The Fall Flower Bed: Care And Maintenance Of The Montauk Daisy
The Montauk Daisy is a member of the chrysanthemum family with Japanese origins. Up until a few years ago the Latin name was Chrysanthemum nipponicum. It has been changed to Nipponanthemum nipponicum. Despite its Japanese origin, the Montauk Daisy naturalized itself around the Montauk Lighthouse Long Island, New York hence its common name.
The Montauk Daisy is a large mounding shrub-like plant of thick glossy green leaves all year long. This sun loving perennial is as happy in the flower bed as it is right on the ocean coast growing in sand. For ocean cottage living, the Montauk Daisy is a must. The green mounds planted to the front and centered between two hydrangea bushes lends itself to the easy care and maintenance required for casual gardening of the seashore property.
The rewards of growing the Montauk Daisy are a vast display of 2" to 3" daisy blossoms on each stem of the plant. The buds appear in late August or September. The flowers start appearing late September into October depending on your zone. These hardy plants are deer and rabbit resistant. They provide nectar for late season butterflies like the monarch that will migrate to Mexico.
Where To Get Your Montauk Daisy
The Montauk Daisy is available in early fall from most nurseries and big home-improvement warehouse stores for instant gratification planting meaning they will blossom shortly. They may be sold under the name Nippon Daisy. Look for bright green foliage with no signs of virus or bugs. Save yourself some money and buy small plants. This is a fast grower.
Where To Plant Your Montauk Daisy
Remember that the full grown Montauk Daisy will be a 3' high and round mound so allow adequate space for it in your garden bed where it will get plenty of sunshine and good drainage. This plant is perfect for a bulb garden. As the Montauk Daisy greens up in spring, the bulbs will be in full bloom. The new summer foliage will mask the fading bulb foliage. In the late fall the large mound of nodding daisies will be unimpaired.
The Montauk Daisy is an excellent specimen plant as it offers foliage interest year round. Use it as an anchor in a bed of annuals or as interest around a birdbath or garden feature.
Planting The Montauk Daisy
Dig a hole twice as wide and deeper than the root ball of the Montauk Daisy. Add organic matter to the soil like compost or peat moss. Plant no deeper than it was in the pot. Water well. Thorough deep watering encourages deep root growth to anchor the plant firmly in the ground.
Care And Maintenance Of The Montauk Daisy
Once your Montauk Daisy is well established in your flower garden, it is virtually maintenance free. To keep your plant full and bushy it is a good habit to cut top growth almost to ground level in early spring when new growth appears around the crown. Otherwise come fall, the weight of the stems laden with flowers will not be able to support themselves. Every three or four years you should divide this perennial and again amend the soil and water well until established.
The Montauk Daisy easily roots. Cuttings can be stuck in the soil where you want new plants. If you carelessly leave spring cuttings lying on open ground, they may take root. Just pull up and discard unwanted plants. Other than these minor care and maintenance tips, the Montauk Daisy is very easy care and drought tolerant. You will be blessed with ample large daisies late every fall. They make excellent cut flowers for indoor bouquets and flower arrangements.