The Shasta Daisy is a beloved garden flower with beautiful white blossoms. This classic garden flower has bright, cheerful blooms and is popular for both cottage gardens and cut flower gardens.
Keep reading to learn all about the Shasta Daisy including where it comes from, how to use it in floral arrangements, and how you can grow your own Shasta Daisies at home.
Characteristics of the Shasta Daisy
When you picture a daisy, it probably looks a lot like a Shasta Daisy. Shasta Daisies have a classic daisy look with large blooms of thin white petals surrounding yellow centers. They have dark green leaves and sturdy stems. They bloom continuously throughout spring and summer.
Shasta Daisies usually grow in clumps that are about two to three feet tall and one to two feet wide. They can be aggressive and spread easily. They are perennial and come back year after year.
History of the Shasta Daisy
The first daisies in North America were brought over accidentally by the Pilgrims. They naturalized throughout New England and grew as wildflowers.
Shasta daisies were developed in California in the late 1800’s by a botanist named Luther Burbank as an ornamental garden flower.
Luther was inspired byÂ Oxeye DaisiesÂ that he remembered from his childhood in New England. He wanted to create an ideal daisy that was pure white, bloomed early, had large flowers, and would do well as a cut flower.
For 17 years he tested, cross pollinated, and selectively bred Oxeye daisies with several other varieties including the Portuguese Field Daisy, English Field Daisy, and Japanese Field Daisy.
The result was the Shasta daisy that we have today. Luther named his new variety after Mount Shasta in Northern California. It was first introduced in 1901 and has since become a popular garden flower.
Growing Shasta Daisies at Home
Shasta daisies are easy to grow and are great for attracting beneficial pollinators to the garden. They are excellent as cut flowers, looking fresh and beautiful for a week or more in floral arrangements.
Location and Soil
Shasta Daisies do well in full sun. They can tolerate some shade but you may have fewer blooms.
They like moderately fertile soil that is rich in organic matter. Too much fertilizer will result in excess foliage without a lot of blooms. Soil should be average to slightly sandy and well draining. Soil should stay moist but not overly saturated. Daisy plants don’t like soggy roots or puddles of water.
Shasta daisies are perennial in USDA hardiness zones four through nine. If you plant in one of these zones your daisies will come back year after year.
When and How to Plant
You can plant Shasta Daisy seeds anytime of year. For blooms the first year, plant in early spring.
To plant, spread seeds by sprinkling them over the area you want your daisies to grow. Tamp them down gently, leaving them uncovered. Daisy seeds need light to germinate so you don’t want to bury them.
If you’re planting potted Shasta Daisies you can plant them anytime during the growing season.
In colder climates it’s best to give them time to get established before very cold temperatures arrive so try to plant your potted Shasta Daisy in spring or summer rather than fall.
Shasta daisies like soil that is evenly moist and they do best with regular watering. They can tolerate occasional drought though so don’t worry if you can’t water them for a week or so every once in a while.
Water your plants lightly in the morning or evening when the sun isn’t too strong. They don’t like to be too wet so make sure not to overwater, especially if your daisies are in a partially shaded area as this can lead to fungal disease.
DeadheadingÂ the plant as blooms fade will help you get even more flowers. To deadhead a Shasta Daisy, trim the stem just below the foliage once the flower begins to look spent.
At the end of the growing season, cut back foliage and cover the plant with a light layer of mulch to add some protection for the winter.
Pests and Disease
Daisies are fairly resistant to disease but it’s still possible to have problems such as leaf spot. Pests aren’t too big of a problem either but you may occasionally have trouble with pests like earwigs, aphids, or slugs.
Where to Buy Seeds or Plants
Ready to get started growing your own Shasta Daisies? Shasta Daisies are usually quite easy to get. Check with your local garden center for seeds or plants in spring or early fall, it’s likely that you’ll be able to find them there.
A number of popular retailers including Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Walmart carry Shasta Daisy Seeds and potted plants in store during the spring and summer months. You can also order seeds online from places likeÂ Lowe’sÂ andÂ Amazon.
Symbolism of Shasta Daisies
Daisies are often said to symbolize purity, innocence, and hope. They can also symbolize beauty, friendship, motherhood, and new beginnings.
Daisies are the birth flower for the month of April. They are associated with a positive and adventurous personality.
How to Use Shasta Daisies
The Shasta Daisy is such a bright and cheerful flower, it makes a great addition to all sorts of bouquets and floral arrangements. Because it lasts a long time as a cut flower, it’s an excellent choice to add to your cut flower bouquets.
Cutting for Bouquets
When cutting Shasta Daisies to use in bouquets, choose newly opened blooms with stems long enough for your vase. Cut flowers at the base of the stem using sharp pruning shears.
If purchasing in the store, choose blooms that look fresh without any signs of fading or browning.
Arranging Shasta Daisies
Daisies add a touch of whimsy and lightness to any floral arrangement. They pair well with many other flowers including roses, hydrangeas, tulips, lavender, peonies, and lots more.
Add daisies throughout a a mixed arrangement, or use Shasta Daisies alone for a lovely white bouquet.
For a rounded bouquet, put your tallest daisies in the center then cut the next rings of flowers each about an inch shorter than the previous ring.
Wrapping up the Shasta Daisy
What a lovely and cheerful flower the Shasta Daisy is! Whether you want to attract pollinators to your vegetable garden or add another variety to your cut flower garden, Shasta daisies are an excellent choice. To learn more about other types of daisies you can check out our daisy section on the blog.