By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)
The world of daisy plants is diverse, all with different needs. However, one thing common to nearly all daisy varieties is deadheading, or removal of their spent blooms.
One of the most commonly asked questions in the gardening realm refers to daisies, specifically Shasta daisies, which seem to be one of the more popular varieties grown. For example, we hear a lot of “when do Shasta daisies bloom?” and “should Shasta daisy be deadheaded to keep blooming all summer long?”
First of all, Shastas normally bloom in summer and will continue throughout fall if regular deadheading is performed. So yes, deadheading Shasta daisies (and other varieties) is a good idea. Deadheading daisies not only improves their overall appearance but will also inhibit seed production and stimulate new growth, which encourages additional blooms. By deadheading regularly, you can extend the flowering season. In fact, this simple pruning technique can produce heavier, longer-lasting blooms in daisy plants.
How to Deadhead Daisies
So how do you deadhead a daisy plant? Learning how to deadhead Shasta daisies and other similar types is easy. The beat time for deadheading your plants is just before the blooms die back completely. In other words, as soon as the flowers begin to fade, wither, or turn brown, it’s time to deadhead. You can either cut the spent blooms with a sharp knife or use pruning shears. Pinching or pulling off flowers does not always provide the best results.
Once you find blooms that are beginning to wilt and turn brown, or even seedheads that may have already formed, you should remove them back to the first set of leaves. For instance, if there are other healthy blooms or buds near the dying ones, cut them off to the point where it meets the other stems.
For daisy varieties that produce single stems per flower, like Gerbera and Shasta, it’s better to cut the individual stem back to the base of the plant where it meets the foliage. If all the blooms are spent, simply cut the entire plant back to the base of the plant. This will oftentimes stimulate new growth and thus result in additional flowering.