Amazing Daisies® Daisy May® Photo by Proven Winners.

The Shasta daisy is what most people consider to be the poster child for the perfect daisy — pure white she-loves-me-she-loves-me-not petals radiating from a sunny yellow center. While it may seem foolish to try to improve upon such perfection, there’s nothing wrong with having a bit of variety.

Today’s Shasta daisy cultivars offer that and more, with larger, longer-blooming flowers available in single, double, quilled, and fringed forms, some even having yellow petals. You now have a broader range of plant heights to choose from as well, from container-friendly versions under a foot tall to waist-high varieties just right for petal plucking.

On this page: The Basics | How to Plant | Care and Maintenance | Varieties | Design Ideas

SHASTA DAISY BASICS

Plant type:

Herbaceous perennial

Hardiness:

Zones 5-9

Height:

6 inches to 4 feet

Bloom time:

From spring to fall, some with repeat bloom.

Flower size:

2 to 5 inches in diameter

Bloom time:

Varies by species. Most will bloom from early through late summer.

Special attributes:


  • Attracts butterflies.
  • Deer and rabbit resistant.
  • Drought-tolerant.
  • Few insect or disease problems.
  • The narrow, serrated leaves remain dark green throughout the season and may stay evergreen year-round in warmer growing zones.

Origin:

Introduced to the garden world in 1901, the Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum ×superbum) is a hybrid combining the best qualities of the oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), English field daisy (Leucanthemum maximum) and Portuguese field daisy (Leucanthemum lacustre). It was bred by American horticulturist Luther Burbank as an easy-care ornamental alternative for the home garden. He aptly named his showy new flower after the snow-capped Mount Shasta, located not far from his home in northern California. Learn more about the history of the Shasta daisy.

HOW TO PLANT

Where to plant:

Plant Shasta daisies in full sun to light shade in well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Good soil drainage is especially important in winter because damp and soggy soil around the root crown of the plant can lead to rot.

When to plant:

In spring or early summer, after the danger of frost has passed. Seeds can also be sown outdoors from early spring through summer and will often flower the first year if started early indoors. In colder climates, avoid planting Shasta daisies in the fall because they may not become established in time to survive winter.

How to plant:

To improve drainage, add organic matter to the soil before planting. Space plants 1 to 2 feet apart to ensure good air circulation.

CARE AND MAINTENANCE

"Unbreakable Heart" combination recipe from Proven Winners includes Amazing Daisies® Daisy May®, Primo® ‘Black Pearl’ heuchera, and Color Spires® ‘Crystal Blue’ salvia. Photo by: Proven Winners.

Water requirements:

Although Shasta daisies prefer soil that’s kept evenly moist, well-established plants can tolerate short periods of drought. In fact, overwatering often does more harm than underwatering, since Shastas don’t like wet feet. For the best performance, give your plants about an inch of water per week during summer dry spells.

Staking:

The stems of taller varieties of Shasta daisies may need to be staked if the flowers begin weighing them down. As an alternative, you can pinch back the stems of your plants in early spring to reduce their height and encourage bushier growth.

Pruning and deadheading:

Deadheading the spent flowers of Shasta daisies will extend their bloom period and prevent plants from going to seed. In the fall, after your plants have finished blooming, cut back the dead stems to basal growth and cover with a layer of mulch to provide winter protection.

Propagation:

Although Shasta daisies readily self-sow, the offspring don’t always look like the parent plants. The most reliable propagation method is to divide your plants every other year. Because Shastas are often short-lived perennials, this will also help to maintain their vigor and increase their lifespan. The best time for division is in early spring or immediately after flowering.

SHASTA DAISY VARIETIES

Swipe to view slides

Photo by: Proven Winners

Amazing Daisies® Daisy May®Buy now from Proven Winners

Height:

1 to 2 feet

Spread:

10 to 14 inches

Bloom size:

3 inches

Bloom Time:

Midspring to early fall

Why we love it:

Snow white flowers blanket this prolific daisy from spring until fall. Better branching with numerous side buds result in the super-long bloom season.

Photo by: Proven Winners

Amazing Daisies® 'Banana Cream'Learn more at Proven Winners

Height:

15 to 18 inches

Width:

18 to 24 Inches

Bloom size:

Up to 5 inches

Bloom Time:

Early to late summer

Why we love it:

As scrumptious as the pie itself, with huge creamy yellow flowers on compact plants under 2 feet tall. An extra row of petals makes the flowers look especially full and lush.

Photo by: Walters Gardens, Inc.

'Becky'
Leucanthemum ×superbum

Height:

3 to 4 feet

Spread:

1½ to 2 feet

Bloom size:

3 inches

Bloom Time:

Early July to September

Why we love it:

One of the tallest Shasta daisy cultivars, bearing an abundance of large white blooms atop sturdy stems that need no staking. Named the 2003 Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association.

Photo by: Mark Herreid / Shutterstock

‘Alaska’
Leucanthemum ×superbum

Height:

1½ to 3 feet

Spread:

1½ to 2 feet

Bloom size:

3 inches

Bloom Time:

July to August

Why we love it:

Classic daisy flower heads bloom on rigid stems that don’t require staking and make an excellent, long-lasting cut flower.

Photo by: Walters Gardens, Inc.

‘Snowcap’
Leucanthemum ×superbum

Height:

12 to 15 inches

Spread:

12 inches

Bloom size:

2 to 3 inches

Bloom Time:

June to August

Why we love it:

The compact form of ‘Snowcap’ allows it to tolerate weather better than taller varieties. An abundant bloomer all summer.

Photo by: Veronica Wong / Alamy Stock Photo

'Crazy Daisy'
Leucanthemum ×superbum

Height:

2 to 2-1/2 feet

Spread:

1-1/2 to 2 feet

Bloom size:

2½ inches

Bloom Time:

June to August

Why we love it:

This wonderfully chaotic daisy produces double flowers teeming with frilly white petals that twist and turn in all directions. Each bloom is unique.

Photo by: All American Selections

'Snow Lady'
Leucanthemum ×superbum

Height and spread:

9 to 12 inches

Flower size:

2½ inches

Bloom Time:

May to August

Why we love it:

Barely a foot tall, this robust little daisy boasts one of the longest flowering seasons for a dwarf Shasta, producing a profusion of blooms from early spring through late summer. An All-America Selections award winner.

Photo by: Millette Rejean D. / Millette Photomedia

‘Fiona Coghill'
Leucanthemum ×superbum

Height:

2 to 3 feet

Spread:

1 to 2 feet

Flower size:

N/A

Bloom Time:

June to September

Why we love it:

This could be the showiest double-flowering Shasta of them all, displaying feathery pompom-shaped blooms with bright-yellow centers. It begins blooming in early summer and repeat blooms throughout the season, especially when deadheaded.

Photo by: Millette Rejean D. / Millette Photomedia

'Sunny Side Up'
Leucanthemum ×superbum

Height:

15 to 20 inches

Spread:

1 foot

Flower size:

3½ inches

Bloom Time:

June to August

Why we love it:

If there could be a floral equivalent to the perfect fried egg, this would be it - with large dome-shaped golden yellow centers encircled by pure white petals. Producing multiple flowers per stem, this Shasta will bloom reliably all summer long.

Photo by: Rock Giguere / Millette Photomedia

'Goldfinch'
Leucanthemum ×superbum

Height:

18 to 20 inches

Spread:

18 to 24 inches

Flower size:

2 inches

Bloom Time:

June to August

Why we love it:

Shaggy semi-double blooms emerge bright lemon-yellow and gradually mature to ivory white, displaying various gradients of yellow as the season progresses.

DESIGN IDEAS

"Queen Bee" combination recipe from Proven Winners includes Amazing Daisies® ‘Banana Cream’, ‘Cat’s Pajamas’ catmint, and Shadowland® ‘Autumn Frost’ hosta. Photo by Proven Winners.

  • These classic garden flowers are perfect for borders and garden beds.
  • Perfect choices for cottage gardens, pollinator gardens, moonlight gardens, or meadow gardens.
  • Shorter varieties can also be grown in containers.
  • All types of Shasta daisies are excellent additions to cut-flower bouquets.

Good companions:

Combine with other sun-loving, summer-blooming perennials such as bee balm (Monarda), yarrow (Achillea millefolium), daylilies, Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), bellflower (Campanula), hardy geraniums, catmint (Nepeta), and delphiniums.

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