Here is PennLive Garden writer George Weigel’s Plant of the Week pick for this week:
* Common name: Marguerite de Montauk (Marguerite Nippon)
* Botanical name: Nipponanthemum nipponicum
* What it is: A perennial flower almost 3 feet tall that is one of the last of the season to bloom, usually starting in late summer and continuing after the first light fall frost.
The flowers resemble daisies with white petals and yellow centers. Montauk daisies are very similar to big moms and were once classified in the chrysanthemum family.
Originally from China and Japan, they have naturalized much of the eastern United States.
* Cut: 3 feet high. Space 2 to 2 ½ feet apart.
* Where to use: Perennial borders, cut flower gardens, foundations facing south or west, pollinator gardens (they are a source of late season food for butterflies) or any sunny bed or bank. Full sun gives the best flowering.
* Care: Keep moist the first season, then water is usually not needed, except in prolonged drought. Avoid planting in moist soil or in the shade.
Scatter an organic granular fertilizer formulated for flowers on the bed in early spring.
To prevent plants from falling under the weight of the flowers in the fall, cut whole plants in half at the end of May. A second, lighter mowing can also be done at the end of June. Or consider staking the plants if you like them tall.
Cut the foliage down to the ground at the end of winter. The clumps can be dug, divided and replanted in early spring.
* Major partners: Other late-blooming fall perennials combine to make a lovely fall garden, including asters, mums, and goldenrods. Switchgrass and Indian grass make a good textural contrast between the native grass. Interplant with golden daffodils for some early spring color until Montauk’s daisies sprout.
- View archives of hundreds of George’s past plant selections
- George’s 170 Most Recommended Plants for Pennsylvania Gardens are described in his “Pennsylvania Garden Starter Guide” delivered