Gardening Articles: Flowers :: Perennials
The Best Daisies
by Charlie Nardozzi
The Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) is a carefree, widely adapted perennial flower that gardeners across the country can grow. The flowers reach 5 inches in diameter with yellow centers and pure white petals. Shasta daisies grow best in full sun on well-drained soil in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 8.
With 69 varieties of Shasta daisies in existence, its hard to know which to grow in your garden. The Chicago Botanic Garden Plant Evaluation Program tested 36 different varieties of Shasta daises over four years to determine the best ones to grow. The daisies were grown in full sun on clay/loam soil with no extra fertilizer and only minimal watering and maintenance.
Of the 27 varieties that were tested, four stood out with the highest grades. Amelia is a single, 5-inch-diameter daisy with the largest flowers and excellent flower coverage ratings. Becky had single, 3-1/2-inch-diameter flowers on sturdy 40-inch stems with excellent bloom coverage. Filigran and Maikonigin are Leucanthemum vulgare varieties that had excellent flower coverage with smaller, 2-inch-diameter flowers.
For more information on this trial, go to issue #30 at the: Chicago Botanic Garden.