The Bellis Perennis [BEL-liss per-EN-is] is a delightful little daisy with large, showy flowers. The name means “beautiful perennial.” It’s a fitting name for this perennial favorite often grown as annuals with other common names:
- English daisy
- Lawn daisy
- Common daisy
The plant belongs to the large family Asteraceae (Aster) of plants and the Bellis genus, part of the sunflower family.
Bellis originated in Europe, where it is frequently found growing wild.
Bellis perennis is a common sight in English lawns and throughout the coasts of the United States.
Thanks to the interest in this plant, new hybrid varieties now have larger flowers and are incredibly easy to care for.
Here are a few tips to keep the plant flowering year after year.
Bellis Perennis Care
Size and Growth
Perennis daisies are low-growing plants. The leaves grow from a rosette near the base of the Bellis perennis.
A single rosette can fill a small container. Use a series of plants in a garden bed to provide cover and as an attractive flower display every spring.
Flowering and Fragrance
Stems appear from the rosette of leaves and may reach four to six inches in height. The red or red-pink flower heads then grow from the stems.
Bellis daisies blossoms between April and June when planted outdoors and in the early spring when planted indoors.
With the wild varieties, the perfectly round flowers feature close to one hundred thin petals that surround bright yellow central petals.
Most of the cultivated varieties feature pink, red, or deep red flowers with bright yellow centers.
Instead of a separate yellow interior, they may have double colors, with the same color on the interior and exterior petals.
Light and Temperature
English daisies are suited for outdoor growth in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 7.
In the United States, the plant can thrive outdoors in the Midwest and northern coastal regions. It prefers full sun to partial shade.
The ideal temperature range is 50° to 60° degrees Fahrenheit.
In the southern states, the plant cannot tolerate the heat. It also doesn’t enjoy the extreme humidity of the southeast or the dry climates in the southwest.
Luckily, it’s an easy plant to grow in potted containers.
The small rosettes can be placed in just about any location and near any window, other than a south-facing window providing direct sunlight.
Watering and Feeding
The Bellis daisy should get watered regularly when exposed to bright sunlight. If the soil moisture dries out, the plant is less likely to have a full bloom in the spring.
They are not drought-tolerant. Water the plant regularly, keeping the soil moist while avoiding letting the plant sit in water.
Fertilizer can be used once or twice at the start of spring to encourage healthier foliage and fuller blooms.
Soil and Transplanting
The plant grows well in regular potting soil with good drainage.
Transplanting is typically only needed when it needs a larger container.
TIP: Transplant plants that outgrow their pots at the start of fall. This gives plants time to develop roots before winter arrives, and grow quickly in the spring.
Maintenance and Grooming
No grooming is needed. Cutting the stems back keeps the plant from flowering.
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How To Propagate Bellis Perennis
Propagate plants from seed or division. Sow seed in June or July to enjoy blooming plants the following spring.
Sow the small seeds in seed trays and cover with a thin layer of sand.
Place the tray in a room with 60° to 70° degrees Fahrenheit temperatures. The seedlings should appear in about one week.
In three to four weeks, the seedlings should be large enough to transplant into beds, window boxes, or other planters.
Do not place small plants outdoors without protection. Use pine needles or leaves to protect against frost.
To propagate by division, remove the old plant its container and loosen the soil.
Hold the plant in your hands and carefully pull it in half. Gardening shears may help with this task.
Plant the divisions in separate containers and keep the soil moist. Dividing and transplanting mature plants in August gives the plants time to grow before winter arrives.
English Lawn Daisy Pests or Disease Problems
Pests rarely threaten the Bellis plants. The main issues include grey mold and leaf miners.
Overwatering will cause grey mold fungus to appear as round patches on the leaves. A light dusting of fungicide may stop fungal growth.
Leaf miners pests tunnel through the leaves and cause pale stripes to appear. Apply an insecticide (neem oil) to stop the infestation.
Suggested Bellis Perennis Uses
Grow these perennials in groups in window boxes with snapdragons, pansies and violas.
Use them also as decorative plants in window sills or ground cover in the right climates.