Erigeron Annuus is a herbaceous plant from the Asteraceae or Aster family. Stenactis annua is a synonym for Annuus.
It is native to North America but is a common plant growing in 43 contiguous United States.
It also spreads in disturbed areas, including abandoned fields, railways, and vacant lots. Often, it overcomes invasive weeds.
It is an annual plant that dies yearly, giving its common name Annual fleabane.
Moreover, it features attractive daisy-like flowers, earning its other household name, Fleabane daisy.
Other common names include:
- Daisy fleabane
- Eastern daisy fleabane
Its most known varieties include:
- Erigeron karvinskianus – Mexican fleabane
- Erigeron canadensis – Canadian horseweed
- Erigeron glaucus – Seaside Fleabane
- Erigeron philadelphicus – Philadelphia Fleabane
- Erigeron speciosus – Aspen Fleabane
While annual fleabane is a simple plant, it needs specific steps to ensure a full bloom.
Erigeron Annuus Care
Size and Growth
Annual fleabane produces thin green stems reaching heights of 1′ – 2′ feet.
The stems include alternative basal leaves, which are often large compared to other species of the Erigeron genus.
The lower leaves are often coarsely toothed, while the upper leaves are rarely toothed.
Flowering and Fragrance
The flowers appear in the spring or early summer and last through the early fall.
The flower heads have yellow centers and white ray florets, sometimes producing a mild fragrance.
Light and Temperature
It’s hardy in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 8, but it’s an annual plant and dies out at the end of the year.
Place the plant under full or partial sun.
If placed indoors, avoid direct afternoon sunlight.
The excessive heat may dry the plant, causing the leaves to turn yellow and wither away.
Watering and Feeding
Keep the soil moist throughout the year.
Erigeron needs constant moisture but not soaking wet soil.
Fertilizer helps encourage fuller, longer blooms but isn’t necessary unless the plant grows in poor conditions.
If using fertilizer, add a water-soluble fertilizer when watering.
Soil and Transplanting
Daisy fleabane grows in almost any soil, which is why it spreads easily in the wild.
In fact, in some areas, it’s possible to find wild daisy fleabane and propagate it for growth in a container or garden.
Erigeron does not need transplanting, as they’re annuals.
However, if starting seeds in a starter tray, transplant them to their permanent homes after the last threat of frost.
Young plants may need stakes to avoid flopping over.
If the stems can’t stand upright, press thin stakes into the ground and carefully secure them with soft twine.
To extend the flowering period, remove spent blossoms.
At the end of each flowering period, cut back the stems by one-third of the total height.
This should help the plant produce a second flowering period lasting through most of the fall season.
Some species of Erigeron grow as perennials instead of annuals and closely resemble the annuus species.
If the species turns out to be a perennial, cut back the stems at the end of the season. This encourages healthier growth in the spring.
How To Propagate Eastern Daisy Fleabane
- Propagate annuals fleabane from seeds.
- Sow the seeds at the start of spring for early summer bloom.
- Use starter trays to sow the seeds indoors.
- They should take about four weeks to germinate.
It’s also possible to propagate wild Erigeron annuus.
- Remove a clump of wild daisy fleabane.
- The clump should contain several sets of stems and a thick root ball.
- Carefully separate the root ball into several sections.
- When separating the clumps, leave chunks of soil attached to the root ball.
- Plant the separated clumps in their new homes, water frequently until established.
Annual Fleabane Daisy Pest or Diseases
The daisy-like flowers of the daisy fleabane attract all types of pests and critters.
Bees, butterflies, moths, and various insects may appear throughout the year when cultivated outdoors.
To deal with pests, such as aphids or spider mites, wash them away with blasts of cool water from a garden hose.
Severe infestations may require the use of an insecticide such as neem oil.
A common problem with Erigeron annuus is the yellowing of the leaves.
If the leaves start to turn yellow and drop, plants are likely receiving too much sunlight or not enough water.
Move plants to a shadier habitat or increase the frequency of watering.
The invasiveness is another concern. In parts of Kentucky, the annual fleabane is invasive and considered a weed.
The seeds may scatter after pollination, allowing new growth to appear the following year.
Parts of Erigeron also contain toxins toxic to cats and dogs.
There is no reported toxicity to humans, birds, or livestock.
Suggested Annuus Erigeron Uses
Annual fleabane looks great behind shorter plants in a garden or flower box. This is due to their flower stalks’ height.
Among the Erigeron annuus uses, it’s best to grow it in containers or a garden.