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How to Grow Swan River Daisy — Brachycome

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Swan River daisy, Brachycome, adds a decorative flair to pots and baskets. Swan River daisy has feathery green leaves and blue, pink, purple, or white daisy-like flowers from summer to early fall.

There are 60 to 70 species in this genus but only Brachycome iberidifolia is grown in gardens. B. iberidifolia can be planted in mass in beds and borders. It is also suitable for hanging baskets and other containers. The perennial, B. rigidula, is a good rock garden plant; it is hardy in milder climates.

Brachycome grows as a wildflower in Australia.

Brachycome is sometimes spelled Brachyscome.

Brachycome multifida
Brachycome multifida

Get to know Swan River daisy

  • Plant type: Annuals and perennials
  • Growing Zones and range: Zones 3 to 11
  • Hardiness: Plants fade when the weather gets hot.
  • Height and width: 8 to 18 inches (20-45cm) tall and wide
  • Form: Bushy mounds of thin stems and lacy, finely cut leaves
  • Flowers: Pale blue, lavender, white, or pink 1-inch, rounded flowers (ray florets) with black or yellow centers
  • Bloom time: Late winter or early spring
  • Uses: Edging for beds and borders; trailing habit ideal for window boxes and hanging baskets
  • Common name: Swan river daisy
  • Botanical name: Brachycome; sometimes spelled Brachyscome
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Origin: Australia

Where to plant Swan River daisy

  • Plant Swan River daisies in full sun.
  • Grow Swan River daisies in humus-rich, well-drained soil.
  • Brachycome does not grow well in regions with very hot, humid summers.
 Swan-river daisy , Brachycome iberidifolia
Swan-river daisy, Brachycome iberidifolia

When to plant Swan River daisy

  • Set out established plants 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost in Zones 2 to 8. In Zones 9 to 11, plant in late fall or early winter for winter or early spring color.
  • Sow seed indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost,
  • Sow directly in the garden in late spring.
  • Make successive sowings every 3 weeks for continued blooms.

Planting and spacing Swan River daisy

  • Scatter the seed over the surface and lightly press it into the soil. Seeds germinate best at temperatures between 60° and 70°F (15.6°-21°C).
  • Water from the bottom and keep the soil on the dry side to avoid damping off.
  • Space Swan River daisies 6 to 8 inches apart to form a solid carpet of blooms.

How to water and feed Swan River daisy

  • Keep the soil evenly moist. Swan River daisy is drought tolerant once established.
Western Australian wildflower Swan River Daisy
Western Australian wildflower Swan River Daisy or Brachyscome iberidifolia

Swan River daisy care

  • Mulch around Swan River daisies to conserve soil moisture and prevent weeds.
  • Remove spent flowers to promote new blooms.
  • Support tall plants with twigs or stakes.
  • Swan River daisies will reseed in mild climates.

Swan River daisy pests and diseases

  • This plant is sometimes prone to botrytis, aphids, and slugs.

Swan River daisy propagation

  • Sow seed indoors in early spring.
  • To grow indoor plants that flower in late winter, sow seeds in autumn indoors.
  • B. iberidifolia can be propagated by division or by taking cuttings in spring or late summer.
Brachycome iberidifolia:
Brachycome iberidifolia:

Swan River daisy varieties to grow

  • Brachycome iberidifolia: Annual is densely branched and grows 12 to 18 inches (30-45cm) tall; grey-green fern-like leaves; bears 1-inch wide daisylike flowers in purplish-blue, white, and pink; cultivars include ‘Blue Star’ has purplish-blue flowers, ‘White Splendour’ has white flowers, ‘Purple Splendour’ has purplish blooms.
  • B. multifida: Perennial similar to B. iberidifolia with blue flowers.
  • B. rigidula: Perennial grows to 6 inches (15cm) tall and 12 inches (30cm) wide; plants from dense low clumps of numerous leafy stems; lavender-blue flowers throughout summer.

Swan River daisy frequently asked questions

Q: Swan River daisy blooms last only a few weeks. How can I enjoy them longer?

A: Swan River daisy is not a long-blooming plant. Sow seeds or add plants to the garden every three weeks to ensure continuous bloom all summer.

Q: How do I grow Swan River daisies?

A: Start seeds indoors four to six weeks before the last expected frost. Set the plant into the garden after all danger of frost has passed.

Q: What growing conditions do Swan River daisies need?

A: Swan River daisies want full sun in warm soil. Plant them in humus-rich, well-drained soil. Keep them well watered and mulch to keep the soil moist and cool.

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Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. Harvesttotable.com has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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