Tidy tips are native to southern California. A member of the aster family, this annual has bright, daisylike flowers -- a strong, golden-yellow, with every petal tipped with white. This is where the name "tidy tips" arose.
Description of tidy tips: Tidy tips forms a semi-prostrate bush 1 to 2 feet high and as broad. It becomes more or less mounding in form because of frequent branching. The long, narrow, hairy, green leaves are usually entirely covered by the flowers.
Growing tidy tips: Tidy tips needs full sun. It is relatively indifferent to soil, growing well in average, well-drained garden soil. It will survive if drought occurs, although it will benefit from watering. Tidy tips is less tolerant of hot, humid weather and in such climates will perform best in the spring and early summer. Otherwise, it will bloom continuously until fall. Space plants 4 to 9 inches apart in the garden. They need no staking, standing up well to wind and rain.
Propagating tidy tips: Start new tidy tips from seeds. In mild winter climates, seeds may be sown in the fall for earliest bloom in the spring. Elsewhere, sow seeds outdoors as early in the spring as ground can be worked. To start indoors, sow seeds 6 to 8 weeks prior to planting outside. Do not cover; seeds need light to germinate. Seeds germinate in 8 to 12 days at temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit inhibit germination.
Uses for tidy tips: Plant tidy tips in mixed borders and cottage gardens. They're also ideal in wildflower or meadow plantings. They can be used in containers. Tidy tips make good cut flowers.
Tidy tips related varieties: Named selections are not available. However, a variety, L. p. campestris, is more erect, less branched, and has grayer leaves. Flower petals are typically longer, but they have the same yellow color with white tips.
Scientific name of tidy tips: Layia platyglossa