In wall cracks and stone joints the Spanish daisy enchants with white and pink flowering cushions. This is how you plant and care for.
Profile of Spanish daisy:
Scientific name: Erigeron karvinskianus
Plant family: daisy family (Asteraceae)
Other names: Latin American fleabane, Santa Barbara daisy, Mexican fleabane, Karwinsky’s fleabane, bony-tip fleabane
Sowing time: spring, after frost
Planting time: spring, after frost
Flowering period: May to September
Soil quality: stony to sandy, nutrient rich
These information are for temperate climate!
Use in: embankments, planters, rose companion, dry stone walls, underplanting, overgrowing, cottage garden, flower garden, patio, Mediterranean garden, natural garden, prairie garden, rock garden, potted garden
Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 6 (-20 °C / -5 °F)
Bee and insect friendly: Yes
Plant characteristics and classification of Spanish daisy
Plant order, origin and occurrence of Spanish daisy
One knows the Spanish daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus) also under the name Latin American fleabane. It originally comes from Mexico and South America. In North America and Central Europe, however, it has felt at home for decades and is found especially in warm regions. The genus of Erigeron belongs to the botanical family of the daisies (Asteraceae) and are distantly related to the daisies (Bellis), which they resemble.
Characteristics of Spanish daisy
The Spanish daisy grows to a height of 20 to 30 centimeters (8 to 12 in), very bushy and branches so abundantly that the shoots playfully overhang to all sides. In this way they form cushions up to one meter wide. The Spanish daisy is extremely robust, but the pretty perennial is only frost hardy in mild winter regions. In suitable locations, the Spanish Daisy tends to proliferate and suppresses other plants.
The leaves of the Spanish daisy are hairy and gray-green in color. They grow to about 4 cm (1.6 in) long and have an elliptical shape. Towards the flower, the leaves along the stem become smaller from bottom to top.
The typical flowers of the common daisies also decorate the Spanish Daisy at flowering time. The numerous flowers stand alone or together in loose umbels. They appear from May and bloom until September in white, later pink to red with a yellow center.
The fruits of the Spanish daisy are small double-ribbed achenes fruits with a diameter of about one millimeter.
Spanish daisy – cultivation and care
Spanish daisies love full sunny locations. They like to settle on walls, steps and waysides.
Due to its origin the Spanish daisy prefers sunny and dry to fresh locations. The ideal substrate is nutrient-rich, well-drained and sandy-clayey to gravelly-clayey.
The Spanish daisy is planted or sown from May onwards after the last frosts. Early cultivation of the light germ in a pot is possible from January onwards. Keep a distance of at least 30 centimeters (12 in) when planting the bed, as the perennial quickly forms dense cushions. You will need about 10 plants per square meter (10 sq ft) for a comprehensive planting.
Spanish daisies prefer to stand too dry rather than too moist. Therefore, it is best to water moderately but regularly. In winter, the water supply must then be reduced urgently to avoid waterlogging and excessive ground frost.
Erigeron karvinskiana is happy about regular fertilization. It is best to use compost for this and apply it to the plant every 2 weeks, especially during the flowering period from May to September. The fertilization is then slowly reduced towards August. From September onwards, the nutrients should be completely stopped so that the plant can prepare itself for winter.
Remove seeds and flowers to stimulate secondary flowering. If night frost threatens, protect plants in boxes and hanging baskets with a cover of newspaper.
Propagation by self sowing
Spanish daisy becomes a maximum of two years old. It must therefore always be replanted in the garden. Often the plant does this itself, because it forms numerous seeds after flowering. They settle incredibly fast in joints and wall cracks. If you want to prevent this, you should cut out the inflorescences early.
Propagation by controlled sowing
For a controlled propagation of the Spanish daisy, you can collect the seeds from the plant after the fruit ripens and grow them indoors in January. Since the seed need light to germ, you should only cover the seeds lightly with soil. Then keep the plant warm and moist. Planting out in the field is then possible as usual from May onwards.
Diseases and pests
In general, Erigeron kravinskianus is extremely resistant to pests. However, waterlogging can quickly lead to root rot. Watering should therefore be done with great care and always check that the topsoil is sufficiently dry before watering again.
A light winter protection is quite useful for the Spanish daisy. You can use some brushwood or leaves on the root area. This protects the plant from meltwater and ground frost. Potted plants may require additional insulation with garden fleece. You should also place the pot on wooden blocks to prevent ground cold from entering the pot from below.
Use in the garden
The natural charm of the Spanish daisy goes well with other flowers with a rural character such as lavender, bellflower or sage. Spanish daisies are extremely undemanding and will decorate your balcony box as well as pots or hanging baskets with their long, drooping shoots. They also feel comfortable in large terracotta pots on the terrace and balcony and cut a great figure as a planting base for high stems, for example roses. As a rock garden plant and slope planting, they form lush, two-tone flower cushions.
Spanish daisies look very pretty when combined with yellow fumewort (Pseudofumaria lutea), Aegean wallflower (Erysimum cheiri), snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus), devil’s beard (Centranthus ruber) and Aaron’s beard (Cymbalaria muralis).