Black Foot Daisy

Maggies Garden Forum: Give & Take: Black Foot Daisy

By Terri on Saturday, May 08, 2004 - 1:46 pm: Edit Post

Does anyone know what's killing my Black Foot Daisies?
This is the second spring for my Black Foots. They were simply georgous last year, and now they are dying one by one. The leaves yellow,wilt and the whole plant dies. They were planted in raised beds mixed with soil and compost fall 2002. I only water as needed. I had to plant 3 new ones early spring and they died right away. I checked for bugs and cannot see any.HELP!
I cannot come up with a good substitute for this beautiful plant.

By Maggie on Sunday, May 09, 2004 - 12:36 am: Edit Post

Hello Teri
Don't take it personally : ) Me and all of the gardeners I know who have grown the Blackfoot Daisy in garden beds have had the same experience. It's a case of a roadside plant not appreciating a more luxurious environ. They thrive in the wilds on dry rocky limestone ground and hate overhead watering. Even when given sharp drainage and minimum irrigation, they tend to be short lived. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center sums it up with, "...a rich soil and abundant water will likely produce many more flowers in the short-term, but may consequently shorten the lifespan of blackfoot daisy."

An annual substitute is the Mexican zinnia or narrow-leaf zinnia (botanically, Zinnia angustifolia - formerly Zinnia linearis). 'Crystal White' has white blooms with yellow centers, and there is also a golden orange series. These heat-tolerant annuals have a mounding growth habit, spreading to 2 feet wide and are covered in small single flowers throughout the summer.

A truly perennial substitute for the Blackfoot is one of my favorite edging plants: Erigeron karvinskianus, formerly E. mucronatus and commonly known as Mexican flea bane. My original patch of it is over ten years old. They grow in sun or light shade and bloom from early spring to first frost - even do well in mixed pot plantings, hanging down the sides just right. I have seen them offered by Redenta's in the past.

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