All daisies belong to the large "composite" flower group. Few are scented, despite some Oscar-caliber acting to the contrary in commercials and movies.
Canary Island daisies are one of the few exceptions. Often called florist's cinerarias, these pretty seasonal plants bear a light, sweet fragrance. They have been bred from two species native to the Canary Islands. They have large basal leaves that resemble those of grapes. The blossoms may be purple, magenta, pink, white or red. Some have a ring of white surrounding the center disk.
Growers start the seeds in spring and bring the crop along until it matures in the following winter. They're ready now. Cinerarias make ideal winter windowsill plants. Treated well, they may bloom for months in the depths of winter. The secret to growing them successfully is to keep them very cool, moist and in humid air. The individual daisy flowers last for many weeks but grooming spent blossoms with manicure scissors will keep the plants looking picture perfect.
Cinerarias may also be grown on the early spring patio with bulbs, pansies and snapdragons, but they can't take temperatures below freezing. Plants will fizzle out when it gets hot, so compost them when they fade and buy new Canary Island daisies next winter.
Plants are courtesy of Tagawa Gardens.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)