Shasta Daisy: Mistakes to Avoid when Growing
The simple yet elegant beauty of the shasta daisy (a native of Europe), has made it a popular flower in many home gardens. These pretty white flowers with a yellow, button-like center are one of the easiest perennials to grow in USDA zones 5 to 9. Once planted, it takes 10 to 20 days for the seeds to germinate. You can expect the plants to bloom the following year. They are easy to care for and do not require much maintenance. There's a bonus for you, as the shasta daisy attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Despite their ease of care, there are some mistakes you need to avoid when growing these flowers.
TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson adds, "Proper site selection, planting and maintenance are important produce healthy and vibrant shasta daisies that will bloom all summer long."
Don't plant in the wrong season. Plant shasta daisies in the spring, spacing them 2 feet apart. Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball. Sprinkle some bone meal into the planting hole and place the plant into the hole so that the top of the root ball is at ground level. Backfill the hole and gently tamp the soil down. Water each plant thoroughly after planting. Sow seeds in the spring once the threat of frost has passed.
TIP: Susan suggests, "Stake tall varieties to keep them upright and provide support for inclement weather."
Soil that is too wet will hinder healthy root development. Shasta daisies do best in loamy, well-drained soils. Add 2 to 4 inches of organic material, such as well-aged manure or compost for best results, especially if your soil has a lot of clay.
Daisies like ample water which is beneficial in promoting healthy growth and abundant blooming, but be careful not to over water. Water frequently in the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.
Don't plant them in the shade. Plant shasta daisies in a location where they will receive at least 5 hours of full sun each day. Shasta daisies will tolerate filtred afternoon sun in very hot climates.
Do not over-mulch. There is a tendency for people to over-mulch, especially in the winter, thinking it will protect the soil from loosing too much moisture. While mulching is beneficial in conserving soil moisture, applying too much is counter-productive. All you need to do is apply the standard amount, not more than 2 inches. Avoid packing mulch too closely to the flower stems, as it will obstruct breathing. It may also encourage fungal infections. Applying manure or animal compost is recommended to encourage healthy growth and make the shasta daisy strong and resilient. Applying too much manure will not encourage abundant blooming. It actually ends up stressing the plant which can eventually die. It is best to apply compost in a thin layer each spring, followed by mulch to reduce moisture loss and also prevent too many weeds from cropping up. Mulching in summer will help in conserving soil moisture.
TIP: Susan advises, "Cut shasta daisies to the ground after first killing frost. Apply a 2-inch layer of mulch for winter protection."
Although shasta daisies look lovely in masses, it is healthy to divide them every 3 years. This will give the plants plenty of room and allow for air circulation and proper nutrient distribution.