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Shasta Daisies–Worth the Wait

The 4' plants are covered with huge white blossoms.

I am an impatient gardener. Whenever a seed packet says, “blooms in the second year,” I drop it like a rotten apricot. Why wait two years for blooms when you can purchase a plant at a nursery and have blooms now?

Except when you can’t find said plant at a nursery. Such was the case in fall 2014 with Shasta Daisies. I wanted the huge, tough Alaska variety, not the puny dwarfs available in 4 inch pots. After much grumbling, I purchased a seed packet of Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Alaska’ from Botanical Interests.


An all-time favorite flower, Alaska is the hardiest of all Shasta daisies, developed by Luther Burbank in California over 100 years ago.

Not one to let Luther Burbank down, I planted a trio of seeds in seven locations, hovered over them daily for about ten days and then promptly forgot about them. A month later, I was on my daily weed patrol when I noticed leafy little plants in two of the seven plots. Since they had survived on neglect, and wouldn’t bloom for another year anyway, I ignored them again.

By March 2016 those two little plants had multiple stems and were very vigorous. I took cuttings (with roots) and established five more plants. They loved the El Nino rains and thrived.

Two years later, I’m so glad I planted those seeds. The Alaska’s are four feet high, vigorous, covered with huge white flowers, and don’t get any more water than any other plant in my low-water garden.

Here is their baby album:

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