Shasta daisy is a beautiful plant used for ornamenting landscapes and gardens. It belongs to the genus Leucanthemum and is actually a hybrid of two species: Leucanthemum lacustre and Leucanthemum maximum. This perennial plant has a dense growth when cultivated under optimal conditions. It is native to Europe but grows in most parts of the United States as well. It's a beautiful plant with white petals arranged in clusters and a big, golden yellow center. The plant requires a little bit of care for full blossom, especially during summer months of June and July.
Planting and Caring Tips
Things such as climatic conditions, temperatures, soil conditions, moisture content, fertilizers, timely pruning, etc., have to be kept in mind while planting. These parameters are also important for aftercare.
First decide the area where you want to grow these plants. The ideal time for propagation is the spring season. The soil bed needs to be prepared prior to planting; for this, till the soil to a depth of about 12-15 inches. Moreover, it should be well drained and fertile. Make sure it has adequate moisture content. Now, place the stem of the plants into the tilled soil. Mulch the soil after that. Mulching prevents the growth of weeds and it also insulates the soil. Make sure you have planted the seedlings 25-38 inches apart.
The plant requires moderate amount of water for growth. You can water it once every seven days for the first month. Even during the entire summer season, water it once every week. Make sure the soil is not soggy and/or damp, as the roots cannot tolerate wet and water-logged soil. During the dry season, water the plants twice a week, only if required. Add fertilizer to the plants at least once a month; it should have a moderate 'nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium' ratio. Read the instructions on the fertilizer packets before spraying them over the plants. Water the plants after adding fertilizers.
The optimal temperature required for the proper growth of these plants is 70 degrees F. Also, Shasta daisy requires adequate sunlight. You should expose the plants to at least 6-8 hours of sunlight everyday. The plants start blooming during the months of June and July. Make sure you control the moisture content of the soil during the rainy season. Furthermore, you need to stake the plants to prevent damage during heavy rains and winds. For this, insert the stakes just beside the plants, and tie them tightly to the plant by a thread.
The plant will grow up to a height of about 1-3 feet. Dead flowers should be removed immediately. This process is known as deadheading; it needs to be done regularly, whenever the flowers die. Pruning is carried out during the summer season, where the stem is cut neatly with pruning scissors. This process is known as shear pruning and it enhances the growth of a dense foliage. During winter, remove the dead stems and add mulch once again to prevent the roots from rotting.
For proper growth, all the aspects mentioned above must be taken care of. If you're not sure whether you can grow this plant, consult a nursery nearby.