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Dormant Shasta Daisy

Posted by kalzbeta none (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 15:19


I'm in central Iowa, zone 5a. We moved here in mid July, and the previous owners left a metal bucket container (with no drainage holes) with a shasta daisy ("Becky" variety) when they left. We did nothing at all with it. All winter it sat in its spot next to our front porch, freezing, thawing, and mostly freezing. It was covered in snow for most of the winter. There was a good layer of mulch there, but as the snow melted, there was also a thick layer of ice IN the planter around the stem of the plant.

I assumed it was dead. I didn't know that shasta daisies are perennials. I figured I would empty it out in the spring. Now that it's spring, I scratched the bark of the stem, and it is (very slightly) green underneath. I moved it to a more sunny spot, hoping to evaporate what is now mostly water.

Is this thing dead? If it's not dead, what is the best way to take care of it? I don't know how many years it was in this planter; there were no daisies when we moved in. Should I take it out, divide it with a sharp serrated knife, and put it into a planter that DOES have drainage holes? Should I plant it in the ground?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Dormant Shasta Daisy

i pic would sure help ...

being under snow probably saved it ... i call it the suspended animation of winter.. as we know it in snowload areas ...

how soon can you plant it???... the biggest issue in my estimate.. is spring rains filling a non-draining pot ... drowning the roots ....

either tip it over so it doesnt accumulate ... drill holes.. or plant it ...

never heard of one having bark.. so i am a bit mystified... wondering about that ID ....

but once i saw new buds down low.. i would have no qualms of cutting it back to 3 to 4 inches.. and starting low ...

what happens is if you leave the height.. is that you will grow a new plant.. basically on top of the old height... and it will topple over.. because genetically.. its supposed to grow from the ground up.. not heap upon itself each year ...

as soon as the soil is workable.. i would plant it in mother earth ... removing some of the potting media ...

if you want a potted plant.. then buy a new pot.. and a new plant ... some good potting media ... you will succeed much easier ... and you can design something better than a daisy in a pot ... unless that is what you want ... if so.. go for it ...

good luck


RE: Dormant Shasta Daisy

What makes you identify it as Shasta daisy 'Becky'? Does it have a tag? Given your description, it could be Montauk daisy which has more woody stems than Shasta daisy & blooms late in the growing season (September).

If it survived the winter in those harsh conditions, my guess is you can plant it in the ground as soon as the soil is sufficiently thawed to be worked. If it is Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum), it's hardy to Zone 4 which might partially explain its bucket survival.

Shasta daisies are generally happier in the ground than in containers. They want full sun but aside from that are pretty low-maintenance. I don't recall any pests (other than deer) bothering my Shasta daisies and I have quite a few of them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shasta daisy info

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