Planting a Shasta Daisy
Shasta daisies are a delightful plant that is easy to grow and requires almost no maintenance. The Shasta daisy can be grown from seed or from existing root stock. The root stock can be split to provide several stems for planting.
Growing From Seed
Shasta daisy seeds can be bought, or collected from dead flower heads. Collecting seeds from flower heads simply requires that the flower heads be hung to dry and then crushed. The seeds can be separated from the flower residue by blowing gently across the surface. The seeds are tiny but relatively heavy, and will get left behind.
Step 1 – Plant the Seeds
Shasta daisy seeds can be planted straight into the soil of a flower bed before the final frost of the winter. They only need to be positioned about an eighth of an inch down. The normal surface irregularities will ensure most seeds acquire that depth. Although many of the seeds will germinate, there will be a natural attrition rate that will thin them out for you.
Step 2 – Water Well
Water well with a good liquid fertilizer or a compost tea made from fully decomposed garden compost. The seeds need to be kept moist but not swamped.
Step 3 – Wait for Germination
The seeds will germinate within 3 weeks and will soon produce healthy growth. In the first year, there will be no flowers as the plant establishes itself.
Step 4 – Encourage Flowers Next Year
At the start of spring in the second year, feed the plants well with a rich fertilizer or carefully dig some fully decomposed garden compost around the roots.
Growing by Division
Step 1 – Dig up the Plants
In early spring before the plants start to show new growth, dig up the plants you have chosen to divide.
Step 2 – Make the Division
What you have dug up will look like a clump of stems but the outer ones will look brighter and feel more supple than the inner ones. It is the outer stems you will transplant. Simply separate the stems ensuring that each looks like a complete plant. It will have its own root system and some green shoots.
Step 3 – Plant into the Flower Bed
The stems should be planted upright into the flower bed and positioned so that only the green tips of any shoots are above ground level. Pack the soil around the stems and then water well to settle them in.
Step 4 – Fertilize the Bed
Carefully work some fertilizer into the soil or dig in some fully decomposed garden compost. Water the daisies regularly.
Step 5 – Apply Mulch
To help retain moisture in the soil and prevent the growth of weeds apply a two inch layer of mulch around the daisies. The mulch will encourage the actions of earthworms which can be very beneficial to the Shasta daisy.
Once established a Shasta daisy needs very little attention. The plants are hardy and can tolerate most conditions. To encourage new growth each year the plants should be cut back almost to ground level just before winter sets in.