Featured Plant: Montauk Daisy
Delicate white Montauk daisies (Nipponanthemum nipponicum) grow a profusion of 2-inch flowers in late summer. The daisies grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, and they sometimes remain green through the winter in the warmer climates. These low-maintenance plants attract butterflies, making them a suitable choice for butterfly gardens, beds and borders.
Montauk is native to the coastal regions of Japan and has been naturalized in the United States in Long Island, New York and New Jersey. Unlike other daisy species such as Leucanthemum vulgare (Oxeye daisy), this species is the only one previously associated with Chrysanthemum family.
Montauk Daisy Care
Size & Growth
These perennials may grow up to 1.5’ – 3’ feet tall, sprouting shrubby foliage with alternate leaves.
Each leaf is toothed, has a slightly leathery texture, and oblong-shaped.
They grow quite well under the right conditions, putting on a great floral show come bloom time.
Flowering and Fragrance
In late summer or early fall, Montauk daisies put on a showy display of beautiful white flowers until the hard freeze arrives.
These bloomers with daisy-like white flowers have 2” – 3” inches wide flower heads with white rays and green centers.
Light & Temperature
These plants are hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 9.
They are acclimated to coastal climes, doing well in warm but not excessively hot temperatures.
As for humidity, the plant can tolerate different levels.
Full sun is the optimal light conditions for Montauk daisies but partial shade in very hot and overly sunny regions is preferable.
Watering and Feeding
Weekly watering is more than enough for N. nipponicum but they are drought-tolerant and survive without frequent watering every 7 to 10 days.
If the soil has sufficient organic matter, fertilizers aren’t necessary.
If your soil is poor in nutrients, add a balanced, 10-10-10 NPK ratio fertilizer in early spring.
Don’t overfeed the plants as the plant may flop.
Soil & Transplanting
Montauk daisies are drought-tolerant and can succeed in dry, well-drained soils.
They thrive in most average soils with medium moisture.
If the soil doesn’t drain well, improve it by adding sand or small pebbles.
Be careful with using heavy soils with poor drainage as Nippon daisies don’t tolerate sogginess around the roots.
Transplant root divisions in spring or mid to late-summer, moving them to a new position in full sun, planted in dry soil.
Grooming and Maintenance
Growth on these daisies can become leggy and woody if it doesn’t die back during winter. It’s important to cut back the foliage in late fall.
In spring to early summer, when the plant is in its active growing season, to encourage better growth pinch plants back to half their size.
Cease pinching the stems once the flowering season begins.
Deadheading spent daisy flowers can stimulate the plant for additional blooming.
Sterilize the pruning shears before you pruning daisies.
Besides these grooming requirements, the plant is deer-resistant and low-maintenance.