How to Grow and Care for Felicia — Blue Marguerite

Felicia blue maguerite

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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 Felicia amelloides
Felicia amelloides

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 Uses

  • 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.
Blue marguerite, Felicia amelloides
Blue marguerite, Felicia amelloides

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.

Felicia Care

  • 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.
Felicia amelloides
Felicia amelloides

Felicia Propagation

  • 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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