Classic white daisies—think Shasta daisy or the cheerful but weedy oxeye daisy—are typically early to midsummer bloomers.
But one is an autumn superstar: Montauk daisy starts blooming in late September and puts on a floral show into November. This shrublike perennial forms a large, neatly rounded clump of upright stems bearing thick, glossy, emerald green leaves all summer. It eventually produces loads of 3-inch-wide flowers with many pure white “petals” (ray flowers) and a golden center composed of tiny disc flowers.
These lovely daisies add a sparkling highlight when planted next to traditional fall bloomers like mums, sedums and asters.
Common name: Montauk daisy or Nippon daisy
Botanical name: Nipponanthemum nipponicum
Plant type: Herbaceous perennial
Zones: 5 to 9
Height: 24 to 36 inches
• Sun: Full sun
• Soil: Well-drained loam or sandy loam
• Moisture: Moderate to slightly dry
• Mulch: 1 inch organic mulch
• Pruning: Prune new growth lightly once or twice from late spring to early summer for bushier plants
• Fertilizer: Apply compost or a balanced fertilizer in early spring
Pests and diseases
• No major problems
• Montauk daisy grows well in sandy, seaside soils and even tolerates salt spray.
• Clumps of Montauk daisy tend to die out in the center so plan on dividing and replanting them every 3 to 4 years.
• Though the species is native only to coastal Japan, it has naturalized in a few coastal areas in New Jersey and New York, including Montauk at the eastern tip of Long Island, which is the source of its common name.
All in the family
• Montauk daisy is a member of the aster family (Asteraceae), a large plant family that also includes mums, asters, marigolds, sunflowers and coreopsis.
• Once known as Chrysanthemum nipponicum, Montauk daisy is now the sole species in the Nipponanthemum genus.
• Noted plant breeder Luther Burbank reportedly utilized Nipponanthemum nipponicum in the multi-species parentage of one of his many garden creations, the Shasta daisy.
Where to buy
• Lazy S’s Farm Nursery, lazyssfarm.com
• White Flower Farm, whiteflowerfarm.com