04
March
2014

Melampodium ‘Million Gold’

MEL-Million-Gold-00Known as the butter daisy, melampodium produces small, rich butter yellow flowers in the classic daisy shape. The true strength of this plant is its heat tolerance. Blooms cover the plant continuously through hot, dry or even humid conditions during the high summer months, right up until the hard frost in the fall. If you need color and soil coverage during the worst of the summer heat, consider butter daisies—their bright, cheery flowers are ideal wherever low-maintenance is important.

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Plants are dense and well-branched, growing very fast at the start of the season. Stems are stiff and they do a good job of holding up to heavy rains and blustery days. Although some varieties can grow tall, ‘Million Gold’ is a dwarf selection. It grows low, about 8–10 inches, and each plant will cover about 8–12 inches of soil, depending on water availability. The foliage will create a mound of vibrant green for the golden blooms to sit atop. 

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‘Million Gold’ looks exceptionally tidy almost all the time. It’s suitable for mass plantings or dual-role gardens where soil mediation and garden presentation are both important issues. We’ve seen it grown in low hedge-like rows around walls, property edges, foundations and fences.

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With its neat habit and exceptional heat performance, ‘Million Gold’ is a fabulous choice for summer pots and containers. The plant looks attractive simply as a well-grown specimen and it stays that way through the worst of the heat.

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As you might expect, ‘Million Gold’ is a sun worshipper, although it does present itself well in partial shade. As we mentioned before, it can handle tough summer conditions but it will produce better color coverage with regular watering—just be careful not to overwater.

Melampodium does self-sow if the flowers go to seed, so plant it in places where you don’t mind it returning the following year. For some, this feature is a plus; for others, not so much. Butter daisies are also considered very deer-resistant. Deer, of course, will eat nearly anything if no food is around, but melampodium is left alone most years. Conditions would have to be pretty extreme for deer to nibble on something that tastes so awful.

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