Perennials forum: Shasta daisies: why don't they return for me?

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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Oct 14, 2015 6:23 AM CST
I've tried various cultivars of shasta daisy over the years and usually they only last a couple of years. The longest run I've had with them was 'Alaska' that I had started from seed- those returned for 3 or 4 years. Those plants were grown in heavy clay soil that lacks organic matter. I think they benefit from frequent division, but lately I'm not having them survive long enough to divide them.

Last year I picked up a gallon pot of 'Becky' from a clearance wrack, and it formed a big, healthy mound of foliage by fall. By the end of winter it had mostly died, except for one small part (the size of a seedling). That little surviving piece has again grown into a big, healthy looking mound of foliage, and even had a couple of blooms late this summer. The spot is well drained, but the soil is rich- wondering if that could be a problem? If it survives the coming winter, should I divide it in spring?

I love the simplicity of white daisies and the light they bring to the garden, and would sure love to succeed with them! Any ideas would be appreciated...

"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Oct 14, 2015 9:00 AM CST
Neal, I am sorry, I have no good info for you. I always end up thinning every kind of daisy I have grown. I've given so many away of various cultivars that now I've loaded all my plant takers up and I just have to throw them out. Mine are grown in well amended soil and for the most part well drained. My best (and least favorite) stand is in clay soil. I don't know what cultivar that stand is. They are plain old daisy that grow almost three feet tall. If you were closer I could load you up with several varieties and keep you in daisies even if they kept dying out on you Hilarious!
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
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Pistil
Oct 14, 2015 11:36 AM CST
I also cannot seem to keep them. But some other similar flowers work as substitutes: Echinacea 'Pow Wow White' and 'White Swan' are some cultivars that have survived for me. I have clay also, so you might try those.
Name: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Replace your lawn with a garden!
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foraygardengirl
Oct 14, 2015 7:32 PM CST
Neal, the only daisy I have ever had luck with is 'Sante'. It is not plain but fuzzy to the point where it almost looks like a mum. It grows in my clay soil and gets quite big and blooms prolifically. I have tried Becky, Alaska, and Snowy Lady and none lasted more than two years. I'm not sure how long Sante would grow...I revised my garden where I had it and gave it away in the fourth year. Then I regretted getting rid of it and planted another one last year. Just a thought.
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Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Oct 14, 2015 9:56 PM CST
Oh my, Pistil. I will have to get together with you and offer some shastas I've had for years. They are likely an older variety given to me by either my mother-in-law or neighbor. Can't kill them, and they increase quickly. They tend to get a bit leggy, but I find if I cut them back to 6" in early June I have better luck with them standing on their own.

Thumb of 2015-10-15/Bonehead/b493a6

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Oct 15, 2015 5:52 AM CST
Pistil, that's a good idea- Echies do well for me. Not quite as bright and clean looking as Shastas, but I may need to compromise.

Jeanie, sounds like your experience with them is similar to mine. I'll keep an eye out for 'Sante'.

Deb, yours look perfect- that's exactly what I'm wanting!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
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Pistil
Oct 15, 2015 10:04 PM CST
Oh Bonehead, what a nice offer-I think I might take you up on that in the spring. I will go look now if you have a "want" list. I think there are a number of perennials which have had the "perennial" bred out of them by hybridizers!
I will be up in your area quite a bit-my sister is moving soon to Camano Island. She is a gardener too, is moving from the foothills near Mt Baker so she is really excited about gardening in such a mild climate.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Oct 16, 2015 10:10 AM CST
Perhaps we can schedule a group exchange for the PNW ATP folk - doesn't have to be huge, just a few of us with extra plants. I'd be happy to host it at my place, perhaps around tulip time. I'll post something over in the PNW forum to see if there is any interest.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Oct 16, 2015 10:36 AM CST
I have found another lovely daisy that does return for me, Nippon Daisy. They're a nice sparkling white for October when so much is turning brown.
Thumb of 2015-10-16/gemini_sage/6e6854

"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Oct 23, 2015 6:01 PM CST
Well, if you get desperate, you're not far off I-75, the route I take to go visit Jennifer. I could bring you back some from one of my "plant exchange" visits. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Oct 24, 2015 8:47 AM CST
I would happily meet you by the interstate! LOL I'm going to keep trying with them though- I think it is a matter of finding the right spot and the right variety.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Oct 24, 2015 8:55 AM CST
Neal if you meet my mom on her way back I can send you all kinds of plants!
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Oct 24, 2015 9:03 AM CST
Ah yes, and I could bring lots of stuff for both of you too! Plants in pots or too big to ship Smiling
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Nov 10, 2015 5:13 AM CST
Is your soil getting too wet? I ask, because I have had problems with Shasta daisies dying on me before, and I think it was because the soil was too wet in those areas, due to over-irrigation. (We have clay soil, too.)

With the drought and mandatory water cutbacks, the daisies are hanging in there this year, and other plants such as Stachys have taken off and are crowding out other things.
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Nov 10, 2015 7:07 AM CST
The clump that almost died last winter- that one I had to wonder if it was due to excessive moisture from all the snow melting and the ground being frozen. Generally speaking I don't think that is the case- lilies, bearded irises, and various bulbs all prosper in the same beds. And the beds are situated on a hill, so the drainage is good most of the year. While the soil here is heavy, it is still very loamy. Water doesn't hang around long enough to puddle. I have one spot this is heavy clay where septic workers buried my topsoil and left clay subsoil exposed on top. It is full of rocks and terrible to work in, but is the spot where I had shastas last the longest- go figure... Sighing!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Nov 11, 2015 7:04 AM CST
According to this shasta daisy page from U of Illinois:

http://extension.illinois.edu/hortanswers/plantdetail.cfm?Pl...

"Wet, poorly drained winter soils shorten the life of the plant.......Cut plants down in mid-September to stimulate vegetative growth and help to extend the plant's garden life".

I've had 'Becky' here for many years, it has spread considerably and I took several chunks off it this spring to plant elsewhere. The soil is sandy loam and they don't get watered except during a prolonged dry spell. We don't get a lot of rain here as a rule. It gets very cold and the ground stays frozen all winter. Snow cover is variable. Don't know if tbis helps any. Soil pH would be around 6.8 although it's said to tolerate a wide range so that's probably not relevant.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Nov 11, 2015 7:42 AM CST
Cutting down in September may be a key here! Hmmm.....
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Nov 12, 2015 2:17 PM CST
I came back to this thread to mention that I found a link that said that cold wet soil kills Shasta daisies - but Sooby beat me to it. I tip my hat to you. http://www.silive.com/homegarden/index.ssf/2010/07/ong-lasti...

The takeaway line from the article:

Although they will live through the summer in clay soil they will tend to die over the winter in heavy, wet soil. Good air circulation is beneficial.

What gripes me is that the Shasta daisies that repeatedly died, are not the NOID misnamed ones sent to me by online nurseries, but my beloved 'Ice Star', which is hard to replace. Grumbling (Yes, I've tried replacing it several times... and the nurseries (2 different ones, as I recall) sent me mostly misnamed single flowering plants.)

The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Nov 12, 2015 5:49 PM CST
Odd thing is the best luck I've had with them was in heavy clay. It was well drained though, and water never puddled there. Perhaps the soil here is too moisture retentive? I could try amending with fine bark and sand; maybe that would be a porous enough media to overwinter them.

The big chunk of my current clump that died at the end of last winter, died during the melting of lots of snow. The soil was certainly cold and wet.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Mar 6, 2016 8:17 AM CST
I think my shasta daisy curse may be lifted- I've got survivors! Hurray! Looks like the sprig out of the clump that survived last year not only re-grew into a clump, but has lots of green pips sprouting now. There is also another I purchased late in the season last year as a small plant that has survived. I believe I will see daisies this summer!

Not sure what the key to survival is though. We didn't have as much snow this year, maybe the ton of snow that covered them for so long last year was the issue? I did't mulch last fall- perhaps that helped.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi

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