Color Your Garden Brightly with Painted Daisy


Pyrethrum daisy is but one of the many plants that bear the name “daisy,” but it’s certainly an alluring one.

A bright red purple painted daisy (Tanacetum coccineum) bloom. Close up showing the flower and yellow center with a diffused background.

Also known as painted daisy, Tanacetum coccineum produces showy, 3-inch-wide flowers in a variety of brilliant hues, including red, yellow, white, violet, and pink. The colorful petals fan out from a large central disk that’s golden in color, and they bloom from early to mid-summer.

The flowers, which are often used in bouquets and cut flower arrangements, grace the tops of stiff stalks adorned by frilly, fern-like leaves.

Pink Pyrethrum |

Native to southwestern Asia, this non-aggressive, non-invasive perennial grows in bushy clumps 1 to 3 feet tall and 1½ to 2 feet wide.

The deer-resistant plant, formerly classified as Chrysanthemum coccineum, is hardy in zones 3-7. Not sure what the difference is? You can read more about chrysanthemums here.

Painted daisy flowers are commercially cultivated to produce pyrethrins, a natural insecticide.

Simple Needs

In northern parts of its growing area, this plant does best in full sun. But in hotter areas, it appreciates afternoon shade.

Color Your Garden Brightly with Painted Daisy |

You may be able to find starts at a garden center, or you can propagate painted daisy by seed or division.

Divide plants in spring or early fall, and water well. Sow seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last expected frost at 60 to 70°F. You’ll see activity from your seeds in 7 to 14 days.

Transplant seedlings outdoors when all danger of frost is past. Or seed directly outside when freezing temperatures are in the rearview mirror.

Pyrethrum daisy is happy in ordinary, well-drained soil.

Care and Feeding

Once established, painted daisies appreciate moderate water. While their roots are developing, you can be more generous with your watering.

Pinch the plants back in the spring when they’re about 8 inches tall; this will promote a bushy form. Deadhead after their first bloom to encourage a second blooming.

Want to grow pink painted daisies? We share our tips for propagation:

You might want to divide your plants after three or four years, because they can get crowded.

Feed pyrethrum a balanced fertilizer monthly throughout the growing period. Some gardeners add a boost of phosphorous right before the bloom season to encourage profuse flowering.

Because T. coccineum flowers have insecticidal characteristics, mature plants aren’t typically bothered by bugs, and in fact are sometimes added to the landscape to keep bugs away from nearby plantings.

Young plants, however, might be pestered by chrysanthemum nematodes, aphids, or leaf miners. Treat these pests with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Bayer Advanced NATRIA Insecticidal Soap Ready-To-Use, 24-Ounce

We recommend this 24-ounce bottle of Advanced NATRIA Insecticidal Soap from Bayer, available via Amazon. This odorless spray can be used indoors as well as out.

Bonide Ready-to-Use Neem Oil, 32-Ounce

Bonide organic neem oil is also available from Amazon. It kills insects at all lifecycle stages including eggs, larvae, and adults.

Constant Color: Where to Buy

Many varieties are available. If you’re looking for lots of color, you might try this well-regarded mixture, available from True Leaf Market.

Pyrethrum 'Robinsons Mixture' |

Painted Daisy ‘Robinson’s Mixture’ Seeds

The packet contains 1000 seeds that produce 24-inch plants with 2½- to 3-inch blooms in bright pink, rose, and red.

This ‘James Kelway’ cultivar produces a deep wine-colored flower with a bright yellow center.

Painted Daisy ‘James Kelway’ Seeds

You’ll get 1000 seeds that produce particularly good cut flowers that bloom in early summer. This variety is available via Amazon.

Beauty and a Little Help Around the Garden

You could say daisies are a dime a dozen. But the easy care and splashy colors of T. coccineum truly make painted daisy a million-dollar standout for gardeners in zones 3-7.

Painted daisies add a splash of much-wanted color to the late season garden. Learn how to grow them with our tips:

And not only is it a beautiful addition to the landscape, it pays its caretaker back by shooing away bugs from nearby plants.

Have you grown this particular daisy? How’d it do for you? Please share tips for other gardeners in the comments section below.

And for more tips on growing daisy type flowers, check out some of our other growing guides such as:

Don’t forget to Pin It!

A collage of photos showing different lavender, purple, and violet shades of painted daisy blooms.

Product photos via Bayer, Bonide, True Leaf Market, Hazzard’s Seeds. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.

About Gretchen Heber

A former garden editor for a daily newspaper in Austin, Texas, Gretchen Heber goes through entirely too many pruners and garden gloves in a year’s time. She’s never met a succulent she didn’t like and gets really irritated every 3-4 years when Austin actually has a freeze cold enough to kill them. To Gretchen, nothing is more rewarding than a quick dash to the garden to pluck herbs to season the evening meal. And it’s definitely time for a happy dance when she’s able to beat the squirrels to the peaches, figs, or loquats.

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Garden Dad
Garden Dad (@guest_1049)
2 years ago

It’s my first time reading about painted daisies, and I must admit that it is such a beautiful flower. It’s amazing that you’ve decided to share this post to everyone. 🙂


Gretchen Heber
Gretchen Heber (@guest_4620)
Reply to  Garden Dad
10 months ago

Thanks for your kind words!

Diana (@guest_4001)
1 year ago

These painted daisies look so beautiful! I would surely like to give it a try.

Gretchen Heber
Gretchen Heber (@guest_4621)
Reply to  Diana
10 months ago

Diana, let us know how it goes! We’d love to see a photo of your painted daisies!

linda (@guest_4076)
1 year ago

I’ve just planted my first painted daisy plant…what a show stopper and lots of comments from neighbors about how beautiful it looks at my white mailbox post. I am a new fan of this glorious plant.

Gretchen Heber
Gretchen Heber (@guest_4622)
Reply to  linda
10 months ago

Wonderful to hear, Linda!

Rose Huelskamp
Rose Huelskamp (@guest_4615)
10 months ago

I planted these by seeds a few years ago and fell in love with them! One of my favorite daisies! They only came back one more season and haven’t seen them since. I’m going to have to order seeds because I haven’t found them again in stores around me.

Gretchen Heber
Gretchen Heber (@guest_4623)
Reply to  Rose Huelskamp
10 months ago

I’m glad to hear you’ve had success with this plant, Rose. And aren’t we lucky to have so many online resources these days to choose from?

Donna (@guest_4632)
10 months ago

It is mid July in Winnipeg Manitoba, just picked these seeds up at the nursery, can I plant them now? I am thinking that this would give them a head start for next year.

Gretchen Heber
Gretchen Heber (@guest_4636)
Reply to  Donna
10 months ago

You might have some success planting them now. I would give the seedlings some shade, though, when they are very small.

Dolitha (@guest_4754)
9 months ago

When is the best time to plant daisies

Linda Maree Robson
Linda Maree Robson (@guest_5777)
3 months ago

how do people clean all the dead leaves in between the new growth. Is there a special technic to doing this.

Gretchen Heber
Gretchen Heber (@guest_5788)
Reply to  Linda Maree Robson
3 months ago

Where are you seeing dead leaves, Linda? On the plants or on the ground?

Kris K
Kris K (@guest_6715)
24 days ago

I’ve never had painted daisies before but they look beautiful. My daughter recently received some painted daisy seeds in an envelope from her teacher and i have no idea if these should be planted outdoors in a medium pot, in the ground or if she can start them indoors in a small pot. Any feedback would be awesome.

Allison Sidhu
Allison Sidhu (@allison-schultz)
Noble Member
Reply to  Kris K
23 days ago

Where are you located, Kris? Depending on the growing zone, these should do fine if you plant them in the ground now, in a location with a long enough growing season. Otherwise, follow the directions provided above- seeds sown indoors should germinate in 1-2 weeks. Seedlings can be transplanted outdoors, or grown in containers inside if you are able to provide enough light for them to bloom.

Kris K
Kris K (@guest_6811)
Reply to  Allison Sidhu
22 days ago

We are in Minnesota! Thank you very much for your feedback – much appreciated!!

Gregory Rydel
Gregory Rydel (@guest_6991)
17 days ago

Is it possible the painted daisy can be just the bushy fern and not have blooms?

Gregory Rydel
Gregory Rydel (@guest_7025)
Reply to  Gregory Rydel
16 days ago

Just wondering because the bushy fern looks a lot like a weed we have here in Ohio. Wondering if I’m feeding a weed and not my daisy. Lol

Allison Sidhu
Allison Sidhu (@allison-schultz)
Noble Member
Reply to  Gregory Rydel
15 days ago

It can certainly be hard to tell with certain plants, particularly before they flower. Can you post a picture, Gregory? Or have you tried any of the plant identification apps, like iNaturalist or PlantSnap?

Allison Sidhu
Allison Sidhu (@allison-schultz)
Noble Member
Reply to  Gregory Rydel
15 days ago

I just saw this other question from you, Gregory, after replying to the later one. An abundance of leafy foliage and a lack of blooms could be due to having too much nitrogen available in the soil, or a lack of adequate sunlight.

Gregory Rydel
Gregory Rydel (@guest_7367)
Reply to  Allison Sidhu
9 days ago

So I decided to pull it after researching some more. I believe it was hemlock. After I pulled it and started to dig the root out there was a plant that I believe to be the daisy. It has buds like a daisy and I’m sure the other was a poison hemlock. They look a lot alike before the buds start showing. Thank you for responding.

Allison Sidhu
Allison Sidhu (@allison-schultz)
Noble Member
Reply to  Gregory Rydel
8 days ago

You’re welcome! Good luck with the daisy- please feel free to share photos when it blooms. I’m glad you were able to get to the bottom of this, and I hope you wore gloves when you pulled out the poison hemlock!

Beth M
Beth M (@guest_7048)
15 days ago

I have had painted daisies for a number of years. I live in zone 5, of northern Indiana. They do well in sandy soil and while I’ve had a couple die out, I try to let them reseed. They typically don’t bloom the first full year, but will after that. I just love them, and their bold and striking blooms!!

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