An import from the land down under, Swan River daisy (Brachyscome iberidifolia) joins eucalyptus as one of our favorite botanical gifts from Australia.
Though this blooming beauty is available with lavender, pink, or white flowers, it’s the varieties with the striking blue daisy-like flowers that really catch our attention, especially when massed groundcover-style.
While generally classified as an annual, this drought-tolerant, fragrant jewel may function as a herbaceous perennial in zones 8-10. Bear in mind, however, that Brachyscome doesn’t flower well in very hot weather.
In addition to being used to cover large swaths of a garden bed, many gardeners use this member of the Asteraceae family in borders and in containers.
The foliage of this plant — whose scientific name is sometimes spelled “Brachycome” without the “s” — is many-branched and sports light green, finely divided leaves with long and narrow segments.
Swan River daisy’s 1-inch flowers are profuse across the plant. You’ll want to deadhead the spent flowers to promote continued blooming.
Let’s Get Growing
You can propagate from seeds started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. You can also sow directly in the garden after the last frost date. Some gardeners like to sow successively every two to four weeks throughout the summer to enhance the bloom period.
Low-maintenance B. iberidifolia isn’t terribly picky about its soil, tolerating poor dirt but thriving in rich soil, as long as the ground is well-drained.
If you choose to grow this blue beauty in a container, you’ll want to feed it weekly with a fertilizer containing 5% nitrogen, 10% phosphorous, and 5% potassium to aid blooming. We like the 5-10-5 Espoma fertilizer blend, available from Amazon. For plants in the ground, fertilize at the beginning of the growing season, and then monthly.
This plant isn’t plagued by pests to any large degree, but you will want to keep an eye out for snails and slugs.
Brachycome Iberidifolia Plant Facts
- Full sun
- 1-3 feet tall, 12-18 inches wide
- Zones 1-10
- Native to Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea
- Can be sensitive to overwatering
- Flowers in 14 to 16 weeks
Where to Buy
For a bright punch of purple-blue color, check out these seeds from Seedville, available via Amazon.
This mix of 200 seeds will yield a stunning collection of flowers in shades of purple, blue, violet, and lavender.
If your preferred palette runs more toward pinks and reds, you might like this mix from My Seedy Needs, also available via Amazon.
You’ll get 12 seeds in a packet and you can expect these plants to grow to be about 20 inches tall.
It’s always fun to find a profuse bloomer that offers an explosion of color from the blue end of the color spectrum, and this treat from the southern hemisphere delivers.
Try B. iberidifolia as a groundcover, a border plant, or in containers. You will be thrilled by this versatile, attractive, and fragrant annual that’s unquestionably a worthy addition to your landscape.
Have you grown Swan River daisy? Share your experience in the comments section below. If you’re looking for more blue beauties, check out our article about Jacob’s ladder. And if daisies are more your thing, try the Cape or African variety.
Product photos via Espoma, Seedville, and My Seedy Needs. 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.