Growing Shasta daisies

Gardening experts around the world have shared many tips on growing daisies, particularly the glorious Shasta Daisies. These delightful summer flowers are unanimously revered for their year-round foliage and ‘summer to fall’ blooms. They add lightness and density to all garden types. The fact that they are easy to grow and nurture makes these flowers even more appealing.

Shasta Daisies possess the classical white petals with a yellow middle. There are around 20,000 types of plants in the daisy family and Shasta Daisies are one of the prettiest of Daisies. They also produce almost exponential blooms each year and are perfect for filling the bare spots in your garden beds.

Evolution of Shasta Daisies

In 1901, Luther Burbank introduced the Shasta Daisy to America following 17 years of development. He called this hybrid Mt. Shasta. There have now been many new varieties of the Shasta Daisy created over the last 100 years.

The incarnation began as Burbank loved the wild daisies which grew near his family home in Massachusetts. These daisies originally came from New England and were a common feature in English cottage garden. Inspired by these daisies, Burbank planted the seeds of another similar daisy, the Oxeye Daisy, on his land in Santa Rosa. The Oxeye Daisy is a roadside wildflower which spreads very easily and is also tolerant of extreme weather.

Burbank decided to pollinate them with the English Field Daisy which has larger flowers. Then the best of these were scattered with Portuguese field daisy pollen and bred for 6 years.  More than a half million flowers were grown, and the resulting daisies which were developed had extremely large and beautifully formed blooms on sturdy plants.

Next, he produced the most promising of these with pollen from the Japanese Field Daisy. The seedlings grew larger flowers that were very white floating on vigorous plants.

These new incarnations came to fruition in 1901. They were an entirely new species and named after California’s sparkling white ‘Mount Shasta,’ officially known as Leucanthemum x superbum – the Shasta Daisy.

Some Facts about Shasta Daisies

  • The original name of this beauty was Chrysanthemum x superbum. They are now known as ‘Leucanthemum x.’
  • Shasta daisies have an especially long blooming period.
  • Daisies bloom in clumps of white flowers with a yellow middle and glossy dark foliage.
  • They range from a few inches to three feet tall
  • The plants have the potential to last for years
  • Daisies are one of April’s birth flowers
  • They symbolize innocence and hope due to their pure white color and classic look
  • Shasta Daisies attract butterflies which makes the plant more fascinating!

Growing Tips and Tricks:

  • Directly sow seeds outdoors after frosty environment danger has passed and the soil begins to warm.
  • Daisies like rich, well-drained soil. When planting for the first time, mix compost into the planting pot or garden bed.
  • Fertile soil is a must for growing Shasta daisies. Remember, fertile soil is full of nutrients like potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur, iron and magnesium. You need to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 – 15 inches and mix in some compost.  
  • Place the daisies in light shade or a sunny position but not in full shade.
  • Keep soil moist especially during hot, dry seasons.
  • Water thoroughly but don’t water.
  • Overwatering could make the roots soggy. If you’re growing the daisies in pots, make sure your pots
  • Add mulch around the plants with leaves, bark, hay, wood chips or straw. This will assist in cooling the soil.
  • Staking plants is sometimes required, especially when grown in partial shade.
  • Shasta daisies need regular pruning to prolong the blooming. Regular deadheading can increase the daisy blooming time by a couple of weeks to months.
  • Daisies are rarely bothered by insects and disease. Generally, these plants do not need insecticides or fungicides. Still, if problems occur, treat early with insecticidal soap.

Pruning of Shasta Daisies

Pruning is quite important for daisies. While pruning, cut the flowers when they begin to face instead of when they’re completely spent. You should cut the individual stems back to the base of the plant where it meets the foliage, especially for daisy varieties that produce single stems, such as the Shasta. If all the blooms have already dropped, cut the entire plant back to the base of the plant. This will assist to stimulate new growth and then result in additional flowering.

Ongoing care

Shasta daisies require very low maintenance. Nevertheless, there are some steps you can take to ensure your plant longevity as well as the flowering time. Every spring, apply some compost and mulch to help control weeds and build up the fertility of the soil.

 

Final Note

Shasta Daisies -a simple yet cheery inclusion for every garden – are popular on many continents.  From the beginner to the more experienced gardeners, the rewards from these pretty blooms far outweigh the small steps it takes to maintain these classic flowers. 

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