Erigeron Karvinskianus Care: Growing Mexican Daisy

Erigeron karvinskianus, called Santa Barbara Daisy or Mexican Daisy, is a profuse bloomer and fantastic ground cover for warm climates.

A profusion of blue blooms dot the landscape

Contents

Erigeron karvinskianus, or Mexican daisy, is a popular border and flowering accent plant and a top choice for gardeners with small garden spaces due to its size and growth characteristics.

This plant is known by a number of names such as Santa Barbara daisy, Mexican fleabane, seaside daisy, and more.

The Spanish daisy shows great versatility in the way it can be planted. You can use it as a ground cover, as a perimeter lining for garden beds, plant it behind small retaining walls to cascade over edges or simply plant it in pots and enjoy its blooms.

Continue reading to find out more about how to grow and care for this wonderful flowering perennial.

Quick Care Guide

Close up bloom of mexican daisy
Close up of the bloom of this gorgeous ground cover. Source: Annegbt
Common Name(s) Mexican fleabane, Daisy Fleabane, Seaside daisy, Latin American fleabane, Santa Barbara daisy, Spanish daisy, Karwinsky’s fleabane, or bony-tip fleabane.
Scientific Name Erigeron karvinskianus
Family Asteraceae
Height & Spread 15-20″ inches tall and 2-3 feet wide
LightFull sun
SoilNormal, preferring sandy and well-draining
WaterModerate
Pests & DiseasesGenerally resistant to pests and diseases

All About Erigeron Karvinskianus

The plant is native to Mexico and Venezuela. It is a mounding-to-spreading perennial with delicate green foliage. It can grow up to 15-20″ inches in height and 2-3′ feet in width. The plant is native to Mexico and parts of Central America.

Mexican fleabane plants bloom small flowers that are first white with yellow centers but later the white petals age and turn deep magenta resulting in a mixed color display of gorgeous looking flowers. These flowers take over the plant in spring and on and off throughout the year. They are very appealing to butterflies and other insects.

Mexican daisy is a trailing and graceful evergreen plant known for its year-round production of cute little daisies. These plants make an excellent choice for garden beds, rock gardens, and borders of raised beds. They even work in containers, especially hanging baskets. They form a low mound of narrow, grayish-green, hairy leaves.

Erigeron karvinskianus flowers first emerge white in color but soon turn soft pink and then fade to purple. The profusion of flowers is very attractive to butterflies and bees. However, the plant is known for its self-seeding mechanism and it can be aggressive, creating additional Mexican fleabane plants if not controlled.

The plant has earned the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit. As with other Royal Horticultural Society designations, this means the plant is strong, and long-lasting. It’s also quite beautiful.

Erigeron Karvinskianus Care

A profusion of blue blooms dot the landscape
A profusion of blue blooms dot the landscape. Source: Sumama Khanom

The Santa Barbara daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus) is an easy-care, die-hard perennial. Here’s what you need to know about its growth and care requirements.

Light & Temperature

The Mexican fleabane prefers full sun to partial shade but the best growth is seen under full sun exposure. Therefore, you should pick a bright sunny spot for these plants in your gardens. Even though they are hardy to USDA zones 5-8, they like to grow in warmer climates like 8-10.

More established Mexican fleabane plants will handle a freeze down to -4°F with ease. High heat in full sun exposure is no issue as well, especially for well-maintained plants that have been growing for a few seasons. As it’s native to Mexico, it grows well in dry areas with high summer heat.

Water & Humidity

Erigeron karvinskianus is drought-tolerant but is happier with a regular supply of water especially during summers. Make sure the soil doesn’t dry out completely during the hot summer months. Don’t water so much that your Mexican fleabane is in standing water, and avoid planting it in areas that are typically waterlogged or near downspouts.

Soil

The Erigeron karvinskianus plant thrives in quick-draining soil with a pH range of 6-8. Loamy soil is best, so amend heavy clay soil with drainage materials, like agricultural sand, or vermiculite. Try not to add water retention materials to the soil, as this can cause problems with Mexican fleabane, even in high heat with full sun.

Fertilizing Erigeron Karvinskianus

Mexican daisy grows best in rich well-drained soil. It should be fertilized using a liquid fertilizer every month during spring and summer. Avoid fertilizing Latin American fleabane in winter and fall, as the plant is dormant at this time and won’t be suited to absorbing the nutrients from fertilizers.

Repotting Erigeron Karvinskianus

You will generally get Mexican Daisy from a plant store or a nursery in containers. To transplant it in your garden, you will have to dig a hole as deep as the depth of the container. Carefully plant it and fill the hole with soil. Then, water thoroughly until it is properly established.

For container-grown plants, wait until they have grown to twice their original size or they been in their pot for a year. Choose a container that is slightly larger than the current one, and replant it in fresh media. Gently separate the roots before planting in the new pot.

Erigeron Karvinskianus Propagation

You can propagate Mexican fleabane through seeds or through division. You can plant the seeds during early fall or early spring. The germination takes about 3 weeks. Alternatively, you can replant smaller clumps. It’s best to place them in a cold frame until they begin to form roots and then plant them in their permanent location. This should be done during spring.

Pruning Erigeron Karvinskianus

Once the plant has bloomed and its soft pink blooms fade, you can deadhead the flowers to promote further flowering. In fall, cut back the stems to just above the ground, or leave them for overwintering insects. Their seed heads can be food for wild birds as well.

Troubleshooting

Mexican daisy is generally a problem-free plant. There are no serious growing problems with Mexican daisy given that you ensure regular water supply and some fertilization during the growing season.

Growing Problems

One of the only issues you might face with Erigeron karvinskianus occurs when it’s planted in heavy soil that doesn’t drain well. This could result in plants dying in a wet and cold winter. Remember plant your Mexican fleabane in well-draining soil that dries quickly.

Pests

There are no known issues of pests with these plants.

Diseases

These plants do not suffer from any known disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is Erigeron karvinskianus invasive?

A. No, but Mexican daisy can be aggressive through self-seeding. It can be hard to get rid of once established. Deadhead spent blooms if you’d like to control its spread.

Q: When should I prune Erigeron Karvinskianus?

A: Erigeron karvinskianus usually flowers from late spring to early fall. You should deadhead it post the first flush and cut down the stems to the ground by the end of autumn.

Q: Is Erigeron fully hardy?

A: Once established, Mexican fleabane will survive hard frosts, and severe droughts. I would say it is fully hardy! Because it’s native to Mexico, similar environments support hardiness.

Q: Is Mexican daisy a perennial?

A: It is a perennial that returns from its roots in spring. It also self-seeds.

Q: Should erigeron be cut back?

A: You may want to deadhead it after it blooms. You may also want to cut it back before fall arrives to keep the new spring growth healthy.

Q: Will erigeron grow in shade?

A: While it generally prefers full sun exposure, Mexican fleabane will grow just fine in partial shade.

Q: Does erigeron flower all year?

A: Not exactly. It will flower from spring to late fall in optimal conditions.

Q: Can you split Erigeron plants?

A: You can! Divide them in fall or spring to control their spread in a particular growing space.

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