Dividing Shasta daisy plants is an excellent way to spread beauty and ensure that the good natured plants thrive in every corner of your landscape. When can I divide Shasta daisies? This common question has a simple answer, but there is more to dividing a Shasta daisy then timing. Knowing how to divide Shasta daisies will guarantee a bounty of these mood lifting charmers.
Why Dividing Shasta Daisy Plants is Good
Daisies are one of nature’s messages of cheer and bonhomie that reaffirm our notion of the restorative powers of plants. The Shasta daisy is one of these harbingers of good will and has an easy-to-grow reputation with a wide range of tolerances. Can you divide Shasta daisies? Division is not only good for the plant but the best and fastest way to increase the numbers of these fun flowers.
Shasta daisies grow well from seed but can take a full year to become a blooming plant. Over time a mature clump of the flowers can become sparse at the center and leggy and unruly. To prevent this and increase the number for flowers, dividing forces thicker more productive clumps.
Division is also the quickest way to establish a colony elsewhere in the garden as compared to seeding. Division provides you with mature roots and plantlets. For this reason, dividing a Shasta daisy every 3 to 5 years to rejuvenate the colony and promote more vigorous growth and blooms, is recommended by plant experts.
The best rule of thumb for dividing perennials is to dig up spring and summer bloomers in autumn and fall bloomers in spring. This gives the plant time after bloom to collect energy which will be used in its sprouting and blooming period. It also allows the new clumps to establish some roots before the primary growth season.
Division is more successful when undertaken on a cool, cloudy day where extra stress on the plants won’t occur. Wait until the blooms have faded and the plant is experiencing some signs of dormancy, such as leaf drop.
To make division easier, cut the spent stems back 6 inches from the ground. Not only will the clumps be easier to handle but the removal of the stems diminishes moisture loss during the process.
How to Divide Shasta Daisies
If ignorance is bliss, knowledge is power. Having the right know how and tools will greatly increase the chances of success when removing clumps and transplanting them.
Once stems have been cut back, use a spade and excavate carefully around the root zone of the plant. Generally, this is 4 to 6 inches from the active growth. Dig under the root mass and lift the entire clump. On older plants, this can be quite a feat and may require some teamwork.
Shake off as much dirt as possible and gently begin to tease apart the edges of the clump. Include several plants in each divided clump with a good amount of healthy root. The center of the clump is often quite woody and unproductive and may be discarded.
Dig holes about a foot deep and 10 inches wide. Mix in compost, peat or composted manure to enhance porosity and nutrient content. Plant 3 to 4 stems per hole and water in well. Mulching around the plants will conserve moisture, prevent some weeds and protect the roots during any freezes.
In spring, your new clumps should sprout and bloom quite quickly.