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Past Articles Library | Growing and Caring for Shasta Daisies

Nothing puts a smile on my face like seeing Shasta daisies growing in a landscape.  It really reminds me of a gentler time with I was a kid.  While I do love the wild daisies I see growing in many fields, the Shasta daisy surpasses this flower due to the fact that the blooms are so much bigger.  But beyond that, the look of the daisies is pretty much the same.

Shasta daisies are a wonderful plant that not only produces long season of blooms.  The plant will start blooming in early summer into late fall.  It typically grows in clumps that can tower between two to three feet in height with a spread of around two feet.  The plant itself does not require a lot of fuss. 

To begin the planting process, one has a couple of different choices.  Shasta daisies can be purchased in pots from your local garden nursery.  If you have a giving gardening friend, you can get starts from that friend when the plant is divided.  The last way of receiving your Shasta daisy plant material is through the purchase of seed.

Regardless of which approach you use for acquiring your plant material, you will first need to select the best location for your Shasta daisy plant.  This perennial likes to be in full sun.  While it is really not picky about the soil type, it does require a fertile and well-draining soil.

Once you have the best location selected for your plant material, the next step is to start planting.  If you are starting fresh with a new garden space, you will need to prepare it as you would any new garden.  In just, this means you remove all existing plant material, loosen the soil, and add a good amount of compost.    

On the other hand, if the garden space that you have selected is already a garden, you will first need to loosen the soil.  This can be done with a tiller or garden fork.  How deep do you need to go?  Well, a foot to 15 inches should be enough.  To help add fertility to your soil in an organic way, consider mixing in a good amount of compost or well-seasoned manure.  When I say a good amount, you will really need between 2 and 4 inches all over the area.

Next, the plant process can begin but…..this should only occur in the spring.  The easiest way to get your Shasta daisies is through your local garden nursery or your gardening friend.  To plant a Shasta daisy from the garden center, starts off with digging the hole.  The hole will need to be twice the width of the container.  The depth will need to be the same as the container.

After the hole has been dug, gently remove the plant from its container.  This can be done in two ways but the key is to not pull out the plant from its container by the foliage.  If you want to keep the pot, turn the plant upside down and tap the bottom.  In some situations, this is all that is needed to dislodge the plant from the container.  If this does not work, squeeze the sides a little bit.  The last technique is for the plant that will not come out of the pot and for the person who does not want the pot.  What is it?  Well, simply slit the container down the sides and remove the plant.

Take the plant at this stage and do a dry run of the hole.  Adjust the size as needed.  One the hole is correct, loosen the soil around the roots and place the plant in the hole.  Fill in the hole with the removed soil and water in the plant.  Add extra soil as needed.

If your plant material came from a gardening friend, the process is the same as described above.  If planting more than one clump though, make sure to space them 2 feet apart.

Now we come to starting your Shasta daisies from seeds.  You can direct seed your Shasta daisies but there is a negative to this approach.  Directly seeding them into the garden space will produce plants that only start blooming the following spring.  On the other hand, you can plant your seeds in a cold frame during the early spring or autumn months.  Once your seeds have germinated, you can transplant them into the garden space in late summer. 

When it comes to planting Shasta daisy seed, the process is pretty simple.  Regardless of how you plant your seed, it should be planted sprinkled on top of the soil surface.  Once that is done, add a very fine layer of soil on top.  This soil amount should not go over 1/8 of an inch.  The purpose of this soil is to just hold down the seed so that it does not blow away and to make sure that it has contact with the soil.  After the seed has been planted, water the seed in by misting it with water.  Monitor the soil moisture so that the soil does not dry out.  In 10 to 18 days you should begin to see your seeds germinating. 

Until the Shasta daisy gets established, you will need to monitor the soil moisture.  The only exception to this rule is in the summer.  If you find that you are not getting an inch of rain a week, pull out the watering hose and water the plant until that amount has been reached.

After the first killing frost has hit your area, prune back the Shasta daisy so that only 1 inch remains above the ground level.  When spring arrives, add compost to the soil and top with mulch.  Keep in mind that when you are using mulch, the layer should be at least 3 to 4 inches deep.  This depth will help control weeds.

To keep your Shasta daisy healthy, division is a garden task that should be done every 3 to 4 years.  Dividing a plant is easy to do and should start with a sharpened shovel head.  Utilizing a shovel with a sharp edge will allow you to cut through roots and etc. easily.  To begin the process, take the shovel and begin to make a cut circle around the plant.   To get as much of the roots as possible, make sure to come out some from the plant.  Once you get all the way around the plant, push down on the handle.  Doing this step, will help you lift up the plant along with its root ball.  After the plant is out of the hole, begin to cut or divide it into clumps.  When doing this, it is better to at least divide the plant in half.  The last step is to replant the divided clumps and water in to settle the soil. 

Once Shasta daisies are established, they will give you many years of blooming enjoyment along with many plants to share with your gardening friends.


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