), often grown as a stem. It is related to the domestic Leucanthemum species, but forms its own genus of plants. The shrub margins are native to the Canary Islands and Madeira and not hardy in our latitudes. The young leaves and flower buds of the daisy are edible and can be consumed, for example, as a sandwich or salad. Its medicinal effect is diuretic and wound healing.
Planting and care
Marguerites are best planted at the beginning of May, when no night frosts threaten. Since the plants like to spread both above and below ground, you should plan for the daisies in the bed ample space (about 40 centimeters). Insert the plants about 20 centimeters deep. Daisies are relatively thirsty in summer and require up to two times daily water. If they are too dry, let them hang their heads quickly. Waterlogging should be avoided during casting. The substrate is conventional potting soil. A moderate fertilizer every two to three weeks and a regular pruning promotes flowering. In addition, the timely removal of bloomed prevents self-sowing in the garden. High varieties should preferably be protected from the wind or get a support.
Some daisy hybrids are hardy, for example the garden marguerite (Leucanthemum x superbum), also commonly sold under the trade name Summer Marguerite (Leucanthemum maximum), and can be perennial in the flowerbed. They should be split about every three years and moved to a new location. This promotes vitality and growth. The various meadow daisies also hibernate easily at their location. Perennial pot margins and high stems, however, must be wintered in the house. To do this, cut back the plant by two thirds just before the first frost and place it in a cool but bright place, five to ten degrees centigrade. Slowly warm in spring and water again. Annuals are bought or sown every year.
The garden plants can be multiplied both by cuttings, as well as by seed or division. Cuttings of about fifteen centimeters are cut in late summer and allowed to grow in uniformly moist soil throughout the winter in pots. Cover the pots with foil. The uniformly high humidity helps the young daisies grow. In May, the pots can then be put outside or the young plants are planted in the bed. If you want to sow daisies, you can collect the seeds from the seed pods in autumn. Store the seeds dry and dark over the winter. From May, the daisy seeds can then be applied directly to the field.
It is easier, for example, in the cottage garden or wild perennial flowerbed, to simply leave the sowing to the plants themselves. Anyone planning a pot planting can put the seeds in the house in January, who has a large daisy stick in the bed can dig it out in the spring or autumn and share with a sharp spade.
Daisies as far as the eye can see: The native meadow marguerites multiply through self-sowing
Diseases and pests
Sticky honeydew on the leaves indicates aphids. They usually colonize especially the petioles and bottoms. Ladybug and Lacewing larvae or a treatment with lye soap solution help. Spider mites sometimes appear on the daisies during prolonged drought. When sprouting in the bed you should check regularly for snail infestation, as the young daisy shoots for the hungry mouths are among the delicacies. Waterlogging threatens root rot and mold.