Blue Marguerite, Felicia, is a perennial commonly grown as an annual. Blue marguerite forms a bushy clump of small dark green leaves and a mass of yellow-eyed blue flowers from summer to fall.
Felicia is a good choice for window boxes, baskets, and containers. Felicia is grown for its mass of flower heads.
There are about 80 species in the Felicia genus; species include annuals, perennials, and subshrubs.
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Get to Know Felicia
- Plant type: Subtropical perennial grown as an annual
- Growing Zones and range: Perennial in Zones 9-10
- Hardiness: Plants will overwinter in Zones 9-11 but may become shabby after a year or two if not trimmed back.
- Height and width: 12 to 36 inches (30-91cm) tall; 2 to 5 feet (.6-1.5m) wide depending on the variety
- Foliage: Oval, hairy, green leaves about 1 inch (2.5cm) long
- Flowers: Blue daisy-like flowerheads with yellow disk florets
- Flower color: Shades of blue; daisy-like flowers with yellow centers about 1 inch (2.5cm) across
- Bloom time: Very early to mid-spring; all year in cool coastal regions
- Uses: Seasonal bedding, containers
- Common name: Blue Marguerite
- Botanical name: Felicia amelloides
- Family: Asteraceae
- Origin: South Africa
Where to Plant Felicia
- Grow Felicia in full sun.
- Plant Felicia in humus-rich, well-drained soil.
- Felicia does not grow well in hot, humid weather or in cold, wet weather.
- Felicia has a spreading habit; it can be effective when planted at the top of a retaining wall or in a balcony plant where it can cascade.
- Felicia can be grown as a groundcover.
When to Plant Felicia
- Set Felicia in early spring in Zones 7-8; plant in fall in Zones 9-11.
- Sow seed indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost.
- Sow seed outdoors after the last frost.
Planting and Spacing Felicia
- Space Felicia 2 to 5 feet (.6-1.5m) apart.
- Sow seed indoors in small pots or six-packs with light potting soil.
- Seeds germinate best at 60° to 70°F (15.6-21°C); germination takes about 4 weeks.
- Seeds may germinate more quickly if pre-chilled for 3 weeks before planting.
How to Water and Feed Felicia
- Keep plants evenly moist but do not overwater or let the soil stay wet.
- Fertilize Felicia every 4 to 6 weeks with an all-purpose fertilizer or apply a slow-release fertilizer before planting.
- Trim off spent blooms. Cut the plant back by about one-quarter occasionally to keep plants tidy and blooming.
- Pinch out growth points to encourage branching.
- Shear plants back by a third when most of the flowers have gone to seed. They will quickly rebloom.
Felicia Pests and Disease
- Felicia is usually pest and disease-free. Root rot can be a problem in wet soil.
- Sow seeds in spring.
- Seeds germinate in 10 days or so at 50°-64°F (10°-18°C).
- Root stem cuttings in late summer and overwinter indoors.
Felicia Varieties to Grow
- Felicia amelloides, blue marguerite: Shrubby perennial, not a true marguerite (Chrysanthemum frutescens); grows 18 inches (45cm) tall and can spread twice as wide or more; aromatic, oval green leaves; blue daisy flowers with yellow centers; cultivars include ‘Astrid Thomas’ which is a dwarf cultivar, and ‘Midnight’ which has dark blue flowers.
- F. bergeriana, kingfisher daisy: Annual; grows to 10 inches high and is mat-forming; blue daisies.
- F. heterophylla: Annual with mounding habit grows to 20 inches tall; bears daisies in blue, or sometimes white or pink.
Felicia Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are there two different types of Felicia? I’ve seen a small one and a large one.
A: Yes. There are two Felicia species, both are annuals. Felicia amelloides, the blue daisy, grows 3 feet tall and just as wide. Felicia Bergerama, the kingfisher daisy, is compact and bushy and grows only 6 to 8 inches tall. Both have blue daisy-like flowers with yellow centers.
Q: When can I sow Felicia seed outdoors?
A: Sow Felicia seeds outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked in spring. Sow seeds where you want plants to grow.
Q: Can I start Felicia indoors?
A: Yes. Start seeds indoors 10 to 12 weeks before planting seedlings outdoors. Chill the seeds in the refrigerator for 3 weeks before sowing. They will germinate at 55°F. Germination at room temperature will take about 30 days.
Q: What growing conditions does Felicia prefer?
A: Grow Felicia in full sun in dry, sandy, well-drained soil. Water and feed sparingly.
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