How to Grow Montauk (Nippon) Daisies

Growing Montauk daisies is not even close to a chore.

The large, 3 inch flowers bloom all season long with minimal care.

They’re easily enjoyed with other shorter perennials to fill up your garden with a splash of joy.

Let’s dive in and learn about these yellow bundles of flowers.

Quick care guide: Montauk daisy

Plant type Perennial
Origin Japan
Scientific name Nipponanthemum nipponicum
Other names Nippon daisy, Nippon
Soil type Well-draining only
Soil pH 5.5-6.5 (slightly acidic)
Sunlight requirement Full sun
Bloom season Spring, summer, fall
Colors White, green, yellow
Max height 3-4 feet
Max width 3 feet
Low temperature -10F
High temperature 80F
Ideal temperature range 40-60F
Humidity Moderate
Watering requirements 1 inch per week
Fertilizer requirements None
Fertilizer NPK 10-10-10 (all purpose)
Days until germination 3-4 weeks
Days until bloom Many months
Speed of growth Moderate
Hardiness zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Plant depth 3 times the root ball
Plant spacing 12-18 inches
Propagation Seeds, division, cuttings, transplant
Common pests Deer, rabbits
Common diseases Leaf spot, mildew, fungus
Indoor plant No
Outdoor plant Yes
Grown in container Yes
Flowering plant Yes
Beginner friendly Yes
Care level Low (easy)
Uses Decoration, color, centerpiece, pathing, bordering, background plant, foreground plant, indoor plant, cut plant

So, what’s a Montauk daisy?

 

Also known as Nipponanthemum Nipponicum, Montauk daisies are those pretty yellow and white flowering plants that look very similar to chrysanthemums.

The name comes from its origins in New York, where it’s also commonly called Nippon daisy or Nippon flowers.

They’re pretty like things and super easy to grow. They provide a lot of plant coverage and good for flower beds, rock gardens, or just for plant coverage to spice up your yard.

They stink

Montauk daisies do emit an uncanny odor.

They’re not the type of flower you’ll want to stick your nose into and sniff.

Although they’re pretty to look at, they’re not for making your garden smell any nicer.

When you prune them, I suggest wearing a fragrance mask if you’re scared of odor.

For this reason, you should plant them farther from areas that you’ll be hanging out in.

Unless of course, you like the smell. To each their own.

They’re also poisonous

Daisies are poisonous, so you should avoid contact with it directly.

Use safety gloves, long sleeves, shoes, and googles when you need to prune it. Additionally, keep other people and pets away from it.

How do you propagate Montauk daisies?

Montauk daises blooming in the garden.
Look at those pretty blooms.

Propagating these daisies is easy. Even the beginner can get them to propagate without much effort.

All you need to know is to be patient and don’t panic.

This is because they don’t look that pretty when you propagate them- they’ll be leaning over, turning ugly, or drooping over. These are normal.

Expect to see them perk up soon afterward when they get used to their new location.

From division (cuttings)

You can divide Montauk daisies by simply cutting them when they’re about 8” in length. The summertime or spring is the best time to start from cuttings.

Don’t use the smaller, younger daisies.

Cut the taller, established ones!

Get a pair of sterilized pruners (you can use rubbing alcohol) to clean them and then find some plants to take cuttings from. Larger ones work when you have plenty of space and they have a high chance of taking root.

Snip them diagonally and prune off a few of the leaves on the bottom. There should be about 6-8 pairs of leaves left on the cutting.

Cut as many as you need and want to transplant to the new location. Set them in water inside some container.

You can use a storage container, sand, or soil. If you use a container, empty the water every few days and fill it up again. Keep the plant south of sunlight and keep them cool.

They don’t like direct sun at this point. You should never let the temperatures get too hot and never give them sun. Just think of them as being “upset” right now.

Watch the root systems develop. After 2-3 weeks, the new roots will show. The ones that don’t can be disposed of or used as compost.

The roots coming out means successful rooting and you can transplant them to their new location. Congrats!

By transplant

Transplanting these daisies is easy just like any other plant.

Buy them from the store and bring them home to their desired location. Plant them in the soil with at least 8 inches between each flower.

You can space them as far as 12 inches if you want to keep that dense foliage look. 

Note that you should keep them out of the sun if possible. Choose a shaded location for now or use a cover to filter sunlight.

But after a month, you’ll want to give them full sun. they only need it temporarily not permanently.

Plant each daisy about 1” higher than the soil level to prevent drowning their roots. Some of your daisies may look pretty bad. They don’t take well to being moved around and having their home shifted.

But they should perk up after a few weeks. Avoid any unnecessary movement when possible. They don’t like being moved around as you probably noticed.

Alternatively, you can keep them in their original containers, which can help acclimate them to their new home. This will reduce plant shock as they get used to the temperature, sunlight, and humidity of the new environment. Transplant in the fall for best results.

The problem with this approach is that you have to move them eventually.

So when they get all cozy to their container, you move them again which shocks them. So it’s a matter of eliminating as much moving around as possible.

Once you plant the daisies, try to leave them alone. Keep them slightly above the soil level so that when you water, you don’t waterlog the root systems.

Their roots will fan outwards from their planting location.

How do you take care of Montauk daisies?

Growing these daisies is simple. All you need to know is that they like full sun (after they’ve acclimated to their environment) and plenty of water in well-draining soil.

Let’s go over each step in detail.

Check your hardiness zone

If you’re in zones 5-9, this daisy is super easy to propagate. They grow very well from a variety of propagation techniques and are very easy to care for.

With their versatile use, you can use them for nearly any garden project you have going on back there.

If you’re in these zones, the daisy will be natural. Higher zones will benefit from an extended blooming season.

Choosing a location

These daisies like full sun.

But don’t put them somewhere that’s burning hot all day. Just a few hours of sunshine will be enough. It’s important to not overdo the process. Give them some afternoon sun and that’s all they need.

If you’re in the right zone, you should have no problem. These daisies are perfect for bordering or flower beds to offer some coverage.

They can withstand windy areas as well. Choose a sunny location with good drainage. A sandy environment works fine.

Soil

Use well-draining soil, but don’t use something too rich.

This is because moisture-absorbing soils that hang on to water will rot their roots. And Montauks hate wet feet. Keep the soil dry and basic.

There’s no need for those fancy additives or properties that drive the price up (and harm your daisies). You can use basic potting or garden soil.

Add a layer of rocks or pebbles to encourage drainage. If you plan to grow your Montauks in a container, make sure there are multiple drainage holes on the bottom in case one gets stuck.

You can add some sand at the base to help prevent this. If you use soil that holds water, you’ll notice that it’ll start to droop over because of the excess water in the substrate.

Avoid wet or damp soil with too much shade.

With those white petals and green disks, it’s worth the trouble! Soggy soil will kill your Nippon.

Plant depth

Plant the root ball in soil that’s 3 times the size of it. Position it right in the middle and leave the root ball at the soil level.

Plant spacing

Space each daisy so they don’t compete for water. Allow at least 12” of space between each transplant.

Sunlight

As mentioned previously, Montauk daisies like full sun. aim for afternoon sunlight for 4-6 hours a day.

Avoid planting where the sun is shining all day because this will burn them.

Don’t overdo it. They grow naturally on the eastern coasts where the sand is everywhere and the sun is bright. You can recreate this in your garden or use it as a guide.

Watering

Water on a regular schedule. They don’t need much water and hate having wet feet.

Give them about 1 inch of water per week, however, you want to space it out. Most of them in the wild don’t need anything but rainwater.

So you can simulate the same environment in the garden. It prefers dry soil and doesn’t need much other than once a week watering.

In warmer zones prone to drought, you can water twice a week if they start drooping. Less is more.

These daisies are salt and drought-tolerant. If you notice wilt, up the watering by a bit. They do fine with minimal water and will be OK with periods of no rain

Just remember the rule: 1 inch of water per week in the summertime.

Use drip irrigation if possible.

Over the spring to autumn, you can bump it up to 2 inches if necessary to encourage those blooms.

Fertilizer

Plant food and fertilizer are not necessary for Montauk daisies.

They grow on their own and all they need is some sunlight and water. If you use fertilizer, you could be contributing to nutrient buildup in the soil, especially if it’s poor draining.

There’s no need to add any plant food to their soil nor any amendments to the soil. Avoid compost because it can lead to water retention.

They’re easy and need little maintenance.

Why make it more difficult? Less is more with these plants. In the summertime and fall, the foliage at the base will yellow and drop off. This is normal.

If you just have to use plant food, get a general all-purpose plant food with an NPK of 10-10-10. Feed if you see floppy stems, yellowing, or your daisies keep falling over.

Feed according to the directions on the package- typically in the springtime.

Don’t overdo it or you’ll do more harm than good. These plants are hardy and will do fine in very dry soil and drought-like conditions.

Temperature

Nippon daisies like warmer conditions, but not overly hot. Give them some afternoon sunlight- not all-day sunlight.

They’re tolerant of a variety of temperatures. But extremes to either side will harm the plant. Keep temperatures above -10F to avoid killing it.

The east coast is cold in the winter and the daisies will wilt and droop during this time. They’re not tolerant of extremes.

Humidity

They can tolerate a wide range of humidity ranges, but prefer to be on the higher side.

They’ve been naturalized next to large and small bodies of water where the humidity is higher.

However, excess humidity with poor drainage and dense leaves will be a catalyst for rot.

Pruning

Pruning Montauks is necessary because they get very leggy. The best time to cut them is when the base gets messy.

Get a clean pair of your favorite pruners and snip them back down to about 10-12”. The best time to do this is by late spring or early summer, depending on how quickly your daisies grow.

This will keep them looking tidy and prevent some problems later on (pests and rot).

Leaving them alone will have them grow into almost shrubby conditions that are tall and wide. If this happens, they often become leggy and will start to fall over on their weight.

Don’t worry about cutting them down.

You’re doing them a favor and helping them grow. If you like the tall and full look, you can leave them alone, but be prepared for pests!

They like to take shelter in the shade the large flowers provide. Montauks can and will grow up to 36 inches or more if you just leave them alone.

Regular pruning will keep them clean and help prevent pests and fungal issues.

To keep it simple: just cut back the plant by half in the middle of summer. This will keep them tidy, tight, and compact.

How do you deadhead Montauk daisies?

Deadheading is as simple as measuring about 12” from the base and snipping the stem. That’s it.

You can keep the heads if you want to use them as compost or put them in a vase. They also make good compost. Cut them back in mid-summer for best results.

Some people like to cut them back in the fall, but the bloom season is already nearing its end by then. For the wintertime, they’ll die back on their own.

You can cut them back if you want to prevent them from becoming woody. Montauks are late-blooming perennials so their bloom season may vary well into the fall.

How do you prepare Montauk daisies for winter?

Nippon daisies will die back on their own in the winter. You can cut them back if they haven’t already.

Doing this means cutting them back to the base of the stems completely. This will help prevent them from becoming woody.

Cutting back throughout the season also creates thicker stems that hold up the flowers rather than skinny ones that fall over.

Pests

These daisies aren’t susceptible to many pests, which makes them easy to manage.

But if you let the foliage get dense, it can attract some moisture-loving insects like sowbugs, slugs, snails, aphids, and spider mites.

Otherwise, you won’t have much to deal with.

Larger animals like deer, rabbits, and other wildlife will be attracted to the flowers. They may become a nuisance to deal with.

But if you have a ton of these daisies growing, you should learn to just enjoy the wildlife coming to your yard!

Diseases

Nippon daisies are succtping to fungal problems because of their dense foliage.

They can log water and develop stem rot or leaf spot, both of which are common. If you see dark spots on the leaves, you’re probably overwatering and the foliage is too dense for it to dry quickly.

Prune off any affected leaves and water less. Stem rot looks like a coat of brown sludge.

Again, watering excessively will lead to rot. If the conditions are warm and humidity, those are both catalysts for stem problems.

You can let it go dry for a few days and then water slightly. Prune off affected foliage and keep the area clean.

Consider thinning your daisy bed and relocating them to minimize the foliage density. You can also use a natural spray for fungus if needed.

But simply reducing watering frequency and the amount should do the trick.

What can you do with Nippon daisies?

With their large, yellow flowers, tall green stems, and funky smell, they can be used for decoration, bordering, pathing, or even pollinator attraction.

They bloom throughout the spring and summer and are pleasant to look at even without any landscaping done.

For the “xeriscapist,” here are some ideas:

  • Put them in a rock garden
  • Plant them in flower beds
  • Fit them in the edges of paths
  • Combine them with companion plants
  • Complement them with other lower perennials so you have a mix of tall and short
  • Plant them near streams or ponds
  • Use them in potted containers as a cut flower

They grow anywhere that has sufficient sunlight and a bit of water.

Just be sure the soil drains and you’re all set.

With their white daisies that bloom from summer to fall, they can be used for a variety of applications.

Dark green leaves and bright yellow heads make good complimentary plants and bring pollinators to the garden.

Companion plants

These daisies go well with shorter perennials.

Some popular choices include the following:

  • Dustin miller
  • Aster
  • Eupatorium
  • Sedum
  • Ornamental grass
  • Zinnia
  • Coneflower
  • Yarrow
  • Shasta daisies
  • Oxeye daisies
  • Gerbera daisies

Other common questions

Nippon daisies being grown inside the house.
You can cut them as fresh cut flowers.

Here are some other questions growers typically ask about growing these daisies. You may find them useful.

Do Montauk daisies come back every year?

These daisies are perennial and will come back every season to produce flowers if properly wintered.

They can be left to grow on their own devices. If unpruned, they’ll grow into a monstrosity of blooms. But that can be a good thing sometimes.

What animal eats Montauk daisies?

Deer and rabbits have been reported to eat Nippon daisies.

Some people will say that these are resistant to them, while others disagree. If you have a native rabbit or deer population, try deterring them first and see if they stop getting nipped.

What is the difference between Shasta and Montauk daisies?

Shasta and Montauk daisies look very similar, but they’re different enough to have distinctions in classification.

Physically, Shasta daisies will have larger flowers and produce more blooms per season compared to Nippon daisies.

Nippons will produce flowers that are about 2-3 inches in diameter.

Shasta flowers are about 4 inches, so they’re noticeably bigger than Montauks. Additionally, their yield is much greater for a fuller-looking plant.

Regardless of which one you choose to grow, they’re both unique in their way. Montauks are like smaller cousins of Shasta daisies. Fewer blooms mean more attention to each flower, right?

Can you plant Montauk daisies in the fall?

They should be planted in the early fall or spring for maximum time to grow and develop a strong root system before winter comes.

Why are my daisies falling over?

This could be due to a variety of reasons. The most common culprit is overwatering. Too much water leads to the daisies drooping over and wilting.

Excess sunlight or cold water may also cause them to fall over.

If you haven’t pruned them during the season, their stems may be too thin and can’t support the head flower. This is why it’s important to prune them at least twice per season.

Lastly, if you just transplanted them, falling over is normal. They Should perk up within a week or so. They need to get used to their new environment.

Be sure to watch for any signs of pests or rot at the base. And keep pruning them.

Remember that deadheading and cutting them back to 10” at the base is a good thing.

Further reading/references

Enjoy your Nippon daises!

Montauk daisy with a moth.
These blooms are loved by beneficial pollinators.

Now you have all the knowledge you need to grow Montauk daisies in your garden.

Enjoy the peaceful and glorious blooms these flowering perennials have to offer season after season.

They only need some pruning twice a season and once a week watering.

Other than that, keep the sun shining and soil drinking. That’s all they ask for!

What do you think? Where will you plant yours?

Do you have any questions about Nippon care? Leave a comment and let us know.

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