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A blue daisy or Felicia amelloides is a flower native to southern Africa. In its native range, this flower is a perennial, and outside of Africa, it is commonly grown as an annual in slightly cooler climates. Blue daisies can be obtained at many nurseries and garden supply stores, as well as through exchanges with other gardeners. While the plants are small, they are very colorful, and they can be a showy addition to the garden.
Blue daisies grow in low mounds, producing oval-shaped green foliage, sometimes mottled with white, as well as blue, purple, or white flowers with bright yellow centers. The flowers resemble daisies, although they are smaller than true daisies, and the leaves produce a faint scent. The blue daisy develops woody older growth over time and can become a very robust plant in regions where it is warm enough to cultivate as a perennial.
Gardeners interested in establishing a blue daisy should select a date after the last frost to plant seedlings or divisions from mature plants. If the region is cool and the plants are being grown as annuals, it can be advisable to start seeds in the greenhouse in advance so plants will be ready to go when the weather is favorable. These plants are very frost tender and are also vulnerable to garden pests, two important traits to consider when deciding if blue daisy will be a good choice for a garden.
These plants like a sunny spot in the garden with well-drained soil. They are suitable for drought tolerant gardening, although they may not be as robust if the soil is not kept consistently moist, and the soil should be of medium fertility and worked with amendments like compost to enrich the soil and keep it loose. Blue daisy plants can be grown as perennials in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) zones nine through 11, and as annuals in cooler and temperate climates, as long as the summers are warm.
Deadheading the flowers during blooming is recommended to keep the plants blooming longer. Deadheading will also keep a blue daisy looking neat. In the fall, when the plants die back, the dead foliage can be trimmed away, and the plants can also be trimmed to help them hold a consistent and even shape. These plants are well-suited for container and basket gardening and can also be grown in beds and along edges and borders.
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