Last Updated On: August 24th, 2019
Learn all about your beautiful, summer-blooming Shasta daisy plants in this gardener's guide with a plant profile.
Without a doubt, Shasta daisies are one of the most popular flowers on the planet.
And that is saying a lot when you consider family members include Purple coneflower, Gerbera daisies, and English daisies.
A perennial summer favorite, these cottage garden flowers will bloom profusely throughout most of the summer, attract tons of pollinators, and require very little maintenance.
And, they have quite an interesting history.
In our Shasta daisy plant profile below, you'll learn what sets these daisies apart from their numerous family members.
For a quick podcast version of this post, check out Shasta Daisy Care here.
To prolong the life of your Shasta daisies throughout the summer months (maybe even into the fall), you need to deadhead them at the right time using the proper tools (see below for when to do this).
These pruning shears we are recommending are best for any plant material that measures up to an inch in diameter and the ones we've been using for years. Perfect for your daisies!
Read our shasta daisy plant post below to learn:
- How to grow and care for daisies in your yard
- Shasta daisy plant profile and free printable guide
- Shasta daisies for sale
- How to divide Shasta daisies
- Different Daisy Flowering Plants
Daisies: Why We're Featuring This Plant
First, what's not to love about these gorgeous, white flowers? They are so cheerful and fun! While evoking a sense of happiness just from their presence alone, they also enhance the garden and provide a beautiful accent to borders.
Plus, they make great cut flowers.
In addition to their beauty, these hardy perennials are really easy to maintain.
With just a bit of deadheading for spent flowers, the Shasta daisy can be enjoyed throughout most of the summer months. For that reason, they are perfect for a beginner gardener. However, these versatile plants can also challenge a novice gardener if the need arises to divide them, perform pest control methods, or otherwise engage in more taxonomy of the family group.
Also, Shasta daisies are ideal for busy "weekend warrior" gardeners, like we are, who are super busy during the regular work week but also want to enjoy a beautiful, healthy garden.
Finally, the Shasta daisy is a pollinators' paradise. All kinds of bees, butterflies, and other insects (ever heard of a pollen beetle?) will flock to the large, robust flowers to feast. Enough said.
By the way, our plant profile guide below is meant for beginner gardeners but can be used by anyone who wants to learn more about this plant. We hope it's helpful for you!
(By the way, this post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click on any of the links we are promoting, we might get a small commission at no cost to you which helps us run our website and podcast).
Shasta Daisy Flowers: Family and History
Shasta daisies are in the family Asteraceae (Compositae). Also known as the Daisy Family, this family group has more than 20,000 species of flowering plants throughout the world!
The daisy family features unique flowers that are actually made up of two types of flowers, not just one. Each flower you see in this family is actually composed of one or more rows of "ray" flowers on the perimeter/edge and the "disk" flowers in the center.
Overall, this plant family is very important economically as they're known for their cut flower value, cooking oils, herbal teas, etc. Some daisies are used medicinally while others are considered invasive.
Family members include sunflowers, zinnias, lettuce, and chrysanthemums to name a few.
Shasta Daisy History
First and foremost, Shasta daisies have gone through some botanical name changes in the recent past.
They were categorized in the Chrysanthemum genus but were later recategorized into the Leucanthemum genus. Today you might see either name refer to the Shasta Daisy in books or even online. It can get a little confusing especially since not everyone agrees with the genus name change.
Throughout history, daisies have symbolized innocence and purity.
The name “daisy” comes from the term “day’s eye.” It refers to the fact that the daisy flowers close up at night and then re-open in the morning.
The Shasta daisy was created in 1901 by an American botanist named Luther Burbank at his experimental farm in California (more on him below). A famous plant cross-breeder, Burbank desired to create a snow-white daisy. He bred multiple daisies together to create this masterpiece, including the oxeye daisy and three other varieties.
Finally, after 17 years he succeeded in creating the famous, iconic daisy we know today, the "Shasta daisy," which was named for the "snow white" peaks of Mount Shasta in California.
Luther Burbank and Burpee
In addition to the Shasta daisy, Luther Burbank bred and created some other plants you might be familiar with, the most famous being the Russet-Burbank Potato.
Today this hybrid is more commonly known as the Russet Potato! One of the most popular potatoes in the world!
Luther Burbank was a distant cousin of W. Atlee Burpee of the Burpee Seed Company. Upon Burbank's death, rights to several of his creations were eventually acquired and sold to Burpee, including these daisies.
Of course, Burpee seed company is still thriving today and they have great flowers, seeds, and other products to choose from!
In fact, if you want to place an order for your own Shasta daisies, try these varieties below. Just click on the pictures you like and buy them now. Who knows, you could be purchasing a daisy cultivar that was originally created by Luther Burbank!
Here are three cultivars currently offered by Burpee:
P.S. We have another gift for you since you love learning about plants. Have you ever considered listening to an audiobook while you work in the garden? If you sign up for a free trial of Amazon Audible, you can get 2 free audiobooks upon signup! We listen to our favorite books all the time while we're on the go. Find out more here!
|Common/Trade Name||Shasta Daisy|
|Botanical/Scientific Name||Chrysanthemum maximum, syn. Chrysanthemum superbum, Leucanthemum superbum|
|Cultivars||From Burpee: Snow Lady, Alaska, Banana Cream, Crazy Daisy, Silver Princess, Real Glory;|
From Park Seed Co: White Breeze, Luna, Becky, Belgium Lace, Whoops-A-Daisy, Real Neat.
|Zones||USDA 4a – 10b Sunset A1 – A3; 1 – 24; and H1.|
|General Information||In the Asteraceae family, related to the seasonal Chrysanthemums or Mums sold in the fall. Perennial plant propagated by either division or seed.|
|Native Environment||Native to China, Japan, and Europe.|
|Mature Height/Width||2 – 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide.|
|Bloom Time||Beginning to late-Summer.|
|Flower Colors||White with yellow center.|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun, with some partial shade in hotter climates .|
|Growth Habit||Mounding, upright.|
|Soil Needs||Well-drained, enriched soil.|
|Fertilize?||Sure. Every 2-weeks or so with a balanced fertilizer, but not required. If really fast draining soil and/or poor soil nutrition, then definitely use a balanced fertilizer.|
|Plant Spacing||0.5-1 foot between each Daisy and other plants. |
Transplant in the fall along with dividing larger clumps (every 2-3 years).
|Suggested Companion Plant/s||Goes well with low to medium height perennials (Campanula, Primrose, Hydrangea, Rhody's) and bulbs (Crocosmia, Tulips). Others are Hydrangea's, Vinca, Rhody's, Boxwoods, Viburnums, and other foundation plants.|
|Maintenance Level||Low to Moderate; cut away spent flowers as they mature to prolong flowering during summer and into fall. Then in the late fall, early winter need to have their stems cut back down to the leaf-level, but not all the way to the ground.|
|Pest Susceptibility||Aphids, Thrips, Root-Crown Gall.|
|Poisonous to Pets?||Yes, this plant is poisonous to dogs and cats. Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyper-salivation, uncoordination, dermatitis. (according the ASPCA)|
|Edible for Humans?||Can be toxic to children and cause skin rashes similar to Poison Oak and blistering. (according to the FDA Poisonous Plants Database)|
|Fun (or historical) Facts||A true Chrysanthemum, according to the Sunset Western Garden Book. |
Flower's come in Single, Double, Quilled, and Shaggy forms.
AMAZING for fresh cut flowers!
There are so many different types of daisies out there in addition to Shasta daisies.
They differ by flower form, size, bloom time, and stem length.
And of course, there are many different colors to choose from.
- Shasta Daisy
- Creeping Daisy
- Painted Daisy
- African Daisy
- English Daisy
- Ox-Eye Daisy
- Gerbera Daisy
- Montauk Daisy
- Marguerite Daisy
- Purple Coneflower
The list goes on and on!
Shasta Daisy Videos
Dividing your Shasta daisy plants is a great way to fill in and expand your own garden and also share gifts with other gardeners.
Dividing a perennial plant, like Shasta daisies, usually happens in the fall months because most garden plants are done flowering and are starting their dormancy process to survive the upcoming cold, winter weather.
In order to divide your plants successfully, follow these steps:
- Assess the health of the plant (See below for more on that)
- Use a shovel to cut away a portion of the plant's crown into 2 (or 3) pieces.
- Make sure you have roots in each new segment
- Remove the new portion
- Clear away the area where you want to transplant your new segment
- Re-plant into a new location.
- The cut piece needs to be re-planted right away.
Assessing the Plant's Health
Only a plant that is deemed healthy enough should be divided.
In general, you can divide a plant if:
- It looks healthy with no major trauma
- It has been growing in its garden location for at least two years (usually longer)
- It is starting to get too big for its current location and is growing into other plants.
You have to see these beautiful options!
Shasta Daisy Seeds
This season, we're planting the Daisy Crazy seed mix from Eden Brothers which includes 10 species of different daisies. Some are annuals and some are perennials.
Daisy Crazy - Daisy Flower Seed Mix. Daisies have long been a staple in just about any garden... [More]
Here are a few of the types of daisies included in the mix:
- Shasta Daisy
- Creeping Daisy
- Painted Daisy
- African Daisy
- English Daisy
- Ox-Eye Daisy
Already, we're impressed with how fast our large order came in the mail. Plus we got a free gift!
Shasta Daisy Seeds from Burpee
Below, we have options for more daisy seeds from Burpee if you want to add these to your garden.
Each of these pictures below is a clickable link:
- Crazy Daisy
- Snow Lady
Shasta Daisy Plant Conclusion
Even with its interesting history and complicated, diverse family group, the Shasta daisy remains simple and pure.
Perfect for either the beginner or busy gardener, Shasta daisies are uncomplicated.
While not asking for much, they are a low-maintenance, beautiful addition to any garden.
Now it is time to hear from you!
What do you love most about daisies?
Leave a quick comment below and let us know!
Well, that's all for now.
Want to learn about other plants in your garden? Check out some of our previous plant profiles:
- The Captivating Crocosmia
- The Fantastic Fuchsia
- The Curious Calla Lily: April Plant Profile
- A Rose By Any Other Name: February Plant Profile
- The Divine Daffodil: March Plant Profile
See you in the garden!
~ Sean and Allison
Shasta References Used:
- "Shasta Daisy" - Better Homes & Gardens
- "Luther Burbank" - Luther Burbank Homes and Gardens
- "Types of Daisies" - HGTV
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