Bright white Shasta daisies’ glossy deep green leaves and bright yellow centers set off their flowers in a dramatic display. In colorful or all-white garden beds, Shasta daisies contribute a silvery pure white feature to the mix. Understand the cultural requirements of Shasta daisies, choose companions of similar needs and design an attractive white-themed or multicolored floral show.
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Shasta daisies, Chrysanthemum maximum, are in the easy-to-grow chrysanthemum family. The Perennial Plant Association named the Shasta daisy “Becky” as the Perennial Plant of the year for 2003. Plants receiving this honor possess many desirable qualities, including great value to the home gardener. Shasta daisies are easy plants for home cultivation, being reliably perennial in climate zones from Alaska through Hawaii. Plants require full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Double-flowered varieties tolerate some afternoon shade in hot summer regions. Shasta daisies are available in dwarf or tall varieties, from 1 to 3 feet high.
Chrysanthemum varieties to complement Shasta daisies for a sunny yellow-themed border include “Key Largo,” “Providence,” “Miramar” and “Manhattan.” For a pink-purple bed, “Lindy,” “Maroon Pride” and “Dr. Longley” are cultivar suggestions. Dianthus plants including Cheddar pinks and sweet Williams bring pinks, coral, white and reds to the mix. Delphiniums provide vertical interest in white, lavender or blue. “Blue Mirror” is a delphinium variety with loosely clustered flowers of bright cobalt blue and a long blooming season. Shasta daisies thrive in mixed beds with roses, coneflowers, salvias in blues or reds, or mixed local wildflowers.
White Garden Companions
An all-white garden, sometimes called a “moonlight” or “twilight” garden, glows in low-light situations. Shasta daisies bloom in the warmest weeks of summer, adding to the white garden when pleasant evening weather makes the outdoors most accessible. White summer-blooming Asiatic or Oriental lilies provide height in the border with Shasta daisies. “Casa Blanca” is a very large, white-flowered fragrant Oriental lily. White varieties of delphinium, coneflower, perennial or annual baby’s breath, sweet alyssum, white dianthus, other carnations and white roses bloom along with the Shasta daisies. A charming companion is the small-flowered white shrub rose “Francine Austin.” Fragrant masses of double roses in clustered sprays open to reveal yellow centers.
The silvery-gray foliage of artemisia plants complements the dark green foliage and bright white flowers of Shasta daisies. “Silver Mound” is also known as “Angel’s Hair.” Its soft, feathery foliage is a dull silvery olive, forming mounds at maturity of 1 foot tall and 1.5 feet wide. Dusty millers in several varieties are widely available in nurseries and home centers across a range of climate zones. Stiff silver-white fuzzy foliage grows upright to 1 foot high with scalloped leaves. Punctuate the white or colored Shasta daisy border with these attractive foliage plants, creating a natural tying together of the mixed bed.