Plant of the month. July 2015 SHASTA DAISY

In July along the Front Range of Colorado, Shasta Daisies burst onto the Boulder Colorado landscape scene in a big way. The Shasta Daisy is an old school flower, but their beauty is everlasting. Created from 4 different daisies from three continents by Luther Burbank in 1890, the Shasta Daisy is named after Mt. Shasta in California because the petals are as white as the snow.

The Shasta Daisy is a great backdrop plant in a perennial garden because of its heightThe Shasta Daisy is a great backdrop plant in a perennial garden because of its height, reaching sometimes 4 ft. Other varieties are smaller and more compact, but the true Shasta is a garden showstopper for its massive size. Due to their long stems, they are great as cut flowers, and should be cut, since their height often means wind or rain can lay them over, if not clumped among other plants for support. They can be deadheaded, but the best method is to cut them back to the basal foliage to promote strong root and foliage growth for the following year.

The Shasta Daisy will also readily seed into other areas of the garden if the flower heads are left to dry on the stem. Easily recognizable as a seedling, they can be weeded out as needed or be allowed to spread if desired. Requiring moderate moisture, they may not be the best for the truly xeric garden, often wilting in the heat of the summer sun, even when well watered. However, they perk right up when the sun angle drops and the temperature goes down a bit. They seem to inhibit weed growth as well, due to their height and the shade they provide to the soil below.

In Boulder Colorado landscapes, rabbits have become an issue in the last few years, due to a population explosion, but the Shasta Daisy does not seem to be on their list of desirables! Plant one or twenty in your garden to experiment with their beauty.

Thanks for reading!