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Shasta Daisy – A Classic Perennial for your Flower Borders

I see a lot of seed advertised for different varieties of Shasta Daisy —- some of the best varieties in fact — like Alaska and Becky. (Becky was the Perennial Plant Association Plant of the Year in 2003.)

But after all — Shasta daisies are hybrids — and the further you get from the original plant, I think you’re never 100% sure what you’ll get from the hybrid seed. I’m sure the offspring would be beautiful BUT it may not have all the characteristics of the plant you want.

If you do start from seed keep in mind that shastas probably will not bloom until the following year.

Start with plants if you can.

I’d recommend varieties like Becky and Alaska that are about 3 feet tall, rather than the shorter varieties. I have some of the shorter ones and they never perform as wonderfully as the tall varieties. (Note the hardiness zones when you purchase.)

You’ll see them listed as Leucanthemum x superbum or Chrysanthemum maximum. Actually they are not a Chrysanthemum, but you still see them listed that way.

Characteristics

They’ll make a noticeable appearance more quickly when planted in groups of threes. They’ll form dense clumps about 2 feet wide in about 3 years to 4 years. Thin the roots after that for continued best performance and vigor.

Roots of shasta daisies are strong growers and you can easily divide them even after the first year of growth if you need to cover a larger area and can’t (or don’t want to) purchase them elsewhere. You can do this in the fall of the first year or the spring of the next.

As with the vast majority of perennials they like soil that is well drained and at least 6 to 8 hours of sun each day. Any soil will do —- moderately fertile is good. (They adored my improved clay soil at our previous residence. )

Like Echinacia and Rudbeckia — the Shasta Daisies are descendants of prairie plants and manage on little water. They  hold well in humid conditions.

Shasta daisy bloom.

Shasta daisy bloom.

Bloom

Many sources note Shasta Daisy bloom as being 2 months. But over 35 years I’ve found their best bloom lasts about a month. Bloom is sporadic after that. Deadheading is never something you have to do —- but if you can cut the spent blooms of your Shasta Daisies it will help to extend their bloom time.

Sometimes Shastas can die out. But you’ll never be without them gracing your landscape if you take a few minutes every year or so and transplant a few roots.

Final Thoughts

Shasta Daisy is a classic perennial that is a favorite of beginners and longtime gardeners alike.

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4 comments to Shasta Daisy – A Classic Perennial for your Flower Borders

  • anne meissner

    I love Shastas!! They do very well in clay soil up here in Ohio.

    Beckys are terrific…very hearty and don’t sag or droop after a heavy rainstorm.

  • Theresa

    Thanks for the input Anne.

  • Donna Williams

    I love reading your posts for flowers and veg. gardens! I will add shastas to my garden. Thanks so much!

  • Theresa

    I feel sure you’ll enjoy them Donna!

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