The Oxeye Daisy
An oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) is a perennial flowering plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is a native wildflower in the UK and Europe but has become widespread in other regions as well. The plant is known for its characteristic white, daisy-like flowers with yellow centers.
Here are some key features of oxeye daisies
- Flowers: The oxeye daisy has large, white petals surrounding a yellow central disk, giving it the appearance of a classic daisy. The flowers typically have a bright and cheerful look. They are very 'happy flowers'
- Leaves: The lance-shaped leaves of the oxeye daisy are dark green and arranged in a basal rosette. The leaves are deeply lobed with toothed edges.
- Height: These plants typically reach a height of about 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 cm) and can form dense clumps.
- Habitat: Oxeye daisies are commonly found in meadows, edges of fields, pastures, roadside verges, and other open areas. I first came across them as a child growing up in Liverpool in the 1960s where they grew abundantly on areas of abandonded or disturbed ground in the city. At that time they were regarded by most gardeners as a weed, but I always found them to be beautiful. They are adaptable and can grow in a variety of soil types. They look particularly good if you plant them on mass. Last year we gave over a section of our lawn and harrowed it and then seeded with OxeEye daisies. It was a joy to see when it flowered.
- Growing Conditions: Oxeye daisies prefer full sun to partial shade and they love a well-draining soil. They are hardy plants and can thrive in various climates.
- Blooming Period: The flowering season for oxeye daisies is typically late spring to early summer, although they may continue to bloom throughout the summer if deadheaded regularly. The first flush of flowers is always the best, and a the site of a patch of Oxe Eye daisies flowering in May can totally light up a corner of the garden, and lift your spirits even on a gloomy day.
- Insect friendly: Oxeye daisies are an important source of nectar for pollinators. The large, white, daisy-like flowers with yellow centres are attractive to a variety of insects and pollinators, including bees, flies, beetles, moths and butterflies which are all drawn to the easily accessible nectar of the oxeye daisy, making them a very beneficial addition for pollinator-friendly gardens..
Growing oxeye daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare) in your garden brings forth a multitude of benefits. These charming perennials not only add a touch of classic beauty with their white, daisy-like flowers and vibrant yellow centres but also serve as vital contributors to biodiversity. The nectar-rich blooms attract a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies, promoting a healthy and thriving ecosystem.
Oxeye daisies are low-maintenance and adaptable, flourishing in diverse soil types and climates. Their ability to form dense clumps and spread easily makes them an excellent choice for naturalising areas, providing an effortlessly picturesque landscape.
Additionally, these resilient plants are well-suited for novice gardeners, making them a delightful and ecologically valuable addition to any garden. If you're interested in creating a garden that attracts and supports pollinators, including bees, incorporating plants like oxeye daisies, along with other nectar-rich flowers, can contribute to a vibrant and biodiverse ecosystem in your outdoor space.
Oxeye Daisies growing tips
We have been growing Oxe Eye daisies now for over 40 years in every garden we have owned and they continue to be one of our favourite cottage garden flowers. We now grow oxe eye daisies so many we have made our oxeye daisy seeds available to buy online
Growing oxeye daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare) can be a delightful addition to your garden. They are very easy to grow if you give them the right conditions, and once established will then happily self seed, so you will enjoy them year after year.
Here are some general guidelines to help you grow oxeye daisies:
1. Site Selection:
Where you sow the seeds is very important if you want them to thrive. Being a native British wildflower they grow best if the conditions are on the tough side.
- Oxeye daisies thrive in full sun to partial shade.
- Choose a location with well-draining soil.
- They can tolerate a variety of soil types but prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil.
- Oxeye daisies can be grown from seeds or by dividing existing plants. Generally we find growing them from seed is far more reliable and much easier.
- If planting from seeds, sow them in the early spring or autumn. Press the seeds into the soil, and keep the area consistently moist until they germinate.
- If dividing existing plants, do so either in the early spring or early autumn. Dig up clumps and separate them into smaller sections with roots attached, then replant them. Give them a good water and then you will need to keep them well watered until they have established themselves. Usually a couple of weeks is sufficient unless you have a drought.
- Water newly planted oxeye daisies regularly to help establish their roots. Once established, they are relatively drought-tolerant which is why they arev one of our favopurite cottage garden plants. Living in Norfolk our summers tend to be on the dry side and our soil is light and free draining so the daisys love it.
- When watering newly established plants try to do so either in the early morning or evening, and water at the base so the water gets to the roots.
- Being a wildflower Oxeye daisies don't require a lot of fertiliser. If you do decide to feed them a balanced, all-purpose fertiliser applied in the spring will probably be sufficient.
6. Dead head unless you want them to self seed:
- Deadhead the spent flowers regularly to encourage continuous blooming and prevent self-seeding, especially if you want to control their spread. If you are happy to let them spread or you want to collect the seeds them do not dead head.
7. Pests and diseases:
- Oxeye daisies are very resistant to pests and diseases.
- Every few years, consider dividing the established plants to maintain their vigour or discard old plants and bring new plants on from seed.
- If the plants become tall and leggy, you may need to provide some support, such as staking, to prevent them from flopping over.
10. Winter care:
- Oxeye daisies are generally hardy in the UK and come through even a hard winter without any additional protection. We always let our Oxe Eye Daisies self seed so that if we had a particularly hard winter there is still seed in the ground that will germinate the following spring.
We hope that you have found our tips for growing oxeye daisies helpful. If you have any questions please pop them in comments, and we will do our best to answer them, and remember to adapt these guidelines based on your specific growing conditions, and the particular needs of your oxeye daisies. If you need any help or advice we are always happy to help.