Dictionary of Flowers: Bellis Perennis
(English Daisy, Lawn Daisy)

Bellis Perennis (English Daisy, Lawn Daisy) come in different colors. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of Epicnom and Flickr
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Bellis Perennis (English Daisy, Lawn Daisy) come in different colors. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of Epicnom and Flickr

  • Bellis Perennis 
  • Common name: English daisy, lawn daisy
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Category: Perennial in USDA zones 4-8, short lived perennial, biennial
  • Height: 8"
  • Width: 8"
  • Sun/part shade
  • Blooms: late winter/spring/summer
  • Growth habit: clump forming, spreading. Used as a filler in container combinations
  • Maintenance: easy
  • Soil: average to fertile, well drained. Water regularly if grown in containers.
  • Garden uses: containers, front of border and beds, meadow garden, groundcover, rock garden
  • Diseases: botrytis, fungal leaf spot
  • Pests: occasionally aphids, generally pest free

A charming small perennial native to Europe and Turkey, the English daisy is a short lived plant, most often used as a biennial and even an annual in warmer climates.

It dislikes hot, humid summers and thrives in cool temperatures.

Green clumps of smooth green leaves bear white flowers on short stems. The flower petals can be tinged with pink and burgundy.

Some cultivars have pink, magenta and red flowers; some are single and some are pompom like doubles and semi doubles.

It spreads slowly by rhizomes. Bellis blooms from late winter into summer, depending on the growing zone.

Flowers close at night and open during daylight.

Their small size and profusion of blooms makes them a great plant for early color in warm climates when grown in containers.

English daisy blooms better in full sun, but it can handle a part sun position. They grow in moist but well drained average to fertile soil.

IWILLWRITECAPTION. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of NAMEOFFLICKRUSER and Flickr

Deadheading prolongs bloom period somewhat and prevents them from self-seeding. They are easy to grow from seed, though they don't all bloom the first year when grown this way.  

To grow from seed indoors, press the seed on moist starting mix, don't cover as they need light to germinate. Keep starting mix wet. At 70F, they germinate in two to three weeks.

Plant seed about eight weeks before the last frost date.

When large enough to handle, they can be hardened off and moved to their permanent spot when danger of frost has passed.

In colder climates where bellis acts as a perennial, clumps can be divided in early spring. 

Feed English daisies grown in pots during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer formula. Keep the potting mix moist, do not allow the potting mix to dry completely between waterings.

Regular watering is also crucial for English daisies during hot periods in summer with no rain when planted in the garden.




IWILLWRITECAPTION. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of NAMEOFFLICKRUSER and Flickr

Not usually bothered by pests, if aphids are a problem, apply an insecticidal soap. Fungal and virus diseases can affect bellis.

Apply an antifungal and remove all affected plants. Discard diseased plants (do not compost). 

Popular varieties:

  • Bellis perennis 'Pomponette Mix' - a fully double english daisy in colors ranging from white to pink and burgundy
  • Bellis perennis 'Taso' series - pompom shaped flowers, larger than other b. perennis. Flowers range from pink to burgundy and white
  • Bellis perennis 'Habanera' - white flowers with red tips. Compact growth habit, good for containers

IWILLWRITECAPTION. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of NAMEOFFLICKRUSER and Flickr

Full List of Dictionary of Flowers Entries

Annuals For Containers

Perennials For Containers

Go from Bellis Perennis (English Daisy, Lawn Daisy) to the Dictionary of Flowers

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