Painted daisy has gone through something of an identity crisis. Over the past several years, it has been known under a number of names, including Chrysanthemum coccineum and Pyrethrum coccineum. Whatever the case, the painted daisy bears attractive blooms in shades of pink, white, or red during the summer and deeply cut foliage.
- Common name: Painted daisy, pyrethrum
- Botanical name: Tanacetum coccineum
- Zones: 5 to 9
- Size: To 36 inches tall
- From: Areas of Asia
- Family: Compositae (daisy family)
- Sun: Full sun or partial shade.
- Soil: Moist, but well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Add organic matter to clay soils to increase drainage.
- Moisture: Water during times of drought.
- Mulch: Lay a 2- to 3-inch-deep layer of mulch over the soil around the plants to conserve moisture and reduce weed growth. Use winter mulch in cold-weather areas only after the soil has frozen.
- Pruning: Cut plants back in autumn after freezing temperatures arrive or in spring before plants begin to grow.
- Fertilizer: Fertilizer is generally not necessary in soils that are rich in organic matter. If desired, use a balanced fertilizer in spring.
- Division: Divide anytime the soil isn't frozen. Spring and autumn are best.
- Aphids: These small insects often appear in large numbers on new growth. Spray them off daily with a stream of water; they will not attack a plant after being knocked off. Use an insecticidal soap or neem-oil-based spray if infestations are severe.
- Rot: This fungal disease is generally a problem if there is too much moisture in the soil. Increase drainage and the problem should correct itself.
- Painted daisies are often short-lived perennials and may not grow long enough to be divided.
- Painted daisies contain a number of oils in their foliage that can cause irritation to sensitive gardeners who brush up against the plants with bare skin. Be sure to take caution when working around the plant.
- The foliage of painted daises is poisonous.
- Tanacetum coccineum ‘James Kelway': Grows to about 30 inches tall with bright red flowers in summer. Zones 5 to 8.
- Tanacetum coccineum ‘Robinson's Mix': Grows to about 30 inches tall with red, pink, and rosy-colored flowers in summer. Zones 5 to 8.