How to Plant, Grow, and Care For Shasta Daisies

Shasta daisies are a stunning and unique hybrid variety that has become an heirloom after over a century of being grown in gardens across North America. They are easy to grow and care for, and this perennial can spread through your garden via rhizomes and seeds. Gardening expert Kelli Klein walks you through the steps of planting, growing, and caring for these tough plants so that you can enjoy them in your garden for years to come!

Shasta daisies bloom with white petals surrounding yellow centers, radiating cheerfulness under the warm sunlight. Lush green leaves serve as a lush backdrop, accentuating the daisies' bright hues and adding depth to the scene.


Shasta daisies are multifaceted: they attract bees and butterflies, make excellent cut flowers, and produce showy white blooms that look stunning in the garden. The flowers consist of snow-white outer petals surrounding a sunny yellow center. They are cold hardy, drought-tolerant, and not picky about soil type. 

They are low maintenance and easy to grow. These daisies are considered short-lived perennials, but the seeds are easy to collect and spread them around your garden or replace older plants. Once you see them in your garden along with the pollinators they attract, you’re sure to make space for them each growing season. 


Shasta daisies bloom abundantly, their white petals reaching toward the sun, creating a picturesque scene. Below, lush green foliage provides a contrasting backdrop, enhancing the beauty of the radiant flowers in full bloom.
The Shasta daisy is a perennial plant belonging to the Asteraceae family.
Plant Type Perennial
Family Asteraceae
Genus Leucanthemum
Species Leucanthemum x superbum
Native Area North America
Exposure Full sun
Height 12-48”
Watering Requirements Low to medium
Pests and Diseases Aphids, chrysanthemum nematode, root rot, leaf spot
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loamy, clay, sandy
Soil pH Acidic, neutral

What Are Shasta Daisies?

Leucanthemum × superbum is a hybrid daisy variety with an interesting history. The flowers are easily recognizable by their pure white petals and sunny yellow center. These perennials are hardy and will spread throughout your garden, creating beautiful tall stands of daisy-like flowers that the bees will love!


White Shasta daisies tower gracefully, their slender stems reaching towards the sky. Beneath, lush green leaves sprawl, framing the vibrant blooms. Behind them, a rustic brick wall adds a timeless charm to the scene.
Burbank created Shasta daisies through multiple cross-pollination experiments over 17 years.

These flowers are hybrids, not naturally occurring varieties. They are the result of a quadruple cross between several types of plants in the Leucanthemum genus. American horticulturist Luther Burbank developed these flowers in the 1890s near the snowy mountains of Mount Shasta in Northern California, inspiring their common name.

Burbank’s experiments began with planting oxeye daisies (L. vulgare), which he later cross-pollinated with English field daisies (L. maximum). He then took the best of these hybrids and cross-pollinated them with Portuguese field daisies (L. lacustre). He took these triple hybrids, and for one final time, he cross-pollinated them with Japanese field daisies (Nipponanthemum nipponicum).

At first, these flowers showed no change, but when he cross-pollinated them with each other, it resulted in the Shasta daisies that we know and love today. In 1901, 17 years after he started his experiments, this new hybrid variety became available to the public. 

Native Area

White Shasta daisies, their delicate petals glowing in sunlight, stand tall in a vibrant garden. Lush greenery provides a serene backdrop, enhancing the purity and grace of the blossoms.
They originate from European and Asian plants brought to North America.

These daisies are among the oldest hybridized American garden flowers, but they are not native to America. Plants in the Leucanthemum genus are endemic to Europe and Asia. The plants involved in the creation of Shasta daisies are all native to Europe and Asia as well. Pilgrim settlers brought most of them to the New England area of North America.


Shasta daisies bask in the golden sunlight, their petals aglow with warmth. In the background, blurred foliage forms a natural canvas, enhancing the ethereal beauty of the delicate flowers in the foreground.
The flowers have white petals and yellow centers.

There are thousands of species of flowers in the daisy family (Asteraceae), including sunflowers, marigolds, chrysanthemums, and asters. Most of these flowers are composite, meaning that they have an outer ray flower and inner disc flowers.

The outer ray flower is what we see as the larger outer petals. The inner “eye” of these flowers makes up the disc flowers, which is a grouping of tightly clustered individual flowers. When each disc flower is pollinated, it produces a single seed.

With their large white ray flower petals and tightly packed bright yellow disc flowers at the center, Shasta daisies are the quintessential daisies. The most common and original color of this cultivar is white. Nowadays, you can find cultivars in different colors, such as creamy yellow. You can also produce colored varieties by placing the classic white cut flowers into a vase of water with a few drops of food coloring. The color will wick up the stems into the petals. 


White Shasta daisies bloom, their petals unfurling gracefully around bright yellow centers, like miniature suns. The lush green foliage forms a perfect backdrop, accentuating the purity of the blossoms in full bloom.
They attract pollinators and make excellent cut flowers.

This cheerful summer bloomer is a landscape ornamental. The plants grow and spread in clumps, creating beautiful stands of white daisy flowers. They attract bees and butterflies to your garden as well, making them a great choice for pollinator-friendly landscaping.

They will bloom from summer into fall so be sure to mix them with both early and late blooming flowers in your garden. A medley of species ensures that something is always in bloom! These plants have sturdy stems that do well in a vase, making them an excellent cut flower.

Where to Buy

Shasta daisies stretch towards the sky, embracing the warmth of sunlight in their white petals. Their green stems, adorned with delicate leaves, provide sturdy support for the blossoms, creating a picturesque scene of natural beauty.
‘Alaska Shasta’ is widely available as seeds or seedlings in USDA zones 5 through 9.

There are a few varieties of this daisy available currently, but if you are looking for the classic white heirloom variety, then look for seeds that specify ‘Alaska Shasta’ daisy.

This popular flower is also likely available as a seedling from transplant at your local nursery if you live in its ideal growing zones, USDA zones 4 through 9. 


A close-up of a Shasta daisy seed head, its intricate pattern visible against a blurred green background. The brown hues of the seed head hint at the passage of time, a symbol of growth and renewal.
Transplanting seedlings in the fall allows for earlier blooming.

The seeds can be sown outside two to four weeks before your average last frost date. Starting seeds indoors will give you a head start on the season. You should start seeds indoors six to eight weeks before your average last frost date. Seeds will emerge within 10-15 days. Transplant seedlings outdoors after all threats of frost have passed. 

This perennial plant doesn’t usually bloom in its first year of growth, so if you transplant seedlings in the spring, you likely won’t see flowers until their second summer.

You can “get ahead” by transplanting seedlings in the fall. Make sure to plant them at least four to six weeks before your average first frost date to give them plenty of time to get established before the winter weather rolls in. They will overwinter and produce flowers the following summer. This means you only had to wait seven to eight months for their first bloom rather than a full year. 

How to Grow

This tough plant is very low-maintenance and easy to care for. They are not picky about soil and can be flexible with light requirements, and they are relatively drought-tolerant. Although they will survive less than ideal conditions, they might not produce an abundance of blooms. If you provide them with their preferred growing environment, you’ll be rewarded with tons of flowers. 


A patch of Shasta daisies bask in the sunlight, illuminating the garden with their delicate charm. Their slender stems stand tall, gracefully supporting each blossom, creating a picturesque scene of natural beauty and tranquility.
The blooms can tolerate partial shade in excessively hot climates.

Shasta daisies prefer full sun, though they can tolerate partial shade conditions. It is best to plant them in full sun unless you live in an area that receives extreme or prolonged heat in the summer. In this case, they can benefit from afternoon shade.

Providing them with a full sun location will result in the most blooms. A full-sun location is especially important during the winter when the plants are dormant. These locations will have the warmest soil temperatures and help these perennial plants survive over winter. 


A close-up of Shasta daisies, their pristine white petals glistening with delicate water droplets, capturing the purity of nature after a gentle rain. Each petal reflects the light, creating a mesmerizing symphony of clarity and freshness.
Decrease watering gradually for Shasta daisies after new growth emerges.

These flowers are relatively drought-tolerant and need about an inch of water weekly during the warmest months. If you are receiving regular rainfall, you likely don’t need to provide any supplemental water at all. It is better to under-water rather than over-water your daisies

This, of course, only applies to established plants. In the beginning, when you are starting seeds or transplanting out seedlings, you want to provide them with regular water and keep them consistently moist. Once the transplanted seedlings begin to put out new growth, then this is a good sign that they’re established and can handle less water. 


Rich brown soil teeming with life, ready for seeds to embrace and sprout into vibrant greenery. Its fertile depths promise nourishment for roots to delve deep, fostering a thriving ecosystem of flora and fauna.
Improving soil drainage with organic matter or perlite can prevent fungal issues.

These hardy perennials are tolerant of a wide range of soil types, including loam, clay, and sandy soil. This can save some time when transplanting since you don’t have to be overly particular about amending the soil at the planting site beforehand. Well-draining soil, however, is a must. These flowers also require a neutral soil pH.  

Some clay soils can be very compact and poorly draining. In this case, you should amend the planting site. Overly wet and consistently saturated soils can cause rot and other fungal issues that can kill your plants. You can amend your soil by adding plenty of organic matter, like compost, or materials that can increase drainage, like perlite.

If your native soil is poorly draining and you don’t want to deal with amending the soil, you can also opt to grow Shasta daisies in containers. More on that later! 

Temperature and Humidity

White Shasta daisies, with yellow centers, bloom abundantly, exuding freshness and purity in a garden setting. Their deep green stems and leaves provide a striking contrast, adding to the charm and allure of the blossoms.
This plant requires extra water and shade in hot regions.

These flowers are short-lived perennials that can reliably grow in USDA growing zones 4 through 9. They can survive a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels. However, they prefer to be in a lower-humidity environment. As with overly wet soils, overly humid conditions can cause rot and fungal issues for your plants. 

They are hardy down to -20° Fahrenheit (-29° Celsius) and can survive as a perennial in areas with this average low temperature over winter. The ideal temperature range during the growing season is between 70-75° Fahrenheit (21-24°C). In areas that receive temperatures consistently above 80° Fahrenheit (27°C), they may need extra water or afternoon shade to keep them healthy and producing blooms. 


A close-up of a hand holding black slow-release fertilizer granules. The background reveals a multitude of these granules, each promising nourishment to the soil. Illuminated by a soft light, they shimmer with potential growth and vitality.
Consider fertilizing Shasta daisies with granular slow-release fertilizer to maximize blooms.

Fertilizing your Shasta daisies is optional. These flowers are hardy and often spread in clumps on their own. They self-seed with little outside help. However, if you want to get the maximum amount of blooms, you can fertilize with a granular slow-release fertilizer in early spring. A top dressing of compost at the base of the plant each year will also help give it a boost. 

Balanced fertility is key. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers that may cause a flush of leafy growth rather than prolific blooms.


A close-up of Shasta daisies, their snowy petals embracing a sunny heart. Lush green leaves serve as a contrasting backdrop, enhancing the flower's radiant beauty against a verdant canvas.
Prune back dead stems in early spring to allow new growth to thrive.

Your flowers will benefit from deadheading throughout the growing season. Removing spent flowers will help encourage new growth, which will result in more blooms. This is easy to do since Shasta daisies make a wonderful cut flower. Cutting them regularly and bringing them inside to place in a vase or other floral arrangements won’t even seem like a chore. And you’ll get even more flowers for it! 

Once the plant has died back in the late fall or early winter, you can leave the stems in place. This will add some visual appeal to your winter landscape. In early spring, just as new growth appears, cut back the previous year’s stems to the ground. The new growth will take over and continue to bloom. 

Growing in Containers

A brown pot holds a Shasta daisy plant, its white blooms contrasting against green leaves, illuminated by sunlight. A busy bee lands on one of the delicate flowers, collecting pollen as it contributes to the garden's ecosystem.
Repot daisies into larger containers when roots protrude from drainage holes.

Yes, these daisies can also be grown in containers! This is especially useful for small space gardeners or those who wish to contain their spread through the garden. The key here is to make sure that they don’t dry out too much or get root-bound.

Hooking your containers up to a drip irrigation system is a hands-off approach to making sure that your plants receive consistent moisture. Otherwise, you can always stick your finger into the top few inches of soil. If it feels dry, then it’s time to water. 

Since they are perennials, you’ll want to be sure to pot them up into a bigger container after a year or two so that they don’t outgrow the space. You can tell that your plants need to be potted up if you see roots poking out through the drainage holes or if the soil pulls away from the sides of the container. If the container dries out quickly or if the overall growth of your plant slows, these are also signs your plant needs repotting. 


Brown pots filled with dark, rich soil house delicate daisy seedlings, their tender stems reaching for sunlight. Resting on a weathered wooden table, they symbolize the beauty of nature nurtured by time and care.
Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost.

There are two main ways to propagate Shasta daisies: by seed or by division. Seeds are the easiest and most cost-effective way to get these plants established. But if you already have them in your garden, or know a friend who does, then you might consider propagating by division. 


When starting from seeds you can choose to start them indoors or outside. It is advantageous to start them indoors, especially if you have a shorter growing season, since this will give you a head start. Start seeds indoors at least six to eight weeks before your average last frost date. After a period of hardening off, transplant your seedlings 12-24 inches apart. As they mature, they will fill in the space. 

If you’re starting seeds outdoors, you’ll need to wait until one to two weeks before your average last frost date. The tender seedlings can’t handle a hard frost.

These tiny seeds need to be surface-sown since they require light to germinate. Sprinkle them delicately on the soil surface and lightly press them in with your hand. Sprinkle a light dusting of soil to hold them in place and water them in gently.

Seeds should emerge within 10-15 days. Thin the seedlings to a spacing of 12-24 inches apart


The next method is propagating by division. These flowers spread in clumps via underground rhizomes, which makes them the perfect candidate for this method. Simply dig up a clump and split it in half with a sharp spade.

Once they are established, their root systems are hardy and they can tolerate regular divisions. Separate your two clumps and replant them in a new location. Divide your daisies in the early spring before new growth appears or in the late fall after the plant has died back for the season. 

Common Problems

Shasta daisies are low-maintenance and relatively trouble-free, but there are a few things to look out for. Read on to learn about the warning signs that there might be something amiss with your plants. 

Lack of Flowers

A solitary Shasta daisy plant, displaying delicate, feathery leaves beside its lone, radiant bloom. Surrounding it, a blurred backdrop depicts a flourishing garden bed, rich with various verdant plants thriving in nutrient-rich brown soil.
A lack of blooms can be caused by excessive fertilization.

This perennial is known for its abundant blooms. So if your daisy isn’t blooming, then you know something isn’t quite right. A lack of flowers can be caused by over-fertilizing.

These plants tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, and as mentioned above, fertilizing is optional. They will do just fine without it. Sometimes, too much fertilizer can have the opposite effect on what you are trying to accomplish. A fertilizer too high in nitrogen can cause lots of foliage growth but no flowers. If you apply fertilizer, air on the side of too little rather than too much. 

Wilting and Yellow Leaves

A Shasta daisy plant with blooms showcases signs of wilting as some petals turn brown. Against a backdrop of trimmed grass, the delicate flowers illustrate the passage of time and the resilience of nature's cycles.
Overwatering and poorly drained soil causes wilting daisies with yellowing leaves.

Overwatered or poorly drained soils often cause yellow, wilted foliage. If your daisies are wilting and you see pale or yellow leaves, check the soil around the base of the plant. If it is soaking wet to the touch, overwatering is most likely the issue.

Let the plant dry out before you begin watering again, and only water once the top few inches of soil is completely dry. You can also help increase the drainage around your plants by amending the soil with organic matter like compost, which will help improve the soil structure.  

Weak Stems

A close-up of a Shasta daisy flower, its white petals delicately unfurling on a stem amidst feathery leaves. In the background, a soft blur of greenery sets the stage for this natural beauty.
Insufficient sunlight can cause weak stems in Shasta daisies.

Lanky or floppy stems can be caused by too much shade. Shasta daisies thrive in full-sun environments. They can benefit from partial shade conditions in areas with extreme heat. However, too much shade leads to weak stems, which results in lanky or floppy flowers. If you notice this with your plant, try moving it to an area with more sun. 


 A close up of a Shasta daisy plant, showcasing a delicate bud ready to bloom amidst fuzzy green leaves. The green stem hosts a colony of black ants, diligently navigating their way through the verdant landscape.
Remove aphids and chrysanthemum nematodes with a strong hose blast.

Aphids are a common soft-bodied insect pest that can afflict various plants, including Shasta daisies. A strong blast from the hose can knock them off of the plant, and when caught early enough, this method is effective. However, if an extreme outbreak occurs, a mixture of neem oil and water can remove aphids. You can also spray insecticidal soap. Avoid spraying the flowers to limit exposure to pollinating insects. Instead, focus these sprays on the foliage.

Chrysanthemum nematode is a foliar pest, much like aphids, often found on the plant’s stems and leaves. They cause the leaves to turn yellow and brown and drop from the plant. The feeding from these pests on the foliage can also cause new growth to deform as it develops. There is no effective chemical control for these nematodes and infected plants should be destroyed to prevent the spread to healthy plants nearby. 


A close-up of a Shasta daisy with white petals wilting, its once vivid hues fading into muted tones. The delicate petals curl at the edges, revealing hints of decay amidst the beauty of its intricate center.
Overwatering can lead to root rot in flowering perennials.

Overwatering causes multiple problems for these flowering perennials and contributes to the development of root rot and leaf spot. The symptoms of root rot are soft mushy stems, wilting, and of course, rotten roots. Leaf spots are usually dark and spread if the leaves aren’t removed as the disease crops up.

Rot is harder to recover from but can be remedied if there are still fresh, white roots that have not yet turned to mush. You can dig up your Shasta daisy, cut back the rotted roots, and replant into dry soil. Cut back on watering and only water if the soil has completely dried out.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What do Shasta daisies attract?

Bees and butterflies adore the nectar-rich vibrant blooms.

Are Shasta daisies invasive?

No, it is not included on an invasive species list for any U.S. state. However, the hybrid plants are non-native. They are sometimes referred to as invasive because of how aggressively they can spread in ideal growing conditions.

When do Shasta daisies bloom?

This perennial will bloom in its second year of growth. Established plants bloom all summer long. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage more blooms and extend the season.

Are Shasta daisies perennials?

Yes, though they are considered short-lived perennials that only live a few years.

Final Thoughts

Shasta daisies are a beautiful short-lived perennial that will spread throughout your garden (if you allow it!) It attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies and also makes a wonderful cut flower for homegrown wildflower bouquets. This hybrid heirloom is still wildly popular over 100 years after its creation, and for good reason. You won’t regret finding a spot in your garden for Shasta daisies this season. 

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