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How to grow leucanthemum, Leucanthemum x superbum 'Esther Read'

How to grow leucanthemum

All you need to know about growing leucanthemum (shasta daisy) in our detailed Grow Guide.

Shasta daisy, Leucanthemum x superbum is a long-time gardeners’ favourite. It’s named after the snow-white peak of Mount Shasta, in California, where the plant was originally bred – the whiteness of the flowers is said to resemble the white of the peak. Today there are many varieties of shasta daisy that have been bred for improved performance such as flowering for longer periods, different flower shapes and a greater range of plant sizes, including compact varieties suitable for pots. Most varieties bear large, white daisy-type flowers with a yellow centre, but some bear cream and yellow blooms, which can be single, semi-double or fully double, and may have quilled or frilled petals.

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Shasta daisy is tough and easy to grow, and flowers from early summer to early autumn. It makes an excellent cut flower and is good for attracting pollinating insects.

How to grow Leucanthemum

Grow shasta daisy in any reasonable soil, in full sun or light shade. Keep watered until established and feed and mulch annually. Stake tall-growing varieties in spring and remove faded flower stems during summer. Cut back dead growth to the ground anytime during autumn to early spring. Divide large, established clumps from autumn to early spring.


Where to grow shasta daisy

Leucanthemum x superbum 'Old Court'
Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Old Court’

Plant shasta daisy in fertile, well-drained soil in borders. Full sun gives the best flowers though partial shade still gives reasonably good results. Grow compact varieties in pots or towards the front of a border.


How to plant shasta daisy

Ideally plant shasta daisy in autumn, during mild spells in winter, or early spring. Summer planting is fine so long as plants are kept watered until established. Plant into good soil or improve poor ground before planting by adding organic matter. Firm in thoroughly, water in, and keep watered until established. For pots, use a potting compost containing loam (such as a John Innes type).


How to care for shasta daisy

Deadheading shasta daisies
Deadheading shasta daisies

Shasta daisy is a vigorous perennial and benefits from an annual mulch of compost or manure, and a late winter/early spring feed with slow-release fertilizer. Support tall-growing varieties, ideally with grow-through supports put in place during spring that quickly become hidden. Either buy ready-made ones, make your own from canes and string or use twiggy hazel stems bent over or around the clump. Deadhead regularly by cutting flowered stems to the base.


How to propagate shasta daisy

Dividing shasta daisy roots
Dividing shasta daisy roots

Shasta daisy is vigorous and forms large clumps within several years. Propagate by dividing clumps every three to five years, preferably in early spring. This also rejuvenates older plants that have become congested.

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Growing shasta daisy: problem solving

Shasta daisy is generally trouble free once established.


Advice on buying shasta daisy

  • Garden-ready plants are widely available from nurseries and garden centres, often in a range of pot/plant sizes from cheaper 0.5L pots up to 3 litre pots
  • Mail order suppliers generally offer smaller pot sizes only, as well as young plants (plugs) in multipacks – these should be potted up and grown on for several months until large enough to plant out.

Where to buy leucanthemum (shasta daisy)

  • Crocus
  • Thompson & Morgan
  • Burncoose