There’s nothing quite as cheery to see growing in a garden as a daisy bush. But daisies aren’t just daisies. These old-fashioned shrubs have been developed and improved for Australian gardens.
Federation Daisies are Australian-bred Marguerite daisies (Argyranthemum frutescens). Federation Daisies were selected from a breeding program in New South Wales for their compact shape, long flowering, appealing colours including white, lemon yellow, pink and carmine, and their range of flower styles from single to anemone form (slightly larger petals) to double. They also have pest-resistant foliage making them low-care plants.
They have proved themselves not just in Australia, but beyond our shores in Canada, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and the US. New varieties continue to arrive from the breeding program adding interest and variety to our gardens.
In the garden
Federation Daisies suit a cottage-style garden, but can be also be grown in a formal setting. They are also ideal in pots. Try them in large containers positioned beside steps or an entrance, on a veranda, in a courtyard or around a swimming pool.
These daisies grow as sprawling shrubs (around 60 centimetres high and up to one metre wide), but can be trained as standards (a ball on its stem) or planted as an informal hedge. They also offer a warm welcome if planted against a front fence or beside a garden path.
One of the benefits of including these carefree shrubs in the garden is their long flowering period. Expect Federation Daisies to bloom from autumn to spring with peak flowering in winter and early spring. They also make a great flower to pop in a vase or give to a friend.
All daisies are a top choice for instant colour. Federation Daisies grow rapidly to fill out the space in a new garden bed. They also perform well in coastal locations.
Caring for daisies
Federation Daisies are easy to grow but they do best in optimum conditions with full sun, well-drained soil and protection from frost and cold. However, these adaptable plants tolerate light shade for part of the day and withstand an occasional light frost.
Water well to get plants established and fertilise in spring with a general garden fertiliser. Keep plants weed free by surrounding them with a 2 to 5 centimetre layer of organic mulch.
To keep them in shape and tidy, lightly trim over the plants to remove spent flowers. Never cut daisies back hard. If a plant has become spindly, plump it up by cutting back in several stages, waiting for new shoots to appear before cutting more.
There are many Federation Daisy varieties. Here’s a selection for your garden.
- Bright Carmine Single, bright carmine pink with a yellow centre and a pink eye.
- Sublime Pink Single, large pink flowers with a white ring around a yellow centre.
- Sugar Cheer Many-petalled, bright pink flowers with a yellow centre.
- Summit Pink Single pink flowers with a yellow centre. (Pictured above).
- Summit White Single white flowers with a bright yellow centre.
- Super Duper White Exceptionally large double white flowers.
- Superior Purple Large single purple flowers.
- Surf City Single lemon-yellow flowers with a bright yellow centre.