By E. VinjeTweet
Home gardeners everywhere are growing daisies. The simple white flowers with yellow button centers are a symbol of purity and are perfect for cutting. Easy to grow, they are a favorite for beginner flower gardeners and are effective when planted in small groups. Perennial, 2-3 feet tall.
Daisies like rich, fast draining soil, ample water and lots of sunshine. However, they are hardy and will tolerate poor soil conditions and partial shade. Work some old animal manure or compost into the soil to help promote abundant blooms.
How to Plant:
Easy to grow from seed, division or nursery stock. Plant directly into the soil 1/8 inch deep when a light frost is still possible. Seeds will germinate in 10-20 days and plants will bloom the following year – after one seasons growth. Apply an all-purpose organic fertilizer early in the season to promote strong, sturdy growth. Prior to blooming, switch to a fertilizer high in phosphorous to promote spectacular blooms. Remove the spent flowers, or use them as cuttings in flower arrangements, to extend the flowering season into the fall. The plants should be cut down to the ground in late fall.
Insects and Disease:
Insects and disease are not typically a problem found on Shasta daisy. However, keep an eye out for slugs and snails and treat with diatomaceous earth or other natural pest control method, if necessary.
Seed Saving Instructions:
Daisies are heavy seed producers. When the flowers dry out, cut them off and hang upside down in bunches. The seeds are contained in the heads between the spikes. Once the heads are dry, they can be hand-crushed, with gloves on for protection, and the seed winnowed from the chaff.