When to divide daisies?

When Can I Divide Shasta Daisies: Tips On Dividing A Shasta Daisy Plant

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.

When Can I Divide Shasta Daisies?

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.

GardenerScott A gardening blog for everyone.

Shasta Daisies are wonderful garden flowers that deserve a primary spot in most gardens. They grow well in many different regions and are even hardy in my Zone 4 garden. They prefer well-drained soil but are resilient enough to handle most soil conditions. They require very little maintenance, produce beautiful flowers, and return bigger and better every year. And they are very easy to propagate.

My two Shasta Daisy plants

Propagating Shasta Daisies follows the same typical processes as many other perennial plants. You can use any of the three primary methods: saving and sowing seeds; rooting stem cuttings; or dividing the adult plant into new divisions. Each of these methods is easy and effective.

Daisies will readily grow from seed. Let your flowers stay on the plant and seed heads will develop after the petals dry. I like to deadhead the spent flowers in early fall and collect them in a paper bag. After a week the flower heads are completely dry and ready for seed collection. Simply squeezing the dried heads with your fingers will release seeds. If you do this in or over the paper bag the seeds collect at the bottom, along with the seeds that fell out during the drying process.

Collecting daisy seeds

The seeds can be sown in fall or spring. I prefer to distribute the seeds widely over the planting bed in the fall. This allows for the natural cycle of the seed to play out. They settle over the soil and will be pressed in by autumn leaves and winter snow. They’ll get a good cold soaking during the winter months before snow melt and spring rains awaken them. When the spring sun warms the soil they’ll begin to sprout and new growth becomes evident by early summer.

You can prepare your bed and sow in spring and achieve the same results as well. Either way, don’t expect flowers in the first year. It will probably be the second year before you see blooms on the young plants. You can easily dig up and transplant the small plants to new garden beds if too many of the seeds sprout or if they pop up in areas you don’t want them.

Always remember that hybrid seeds don’t produce true to the plant you’re propagating and most Shasta Daisies in the garden are hybrids. “Becky” is a very popular hybrid variety. If you have one of the hybrid daisies and save the seeds hoping to grow many more of the same, you may be disappointed. It’s worth a try because you may be pleased with the outcome, but the other two propagation methods will ensure you get the same plant and flowers as the parent.

Dipping a five- or six-inch long stem cutting in rooting hormone, or just placing it in damp sand or potting soil, will produce a new plant that is a clone of the original. Remove flowers and leaves from the lower half of the stem and place the cuttings in a spot with indirect sunlight. Keep the soil lightly moist and in a few weeks to a month roots will develop along the cutting and the new plant is ready for transplanting. The plant and flowers will be exactly like the parent from which you took the cutting, but like with seeds you may not get many flowers in the first year of planting.

The method I prefer is division. This propagation method results in an exact duplicate of the plant and will flower in the first year. The roots are already established and take hold well when transplanted. Division can be done in fall or spring. I prefer early fall so the plants can continue to put out new roots while the soil is still warm. In spring the transplanted plants are already in place for a full season of growth.

When I’ve divided Shasta Daisies in spring, I’ve noticed that the separated plant sections don’t always produce as many flowers in that first season; possibly because of the stress on the plant. Also, the divisions aren’t always even and same-sized and that disparity remains evident during the first year. With fall-divided plants, the garden tends to look more symmetrical as the plants grow the following season. In the second year these visual discrepancies fade and all of the plants tend to grow similarly, regardless of the initial time of division.

Shasta Daisies can grow quite large into big clumps and may take over a garden bed. The center of big plants will often die as the edges grow and spread out. Eventually the clumps should to be thinned, for the plant’s health and for garden aesthetics. I take advantage of this normal garden maintenance and use the opportunity to expand daisies to new areas.

Begin to divide a Shasta Daisy by digging up the entire plant, digging as deeply as possible and retaining the entire root ball if possible. In spring, wait until you see new green growth; in fall, wait until after the flowers have faded. The plant is pretty tough so you don’t need to be too gentle with it. There are many potential transplants in that clump so decide how many you want. My winters are harsh and I want the new plants to have a good chance at survival so I keep the separated divisions relatively large with lots of roots in place.

Digging up the clump

To start dividing, simply press a spade through the middle of the root ball. You can also use a garden knife. The center of the mass may be thick so using a sharp tool helps separate it.

Slicing through the root ball

Grabbing each of the two halves, simply pull them apart. You now have two plants. Often I’ll stop the division at this point and plant just two divisions, effectively doubling my plants. Depending how big the clumps are, you can further divide the halves into four, eight, or more sections. If the center of the clump is dead or dying, this is the time to cut it out and throw it in the compost pile.

Two divisions

Dig a new hole in a spot with full sun, amend with compost, and place the division in. Firm the soil around the roots and water well. Space plants at least a foot apart. Each division will grow into a new large clump of daisies and in a few years will be ready to divide again.

A transplanted division

For the maximum number of divisions look closely at the clump you dug up. Particularly around the edges you’ll be able to see where individual stems are growing up from the root base. This is how the plant naturally propagates by enlarging its base. You can easily pull apart these individual stem sections with roots attached. Each of these sections can be potted up or transplanted. It will take longer for these smaller divisions to grow into full size plants, but it allows you the opportunity to fill in a large garden area with just one or two parent plants.

A single stem division

After the divisions are planted, deadheading and pruning any damaged stems or leaves will focus the plant’s energy on developing more roots. Daisies will stay green through most of the year and until the ground freezes roots will continue to grow even when the weather is cold above ground.

Two plants are now seven

If left alone, natural propagation by seed and plant expansion will allow daisies to readily take over many garden beds, but the results can look ragged and uneven. With a little effort you can have Shasta Daisies under control and looking good for years to come.

How to Make More Plants from Cuttings

What is better than free plants? Many common garden plants root easily from cuttings, giving you full-grown plants in half the time it takes to start from seed. Otherwise known as propagation, plant cuttings can be rooted and multiplied a couple different ways. Rooting plant cuttings can be super simple—with a little help from a rooting hormone, of course.

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Types of Cuttings

There are several types of cuttings you can use to propagate your plants. These cuttings use different kinds of stems. Happily, you can treat them pretty much the same way.

Softwood cuttings are from fresh, new growth, usually in spring or early summer. Plants such as butterfly bush and dogwoods root well from softwood cuttings.

Greenwood cuttings are from young stems that are starting to mature, but still in the first year. They’re usually taken in early to midsummer. Plants such as gardenia and boxwood tend to root well from greenwood cuttings.

Semi-ripe cuttings are tougher and more mature. They’re usually taken from midsummer to fall. Plants such as camellia and honeysuckle often root well from semi-ripe cuttings.

Hardwood cuttings are taken from woody stems that have gone dormant in late fall or winter. Trees and shrubs such as mock orange and viburnum often root well from hardwood cuttings.

Related: Tips for Saving Seeds

Supplies for Cuttings

  • Sharp knife or pruning shears
  • Containers for potting up the cuttings
  • Potting mix, perlite, vermiculite, or sand
  • Rooting hormone

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Step 1: Cut Off a Section of Stem

To make your cuttings, select healthy growth that’s 3 to 6 inches long. Try to make a sharp cut; mashing the stems may make it more difficult for the shoots to develop new roots.

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Step 2: Remove the Lower Leaves

Clip off the leaves on the lower half of the shoot so you have a bare stem to insert into your potting mix. Then, if you want, dip the end of your stem in rooting hormone. This helps many cuttings root more quickly.

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Step 3: Pot Up Your Cutting

Immediately pot up your cutting in moist potting mix, sand, perlite, or vermiculite. Keep your cutting humid by loosely wrapping it in clear plastic or keeping it under a cloche.

Some plants root more quickly than others, so be patient. On average, it takes a month or two for your cuttings to root and become established enough that you can plant them.

Tips for Plant Cuttings

  • Early morning is usually the best time to take cuttings because the plant usually has the most moisture at this time.
  • Keep cuttings cool and moist until you’ve potted them up. Avoid exposing the cuttings to direct sun if you can.
  • Many plant cuttings root faster if they’re kept warm and humid, so misting the cuttings frequently can help them grow.

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Plants That Grow From Cuttings

Some plants root so easily that you can start them in a glass or jar of water. Examples include:

  • African violet (Saintpaulia)
  • Coleus (Solenostemon)
  • Geranium (Pelargonium)​​​​​​​
  • Impatiens
  • Philodendron
  • By BH&G Garden Editors

Today’s post is all about saving money! Who’s up for that? I know I am! Gardening is my thing, but it can be an expensive hobby. So I’m always looking for ways to stretch my gardening dollar and have a lush, full garden for less money. Today we’re going to talk about dividing daisies. I’m going to show you how to get 20+ plants from just one pot. And THAT is some amazing cost savings!

My history with daisy plants

One time, in a garden two houses ago, we were starting out with a completely empty lot where we had just had a house built. I wanted to fill the yard with beautiful flower gardens, but I didn’t have a lot of money to do it with. So I took a chance and I mail ordered a lot of my plants. Among them were 8 Shasta Daisy ‘Becky’ plants. I was initially so disappointed to see that the daisy plants arrived as tiny divisions, each one just the smallest baby plant you’ve ever seen. But I planted them in the garden and hoped for the best.

Over the course of the summer, each tiny baby plant grew into a small clump of daisies, and grew a few sturdy stems with flowers on them. (These clumps could have been sold as 4″ pots at a nursery.) The next year, those small clumps each grew into large clumps about 8″ in diameter, and put on dozens of flower stems. (These clumps could have been sold as 1-gal. pots in the nursery.) The third year, the clumps all grew into one another into one large mass of daisies about 4′ in diameter, and put off hundreds of flower stems! The fourth year the clumps were so dense they had to be divided and spread around the garden.

I learned several lessons from that experience. First, a general lesson: gardening takes time. Often years. Success in the flower garden is usually dependent upon multiple growing seasons, and there’s just no way to rush that. You can spend more money on larger plants, but it still takes time to get the lush look you want. Second, a practical lesson: shasta daisies are prolific growers, and they can grow from tiny babies to thick masses in just a few seasons. Using these lessons, I’ve now planted four separate plots of daisies in my garden for the cost of just one 1-gal. container from the nursery.

Choosing a pot of daisies

When you’re at the nursery, look for the pot that has the largest number of individual plant clusters. Here’s the pot I chose, a 1-gal. container. This was sold for $8.95 at my nursery.

The center of the clump has already started to die back, leaving old woody stems with little growth.

You can see several baby clusters of plants growing in circles around the edge of the pot – a sure sign that this clump is in need of dividing and will be a great source of many baby plants.

Divide the plant into smaller plants

Remove the plant from the pot, and shake off any excess dirt. You can see how pot-bound mine was. You an also see the individual daisy plants that are growing there, just waiting to separated into its own little division.

To divide the plant, start by gently pulling the plant apart at the crown. Try to separate the individual starts just by pulling.

You may have to use a tool to gently cut into the crown to get things started. You can use the edge of a trowel or a spade, or a garden knife, or even a kitchen knife. I resorted to using a steak knife to get things started on this plant.

Once I got the first few sections separated, it was much easier for me to use my fingers to gently pry the sections apart.

It’s very important to make sure that each section has a healthy bit of roots left attached. For the parts where I had to use a knife, I left the divisions a little larger, to ensure that there were sufficient roots. Where I could separate with my fingers, I made the sections smaller, since I could verify just how much root was on each little part.

This section below ended up being divided into five separate tiny sections.

And here you can see just how many tiny baby plants I was able to get out of one 1-gal. container plant.

Taking a closer look at a couple of them, you can see that they each have sections of roots still attached.

Believe it or not, this is the size that arrived when I ordered those mail-order plants so long ago.

Plant them in the garden

Now all that’s left to do is to plant each tiny division into the garden, and water them well. I planted mine in four separate areas of the garden, with 4-8 plants per section. I spaced them about 6-8″ apart, knowing that over the course of the next couple years, they will grow together to create a mass of daisies.

It’s important to keep these tiny plants evenly moist for at least 6-8 weeks, as they re-establish themselves and settle their root systems into the soil. Shasta daisies are incredibly resilient plants, but they do need some TLC especially when they’ve been fairly drastically treated like this.

I’ll try to remember to come back and give an update with photos as the summer wears on, so you can see just how quickly these little babies will grow.

Other plants to divide this way

The plant I was working with here is Shasta Daisy ‘Becky’, or Leucanthemum x Superbum ‘Becky’. As I’ve said, I’ve been successful with this method with this plant in the past, but I’ve also done this same trick with other kinds of plants. Here are some other plants that I’ve purchased in root-bound gallon pots and then successfully divided into many tiny plants before planting in my garden:

  • Hostas
  • Liriope
  • Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ (Black Eyed Susan)
  • Sweet Woodruff
  • German Iris
  • Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’ and ‘Zagreb’

Have you done this too? What plants have you multiplied this way? Do you have other ways to save money in the garden? Please stop by the comments section and share your thoughts!

Thanks a bunch for stopping by today! Have a great day!

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How to Divide Shasta Daisy Plants

Shasta daisies are an old-fashioned favorite in the garden. Both novice and experienced gardeners will easily grow a beautiful clump of shasta daisies in a sunny growing area that will return year after year to provide lovely summer blooms. As the years go by, shasta daisies will expand and many gardeners like to divide them to create new shasta daisy plants. You can easily divide shasta daisy plants in the spring when they first sprout from the soil.

Step 1
Watch for the first growth of the shasta daisies in the spring. When you see this growth, dig with the shovel to remove the entire shasta daisy clump. Make sure you keep the roots intact as you remove the clump from the soil. Place the clump onto the ground nearby.
Step 2
Use your hands or a utility knife to separate the outer portions of the plant (foliage and entire root systems together). As long as the divided portions of the clump have both foliage and roots, they should grow.
Step 3
Examine the inner portions of the clump to see if there are any parts that appear old and woody. If you find portions like this, cut them out and discard them.
Step 4
Prepare a new growing area by working the soil with the garden spade down to a depth of 8 inches. Add 2 inches of compost to the top of the soil to improve the soil composition and work this in well with the spade.

Step 5
Dig holes for each shasta daisy plant that are 18 inches apart and deep enough to accommodate the root systems with the plants being at the same depth as they were previously growing.
Step 6
Place the newly divided shasta daisy plants into the prepared holes and fill soil in around the roots. Tamp down the soil around the plants with your hands and provide a generous amount of water for each shasta daisy plant.

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