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14 tips to Make Caring for Shasta Daisies a Breeze

The Shasta daisy has lovely summer blooms. Caring for Shasta daisies is easy. It is a fairly low maintenance perennial plant that naturalizes to give more and more blooms each year and is great for filling in garden beds and bare spots in your garden.

These care tips will help you to get the most out of the plant.

Growing Shasta Daisies is easy with these care tips

Is your birthday in April? You are probably aware that the daisy is one of April’s birth flowers.  (Sweet pea is the other.) One of the prettiest daisies is the Shasta Daisy. It has the traditional English daisy look with pure white petals with yellow centers and dark, glossy leaves.

Shasta Daisy Facts

The flower is also thought to symbolize innocence and hope because of its pure white color and simple look. It is a common feature in English cottage style gardens.

The botanical name for Shasta Daisy has changed over the years.  It used to be known as Chrysanthemum x superbum, but is now commonly referred to as Leucanthemum x superbum. There are many varieties of Shasta daisy plants. Some will grow to 3 feet tall and others to just a few inches.

The term Shasta Daisy is named after Mount Shasta, which is located in Northern California.  The plant is a hybrid that was developed by Luther Burbank in 1901.

While some daisies come in a variety of colors, most Shasta Daisy colors are limited to white petals with a yellow center and dark green glossy leaves.

(There are a few with yellow petals, too.) If you are looking for brightly colored daisies, try Gerbera, Marguerite, painted daisies and, of course, coneflowers.

Do you like the look of an English cottage garden? Try growing Shasta daisies. It's an easy to grow perennial and the birthflower of those born in April. 🌼🌼🌼 Get growing tips at the Gardening Cook. Click To Tweet

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Is the Shasta Daisy a common English Daisy?

Many daisies often have white petals and yellow centers. How to they differ? Some common daisies that you are likely to come across are English daisies, Shasta Daisies and Oxeye Daisies.

The Shasta variety is very similar to an English daisy, but it has a much larger yellow center and it also grows much taller. The flowers themselves are also much larger.

The Oxeye Daisy is also similar to the English daisy. It is a roadside wildflower that spreads easily and is very drought tolerant. It is known to be quite invasive.Oxeye Daisy is similar to Shasta Daisy

The English daisy is from the bellis genus. Shasta daisy and Oxeye daisies are from the leucanthemum family

Caring for Shasta Daisies

The main considerations for growing the Shasta daisy plant is to give it plenty of sunlight and to take care to divide to contain the plant. It naturalizes easily and can take over a garden if it is not maintained well.Get tips for the care of Shasta Daisies

How much sunlight do Shasta Daisies need?

The plant likes to grow in full sun.  This makes it ideal for borders in the middle of lawns or containers that sit in the center of sunny garden beds.

Shasta daisy (and it’s more rampant growing cousin oxeye) can tolerate less sunny conditions but they won’t flower as well.

Soil Requirements for Shasta Daisy

This perennial likes a well draining, fertile soil, so preparing the soil before you plant is a must.  A fertile soil contains major nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, as well as smaller quantities of calcium, sulfur, iron, magnesium and other nutrients. Silty soil is considered the most nutrient rich. Some ways to increase the fertility of your soil are:

  • Adding manure. This adds nitrogen to the soil.
  • If you have room, start a compost pile and use the compost to enrich the soil.  Adding humus to the planting holes will make sure that the plant will bloom well all summer long.
  • Mulch around the plants with leaves, bark, hay, wood chips or straw. These materials will help to retain moisture and will also cool the soil.  They also break down over time and add more nutrients to the soil matter.
  • Grow cover crops in the winter months.

Many local Department of Agriculture departments will analyze your soil for free, or you can purchase a soil testing kit from your local garden center, or online.

Planting Shasta Daisies

Shasta daisies will grow easily from seeds.  You can start seeds in peat pots indoors, or containers in a cold frame in autumn or early spring. If you sow seeds directly into the garden, you can expect blooms the next year after the plant has been growing for a year.Plant shasta daisies 2-3 feet apart since they will spread

Garden centers sell containers of Shasta daisies each year. Plant these in the spring for summer blooms.

Space Shasta daisy plants 2-3 feet apart to allow for their spreading nature.  Be sure to give the plant a hole twice the diameter of the container you purchased it it. 

Dwarf varieties such as Shasta Daisy Lacrosse can be planted a bit closer. It is also a bit more cold hardy since it will also grow in zone 4.

Be sure to check out my list of other cold hardy perennial plants here.

Flowering Season of Shasta Daisies

The plant flowers in summer and blooms until early fall. The flowers have showy heads with a large center yellow area. Depending on the variety, there is quite a bit of variation in the petals.

Shasta daisies have an upright habit with stiff stems and flowers that sit above the foliage.  Shorter dwarf varieties are better in the front of a garden beds but the taller plants will form big clumps that add a backdrop to other perennials.

The blooms are great for cutting to bring indoors.

The petals of shasta daisy flowers are nyctinastic – They open up and close at night.

Shasta daisy flowers

The taller varieties may need protection from strong winds, and some also require forms of support to hold the flower stems so that they don’t flop over.

How often should I water a Shasta Daisy?

This perennial is quite drought friendly.  It definitely does not like soggy soil or wet feet and will easily rot if you over water it. The plant can actually tolerate limited periods of drought.Shasta daisies are quite drought friendly

If your summer rainfall is less than 1 inch a week, it’s a good idea to give the plant an extra drink.

How cold hardy is Shasta Daisy?

This pretty plant with its perky blooms is a hardy perennial that will come back even after freezing winters in cold hardiness zones 5-8. Even though the plant is a perennial, it is quite short lived.  Many only last just a few year.

To offset the short life span, plant new plants each year. This yearly planting will ensure that the plant will continue to naturalize and grace your garden setting.

Deadheading Shasta Daisies

Caring for Shasta Daisies means that you must put deadheading on your list of summer chores. Deadheading is the process of removing the blooms that have finished flowering.

To do this task, just cut the flower stem off at the base of the plant. New flower stems will soon emerge.Shasta daisies will become fuller and produce more flowers if you deadhead them.

Taking care to deadhead means that you may get two or three rounds of flowers a season, so it is well worth the effort.

If you deadhead the plant it will encourage heavier blooms and a larger amount of them, so your plant will give you a better show of flowers.

Cut flowers last a long time indoors, and will also encourage additional blooming on the plants in the ground.

For plants that don’t need deadheading, be sure to check out this article.

Pruning Shasta Daisies Plant

The plant is relatively easy to prune.  It has no real winter interest and most of the time the plant turns mushy during the winter, so pruning is a good idea to tidy up the garden area.

After the first frost that kills perennial foliage, cut the stems of the plant back to about an inch above the soil line. If you live in a warm hardiness zone, the plant may stay evergreen all year long.Printable for the care of Shasta Daisies

Propagation of Shasta Daisies

Shasta daisy seeds are readily available and this is one of the most common methods of growing the plant. The plant grows from rhizomes, which spread under the soil, so the size of the clump can increase fairly quickly. 

To propagate existing plants, divide every 3-4 years in early spring or late summer.

Once your clump of Shasta daisy plants get to be about 3 years old, like many perennials, the plant will become woody and die out in the center.

To divide the plant, dig up the clump and discard the woody center. You will likely have two or three outer sections with more healthy young rhizomes.

Replant these in your garden just below the crown of the new plants.

Be sure to check local regulations if you plan to grow Oxeyes. They are considered invasive and are banned in some states, since they grow TOO quickly.

Companion plants for Shasta Daisy

There are many perennials that will make nice companions for daisies.  Since it has a white flowering habit, other more colorful cottage garden perennials will look great growing nearby.Companion plants for Shasta daisies

Some popular choices of companion plants are:

Special Features of Shasta Daisies

Shasta daisies make great cut flowers

The plants are a great attraction for bees and butterflies. It is a deer resistant plant and makes great cutting garden flowers.  The plant is great for both garden beds and containers.

Pests and Diseases

There are a few bugs that could be a problem for Shasta Daisies.  Earwigs, and aphids will sometimes appear and slugs seem to enjoy them too.

As far as diseases go, leaf spots can also be an issue. Over-watering can cause fungal diseases. Generally speaking, most forms of daisies are low maintenance when it comes to pests and diseases.

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Shasta Daisy Varieties



There are many varieties of Shasta Daisy available. Here are a few to try:

Silver Princess Shasta Daisy is prized for its smaller and more compact growth with large showy flowers.

Shasta Daisy Becky offers more tolerance to southern and northern climates.

Silver Princess Dwarf has large snow white daisies and grows to only 12″ tall with a 12″ spread. Nice compact size that is perfect for smaller garden spots and containers.

Shasta Daisy ‘White Breeze’ has wide-open white daisies that appear the very first year from seed.

Shasta Daisy Alaska grows to about 2 1/2 feet tall with very large flowers.

If you would like to be reminded of the care tips in this post, pin the image below to one of your gardening boards.Caring for Shasta Daisies is easy if you follow these few simple tips

What is your favorite type of daisies?  What is it that bothers you most about trying to grow them?  I’d love to hear your comments below.

Admin note: This post for how to care for Shasta daisies first appeared on the blog in June of 2018. I have updated the post to add new images, a printable project card, and a video for you to enjoy.

Yield: 1 happy plant

How to care for Shasta Daisies

How to care for Shasta Daisies

Shasta daisies are often found in English cottage gardens. This pretty perennial is the birth flower of those born in April, Caring for it is easy with these tips.

Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty moderate
Estimated Cost $10

Materials

  • Shasta Daisy Plant
  • Organic Matter or Compost
  • Mulch

Tools

  • Hose or watering can

Instructions

  1. Plant Shasta Daisies 2-3 feet apart.
  2. Prepare the soil well by adding compost or other organic matter.
  3. Soil needs to be well draining and fertile.
  4. Water well to get the plant established and then it is quite drought tolerant.
  5. Mulch the soil so that you don't have to water as often.
  6. The plant is cold hardy in zones 5-8.
  7. Propagate by division in spring.
  8. Flowering time is summer and early autumn.
  9. Protect tall plants from high winds.
  10. Deadhead often for more blooms.

Notes

Print out the chart below with growing tips for Shasta Daisies and add it to your gardening journal.Printable for the care of Shasta Daisies

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peggy hopf

Monday 22nd of March 2021

How do I get the grass that’s growing in my Shasta daisies out of there?

Carol Speake

Monday 22nd of March 2021

The only way that I know of to get out weeds that are connected to thye root ball is to dig up the plant and gently pry the roots apart and take out the weeds and replant.

Alma McAfee

Thursday 18th of March 2021

I live in South east Texas, Houston area. I plant Shasta daisies from seed. They grow well until August, and then die. Can someone give me helpful hints. I fertilize and water.

Patti

Thursday 29th of October 2020

Hi Carol, my Shasta Daisies have been selfsowing (Middle france) since I didn’t deadhead the last lot of flowes (bad girl😢) now the little plants come up in the (spacious new) flowerbed.. do they stand a chance? We sometimes get short periods of light frost..

Carol Speake

Thursday 29th of October 2020

It's hard to say. Normally self sown flowers are a bit more hardy. Shasta is only cold hardy in zone 5-8.

Sharon Lindley

Sunday 4th of October 2020

Love my Alaska Shasta Daisies!!! They are out of this world! For the second year they have grown over four feet tall! They are amazing! People who see them are amazed!! I love them every year and try to keep them healthy by dead heading and cutting back in the winter here in southern California. They are over growing their boundaries after 2 years, very tightly packed and bulging at them seams! Love them!!! So I am wondering.... should i just clip them back for winter, or can I safe some of the roots, pull them out to give away that will grow successively? The area definitely needs to be given some room, roots eliminated so that it can have room to move and grow! Is that possible or do I just need to start anew?

Carol Speake

Monday 5th of October 2020

If the plant is getting crowded, you can remove some of them by digging them up and dividing. I would be careful of just pulling them up since this could really disturb the roots. You can also cut them back. But it sounds like division is in order.

Brigitte

Sunday 19th of July 2020

Good afternoon! I noticed the petals of my daisies are slowly being eaten. First it was the leaves now the petals. Can you help me?

Carol Speake

Monday 20th of July 2020

There is no way of knowing what is eating the plant unless you see the bug in pereson.

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