Caring for shasta daisies requires proper placement of the plant, watering and trimming to maintain blooms and the overall health of the plant from year to year. Shasta daisies bloom with a ray of white petals around a yellow disk. This coloring provides a contrast to their dark green foliage. Some cultivars such as crazy daisy and aglaia have double blooms. There are several different varieties that reach from one to three feet in height when fully grown. This perennial is often grown and used as part of cut flower bouquets because the bloom will last for up to a week after being cut.
All cultivars of this plant enjoy full sun. Plant them on a hill or as a border along a public space where they will get full sun for much of the day. They can also be used as ground cover in large open areas such as meadows. Larger varieties such as Becky or Switzerland may need to be staked. Aglaia, old court and crazy daisy also can reach a height of three feet. Cultivars such as may queen and snowcap will grow in partial shade so use them to add color around trees or hedges as desired. The soil needs to drain well, particularly in the winter so the roots of the plant do not rot. These types of daisies are not hardy in colder climates, but can be used as annuals where they won’t survive the winter months. Avoid placing plants too close together so that air can circulate freely between plants. After they have grown for several years the plants may need to be divided to thin them out a bit.
Shasta daisies will bloom from spring through fall in zone 5 or warmer. They need a spring feeding followed by a summer feeding to ensure maximum growth and blooming. Follow package directions and use a general fertilizer to cover the area where they are growing. As blooms fade pinch them off where the stem joins another stem or leaves begin. This deadheading will allow the plant to produce additional blooms throughout the summer and prevent the plant from spreading too quickly. Water thoroughly during a drought as these plants are not drought resistant and will fade quickly without this additional watering.
It is a good idea to cut the plants back in early fall to allow them to prepare for the winter. Excessive blooming may be linked to a shorter life span of the plant. The green leaves will remain green all winter long in mild climates. These plants will need to be split annually or bi-annually to keep them healthy.
Shasta daisies are a standard in many flower gardens throughout the United States. They are not a native plant, but have been embraced by many gardeners for their clean white blooms and ability to maintain a bloom after being cut. Used as part of landscaping the Shasta daisy is a beautiful plant for covering a hill or incorporating into a wildflower garden.