Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum Vulgare) is a beautiful Hardy Perennial often found in meadows and on grass verges. This happy flower is a perfect choice for Dappled shade and will even thrive in the poorest of soils! Here’s how I grow it…
Why I love Oxeye daisies!
They are such a happy, smiley flower! It’s pretty difficult to walk by a large showy Daisy without it raising a smile! They just encourage happiness! And couldn’t we all do with a little extra of that? I had a particular spot in mind for my Oxeye daisies! …
I live on an Avenue and like most Avenues it is lined with large majestic trees, which are of course beautiful all by themselves! However, at the base of every tree on the street is the inevitable collection of weeds…which is also fine! I love a Dandelion or two! But I felt that maybe I could add something a little more showy! Something that would raise a smile each time I leave or return to my home! I needed a plant that would grow happily at the base of the tree and not wither in the shade…
Oxeye Daisies were the perfect choice! They are very easy to grow, care very little for soil quality and they love the dappled shade the tree provides, they have thrived and absolutely cheered up the Avenue…At least on the one tree outside my house! I plan on growing more on the other 12 trees on the avenue…I doubt the neighbours will mind!
Oxeye Daisy Characteristics
The Oxeye Daisy plant can grow to roughly 60 cm in height with a spread of around 40 cm. It has notched spoon-shaped leaves, the flower stalk is long and slender with large 5-9 cm flowers heads that have around 15-30 narrow white petals surrounding a central large yellow disc.
Oxeye Daisy Origins
Oxeye daisies are an ancient flower and can be traced back to the Early Iron Age in England around 750 BC ! They are believed to be native to northern Europe, specifically northern Scandinavia, Russia and Finland. They mostly grow as Wildflowers and can be found in grasslands, waste areas, meadows, and roadsides.
What’s In A Name ?
The Oxeye Daisy has gone by many names over the centuries, other common names include ox-eye daisy, dog daisy, field daisy, Marguerite, moon daisy, moon-penny, poor land penny, poverty daisy, white daisy, oxe-eye daisy, Great Ox-eye, Goldens, Marguerite, Horse Gowan, Maudlin Daisy, Dun Daisy, Butter Daisy, Horse Daisy and Maudlin wort…to name a few!
7 Interesting Oxeye Daisy Facts!
1. Lady Magdalene-Early Christians dedicated the Oxeye Daisy to Mary Magdalene and they later became known as ‘Maudlin wort’
2. Goddess Flower-The Ancient Romans believed the Mystical flower to be a gift from Diana, the Goddess of the moon and referred to the flower as ‘Moon Daisy’ or ‘Moonpenny’
3. Symbolic Meaning-Oxeye daisies have long been associated with love, divination, simplicity and modesty
4. He loves Me, He loves me Not-During the Renaissance period in Europe, Oxeye Daisies were used in a children’s game you are probably still familiar with today! ‘He loves me, he love not’ -A wild Oxeye daisy would be picked, and each petal would be plucked one by one, alternating the phrases…he loves me, he loves me not as each petal is removed. The last Petal would predict the intentions of the one you love. I played this game many times as a young girl!
5. Daisy Tax ! – In medieval Scotland, the Oxeye flowers were known as Gools and were considered a nuisance! Cows loved the taste of Oxeye Daisies but they unfortunately turned the milk they produced Bitter! It became such a problem that farmers were fined a higher tax if their fields contained too many Oxeye Daisies- This was due to the fact that Oxeye daisies spread so easily and could potentially invade neighbouring farmland and corrupt that Milk stock too! Daisy Tax!…Who Knew?
6. Edible-Oxeye daisies are completely edible . When Raw the leaves have a lemony, kind of peppery taste and can be added to salads and sandwiches. They can also be cooked in a similar way to spinach. Oxeye daisies can be sprinkled over salads, floated over soups and added to fruit bowls
7. Medicinal-Oxeye daisies contain moderate levels of vitamin C which helps to support the body’s immune system it also has many antioxidants that help combat free radicals and reduce inflammation. Historically a Tea made from the flowers has been used to soothe coughs, stomach ulcers, indigestion, night sweats and ladies complaints.
Why You Should Grow Oxeye Daisies
- Wonderful plants for Shaded Areas. Oxeye daisies will do well in dappled shade, light sun and full sun locations
- A cheerful and Mystical flower that will compliment any planting scheme
- A good flowering plant for growing in Containers
- Great for attracting pollinating insects, including butterflies, bees and hoverflies.
- A self sufficient plant, very little pruning needed, just deadhead to keep the blooms coming!
- Not fussy about soil conditions! Will thrive even in poor soil
How To Grow Oxeye Daisies
Sow Oxeye Daisy seeds thinly outdoors -where they are to flower in Spring or Autumn
Sow seeds Indoors -February to June
- Sow into pots, modules or trays on the surface of damp compost then sprinkle lightly with compost
- Cover with a polythene bag or propagator lid and place on a sunny windowsill. Germination should occur within 7-14 days
- When large enough to handle, prick out and pot on seedlings into individual pots or modules
- Plant out once all risk of frost has passed. * Be sure to harden off indoor raised seedlings first
- Plant out Young Plants 30-45 cm apart
What Does Hardening Off Mean?
Plants raised indoors or in a greenhouse environment, need to be acclimatised to cooler temperatures and increased air movement for about two to three weeks before they are planted outdoors permanently. This is a ‘toughening up’ practice to prepare the plants for their new environment.
How to Harden Off
Place your plants out for a couple of hours in a shady part of the garden. The next day, leave them out again for two hours, but this time allow the plants an hour of direct sunshine in the morning. Gradually continue to increase the length of time the plants are in direct sunshine over the course of roughly two weeks.
When Do Oxeye Daisies Flower ?
Expect Blooms May-August
Where To Plant Oxeye Daisies?
Happy in Dappled Shade or Full sun these plants really aren’t too fussy!
Oxeye Plant Water Requirements
Nature Mostly takes the reigns with these beauties! However, during periods of prolonged drought water frequently
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