It can be frustrating when despite months of consistent effort, your daisies won’t bloom. Daisies are supposed to be hardy, low-maintenance plants, right? However, if that’s the case, why haven’t yours bloomed yet?
Here are six reasons why your daisies aren’t blooming:
- Lack of exposure to sunlight
- Inappropriate watering
- Extreme weather conditions
- Low-quality soil
- Pests and diseases
- Improper pruning and deadheading
Let’s take a detailed look at how these factors prevent your daisies from blooming. I’ll also share the remedial steps you can take to reverse the damage and ensure your daisies bloom beautifully.
1. Lack of Exposure to Sunlight
Most species of daisies thrive under full sun conditions. Therefore, if your daisies aren’t getting the appropriate amount of sunlight, they won’t bloom.
Plants requiring full sun need at least six hours of sunlight a day. In the case of daisies, the ideal amount is over 8 hours of sunlight a day, especially if the region you live in is relatively cool and does not experience strong, direct sunlight.
The only exception is the gerbera daisy, which can survive in partial shade conditions (2 to 4 hours of sunlight per day), but even this daisy can succumb to starvation due to a lack of sunlight if placed in a dark, lonely corner.
So, how do you judge damage caused by a lack of sunlight?
The following are common signs that your daisies are starved of sunlight:
- There is stunted growth.
- There are weakening flowers.
- It has a spindly look.
- It has poor overall health.
And if you’re growing daisies indoors, you should be extra careful, especially if they aren’t the gerbera variety.
The issue with damage due to a lack of sunlight is that it’s slow but persistent and definitely noticeable over the long term. However, the good news is that this kind of damage is easily reversible. All you need to do is relocate the plant outdoors or near a window, where it can receive strong direct sunlight.
To avoid shock to the plant, do it gradually, especially if your daisies have been staying in a shady corner for too long. Increase bright light exposure by 1 hour a day for a week before setting your plant permanently in its new spot.
It also helps to know that afternoon sunlight is typically stronger than morning sunlight, so if it’s not hot and dry outside, leaving your daisies exposed to the afternoon sun isn’t a bad idea.
2. Inappropriate Watering
Similar to a lack of sunlight, inappropriate watering takes its toll on your daisies over time. And by inappropriate watering, I mean watering the daisy too little or too much as both are equally dangerous.
However, let’s first understand how much water daisies need.
Garden daisies need 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5 cm) of water every week in the summer. That’s equal to 0.6-12 gal (2.3-4.6 L) of water per square foot (0.09 sqm) per week. They need the same amount of water once every two weeks in cooler seasons.
That’s less water than beginners generally expect, so overwatering is more common than underwatering. Of course, this is just a general guideline. You should still analyze soil hydration levels depending on your area’s climate, soil quality, and plant position (pot or in-ground) to set a more accurate routine.
Lastly, when watering your daisies, you want to aim for the soil. Avoid spraying directly on the plant foliage as that increases the risk of diseases.
How Underwatering Damages Your Daisies
Underwatering is especially an issue in hotter climates. To avoid this, you’ll want to water your garden daisies deeply once a week and whenever the soil appears flaky or devoid of moisture.
Signs of damage due to lack of water include:
- Yellowing of the plant
- Stunted growth
- Falling flower petals
Damage can be prevented and remedied simply by utilizing a more appropriate watering routine. You also have the option of using soil that better retains moisture or applying mulch to regulate soil temperatures and trap moisture for longer.
How Overwatering Damages Your Daisies
Excessive watering leads to water stagnation, which is dangerous for your daisy (and most other plants raised in gardens) because it damages and eventually destroys their roots. Without healthy roots, daisies cannot effectively derive nutrients from the soil, which leads to starvation and stunted growth.
A clear indication of overwatering is the daisy having weak, soggy roots. If your daisy has sustained damage in this way, adjust your watering routine or replant it into soil that better drains water.
Also, when adjusting your watering routine, remember that rainfall contributes to the previously mentioned amount of 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) of water per week. Therefore, if you’re already getting sufficient weekly rain, you might want to water the daisies only when necessary.
Furthermore, increased sunlight exposure also helps the daisy heal faster from water damage while also preventing it in the first place.
3. Extreme Weather Conditions
Weather conditions can physically damage your daisies’ flowers and prevent them from blooming.
Let’s take a deeper look at how extreme weather conditions can damage your daisies:
While daisies are hardy to heat and sunlight, they’re not invulnerable. Direct afternoon sunlight in the presence of scorching heat and dry air can cause heat damage to your plant. In this case, you should cover your plants when the sun is at its highest.
To find out if your daisies are burnt from the sun, look for affected areas that are discolored or yellowing.
Damage due to excessive cold or frost is not uncommon. It frequently occurs during winter nights or sudden early autumn frosts.
You can diagnose frost damage visually. The affected portion of the daisy will brown or, worse, blacken. If the frost manages to damage young flower buds, you might not get a full bloom when the time is right.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to save plant tissue damaged by frost, so you can either deadhead the damaged flower petals or leave them be. They will fall off on their own.
To protect your daisies from frost, cover them during the nighttime, especially if temperatures are expected to drop below 40 °F (4 °C).
4. Low-Quality Soil
There are several factors that determine how well your soil suits the growth of your daisies.
Let’s explore these in detail:
The ideal soil for daisies doesn’t allow water to stagnate. It also has moderate moisture retention so as to not dry up entirely too quickly.
Daisies can tolerate a soil pH of 6.0 to 8.0, which is slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. However, they prefer slightly alkaline conditions. You can use lime to raise the pH of your garden soil.
Like most plants, daisies thrive in soil that is rich in nutrients. The essential nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. However, too much nitrogen can be detrimental to your daisies’ blooms.
You can improve the concentration of nutrients in your soil by using fertilizers, either organic or chemical. I would recommend organic fertilizer, as it doesn’t have harsh side effects.
Growing daisies in soil that fits these criteria will allow them to thrive and make them stronger to cope with other environmental sources of damage.
5. Pests and Diseases
While daisies are resilient, they can succumb to pest infestations, which prevent them from blooming. The most common pests to watch out for include aphids, spider mites, and nematodes.
You’ll want to look for signs of a pest or insect problem and use pesticides or insecticides accordingly. Furthermore, pests love attacking daisies at nighttime, so inspecting your daisies for damage early in the morning is ideal.
Microbial diseases in daisies can be complicated to treat so it’s crucial to prevent them in the first place.
Some simple and effective ways to prevent infection include the following:
- Avoid overhead watering to keep the foliage from being moist throughout the day.
- Space your in-ground daisies appropriately for better aeration. Daisies grow quickly so it’s best to space them 12-18 inches (30-46 cm) apart.
- Prune your daisies when they become too bushy to encourage better air circulation.
Don’t hesitate to contact an expert if you suspect your daisies have been infected with a disease. There’s the risk of the disease spreading to other plants. In worse cases, you may even need to burn the plants to prevent the spread of infection.
6. Improper Pruning and Deadheading
Deadheading ensures that your daisies are spending their energy and resources on creating new blooms rather than on producing seeds.
Additionally, the removal of withered, dead flower matter encourages new ones to grow in their place rapidly. So not only does it help your daisies grow, but it also makes them look better.
However, while deadheading is an effective technique to stimulate growth, it can cause damage to your plant if done incorrectly. If you cut off too much material from the daisy or cut off young flower buds that would have gone on to mature into flowers, you might prevent a second bloom or delay the following year’s bloom.
Here are some essential things to keep in mind when pruning or deadheading daisies:
- Always use sterile shears when trimming your daisies. This will reduce the risk of spreading diseases.
- Pruning the taller stems in mid to late spring will promote lateral growth, making the plant appear bushy.
- Cut off dead or dried stems as they appear to preserve your daisies’ energy and appearance.
- Deadhead blooms as soon as they start to fade to encourage the plant to produce a fresh batch of flowers.