You can see sunflowers and daisies everywhere in gardens, parks, in pots on the balcony and of course in colorful summer bouquets. They are wonderful flowers that undoubtedly radiate joy and well-being just by looking at them.
Sunflowers and daisies are among the most popular plants, which is certainly due to their imposing appearance.
They always turn to the sun and accompany their way throughout the day to turn east again in the evening and await the next sunrise. Isn’t that the cutest thing?
But the question comes to our mind is what’s the difference between a sunflower and a daisy?
Well there is lot of difference between the two which is apparent from the appearance itself.
Both the flowers are part of the asteraceae family of flowers. It is related to herbs such as dandelion, yarrow or chamomile. This means that both have very similar needs and practically the same care.
Thus, they are species with similar needs and care that grow in very similar habitats. The big difference between the two flowers is that the daisy does not produce seeds while the sunflower produces seeds. Sunflower oil can be made from them or they are eaten raw and roasted directly.
The sunflower origins from the Central and North America.
It is considered the state flower of the US state of Kansas.
In the sixteenth century, seeds were brought from the New World by the Spaniards and cultivated.
Today the sunflower can also be found as an ornamental and useful plant in large parts of Europe.
While the small plant daisy originally comes from southern Europe and the Caucasus region.
It has migrated with humans for many thousands of years and, like them, has gradually conquered the entire European continent.
In botany, the daisy is one of the agochorous plants that are unconsciously carried along by people when they colonize new areas, for example in seeds.
Sunflowers grow as annuals and are not hardy plants as they cannot survive the winters.
Sunflower takes about 80 to 100 days to grow.
Depending on the variety, the hairy stems, which are one to four meters high or the small “dwarf sunflowers” which are only 20-30cm and exceptional specimens such as the “American Giants” reach over 4.80 meters. They carry up to 2000 seeds, there are more than 60 different varieties and a flower head consists of up to 1200 individual leaves. The largest sunflower ever grown had a diameter of 88cm.
During growth, large heart-shaped leaves develop first, which grow in pairs directly on the stem and also have a rough surface.
In early summer, buds develop from which large inflorescences develop from April.
Some varieties only have one flower, but most have several flowers on a stem. The flower itself consists of yellow ray florets that frame the smaller brown tubular florets like a wreath.
In late summer, the seed pods develop from the pollinated tubular flowers. The seeds are a large number of independant fruits that ripen slowly and turn brown in the process and are known as “sunflower seeds”.
Where can we grow a Sunflower?
The sunflower prefers a deep, nutrient-rich location in full sun. Due to its origin, the plant loves warmth and develops best when it is consistently warm.
Thanks to the taproot, it has a secure stand, but should not be planted in very windy places, otherwise there is a risk of tipping over. The plant then often continues to grow in a sloping position, but it does not develop as well and is of course not as decorative.
Can we grow Sunflower in pots?
Yes, Sunflowers can be grown in pots. However, one should resort to smaller species, since pots for large plants offer too little stability.
There is no specific sunflower pest, but the plant is sometimes attacked by the usual suspects: lice, thrips, bugs, leaf miners, caterpillars, and others.
These pests cause gnawing and crippling of leaves and stems and can thereby promote fungal diseases. In the worst case, young plants can die off, while the damage to large plants is unsightly but not threatening. As a rule, you should collect the infested animals by hand or get a suitable spray from a dealer.
Already in early spring, its white flowers lightup meadows and along the way. It blooms tirelessly throughout the summer.
Even in winter, the daisy can develop flowers that protrude from the snow.
The daisy is a very old companion of man and has spread together with the wandering hunters and farmers of the early days, since it was offered the best habitats in the human environment.
Cultivated areas and meadows that were mowed and therefore did not grow permanently high became the preferred locations and with the beginning of lawn cultivation a golden age began for the adaptable plant, as it found optimal conditions on these light-open areas.
The leaves, buds and flowers can be eaten raw, but large amounts should not be eaten. Children like to pick them and weave them into wreaths or play the popular “She loves me, she loves me not” game.
The daisy is a perennial evergreen plant that grows up to 20 cm high. Daisies are hardy. The evergreen plant usually survives the winter without any problems and sometimes even flowers in the snow if the winter sun can warm it up.
The base consists of a lying leaf rosette, which bears leaves all year round, ie unlike perennials it does not retract.
The individual leaves have a long stalk and are oblong ovate. Their surface is slightly hairy.
All year round the plant forms buds on long stems that emerge from the center of the rosette.
The radiant white inflorescences develop from them. They consist of hundreds of small individual flowers. Outside, the white female ray florets are arranged in two or more rows. Their stamps are difficult to recognize. Inside are numerous yellow male tubular flowers that open one by one.
Insects are responsible for pollination. However, the daisy can also pollinate itself.
The main flowering period is between April and June, but the daisy can also develop flowers in the remaining months, even in winter.
The flowers themselves are sun indicators, which means they align themselves with the sun throughout the day. The flowers close in the evening or in bad weather.
Where can we grow daisy plant?
The daisy prefers sunny locations, but also thrives in semi-shade.
For good development, it needs a nutrient-rich, slightly loamy soil that is mainly moist during the long flowering phase.
The plant does not like longer periods of drought. The daisy feels most at home in a well-kept lawn, as there is no tall competition to take the sunlight and at the same time there is always a supply of lawn fertilizer.
Can we grow daisies in pot?
Yes we can grow daisies in a pot. However potted daisies need regular watering.
Can we mow daisies?
Yes we can. Daisies that mostly grow on lawns that need to be mowed from time to time. But this hardly harms the plant.
The leaf rosette grows close to the ground and is usually not caught by the lawnmower. Only the upright flowers and buds fall victim, but they grow back very quickly. After just a few days, the first white dots on the lawn shine again.
The small, tender leaves from the inside of the rosette of the daisy are harvested all year round. They can be eaten raw straight away. In summer you can also harvest the flowers with some stems attached. It is best to choose the young flowers that are just opening or the mature buds. Then they taste the most aromatic.
According to tradition, if you eat the first three daisies you see in spring, you will be immune to toothache, eye problems and fever
Both the flowers are equally beautiful in their own place and people love them to keep them in their lawns, pots etc. Do you have the daisy or the sunflower, please let me know in the comments below. I would love to know.