Machaeranthera Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Machaeranthera plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Tansyaster, Tahoka Daisy, & Rushlike Bristleweed: Cultivation & Garden Use

Machaeranthera are half hardy annuals that reach about 60 cm in height.

They have blue flowers resembling those of daisies that flower from summer through to the autumn.

There size makes them an ideal plant to grow in borders.

Common names for Machaeranthera plants include Tahoka daisy and Tansyaster.

Machaeranthera canescens

Both photographs of Machaeranthera canescens – Hoary Tansyaster by Matt Lavin; creative commons.

Machaeranthera Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Tansyaster, Tahoka Daisy, Rushlike Bristleweed, Wild Aster. Tansyaster: Hoary; Fall; Arid; Gypsum; Lacy; Mesa; Sticky; Silver lake; Slender.
Family: Asteraceae.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual.
Height: 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm).
Native: North America.
Growing Region: Zones 5 to 9.
Flowers: Summer and autumn.
Flower Details: Purple, blue, yellow, white, pink. Daisy-like ray and disc florets. Knife shaped anthers.
Foliage: Linear. Oblong.
Sow Outside: Surface. Before last frost or in autumn. Spacing 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm).
Sow Inside: Mix seeds in a growing medium, place in a freezer bag, keep moist, then stratify by refrigeration for two weeks. Germination time: one month in the light. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Good drainage. Soil pH 6 to 7. Ordinary soil.

How to Grow Tahoka Daisy, Tansyaster and other Machaeranthera Plants in the Garden

When growing Tahoka Daisies outdoors from seeds they should be sown on the soil surface. This can be done either in autumn or just before the last frost of spring. Tahoka daisy prefer to grow in a sunny or partially shaded part of the garden and require good drainage.

If you plan to first grow Tahoka daisies indoors then they should be started about 8 weeks in advance. The seeds should be imbibed by placing the seeds (within soil) in a black plastic bag, then placing in the fridge for two weeks. Seeds should then be sown out in the light at a temperature of 21 degrees Celsius; they normally take about three to four weeks to germinate. Seedlings should be transplanted following the last frost of spring at a spacing of about 25 to 30 cm.

Caring for Tahoka Daisy, Tansyaster - Machaeranthera

Once growing Tahoka daisy and other Machaeranthera plants look after themselves. If you require more daisies the following year it is best to sow them from seed.

Common Questions

How many members does the Machaeranthera genus have?

The Machaeranthera genus contains about 40 species of flowering plants, these are commonly known as Aster or Tansyaster.

Do members of Machaeranthera make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Machaeranthera plants can be great in gardens for their lovely daisy-like flowers, attracting butterflies and other pollinators.

Which Machaeranthera species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Machaeranthera tanacetifolia (Tansy-leaf Tansyaster) is a popular choice among gardeners for its showy purple flowers.

Are members of the Machaeranthera plant genus fragrant?

Machaeranthera species generally do not have a strong fragrance, though some species may have a mild scent.

What is the perfect location to grow Machaeranthera?

Machaeranthera prefers full sun and well-drained soil. They are drought tolerant and thrive in poor soils.

Is Machaeranthera invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Machaeranthera species are not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Machaeranthera plants from my garden?

Machaeranthera can be removed by pulling the plant up by the roots. Make sure to get all root fragments to prevent regrowth.


The Machaeranthera genus belongs to the daisy family, boasting beautiful aster-like flowers. These perennials are native to North America, adding charm to wildflower meadows and prairie-style landscapes.

For optimal growth, Machaeranthera prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Planting can occur in spring or fall, depending on the species and regional climate. Regular watering helps establish these plants, but they become more drought-tolerant once mature.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Machaeranthera plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow African Daisy and Callistephus plants.