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How to Care for an Oxeye Daisy Plant

Beautiful single oxeye daisy flower growing in the sunshine

Leucanthemum Vulgare

People often overlook daisy plants when they’re planning their new spring perennial garden. Though simple looking, daisies are amazing simply for the fact that once you plant them, they are pretty much there to stay, and will always greet you with a cheerful flower face.

If you’ve never heard of an oxeye daisy before, that’s probably because you’ve heard it under one of these other common names: dog daisy, marguerite, moon daisy, moon penny, poor land penny, or poverty daisy. We know those last ones are weird, but it’s only because the tend to grow wild in disturbed lands.

Oxeye daisies have another scientific name, chrysanthemum leucanthemum, and they are a proud member of the aster botanical family (asteraceae), making them cousins with other happy flowery faces like sunflowers!

Oxeye daisy seeds are very often included in wildflower seed mixes that you can just sprinkle in your garden bed and walk away, but be warned: oxeye daisies are an invasive species in over 40 countries, so be prepared to do some maintenance to keep them in check!

What do Oxeye Daisies Look Like?

Gorgeous white ray florets of the oxeye daisy growing in a field

Growth Habit

Oxeye daisies differ from most daisy species because they grow from creeping underground rhizomes. Rhizomes are basically fleshy, oblong, storage facilities that contain all the nutrients and moisture a plant needs to survive some seriously harsh conditions.

This flowering plant can reproduce vegetatively by spreading short rhizomes underground, but they also produce extremely prolifically through seed production. A single plant can produce upwards of 26,000 seeds per year, and an oxeye daisy seed can remain viable for over 40 years!

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These are all of the reasons why one must be careful when planting an oxeye daisy and forgetting about it: they can take over an enormous area extremely quickly, and they are very tricky to get rid of.

Leaves

Along the hairy flowering stems of an oxeye daisy, grow deeply lobed and toothed leaves. A leaf is usually a bright green color and are sometimes evergreen in warmer regions.

A leaf will be larger in size the lower down on the stem it is, and leaves will gradually grow smaller the further up the stem leaf you go. The lower leaves grow on slender petioles, and the upper leaves grow directly from the stem. Stems can get to be up to 24 inches tall and there are alternate leaves along the stem.

Flowers

An oxeye daisy has that very classic daisy flower head look: with each flower head comprised of 15-40 white petals (otherwise known as ray florets) that are surrounding a a central yellow disc. These ray flowers are known for looking very similar to a shasta daisy.

Oxeye daisies are a perennial herb plant type, meaning that they will continue to bloom year after year. This white daisy will commonly blossom in the late spring to early summer.

Where is the Oxeye Daisy a Native Plant?

Sunny field of large grass and oxeye daisy flowers

If you know anything about daisies, you know that they grow literally all over the entire planet (except maybe the polar icecaps). These are prolific growers, and they can truly be happy nearly anywhere you put them.

Oxeye daisies are originally a native plant to Europe and the more temperate regions of Asia, but they have become easily naturalized all over North America, New Zealand, and Australia.

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These are prolific wildflowers, and they can be found growing in the wild throughout a meadow, pasture, or field, under open canopy forests and in scrub lands. They also seem to adore growing in inhospitable and disturbed sites, like degraded pastures, and along roadside verges.

Oxeye daisies can also happily exist outdoors all year long in USDA zones 3 through 9, but should be brought indoors (or just mowed down) before the winter outside of those growing zones.

What are the Ideal Growing Conditions of Oxeye Daisies?

Now that you know all of the most important information about oxeye daisy plants, it’s time to learn exactly how simple it is to care for a patch of your very own.

This is one of those trusty perennials that you can literally just toss a handful of seeds in the earth, walk away, and come back to a field of happy flower faces.

Beautiful butterfly visiting a single oxeye daisy flower

Soil Type

I mean it when I say: there really isn’t anything that an oxeye daisy plant can’t handle. These guys are almost always found growing in soils that many other plants wouldn’t dare to go near.

The main feature that the soil type is being well draining. This is often the case when it comes to plants that grow from rhizomes, as they are susceptible to root rot if they’re grown in clogged soil.

A great way to accomplish the ideal soil type is by incorporating some sand into the mix. Sandy soil is wonderfully well draining and will keep your plant happy.

Water Level

The main rule of watering an oxeye daisy is simple: keep the soil moist. Then again, these plants grow prolifically in the wild off of natural precipitation, and this can easily make them happy as well.

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If there happens to be an extended period of drought, it’s always good to water your plant. An average of 1-2 inches of water per week is perfect.

You can always stick your finger in the soil to find out the moisture level. If it’s still moist a couple of inches down, your plant doesn’t need to be watered.

Sun Exposure

Oxeye daisies, like many other plant and animal species, are sun loving creatures. This means that they will perform their absolute best when they are planted in a spot that receives a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Remembering that these are incredibly resilient plants, oxeye daisies can also completely tolerate partial shade. This can sometimes result in leggier plants and less enthusiastic flower blossoming, but direct sunlight can result in larger flower blossoms.

Enthusiastic growing oxeye daisy field in the summer time

Temperature

Another wonderful thing about oxeye daisy plants is that they are very cold hardy! They can handle temperatures as long 28 degrees Fahrenheit. However, damage from cold won’t matter all that much since they produce so many seeds.

If there happens to be an extremely cold spell and the plants don’t make it, their seed will remain viable throughout the winter and sprout up new plants the following spring.

Fertilizer

Oxeye daisy plants really do not need to be fertilized. These plants grow with such enthusiasm all on their own that giving them fertilizer would just be a waste of money.

Pruning

It is absolutely essential to prune your oxeye daisy plants. Not because they grow in an untidy habit, but because it is very important to keep their population under control.

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If you are looking to keep your oxeye daisy patch nice and tidy, make sure to mow down the entire plant before they are able to go to seed. If you aren’t too picky, you can always deadhead spent flowers to encourage a second blooming period.

How do you Propagate an Oxeye Daisy Plant?

Lovely field of oxeye daisy wildflowers

If you think you’ve got what it takes to care for your own oxeye daisy patch (you can, a literal baby could do it) here are some very simply steps to help your propagate some plants of your very own:

1. Wait until the late winter or early spring to sow your seeds. These plants are tolerant to frost, but it is best to wait until the earth is fully thawed out.

2. Sprinkle your oxeye daisy seeds in a spot that has well draining soil and full sun exposure. Lightly cover the seeds with a layer of soil, but not so much that light can’t reach them.

3. Keep the soil moist while the plants are getting established. Seeds should germinate and sprout within a couple of weeks.

4. Pick away any seedlings that are growing too closely to one another.

And there you have it! It would be difficult to find a plant that is lower maintenance and easier to get established than an oxeye daisy. This is perfect beginner plant for those new green thumbs out there, and a perfect go-to spring planting specimen that you can simply plant and enjoy!

Blurred foreground of oxeye daisy flowers

FAQs

Are oxeye daisies deer resistant?

Another added bonus to oxeye daisy plants are the fact that they are deer resistant. Not only that, other large pests like squirrels and rabbits won’t nibble on these plants either!

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What are the damaging agents to oxeye daisy plants?

It is actually kind of hard to damage an oxeye daisy plant, but if you were really trying to, you could plant it in very packed soil and over water it.

Are ox eye daisy plants perennials or annuals?

Oxeye daisies are a perennial herb plant type, meaning that they will continue to bloom year after year. This white daisy will commonly blossom in the late spring to early summer.

Are pollinators attracted to oxeye daisy flowers?

Something very beneficial about oxeye daisy plants is that they will attract a ton of pollinators to your property. They are loved by bees, moths, butterflies, and wasps, and will very quickly turn your garden into a butterfly garden!

Are oxeye daisies an invasive plant?

The oxeye daisy is both an invasive plant and a noxious weed. They can quickly over take an agricultural area, and when it comes to invading commercial crops, they are very much a noxious weed in that they have large bulbs underground that take up space from other plant life.

What does an oxeye flower look like?

An oxeye daisy has that very classic daisy flower head look: with each flower head comprised of 15-40 white petals (otherwise known as ray florets) that are surrounding a a central yellow disc. These ray flowers are known for looking very similar to a shasta daisy.

Can you grow oxeye daisies in pots?

An oxeye daisy can easily be grown in a pot indoors if it is in well draining soil and placed in a south facing window.

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Should oxeye daisies be deadheaded?

It is absolutely essential to prune your oxeye daisy plants. Not because they grow in an untidy habit, but because it is very important to keep their population under control.

If you are looking to keep your oxeye daisy patch nice and tidy, make sure to mow down the entire plant before they are able to go to seed. If you aren’t too picky, you can always deadhead spent flowers to encourage a second blooming period.

What oxeye daisy leaves look like?

Along the hairy flowering stems of an oxeye daisy, grow deeply lobed and toothed leaves. A leaf is usually a bright green color and are sometimes evergreen in warmer regions.

A basal leaf will be larger in size the lower down on the stem it is, and leaves will gradually grow smaller the further up the stem leaf you go. The basal leaves grow on slender petioles, and the upper leaves grow directly from the stem. Stems can get to be up to 24 inches tall and there are alternate leaves along the stem.

How do oxeye daisies reproduce?

Oxeye daisies differ from most daisy species because they grow from creeping underground rhizomes. Rhizomes are basically fleshy, oblong, storage facilities that contain all the nutrients and moisture a plant needs to survive some seriously harsh conditions.

This flowering plant can reproduce vegetatively by spreading short rhizomes underground, but they also produce extremely prolifically through seed production. A single plant can produce upwards of 26,000 seeds per year, and an oxeye daisy seed can remain viable for over 40 years!

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These are all of the reasons why one must be careful when planting an oxeye daisy and forgetting about it: they can take over an enormous area extremely quickly, and they are very tricky to get rid of.

How often should an oxeye daisy plant be watered?

The main rule of watering an oxeye daisy is simple: keep the soil moist. Then again, these plants grow prolifically in the wild off of natural precipitation, and this can easily make them happy as well.

If there happens to be an extended period of drought, it’s always good to water your plant. An average of 1-2 inches of water per week is perfect.

You can always stick your finger in the soil to find out the moisture level. If it’s still moist a couple of inches down, your plant doesn’t need to be watered.

Do oxeye daisies need fertilizer?

Oxeye daisy plants really do not need to be fertilized. These plants grow with such enthusiasm all on their own that giving them fertilizer would just be a waste of money.

When do ox eye daisy flowers bloom?

An oxeye daisy flower will usually bloom in the late winter or early spring.

What is the best time of year to sow oxeye daisy seeds?

The best time of year to plant oxeye daisy seeds is in the late winter or early spring.

What is the ideal soil type for oxeye daisies?

I mean it when I say: there really isn’t anything that an oxeye daisy plant can’t handle. These guys are almost always found growing in soils that many other plants wouldn’t dare to go near.

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The main feature that the soil type is being well draining. This is often the case when it comes to plants that grow from rhizomes, as they are susceptible to root rot if they’re grown in clogged soil.

A great way to accomplish the ideal soil type is by incorporating some sand into the mix. Sandy soil is wonderfully well draining and will keep your plant happy.

Can oxeye daisies tolerate partial shade?

Oxeye daisies, like many other plant and animal species, are sun loving creatures. This means that they will perform their absolute best when they are planted in a spot that receives a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Remembering that these are incredibly resilient plants, oxeye daisies can also completely tolerate partial shade. This can sometimes result in leggier plants and less enthusiastic flower blossoming, but direct sunlight can result in larger flower blossoms.

What USDA zone can an oxeye daisy live in?

Oxeye daisies are originally a native plant to Europe and the more temperate regions of Asia, but they have become easily naturalized all over North America, New Zealand, and Australia.

These are prolific wildflowers, and they can be found growing in the wild throughout a meadow, pasture, or field, under open canopy forests and in scrub lands. They also seem to adore growing in inhospitable and disturbed sites, like degraded pastures, and along roadside verges.

Oxeye daisies can also happily exist outdoors all year long in USDA zones 3 through 9, but should be brought indoors (or just mowed down) before the winter outside of those growing zones.

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