Learn How To Grow Shasta Daisy and why you want this friendly flower in your garden. The Shasta Daisy is named after Mount Shasta in northern California, where the hybrid was developed by Luther Burbank. The word “daisy” originally meant “day’s eye” and was used to refer to the sun-like appearance of the flower.
When we moved into our home there was a flower bed in the back that was in a very shady part of the yard where a clump of Shasta Daisies (Leucanthemum x super bum) was struggling to survive. They were long and leggy, flopping on the ground with very few if any blooms and were struggling with an Aphids that were attacking the weak plants.
Our first summer I put in a long Naturalizing bed where I could transplant existing plants, divisions and any new plants that tickled my fancy. One of the first additions to the bed were the struggling Shasta from the back bed that was in the shade. I was so excited for them to have a better home where they could thrive and prosper.
Oh did they ever prosper, the first few years they took over the bed, and I pulled half out and tried to find new places to plant them and I gave away clump after clump. Now in the year 2012, I have no friends that want anymore and no more room. So sadly starting early every spring, I compost Shasta’s (before they get flower heads). I leave just enough of them to dazzle away the spring, but not enough to overtake the later blooming perennials.
I always cut back the spent blooms towards the end of June to keep the bed looking neat and tidy, but I must not be quick enough because the little buggers drop their seeds everywhere.
Shasta’s make great cut flowers because of their large-flowered heads and long strong stems.
Shasta Daisies like the sun, but can tolerate morning or late day shade though you may not get as many blooms. Their heads rotate and open towards where the sun is shining (as you can see from the photo directly below). The grow anywhere from 6 to 36″ tall and their clumps are usually 18″ wide. Bees and Butterflies will visit the blooms and are a great source of pollen and nectar in the spring.
There are several different types, so make sure you read the tag description at the nursery so you pick the variety that will suit you and your garden best. I have single bloomers, but the doubles are very impressive, sturdy and blooming two rows of petals on each flower. I would caution away from any variety that needs staking. The last thing you want to do in spring, your busiest season in the garden is to be running around staking your Shasta’s so you can enjoy them.
Spring is the time to plant Shasta’s. Most garden centers carry container-grown varieties. Plant your Shasta Daisy by spacing plants 2 feet apart, depending on the variety. Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or shovel to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2 to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot the plant is in. Carefully tap the outside of your plant container and remove the plant place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Gently fill in the loose soil around the root ball and firm the soil gently and water thoroughly. You will need to divide every few years. Deadheading is a must unless you want them to spread and send up new plants.
Companion plants that grow well with the Shasta are vast, but a few great and easy spring bloomers you might like to try are Lambs Ear, Coreopsis, Baptisia, Columbine, Allium, and Iris.
Joe Fox gives Kathleen Kelly daisies when she is sick with a cold.
“I love daisies. Don’t you think they are they’re the friendliest flower”
The movie You’ve Got Mail– one of my all time favorites!