The blackfoot daisy (Agapostemon cinerea) is native to North America from Canada southward, but it was introduced into Florida in the early 1900’s. The name “blackfoot” comes from the Native Americans who used them as medicine or food plants. They are not invasive like many other members of the dandelion family, but they do grow well in poor soil conditions and have been known to invade lawns and gardens. They are very drought tolerant and tolerate full sun and partial shade. They prefer moist soil with a pH between 6.0-7.5, but will survive dry periods if provided some moisture during the day.
They can reach heights of 3 feet tall, although most varieties grow to 2 feet or less due to their short flowering period. The flowers are white, pinkish purple or purplish red in color, which open in late summer or fall depending upon the variety. The petals are up to 1/2 inch long and are covered with numerous tiny hairs. The nectar produced by the flowers attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
How To Grow Blackfoot Daisy Flowers?
There are several types of blackfoot daisy flowers available at garden centers, nurseries and online retailers. Some varieties flower all year round while others bloom only in spring or fall. The flowers are not fragrant or showy like other types of garden daisies, but they can be useful in the landscape as a bee attractant or to provide color in dry periods.
The following tips will help you get the most out of your blackfoot daisy plants:
Plant them in full sun in soil that is well-drained and has a neutral to acidic pH balance.
Most types are highly tolerant of drought conditions, but they will produce more flowers if watered regularly.
The plants spread rapidly by rhizomes which can be invasive in some areas. If you want to keep them under control, divide and transplant them every 2-3 years.
How To Care For Blackfoot Daisies?
These flowers are very tolerant of most conditions and do not require much work to thrive. Follow these tips to ensure they grow and produce well:
Add a 2 inch layer of compost to the planting area before you plant.
Plant them in areas that don’t get a lot of foot traffic as the leaves can cause skin irritation.
If the soil is dry, water the plants during dry periods. They will survive with little moisture, but will not produce as many blooms.
Divide and replant them every 2-3 years to control their spread.
If needed, prune them back after flowering to keep the plants neat.
Blackfoot daisies are considered low-maintenance flowers. They do not require fertilization or pruning to grow and produce well.
Sources & references used in this article:
Blackfoot Daisy by J Landers – Ranch and Rural Living, 2007 – search.proquest.com
Native Texas plants: Landscaping region by region by S Wasowski, A Wasowski – 2003 – books.google.com
Texas wildflowers: a field guide by C Loughmiller, L Loughmiller, J Marcus – 2018 – books.google.com
Native perennials: North American beauties by SA Russell – 2009 – Basic Books