Shasta Daisy blooms spring thru fall

My_Gardens_Spring_May_Queen_ShastaI am a pushover for white Shasta daisies. Maybe it is because they were one of my Mom’s favorite flowers. They always bring a smile to my face. That’s why I want to see these sweet beauties in my garden spring through fall. The challenge is that most shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum) only bloom with gusto for four to six weeks, depending on the cultivar. So, like many gardeners, I’ve figured out a way to get my cake and eat it too. I now have white rayed, yellow-domed flowers from May into November. Here’s how.

I start off the spring show with a variety called ‘May Queen’ (pictured in my spring garden) that blooms in May and June. It gets about 24” tall and is hardy in Zones 3 to 7. But fair warning. It can seed about with abandonment, so if you don’t want these everywhere, be diligent to pinch off spent blooms before they go to seed.

WaltersGardens-Leucanthemum-superbumSnowcap‘Snow Lady’ (12” tall) and ‘Snowcap’ (15”-18” tall, pictured with yellow coreopsis) are stiff-stemmed plants that cover themselves with masses of shimmering white flowers from mid-June until mid-July. As with all shastas, deadheading will prolong blooming.

Then ‘Becky’ takes up the flower baton, with three to four foot, rigid stems and huge white flowers that blaze into September.

WaltersGardens-Echinacea-purpureaVirginFor additional insurance for plenty of late season shasta-like flowers, I tuck in some white coneflowers (Echincea) which have horizontally-held white petals. ‘PowWow White’ (18”-24” tall) and ‘Virgin’ (20”-24” tall, pictured right. Photo are good picks.


Montauk_Daisy_Carol_BradfordMontauk Daisy (Nipponanthemum nipponicum, photo by Carol Bradford) is the last to bloom, crossing the finish line near the close of fall. Although not actually in the Leucanthemum family, it look-alike flowers do the trick. These sometimes are called sub-shrubs, as their stems get woody at the base over time. To keep Montauk Daisy looking its best, prune the plant down by half in late spring or early summer.

All of these bloom best in full sun. Hardiness varies by cultivar but most are hardy in Zones 5 to 8.