Questions Answered Series: Shasta Daisy

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Your questions on Shasta daisies answered!

There is no more accurate signal to the start of summer than the blooming of Shasta daisies. A part of the Asteraceae family, the Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) is one of the most common types of daisies. It is a garden classic featuring golden yellow centers and large white flower petals. These superstar perennials feature long-lasting blooms, attract pollinators, and look amazing in cut-flower arrangements. So whether you want to add Shasta daisies to your garden or have questions about your plants, the horticultural experts at Great Garden Plants have you covered.

Here, we’ll answer all your frequently asked questions about growing and caring for Shasta daisies!

Daisy spring 2023 garden checklist

How do you grow Shasta daisies?

Shasta daisies can thrive for years after planting if adequately cared for. Learn the growing requirements for these truly sun-loving perennials!

Soil: When planting your shasta daisies, search for areas with average to dry, well-draining soils. Good soil drainage is essential, as these plants steer clear of soggy or overwatered soil.

Light: Daisy flowers do well in full sun (> 6 hours sun). They can tolerate some light shade, particularly in hot summer climates or when plants are grown in dry soils.

Water: Shasta daisy is drought-tolerant, but does grow best when given some supplemental water, especially as young plants are establishing. 

Fertilizing: Fertilizer can be applied to daisies in the spring if desired, but it usually isn’t necessary. They are not heavy feeders.

Maintenance & Pruning: Daisies are a low-maintenance perennial. Remove spent flower heads, and trim back stems to the highest leaf node after flowering to encourage reblooming, and that’s it! The center of clumps will weaken, so divide clumps as needed (every 2-3 years) to maintain vigor.

Let us explain exactly what each type of lighting means and gives great tips on success in your garden.

What months do Shasta daisy plants bloom?

Daisy flowers are truly a summertime classic, blooming anywhere from late spring or summer through the beginning of fall. They are prolific growers, meaning they come and grow (get it?) very quickly and continuously throughout the season. Some varieties spread rapidly, so ensure they are confined within a garden bed or a container if you don’t want too many blooms! But then again, is that such a bad thing?

How tall will Shasta daisy get?

Shasta daisies are notorious for their tall habit, with sturdy stems that reach up to 3 feet tall, with some varieties like the ‘Becky’ Shasta daisy coming in even taller at 3.5 feet tall! The height of your Shasta daisy will largely depend on it’s growing conditions. 

What pairs well with Shasta daisies?

If you’re looking for companion plants for Shasta daisies, look no further! Consider choosing other sun-loving perennials for your zone that are drought-tolerant and tall in habit. To create the ultimate cottage garden of your dreams, discover some of our favorite companion plants for Shasta daisies like coneflower (Echinacea), Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), or tickseed (Coreopsis). Surprisingly, all these plants are also within the daisy (Asteraceae) family!

Other staff-favorite companion plants include:

shasta daisy with russian sage and black eyed susan

Can you grow Shasta daisies in a pot?

Yes, Shasta daisies can thrive in pots and containers all summer long! As long as you place your plants in a sunny spot and use pots with drainage holes, you can see their upright habit begin to grow with prolific blooms. Create a sunny disposition on your doorstep, or wow guests on your patio. Just remember to prune to make way for new growth.

What is the difference between a daisy and a Shasta daisy?

The term “daisy” encompasses a wide range of plants, which includes the beloved Shasta daisy. Other commonly known daisies are coneflowers, Gerber daisies, Gloriosa daisies, and Marguerite daisies. There are a few traits that distinguish Shasta daisies from the rest. They are one of the largest daisies, reaching 12-42 inches tall, boasting white flowers with a prominent yellow center. Some Shasta daisies like Marshmallow’ can even appear puffy or fringed with double blooms. The span of their flowers is also wider, about 3 to 4 inches across at maturity.

How do you winterize Shasta daisies?

No special care is needed to winterize your Shasta daisies! You may leave spent blooms on plants over winter to reseed and attract birds in the winter garden. Just be sure to clean up spent foliage in early spring just before new growth emerges.

Do Shasta daisies need to be deadheaded?

While it isn’t required, deadheading daisies are greatly encouraged to promote new flower growth, mainly because they can bloom several times in one season. When flowers begin to wilt and turn brown after the season ends, cut back down to the leaves to encourage solid and prolific blooms the following year. If you deadhead regularly, you can significantly extend beautiful daisy flowers!

Lindsey Greenhouse flower

What are some problems with Shasta daisies?

While Shasta daisies are generally a very hardy plant, they are prone to a few problems:

  • Root rot: waterlogged soils can cause Shasta daisies to develop root rot, which is why we recommend planting it in sites with drainage. If you suspect your plant is suffering from root rot, transplant it to a new site and reduce watering. You can also keep it planted in the same site, but slightly raise the crown to be above the soil line to encourage water to drain away from the plant. 
  • Pests: aphids and mealybugs are common pests for Shasta daisies. If you notice signs of pest damage (holes in leaves, discoloration, stunted growth), examine your plant closely to look for physical bugs. Prune off any areas you think are infested and wash off your pruners and consider treating your plants with a gentle pesticide or neem oil.
shasta daisy after its been watered

Are Shasta daisies safe for pets?

Shasta daisy is mildly toxic and should not be consumed by humans or animals. According to the ASPCA, when cats or dogs digest daisies, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and incoordination. Consider creating a garden with pet-friendly plants to keep them safe. But remember, it’s just as important to train your pets to avoid ingesting any plants. For a list of dog-friendly plants, check out our blog HERE, and for a full list of toxic plants from the ASCPA visit the link HERE. 

Are Shasta daisies deer-resistant?

While some sources list Shasta daisies as deer-resistant, they are unfortunately susceptible to deer damage. The New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station gives shasta daisies a C-rating, which means it is “occasionally severely damaged” by deer. For deer-resistant plants, shop our collection HERE.

Has the botanical name of Shasta daisy changed?

Did you do a double-take when you reading the Shasta daisy botanical name? You’re not alone! Previously referred to by its botanical name Chrysanthemum x superbum, it’s name was changed and is now referred to as Leucanthemum x superbum.

Why aren’t my Shasta daisies blooming?

There are a few reasons your Shasta daisies may not bloom; often, overwatering, heat-stress or over-fertilizing are the culprits. Remember, these plants love sunlight and are extremely drought tolerant, so occasional watering when the soil is visibly dry should be good. If you’re in an area with higher temperatures, your Shasta daisies could benefit from more frequent watering. You could also try pruning your plants more often to encourage new growth. 

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Written by: Lindsey Griffith, click here to read bio.

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