Montauk daisy blooms late, lasts longer

Classic white daisies—think Shasta daisy or the cheerful but weedy oxeye daisy—are typically early to midsummer bloomers.

But one is an autumn superstar: Montauk daisy starts blooming in late September and puts on a floral show into November. This shrublike perennial forms a large, neatly rounded clump of upright stems bearing thick, glossy, emerald green leaves all summer. It eventually produces loads of 3-inch-wide flowers with many pure white "petals" (ray flowers) and a golden center composed of tiny disc flowers.

These lovely daisies add a sparkling highlight when planted next to traditional fall bloomers like mums, sedums and asters.

Common name: Montauk daisy or Nippon daisy

Botanical name: Nipponanthemum nipponicum

Plant type: Herbaceous perennial

Zones: 5 to 9

Height: 24 to 36 inches

Family: Asteraceae

Growing conditions

• Sun: Full sun

• Soil: Well-drained loam or sandy loam

• Moisture: Moderate to slightly dry

Care

• Mulch: 1 inch organic mulch

• Pruning: Prune new growth lightly once or twice from late spring to early summer for bushier plants

• Fertilizer: Apply compost or a balanced fertilizer in early spring

Propagation

• Division

• Cuttings

• Seeds

Pests and diseases

• No major problems

• Deer-resistant

Garden notes

• Montauk daisy grows well in sandy, seaside soils and even tolerates salt spray.

• Clumps of Montauk daisy tend to die out in the center so plan on dividing and replanting them every 3 to 4 years.

• Though the species is native only to coastal Japan, it has naturalized in a few coastal areas in New Jersey and New York, including Montauk at the eastern tip of Long Island, which is the source of its common name.

All in the family

• Montauk daisy is a member of the aster family (Asteraceae), a large plant family that also includes mums, asters, marigolds, sunflowers and coreopsis.

• Once known as Chrysanthemum nipponicum, Montauk daisy is now the sole species in the Nipponanthemum genus.

• Noted plant breeder Luther Burbank reportedly utilized Nipponanthemum nipponicum in the multi-species parentage of one of his many garden creations, the Shasta daisy.

Where to buy

• Lazy S's Farm Nursery, lazyssfarm.com

• White Flower Farm, whiteflowerfarm.com