Grow Shasta Daisies for Cheerful Bouquets
Shasta daisies are an old-fashioned, easy-to-grow perennial flower with a nostalgic, carefree appeal, making them cheerful additions for a bouquet. They make great, long-lasting cut flowers. They’re a cutting garden essential.
Long-stemmed and abundant, they bloom late spring to early summer and can be dead-headed to give a return performance for late summer into fall.
The flowers attract and feed bees and butterflies. The birds benefit from the seeds if left to develop.
Good in borders and in perennial cutting flower beds.
Shasta daisies originated as hybrid by Luther Burbank, creating a line with many varieties.
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The flowers and plants
There are many varieties of Shasta daisies ranging in height from under a foot to 3 ft. tall in bloom.
The classic daisy color is white, but several varieties range in color from pale yellow to a nice bright yellow.
The flowers are 2-4 in. wide and the foliage is low to about 6 in. It’s an herbaceous perennial so it dies to the ground in winter. The roots
How to grow Shasta daisies
Zones: 5-9; Sun: Full to part sun, full sun is preferred.
Full sun is best, but will tolerate part shade in hot climates. Double-flowered types do better in very light shade.
Plant them in fairly rich soil either in a perennial flower bed or in a landscape bed with good drainage. Use organic fertilizer in late fall or late winter. Mulch with compost, taking care not to smother the foliage.
They’re easy from seed in seeding trays. Start seeds in spring and first flowers should appear in late summer. But they’re readily available in 4” pots and 6-packs and potted plants come in a wider selection than what seed sources offer.
They make a nice little patch up to 2 ft. wide which can be divided for more plants. When you have a big enough patch, divide in fall or early spring to start more patches. Divide established plants every 2-3 years.
They need only average water and they can be allowed to dry out between waterings. With rich garden soil I have watered every two weeks, except during their fast spring growth when they need more to keep up with rising temperatures.
Shasta daisies tend to be deer and rabbit resistant, but that depends on your deer pressure. I keep mine behind a deer fence.
How to harvest the flowers
Cut the daisies at the base of the stem. Please don’t leave stubs. When they’re all harvested you’ll have just the foliage left. Be sure to harvest all of them. When you do this you’ll most likely have a second bloom in later summer to fall, though not as exuberant as the spring-summer bloom.
Some people recommend cutting the flowers that are not harvested and leaving the stems remaining. This might let smaller side-shoots to develop, with some smaller flowers. It keeps the plant looking fuller in a garden. But I prefer to just plan on that low leafy look after the first bloom and have a good second bloom. I think it’s much prettier that way.
After cutting the flowers plunge them into lukewarm water and place in a cool, darkish spot for conditioning.
Favorite varieties Shasta daisies
There are many pretty varieties to choose from. Most are white, but some have cream to yellow-colored petals. My favorites are:
- ‘Alaska’, to 28 in. tall, a big flowered variety, one of the best, most popular Shastas
- ‘Becky’, to 36 in. tall, another popular variety
- ‘Fluffy’, to 28 in. tall with semi-double flowers that have shaggy petals
Sources for plants and seeds
Outside Pride has Crazy Daisy seeds! *
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Flowers to go with Shasta daisies
Perennial scabiosa has long, thin stems and last very well in the vase. Produces flowers all season long.
An easy perennial daisy in a range of pinks from bright magenta-pink, to soft pink, to white.
One of the very best cutting flowers you can grow! Long lasting and very easy to grow.