Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) is a delightful hybrid flowering perennial, deriving its name from the snowy white petals reminiscent of Mount Shasta in California where it was developed. These cheerful flowers boast a sunny yellow center surrounded by rays of petals. Thriving in USDA zones 5-9, this carefree perennial features dark green toothed foliage that remains evergreen in milder climates. The bloom time of Shasta daisies spans from early summer to early fall, bringing joy to your garden throughout the growing season.
These daisies exhibit greater resilience and more extensive blooming periods compared to their wild counterparts. With dozens of varieties available, you can choose from different plant sizes and either single or double flowers, making them suitable for small urban gardens or spacious properties, ranging from 6 to 48 inches in height. Moreover, their sturdy stems and long vase life make them an excellent choice for cut flowers.
Planting Shasta Daisies:
- Choose the Right Location: Select a sunny site for your Shasta daisies, ensuring they receive at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.
- Plant Spacing: Plant 1 to 2 feet apart depending on variety.
- Prepare the Soil: Prior to planting, loosen the soil in the designated area and enrich it with compost or other organic matter. This will provide the daisies with the necessary nutrients and ensure proper drainage.
- Dig and Plant: Dig a hole that is twice as wide and slightly deeper than the root ball of the plant. Carefully remove the Shasta daisy from its nursery pot and gently untangle the roots if they are potbound. Place the plant in the hole, making sure the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil.
- Backfill and Water: Fill the hole with soil, lightly tamping it down to eliminate any air pockets. Water the newly planted daisy thoroughly to help it establish its root system.
- Regular Watering: Keep the plants well-watered, especially during the initial establishment period. Once they are established, they can tolerate some drought, but regular watering will promote healthier growth and better blooms.
Soil: Shasta daisies need well-draining soil with organic matter throughout. Avoid poorly draining soil because this can cause root rot. When planting in pot be sure to use a high quality potting mix.
Watering: Provide an average amount of water. Overly wet soil can lead to root rot. Shasta daisies are moderately drought tolerant once established. Water more frequently when there are prolonged heat waves.
Fertilizing: Apply a slow-release all-purpose fertilizer. Another option is the use of a water soluble fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer.
Overwintering: In colder regions, plants will benefit from winter protection. After cutting plants back in fall add a layer of mulch to protect the plants from extreme cold.
Incorporating these simple care and planting steps will ensure your Shasta daisies flourish and brighten up your garden with their beautiful blossoms. Enjoy the long-lasting charm and effortless beauty these perennials bring to your outdoor space!
Frequently Asked Questions about Shasta Daisies:
Are Shasta daisies perennials? Do they come back every year?
Yes, Shasta daisies are short-lived perennials, meaning they return and bloom each year. To promote their vitality and extend their lifespan, regular division is recommended.
Do deer eat Shasta daisies?
Deer typically avoid Shasta daisies due to their scent, bitter taste, and prickly leaf texture. However, if food sources are scarce, hungry deer may eat them.
Do Shasta daisies spread?
When grown in their preferred environment, Shasta daisies will expand their clumps each year. If desired, you can divide the clumps and transplant them to other parts of your garden.
What months do Shasta daisy plants bloom?
Bloom time can vary depending on the plant variety and region. In general, Shasta daisies bloom from June to September, especially with regular deadheading.
What is the difference between a daisy and a Shasta daisy?
While the term "daisy" is used for plants with daisy-like flowers, Shasta daisies are a well-known type, recognized for their classic flower form.
How long do Shasta daisies last?
With regular deadheading, Shasta daisies can bloom for several months. Each individual flower can last for about a week to 10 days, making them excellent cut flowers.
Should Shasta daisies be cut back?
Pruning Shasta daisies is best done in the fall when they finish blooming. Cut the stems back to the base.
Do I deadhead Shasta daisies?
Regular deadheading of Shasta daisies prolongs their bloom time. Learn more about the why and when of deadheading your flowers.
Are Shasta daisies good for pollinators?
Yes, the attractive flowers of Shasta daisies entice bees, butterflies, and other insect pollinators.
Where is Shasta daisy native?
Shasta daisy is a hybrid created by American hybridizer Luther Burbank of Northern California, combining oxeye daisy and other species from Europe and Japan.
What is eating my Shasta daisies leaves?
Insect pests that may feed on Shasta daisy leaves include earwigs, slugs, and aphids. If you notice foliage damage, closely inspect the leaves for signs of these pests.
Why is my Shasta daisy not blooming?
Several factors can affect bloom, such as overcrowding, insufficient light, improper fertilization, overwatering, root rot, and extreme temperatures.
Can Shasta daisies be grown in pots?
Shorter varieties are suitable for containers, while standard varieties, reaching up to 4 feet tall, are best grown in the ground.
Can Shasta daisies be divided?
Shasta daisies thrive when divided every 2 to 3 years. Signs that it's time to divide your plants include fewer blooms, reduced vigor, or the center of the clump dying out. Divide plants in early spring or fall in warmer regions.
Will Shasta daisies bloom the first year?
Plants grown from clumps will flower in their first growing season. If grown from seed, they will bloom in their second growing season.
Shasta Daisy Landscape Design Ideas:
There are many ways to use these flowers in your landscape. Here’s how:
- Plant in a mixed border along with other summer flowering perennials such as these Perennials with a Sunny Disposition.
- Grow in a cut flower garden alongside other summer bloomers such as dahlias, coneflower, zinnias, gladiolus and sunflowers.
- Include them in a pollinator garden with other plants such as aster, milkweed, bee balm, blazing star and tickseed. Here are 26 Yellow Plants for Bees.
- Plant a dwarf variety in a container by itself or alongside other plants with similar growing needs such as heuchera, calibrachoa and salvia.
- Mass a smaller variety in a bed or along a slope for weeks of continuous color.
- Use a shorter variety to edge pathways and borders.
Shasta Daisy Companion Plants
The white and yellow blooms of Shasta daisy pairs well with most other colors. As far as sun and watering needs, pair full sun and well-draining soil plants.
Mixed Border Use:
- Russian Sage:
- Can be planted in either the early spring or late fall. Fabulous planted with a flower that can pick up the violet, blue of its many flowers. Additionally, Russian sage is aromatic and has a calming effect.
- Cone Flower
- Tall Verbena
- Bee Balm
Cut Flower Garden Use: