How to Propagate Daisies
Daisies come in many varieties, some of which are easier to propagate than others. The common daisy that infests lawns and fields is not often propagated for garden use because it is short lived and not very reliable. A more popular daisy that is grown in gardens is the gerbera daisy, which can be propagated in several ways.
Propagation by Seeds
The seeds must be collected from the parent plant and planted within 2 months. The seeds will grow in any reasonable soil mixture as long as it is kept moist and in sunlight. Plant the seeds with their pointed ends downwards but do not cover the seed. Germination is very rapid, certainly within 3 weeks. If the season for planting outdoors is past, the seedlings can be grown indoors in containers and successfully transplanted when the new season starts. The seedlings can even be allowed to go to seed themselves to provide more seeds to grow more plants if needed. One of the strange aspects of the gerbera daisy is that plants grown from seed don’t always look like the plant that produced the seed.
Propagation by Stem Cuttings
Stem cuttings require a rooting bed composed of equal measures of peat, perlite and coarse sand. This colloidal mixture allows good drainage while holding plenty of moisture. A healthy stem should be about 6 inches long. The flowers and buds need to be removed as well as any leaves growing from the bottom 3 inches of the stem. The stem is placed upright in the rooting bed and put in reflected sunlight.
Spray the stem frequently so that it does not dry out; covering with a plastic sheet in hot dry weather will help. The stem will start to grow and you should transplant it to a permanent location when it is ready. When moving the stem it is very important to retain the roots undamaged to make sure the transplantation is successful. This type of propagation will produce a plant similar to the one the stem came from.
Propagation by Division
The gerbera daisy develops a crown root system and when the plant is dormant the crown can be split. Only split the crown if you can see that each part you split off has at least one healthy bud attached. Although you can start the split crown growing in pots, it is also possible to plant the crown directly into the location you want the plant to be. The split crown will remain dormant until the natural signals that it should start to grow again and at that time you should be ready to assist by regular watering and feeding until the new shoots break the surface. The split crown will produce plants that are identical to the one that developed the crown.