The classic Daisy is a cheerful perennial and a typical sight in the summertime. You may recognize the roadside or oxeye Daisy in fields and along roadsides. Garden varieties like Shasta Daisy have big beautiful petals that are even larger and more impressive than your typical wild variety.
If you want to enjoy Daisies year-round in your garden, you can buy Daisy seeds and start them yourself. You can use natural light or grow lights to germinate your Daisy seeds.
Daisy seeds need at least 8 hours of indirect sunlight or light from a grow light per day and should be sown into soil but left uncovered in order to germinate.
Let’s look at how to germinate Daisy seeds and grow your flowers from scratch!
Do Daisy Seeds Need Light to Germinate?
For many seeds, light gives them the energy they need to burst from their casing and sprout. But, some seeds use stored energy to germinate in the dark, without the need for light.
The Daisy, specifically the Shasta Daisy, is one of those flowers that requires energy from light to germinate. There are two ways to get that energy: natural sunlight or indoor grow lights.
If you want to start your Daisies right in the garden, you’ll need to rely on light from the sun. For this reason, it’s best to sow your Daisy seeds in a bright sunny area. This will ensure they get the necessary 8 hours of sunlight a day.
You can also start your Daisy seeds indoors. This technique is popular if you live in a colder region with a shorter growing season. You may need to use grow lights if your house doesn’t receive much natural light.
Opt for an LED grow light since they provide the most controlled light and temperature. Keep the grow light about 4-6 inches (10-15cm) above your seed containers, and make sure the seeds stay at around 70°F (21°C).
How to Grow Shasta Daisies From Seed
If you’d like to introduce this bright, beautiful flower into your garden, here’s everything you need to know about growing Daisies from seeds.
When to Plant Daisy Seeds
The timing for planting your Daisy seeds will depend on if you’re starting them inside or sowing the seeds directly into your garden.
If you’re starting seeds indoors, you should sow them approximately 8 weeks before the last frost. This will ensure that by the time your Daisies are ready to plant outdoors, the spring weather is warm enough that they won’t die off.
Daisies are cold and hardy, so they can handle being sown directly into outdoor gardens. If you’re sowing the Daisy seeds outdoors, do so in the fall or early spring.
Do I Need to Soak Daisy Seeds Before Planting?
Every seed is different. Some seeds, like sunflowers, are designed with a thick outer shell for protection. To germinate these seeds, they must be soaked in water to soften the outer shell so the seedling can break through.
But some seeds, such as lettuce and foxglove, are very delicate and small. Soaking them will simply cause them to disintegrate. These fine seeds are also harder to space out when soaked, resulting in failed germination.
Daisy seeds do not need to be soaked before you sow them. But soaking can help them germinate faster. For best results, only soak Daisy seeds for 24 hours maximum. Any longer, and you risk drowning the seeds, making it impossible for them to germinate.
How Long Does It Take Daisy Seeds to Germinate?
Daisy seeds germinate relatively quickly. You can expect to see seedlings sprout anywhere from 7-14 days.
Remember that indoor seedlings grow faster than outdoor seedlings due to the controlled temperature and environment. So if your growing season is short, it’s best to start your Daisy seeds indoors, then transplant them outdoors once the weather is warm.
Should You Cover Seeds When Germinating?
Daisy seeds do not need to be covered by soil while they germinate. They belong to a plant species that need light to germinate, and covering them will cause the seed to go dormant.
The only reason you would need to cover your Daisy seeds while they germinate is to lock in the humidity. Shasta Daisies need moist soil to germinate, but keeping the soil moist with 8 hours of light daily can be difficult.
So, one trick many gardeners use to prevent the soil and seed from drying is to cover the growing containers with a plastic bag or saran wrap. This creates a mini-greenhouse and keeps the moisture levels even during germination.
How Do You Transplant Daisy Seedlings?
So your Daisy seeds have germinated and become seedlings. Now you’re wondering: when can I move these seedlings into my garden?
If you start your seedlings indoors before the last frost, you can transplant them into your garden in mid-to-late spring. Always wait before transplanting the seedlings until they have at least 2-3 leaves and about 6 inches (15 cm) of growth. The outdoor temperatures should also be no lower than 50°F (10°C).
To avoid the risk of transplant shock, you should get your seedlings used to outdoor temperatures before planting them. To do this, gradually place your seedlings outside every day for increasing amounts of time. Continue this for ten days up until the day of transplanting.
Do Daisies Come Back Every Year?
Some Daisies are perennials, while others are grown as annuals. Perennials are flowers that die in the fall and regrow in the spring or summer. Annuals are flowers that do not grow back year after year and must be replanted every growing season.
Shasta Daisies are considered short-lived perennials. They grow back for only a couple of years before dying off altogether. After which, you’ll need to replant them and start over. Marguerite, Globe, and Montauk Daisies are also classified as perennials.
Some Daisy varieties are less cold hardy and therefore are grown as annuals in cold weather climates. Such varieties include the African Daisy and the Gerbera Daisy.
Can You Grow Daisies in Pots?
Although it is more common to plant Daisies amongst the other flowers in your garden, they can also be grown successfully in containers. This is perfect if you live in an apartment with no outdoor garden space.
For best results, avoid terracotta pots since they are very porous and tend to dry out the soil quickly. Instead, opt for a ceramic or plastic pot. You’ll want to use a minimum 12 inch (30 cm) wide pot since Daisy roots like to spread.
Mature Daisies like full sunlight but can tolerate shade in the afternoon. Make sure the soil in the container stays moist but is not waterlogged. Drainage holes are key to ensuring the soil drains properly.
Do Daisies Need a Lot of Water?
Daisies like to have moist soil but are not tolerant of soggy soil. In the summer months, Daisies only need to be watered about once a week.
If you’ve noticed where wild Daisies prefer to grow, it’s usually dry fields in the height of summer. They can tolerate a bit of drought, so to avoid overwatering, you can allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Make sure you avoid watering the delicate petals of your Daisies and just wet the soil.
Germinating Daisy seeds indoors is a great way to start your garden when the weather is still cold. Since Daisies are cold, hardy flowers, they can germinate Daisy seeds directly in the ground in spring.
Daisy seeds should be sown into the soil but left uncovered during germination as they need to be exposed to at least 8 hours of indirect light a day, either from sunlight or a grow light.
Since Daisy seeds need light to germinate, always make sure you leave the seeds uncovered in the soil. If you’re germinating indoors, you’ll likely need to use an LED grow light.
Make sure your seeds are sown in a bright area for outdoor germination. Both methods require that your seeds get at least 8 hours of light daily. If all goes well, you should see Daisy seedlings sprout in about 7-14 days!