How to Prune Daisies for Winter

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Daisies (family Asteraceae) can cheerfully speckle a wild meadow, make dainty daisy chains, or add a classic, bright border to your garden design. This iconic flower grows easily, and with proper pruning techniques, you can nurture a robust daisy bloom in midsummer. Pruning daisies in the winter during dormancy helps the plant retain its sustenance and focus its energy toward bountiful blooms.

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Cutting Back Daisies After Bloom

Cutting daisies in the winter after the first frost is the best time for pruning to encourage flowering in the next blooming season. Be bold with your gardening shears and cut the daisies all the way back to 1 to 2 inches above the ground. This may seem like a drastic cut but don't worry. You're not disturbing the root system, and now the plant can focus all its energy on new growth and new blooms.

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Do Daisies Survive Winter?

Because many daisy types are perennials, they will survive winter, but it won't look like it to the untrained eye. The blooms will have long faded and fallen off by the time winter arrives, and if you've pruned correctly, you'll barely see a stem above the soil line.

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While the exposed part of the daisy dies, beneath the soil, an incredible, protective transformation occurs. On a cellular level, water flow is manipulated to keep the entire root system from freezing and dying. The roots also produce sugar and salt compounds that lower the freezing point.

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Some of the most popular perennial daisy types include:

  • English daisy.
  • Shasta daisy.
  • Gerbera daisy.
  • Painted daisy.
  • Oxeye daisy.

Taking Care of Blooming Daisies

Whether you have container daisies, a wildflower garden bed, or a meticulously planned landscape, caring for your daisies starts before the winter prune. During blooming season, make sure to deadhead your flowers, which encourages long-lasting blooms.

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For best bloom support, take time every spring to add mulch or compost to your daisies' soil to control weeds and add nutrients. Daisies are hardy flowers, so they don't need much attention, but if you're experiencing a dry summer, water your flowers about once a week.

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Once your daisies have been established for two to three years, dividing your daisies can help invigorate flowering. Do this by gently removing your daisy plant from the soil using a gardening spade. Carefully shake off excess soil and separate the plant into pieces. Make sure each piece has a fair amount of root system with it. Then, replant your daisies 1 to 2 feet apart in full sun and watch them thrive.

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