Flowers & Garden


Prune daisy bush any time with care

Q. When should I cut back my daisy bush? It's one of the "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" daisies. How far back can I trim it without damaging the plant? I'd like to keep it at its current height of about 3 feet.

A. There is no perfect time to prune a daisy plant as they always seem to be in bloom or have lots of buds. Trim them when the majority of the flowers are spent, realizing that you'll be sacrificing some of the next flush of flowers.

You trim the growth with a pair of hand pruners or use electric hedge shears. I'd cut back the herbaceous or green stems avoiding the old woody portions of the plant. Plants trimmed back to the older, light tan/brown color stems and branches are unattractive looking, as pruning doesn't encourage the lateral shoots.

In order to keep the plant at 3 feet, you'll need to prune it several times each year. Another option is not to prune it at all. Instead, enjoy the endless flowers and when the plant outgrows the space you have designated for it simply remove it and replace it with a new plant. Daisy plants are not that expensive and grow back quickly.

The Marguerite daisy is sometimes referred to as the "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" daisy. It gets its name from a story of a daydreaming young girl's method of determining whether the boy in her dream is the love of her life. She would pick a flower and remove each petal, one by one, saying "he loves me, he loves me not" as each petal fell, until only one was left to give her the answer.