Shasta Daisy: The Perfect Perennial for Your Garden

As a horticulturist, I have a deep love for perennials. There is something magical about seeing these plants return year after year, growing bigger and better with each season. And among these reliable and low-maintenance beauties, the Shasta daisy holds a special place in my heart. With its long bloom time, resistance to pests, and stunning appearance, it’s no wonder that this perennial is a favorite among gardeners.

What Makes a Shasta Daisy?

The Shasta daisy, scientifically known as Leucanthemum x superbum, is a hybrid plant that combines the European oxeye daisy, the Nippon daisy, and two other species. It was bred by Luther Burbank in California in the late 1800s and named after the snow-capped peak, Mount Shasta. This hardy perennial can be grown in various gardening zones, making it accessible to gardeners across different regions.

Shastas in a perennial garden.
Shasta daisy plants have a beautiful mounded shape.

Growth Habits and Appearance

Shasta daisies are hardy plants that can withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees F. They thrive in full sun and can reach a height of 3 to 4 feet with an equal spread. However, there are cultivars that can grow shorter or taller than the average size. These daisies produce classic daisy-shaped blooms with a core of tiny yellow flowers surrounded by white petals. The glossy, dark green leaves add to the plant’s appeal, even when not in bloom.

Why the Shasta daisy deserves a home in your garden.
The foliage of Shasta daisies adds a touch of dark, deep green to the landscape even when the plants are not in bloom.

The Best Varieties

There are numerous varieties of Shasta daisies to choose from, ranging in size and characteristics. Here are some of my favorites:

Becky Shasta Daisy

‘Becky’ is a reliable variety that produces stunning white blooms. It reaches a height of 3 to 4 feet and blooms from June to late summer. This variety doesn’t require staking and is known for its long-lasting flowers, making it perfect for cut flower arrangements.

Becky offers deer and pest resistance and reliable bloom.
‘Becky’ is a reliable bloomer that produces hundreds of flowers per plant.

Alaska Shasta Daisy

‘Alaska’ is a slightly shorter variety, reaching 2 to 3 feet in height. It has strong stems that don’t require staking and is particularly tolerant of dry conditions. For best results, plant it in full sun.

Deer-resistant, sun-loving, and low-maintenance perennials.
Alaska Shasta daisy is slightly shorter than most other varieties, and it produces very wide blooms.

Snowcap Shasta Daisy

If you prefer a dwarf variety with long-lasting flowers, ‘Snowcap’ is perfect for you. This compact plant reaches about a foot in height and is ideal for the front of the border or container gardening. It’s also drought, deer, and rabbit-resistant.

Shasta daisy blooms are adored by pollinators.
Snowcap Shastas are compact, and their large blooms offer pollen and nectar to pollinators.

Shasta Daisy Care

Shasta daisies are low-maintenance plants that don’t require much attention. Plant them in full sun, or partial shade if necessary, and avoid over-fertilization. Taller varieties may need staking if not positioned in a sunny location. When newly planted, water them regularly, but after the first season, they only need watering during extreme drought. Adding organic matter and mulch each year is beneficial for their growth.

Caring for perennials.
Shasta daisy plants require very little care. Deadhead the spent blooms to encourage reblooming.

Pollinator Power

In addition to beautifying your garden, Shasta daisies also provide food and habitat for a diverse range of insects. The low-growing foliage creates a habitat for predatory bugs, while the flowers attract pollinators such as butterflies, bees, and beetles. Even the hollow flower stalks can serve as overwintering habitats for native bee species. By planting Shasta daisies, you are not only enhancing your garden but also supporting the ecosystem.

The Shasta daisy is an easy-care plant that
Shasta daisy flowers provide nectar and pollen to a diverse range of insects.

The Shasta daisy is a wonderful addition to any garden. Its beauty, resilience, and contribution to the ecosystem make it a must-have perennial. So, why not plant this lovely flower and enjoy its benefits for years to come?

For more tips on growing great perennials, check out the following articles:

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Shasta daisies are low-maintenance perennials that are both beautiful and pollinator-friendly. Discover the best varieties and tips for their care. #gardening #perennials