The Shasta daisy is the flower that people usually think of when asked to describe daisies. The bright yellow center is surrounded by white petals. Although this variety is larger than many of the wildflower daisy types, Shasta daisies are much smaller than the larger African daisies, such as Gerbera. Shasta daisies grow best outdoors when directly seeded in the garden. A perennial, the daisies will return each year with increasing amounts of blooms, as they readily self-seed. Plant Shasta daisies in beds, borders and outdoor containers if you want prolific blooms.
Prepare the garden bed in fall before frost hardens the ground. Choose a well-draining bed in full to partial sun, and spread a 3-inch layer of mature compost on top. Till the compost 6 inches into the soil with a hoe to aid drainage and to add soil nutrition.
Sow seeds in the spring two to four weeks before the last expected frost date in your area and when the ground is workable. Check a USDA zone map for your last frost date (see Resources). Plant each seed to a 1/8-inch depth, and space them 8 to 12 inches apart.
Water the seeds as needed to keep the soil evenly moist but not soaking wet until germination, which takes 14 to 21 days. Continue watering the seedlings, allowing the soil surface to dry slightly between each watering.
Fertilize the plants when flower buds begin to form. Apply a phosphorous-rich fertilizer over the bed, taking care not to let it make direct contact with the stems or leaves as the fertilizer chemicals will burn them and possibly kill them.
Remove spent flower heads as the petals wilt to encourage further blooming. Remove them before seeds form.
Things You Will Need
- Work a general-purpose fertilizer into the bed two weeks before planting if you have poor soil.
- Shasta daisies are a perennial and will return year after year.
- Cut the flowers down to within 2 inches of the soil level after the first frost in autumn, and dispose of the plant materials. This pruning prevents disease from incubating in the bed over winter.
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