With cottage garden charm and an easygoing nature, daisies are popular landscaping plants in many areas of the globe. But while daisy plants are relatively easy to keep, most daisies stop blooming towards the end of summer, and their sunny blooms are sorely missed in autumn gardens. However, if you adore daisies and want to enjoy them in the fall, Montauk daisies (Nipponanthemum nipponicum) may be the daisies you’ve been looking for!
Montauk daisies are very similar in appearance to Shasta daisies, but these hardy plants bloom much later in the season. In fact, Montauk daisies will often continue to flower right up until the first hard frost of fall, meaning you may be able to keep Montauk daisies blooming into October or November… and they’re drought and pest resistant too! If the thought of growing cold-weather daisies has piqued your interest, you’ll find all the tips you need to plant and grow Montauk daisies in this guide.
- What Are Montauk (Nippon) Daisies?
- Where Do Montauk Daisies Grow?
- Why Grow Montauk Daisies?
- When Do Montauk Daisies Bloom?
- How Long Do Montauk Daisies Bloom?
- When to Plant Montauk Daisies
- Ideal Growing Conditions for Montauk Daisies
- How to Plant Montauk Daisies
- How to Propagate Montauk Daisies
- How to Care for Montauk Daisies
- How to Fertilize Montauk Daisies
- How to Mulch Montauk Daisies
- How to Prune Montauk Daisies
- How to Deadhead Montauk Daisies
- How to Overwinter Montauk Daisies
- Are Montauk Daisies Vulnerable to Pests and Diseases?
- Recommended Planting Combinations for Montauk Daisies
- Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Montauk Daisies
- Where to Buy Montauk Daisies
What Are Montauk (Nippon) Daisies?
|Growing zones:||Zones 5 to 9|
|Blooming season:||Late summer to fall|
|Soil:||Rich, well-draining and slightly acidic soil (pH 5.5 to 6.5)|
Montauk daisies, also known as Nippon daisies or Japanese chrysanthemums, are herbaceous perennials that bloom later in the season than many other daisy varieties. Prized for their dainty blooms, which display bright golden centers encircled by brilliant white petals, these plants also have dark green, leathery leaves, which are naturally resistant to deer and rabbit predation. Hardy from zones 5 to 9, Montauk daisies can also tolerate salty soils and some drought, so they’re perfect choices for coastal gardens where salinity levels are high!
Montauk daisies belong to the Aster family, and they are native to mountainous regions of China and Japan… so it’s no wonder why they’re dubbed “Nippon,” which is another name for Japan. However, these daisies have become naturalized in the town of Montauk, Long Island, which is how they got their more modern name, “Montauk daisies.” Regardless of what you call them, Montauk daisies are low-maintenance plants that are great for beginners, and their late-season blooms are always a treat, no matter if you grow these daisies in flower gardens or containers!
Where Do Montauk Daisies Grow?
In the wild, Montauk daisies can be found growing along mountainsides and rocky landscapes near the coast, and they’ve become naturalized in sandy areas along the eastern coast of North America. In gardens, these tough daisies can thrive in a range of soil types, but they prefer well-draining gardens and full sun. And, because these plants are naturally resistant to salt and drought, Montauk daises are excellent choices for planting in coastal gardens or near roadways where winter salt can impair the growth of more sensitive ornamentals.
When fully grown, Montauk daisies grow to about 3’ tall by as many feet wide, so they can hold their own in mixed flower garden beds; however, they’re small enough for container gardening as well. Often planted as border plants and accent plants, Montauk daisies are highly attractive to pollinators, including bees and butterflies, and they make fine additions to pollinator gardens. Plus, these plants are naturally resistant to deer and rabbits, making them an excellent planting choice for gardens where these animals are on the prowl.
Why Grow Montauk Daisies?
Anyone who’s ever grown daisies before knows how becoming these cheerful plants can be. Montauk daisies have all of the charm of popular Shasta and Oxeye daisies; however, these late-season bloomers start flowering long after many other plants have faded for the season. The long bloom time and cold hardiness of Montauk daises are the main reasons why growers are attracted to these plants, but Montauk daisies have other perks, too!
Montauk daisies are always a hit with pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. But their leathery foliage makes these plants naturally resistant to many pests, and they can even tolerate salty conditions where other plants won’t thrive. On top of that, Montauk daisies aren’t just pretty garden plants… they also make fantastic cut flowers!
When Do Montauk Daisies Bloom?
One of the main reasons why gardeners choose Montauk daisies is their long bloom time. These plants start flowering in late summer to early fall, and they can continue to bloom until the first hard frost of fall. Depending on where you live, you may be able to enjoy these daisies in October or November!
How Long Do Montauk Daisies Bloom?
As long as temperatures are relatively mild, Montauk daisies will bloom for several months. Peak blooming usually occurs in August or September, but you can still get flowers until the ground freezes solid.
When to Plant Montauk Daisies
Montauk daisies are usually grown from nursery starts or plant divisions, which are typically planted in garden beds either in early fall or spring. Fast-growing and resilient, Montauk daisies can quickly reach their mature height of 3’ tall in as little as 2 months!
Ideal Growing Conditions for Montauk Daisies
In the wild, Montauk daisies grow in rocky and sandy soils, so they should be kept in well-draining gardens. Growing Montauk daisies in soggy or poorly draining beds is a recipe for disaster as these plants are sensitive to moisture damage, and they can quickly develop root rot in soggy locations. For best results, soils should be rich with organic matter as well, and if they have a slightly acidic pH of between 5.5 and 6.5, that’s even better!
Beyond soil considerations, Montauk daisies will also need lots of light to grow properly. That means you’ll want to locate your daisy plants in a sunny location that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of bright light daily.
How Much Sun Do Montauk Daisies Need?
Montauk daisies are full sun plants, and they need at least 6 to 8 hours of daily light to grow and flower well. If you’re growing Montauk daisies in pots or garden beds, be sure to locate them in a sunny location! That said, gardeners in very hot climates may have success growing Montauk daisies in garden beds that receive light afternoon shade.
What Type of Soil is Right for Montauk Daisies?
Montauk daisies can grow in a range of soil types as long as those soils drain well. But if you want your plants to grow more prolifically, nutrient-rich soil with a pH of between 5.5 and 6.5 will suit these plants best.
How Much Water Do Montauk Daisies Need?
Montauk daisies are naturally drought resistant, thanks, in part, to their thick, leathery leaves. As a result, established plants rarely need watering, although you may want to give your daisies a good drink of water if your garden is experiencing a lengthy period of drought. Newly planted daisies, on the other hand, will adjust to your garden more readily if they are watered weekly.
How to Plant Montauk Daisies
Montauk daisies are generally grown either from nursery plant starts or plant divisions, while Montauk daisies are rarely sold by commercial growers. Depending on your gardening style, you can plant Montauk daisies either in inground gardens or containers. The simple planting tips below will help you get started growing your own Montauk daisies!
Most gardeners grow Montauk daisies as inground plants, and these flowering perennials add lots of charm to cottage gardens, pollinator habitats, and mixed planting arrangements. While Montauk daisies make exceptional accent plants, they can also be planted along garden bed borders for extra color.
To plant Montauk daisies in a flowerbed, dig a hole that is as deep as your plant’s root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide. Amend the excavated soil, if you want to, with a bit of compost or aged manure, and then locate your daisy plant in the planting hole so it is at the same depth that it was planted in its nursery pot. Then, backfill the planting hole with amended soil, firm the soil around the base of your plant, and give your new daisy a good, deep drink of water to help it settle in.
Tip: If your plant’s roots were encircling the bottom of the bottom, be sure to gently tease the roots apart so your plant can adapt to inground planting more quickly. You may also want to add a layer of organic mulch, like pine needles or bark mulch, around the base of your daisies to lock in soil moisture and suppress weedy growth.
Montauk daisies can also be grown in containers or porch planters, but because these plants can get quite large, you’ll need to choose heavy planters that won’t topple over. Terracotta or stone planters are obvious choices, but other sturdy pots with plenty of drainage holes will work well, too. Also, make sure any container you use is at least 25” in diameter so your daisy plants will have plenty of room to grow!
To plant Montauk daisies in pots, add a few inches of rich potting mix to the bottom of your pot and then locate your daisy plant in the pot so it is at the same depth it was growing in its nursery pot. Add enough potting mix to your pot to fill up any empty spaces, and then firm the soil around the base of your plant and water your daisy well. While pot growing is very similar to inground growing, daisies grown in pots will dry out more quickly than garden plants, so you will need to water them more regularly!
How to Propagate Montauk Daisies
Montauk daisies are rarely grown from seed. Instead, most gardeners propagate these plants either through stem cuttings or root divisions.
To propagate Montauk daisies from stem cuttings, take healthy cuttings that are about 4 to 6” long from your daisy plants in late spring to early summer. Make your pruning cuts with sharp, sterilized pruners or scissors, and cut your plant’s stems immediately below a leaf node. Each of your cuttings should have at least 3 to 4 sets of healthy leaves for proper growth.
Once you’ve taken your cuttings, remove the lower leaves on each of your cuttings and then dip your cuttings in a bit of water and a bit of rooting hormone. Then, pot up your cuttings in pots with rich and moist potting mix and place your potted cuttings in a warm area that receives bright, indirect light. Water your cuttings often so that the soil stays moist but never soggy, and your new daisy plants should begin to root in about 4 to 6 weeks.
When your cuttings have a solid root system, repot them into larger containers or plant them out in your garden!
Tip: To help your cuttings root more easily, consider placing a humidity dome or a clear plastic baggy over your cuttings while they’re rooting. This will increase humidity levels and prevent tender cuttings from drying out as quickly.
While stem cuttings are easy enough to root, most gardeners propagate Montauk daisies via root division, which is an even easier and faster way to get new daisy plants. Plus, dividing plants every 2 to 3 years will help rejuvenate their growth and prevent plants from becoming overgrown and competing for soil space. The best time to divide Montauk daisies is in spring before the plant starts sprouting new, leafy growth.
To propagate Montauk daisies by root division, water your daisy plants well the day before you want to divide them in order to soften the soil. Then, on a cool, overcast day, gently dig up your daisy plants with a shovel or spade and carefully tease the plant’s roots apart into smaller sections, taking care not to damage the roots too much. Each new section of plant should have a nice clump of healthy roots and at least 3 to 5 healthy stems, and plenty of leaves.
Once your plants are divided, plant them in your garden or in pots and bury them to the same depth they were growing in your garden beds. Then, give your daisy plants a deep drink of water to help them acclimate, and consider adding a bit of mulch around the base of your plants to prevent the soil from drying out as quickly.
Tip: When dividing daisies and other perennials, remove any diseased or withered sections of plants and pick out any weeds that have wound their way around your daisy stems. This will freshen up the appearance of your daisies and ensure they look their best when you replant them!
How to Care for Montauk Daisies
Montauk daisies are low-fat plants that don’t need much maintenance throughout the growing season. As long as these plants receive plenty of sun, they should grow happily, and they will need to be watered or fertilized only sparingly. However, lightly pruning Montauk daisies in spring and deadheading spent blooms will rejuvenate the growth of your plants and encourage them to produce more flowers.
How to Fertilize Montauk Daisies
Like many other perennial plants, Montauk daisies are light feeders, and they rarely need extra fertilizer. In fact, overly rich soil can cause these plants to grow elongated stems that droop with age. To avoid this, resist the temptation to fertilize your plants, and if you do want to give them a nutrient boost, simply top-dress the soil around the base of your daisies with a thin layer of compost once a year in spring.
Tip: Never fertilize Montauk daisies in the fall, as this can cause plants to leaf out and make them more vulnerable to cold damage.
How to Mulch Montauk Daisies
The best time to mulch Montauk daisies is immediately after you plant your daisies in your garden. But as time goes by and natural mulches start to degrade, you may need to freshen up your mulch by applying a thick, 1 to 3” layer of mulch once a year in spring or fall. Bark and wood mulches are popular choices for flower gardens, but you can also experiment with using pine needles, weed-free straw, or compost as a mulch too!
How to Prune Montauk Daisies
Montauk daisies can become overgrown over time, which is why it’s a good idea to divide your plants every 2 to 3 years. But if you want to encourage your plants to branch out and produce more leaves and flowers, you may also want to lightly prune your Montauk daisies once a year in spring.
To prune these plants, snip away the upper part of your plant stems right above a leaf node with clean, sterilized pruners. You can remove just an inch or two, or you can cut your plants back even more… but never prune away more than ⅓ of your plant’s stems at once. Skip pruning altogether later in the year once your daisies start to produce flower buds!
Tip: Montauk daisy plants will often drop their lower leaves towards the end of the growing season. If this bothers you, consider planting smaller flowering plants around the base of your daisies to fill in empty space and add extra color!
How to Deadhead Montauk Daisies
Montauk daisies bloom prolifically in summer and fall. But you can encourage your plants to produce even more showstopping blooms by pinching away or deadheading old flowers once they begin to wither. This will encourage your plants to branch out and produce new flower buds, but be sure to use clean hands or sterilized pruners when deadheading so you don’t accidentally spread plant pathogens around your garden!
How to Overwinter Montauk Daisies
Tough and cold hardy, Montauk daisies overwinter beautifully in chilly zones 5 and up, and plants grown in garden beds don’t need any extra winter protection. Container-grown plants, however, will be more vulnerable to winter damage, and planter pots can sometimes break when freezing temperatures arrive. To avoid this, consider wrapping an old blanket or some bubble wrap around your plant’s pot and then move your daisies into a garage or other protected spot until the weather improves.
Are Montauk Daisies Vulnerable to Pests and Diseases?
Montauk daisies are generally resistant to most pests and diseases; however, these plants can be vulnerable to fungal issues, particularly if they’re kept in overly moist conditions. To avoid this, make sure you plant your daisies in well-draining soil and don’t overwater them. It’s also wise to follow proper spacing recommendations so there will be sufficient airflow around your plants to keep fungal diseases at bay.
Beyond overwatering, Montauk daisies can also be vulnerable to overfertilization, which can cause plant stems to become leggy and weak. This issue is easy enough to avoid. Just don’t fertilize your daisies unless they really need it!
Recommended Planting Combinations for Montauk Daisies
Montauk daisies are choice plants for cottage gardens, where they will look right at home with hydrangeas, salvias, and yarrow. These plants also work well with other fall-blooming perennials, like goldenrod, asters, and sedum, which thrive in the low water conditions that Montauk daisies crave!
Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Montauk Daisies
Yes! Montauk daisies grow rapidly, and they can spread and become naturalized in many areas. However, unlike many other fast-growing plants, Montauk daisies do not display invasive qualities, and they aren’t categorized as invasives.
Shasta and Montauk daisies look quite similar, but Shasta daisies bloom earlier in the year, while Montauk daisies don’t begin to flower until the end of summer or early fall.
No. Montauk daisies don’t need to be cut back in fall, and cutting these plants at the end of the growing season can actually make them more vulnerable to winter damage. If you do need to cut back Montauk daisies, the best time to do it is in spring, before the plant leaves out fully.
Spring is the best time to divide Montauk daisies, but you can still divide these plants in fall if needed. When dividing perennials in autumn, make sure you get all of your plants divided and replanted at least 4 weeks before your first frost date so your new plants will have plenty of time to adjust before winter starts.
While you don’t technically need to deadhead Montauk daisies, deadheading spent blooms will keep your plants looking trim. Plus, frequent deadheading will also encourage your plants to produce more flowers!
Yes, Nippon daisies and Montauk daisies are the same plant. ‘Nippon’ is a more traditional name that refers to the plant’s native place of origin: Japan. ‘Montauk,’ on the other hand, is a reference to the fact that these plants have famously become naturalized in Montauk, Long Island.
Where to Buy Montauk Daisies
Most growers sell Montauk daisies as started plants, and you’ll have a hard time tracking down Montauk daisy seeds. But if you want to get your hands on these perennial beauties, you may be able to find them as nursery starts at your local plant nursery. Plants can also be purchased online through plant nurseries or on websites like Etsy!