A perennial with flowering power, painted daisy is an all-star in cottage gardens and all kinds of vases. This flower first blooms in early summer and continues to bloom sporadically until the first frost. Its chartreuse-to-medium green foliage has a feathery, fernlike appearance that enhances gardens even when the plant is not in bloom. Small painted-daisy cultivars grow well in containers, flowering summer through fall.
A nectar-rich favorite plant of butterflies and bees painted daisy makes a colorful addition to butterfly gardens. Grow it alongside such favorite perennials as beebalm (Monarda spp.), aster (Aster spp.), blanketflower (Gaillardia spp.), daylily (Hemerocallis spp.), false indigo (Baptisia spp.), garden phlox (Phlox paniculata), blazing star (Liatris spp.), globe thistle (Echinops spp.), goldenrod (Solidago spp.), and hollyhock (Alcea rosea). These butterfly-friendly plants also suit cottage gardens. Create mixed groups of three to five plants of each species to gain a colorful border that reveals new blossoms every day.
Another colorful option: Grow painted daisy in containers alongside chartreuse varieties of coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides), sprawling clumps of million bells (Calibrachoa), and vertical accent plant Angelonia, also known as summer snapdragon. When planting painted daisy in containers, search out small cultivars. These pot-friendly painted daisies will unfurl new flowers one right after another so your container garden is always alive with color.
Related: Plant a Butterfly Garden
Painted Daisy Care Must-Knows
Plant painted daisy from seed or nursery-grown plants. If starting plants from seed, sow seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost. Or sow them directly in rich, well-drained garden soil and full sun after all danger of frost has passed. Cover with 1/8 inch of fine soil, firm lightly, and keep evenly moist. Seedlings will emerge in about 2 to 3 weeks. Water thoroughly once a week (morning is best) to help the plants develop strong root systems.
Encourage dense, compact plants by pinching plant stems back by one-third in spring when plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. Pinching will encourage plants to form side branches, adding strength and flowering potential to the stems. Snip away spent blooms after the plant's first flush of flowers in spring. Continue removing spent flowers throughout the season to spur the plant to create new blossoms.
This flowering perennial can be propagated from cuttings in spring. Mature plants are also easy to divide. Simply dig up the clump in early spring or late fall. Using a sharp spade, cut the clump into three or four pieces with ample root systems attached to each. Replant the divisions, watering well after planting.
More Varieties of Painted Daisy
This selection of Tanacetum parthenium 'Plenum' is a double form of common feverfew. It bears clusters of white flowers with numerous petals all summer long. It grows 2 feet tall. Zones 4-9
This Tanacetum vulgare variety shines in perennial borders with its fernlike golden foliage. Although it produces buttonlike yellow flower clusters in summer, you may want to shear them off to allow the foliage to take center stage. This herb grows 24-30 inches tall and wide. Zones 4-9
Tanacetum parthenium bears daisy-like flowers throughout the summer. The plant grows 2 feet tall. Zones 4-9
Painted Daisy Companion Plants
Blue bugloss might be hard to find in the garden center. Hop online to search out this easy-to-grow perennial with brilliant blue flowers. Closely related to borage, blue bugloss has airy bloom spikes in late spring. Wonderful for mass plantings, perennial borders, or an informal edging along a fence line, this clump-forming perennial will self-seed.
The inflated buds of balloon flowers are fun to pop. And they make great cut flowers. Cut them in the bud stage, and sear the base of the stems to prevent the milky sap from seeping out and fouling the water. Most commonly available in blue-violet, balloon flowers also come in pink and white, as well as shorter forms that are better suited for rock gardens and containers. In fall, the foliage of balloon flower turns clear gold, so don't cut the plant down too early—enjoy the show! They tolerate light shade, but not wet feet or drought.
Phlox are one of those bounteous summer flowers any large sunny flowerbed or border shouldn't be without. There are several different kinds of phlox. Garden and meadow phlox produce large panicles of fragrant flowers in a wide assortment of colors. They also add height, heft, and charm to a border. Low-growing wild Sweet William, moss pinks, and creeping phlox are effective as ground covers. Plant these phlox varieties at the front of the border, and as rock and wild garden plants, especially in light shade. These native gems have been hybridized extensively especially to toughen the foliage against mildew problems; many recent selections are mildew-resistant. To grow and care for phlox, they need amply moist soil for best overall health.