Tanacetum coccineum2Painted daisy is an herbaceous perennial native to southwestern Asia. It is a member of the aster family, Asteraceae, that also includes sunflowers, yarrow and lettuce. The aromatic, fern-like leaves are finely cut and form a soft bushy mound. The lower ones are up to ten inches long and have a long petiole while the upper ones are shorter and sessile. The flowers are carried singly on wiry unbranched stems in early summer. They are three inches across, usually in shades of red to white with yellow centers, and may be single or double. The flowers last two to four weeks and are excellent cut flowers. The plants are short lived, however, and should be divided every two years to maintain vigor.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: White to red daisy like flowers in early summer

Size: 1-2’ H x 1’ W

Light: Full sun to partial shade (especially in hot climates)

Soil: Average, medium moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 3-7 (does not do well in heat)

Care: Pinch in spring when 6-8” tll to encourage bushiness; cut back after flowering to encourage another flush; divide every two years to maintain vigor

Pests and Diseases: Generally healthy but susceptible to aphids, nematodes, leaf miners and spider mites.

Propagation: Seed, but cultivars by division only

Companion plants: Siberian iris, poppies daylilies yarrows, Geranium x magnificum, Nepeta

Outstanding Selections:
‘Crimson Giant: (single, cerise flowers; 3+’ tall
‘Atrosanguineum’ ( dark red)
‘Brenda’ (cerise-red)
‘Eileen M. Robinson’ (salmon pink, 2’ tall)
‘James Kelway’ (scarlet to crimson, 1 ½’ tall)
‘Princess Mary’ (double, shell pink; 2’ tall)
‘Robinson’s Crimson’ (single crimson; 2’ tall)
‘Robinson’s Pink’ (single, medium pink; 2’ tall)
‘Sensation’ (double red)
‘Snowball’ (double, white; 2 1/5’ tall)

By Karen