With its pure white petals surrounding a bright yellow centre, Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) is a dependable, charming, low-maintenance perennial bloomer. A versatile plant, Shasta daisy will take centre stage in the flower bed, but is also at home in containers, wild flower gardens or butterfly gardens.
Shasta daisy seeds are planted directly in the garden as soon as the soil warms in spring. To plant shasta daisy seeds, cultivate the soil with a hoe or spade, then dig a general purpose, slow-release fertiliser into the soil, according to the rate specifications on the package. Sprinkle the Shasta daisy seeds directly on the soil. Do not cover the seeds with soil, but spray the area thoroughly to settle the seeds. Water regularly, keeping the soil moist, but not saturated, until the seeds germinate.
Shasta daisy isn't difficult to propagate by taking stem cuttings in autumn. Cut 3- to 4-inch lengths from the tips of Shasta daisy stems, using a sharp knife. Pull off the lower leaves, then plant the cuttings in a container filled with a well-drained potting medium or commercial potting soil. Cover the container with clear plastic, then place the Shasta daisy cuttings in bright, indirect light. Water the potting medium whenever it feels dry. After roots develop in six to eight weeks, plant each cutting in its own container until spring, when the new Shasta daisies can be planted outdoors.
Shasta daisy is propagated by division in early spring or late summer so the new plants have time to establish before winter. To divide Shasta daisy, use a shovel or garden fork to lift a clump of Shasta daisies from the ground, retaining as much of the root system as possible. Divide the plant carefully, using your hands, a spade or a sharp knife. Each divided Shasta daisy should have at least three shoots and several healthy roots. Plant the Shasta daisy in a sunny, well-drained spot.
Although Shasta daisy is adaptable to partial shade, full sun is preferable for a healthy plant and prolific blooms. Because its roots are shallow, Shasta daisy is watered frequently, but not to the point where the soil becomes soggy. Water at the base of the plant to keep the foliage dry. A 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch will keep the soil moist. Deadhead, or pinch off wilted Shasta daisy blooms, and the plant will produce flowers until the first frost. Divide Shasta daisy every two to three years to keep the plant vibrant. Discard old, woody centre sections.
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- Purdue University Extension: Shasta Daisy Named Perennial of the Year; B. Rosie Lerner; 2003
- BestCoolSeeds.com: Growing Tips: Shasta Daisy (Oxeye Daisy)
- Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences: Frequently Asked Gardening Questions
- Texas AgriLife Extension: Divide Perennials in 10 Easy Steps
- Yardener: Caring for Shasta Daisy