Daisy May Leucanthemum From Proven Winners

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Daisy May Leucanthemum From Proven Winners

Leucanthemum, which is commonly known as Shasta daisy, is a staple of the perennial portfolio. Most consumers know the plant for its large white or pale yellow flowers that bloom from June to July. The challenge with Shasta daisy, though, has always been bringing it forward for earlier sales without sacrificing the perennial part of a great plant.

‘Daisy May’ leucanthemum succeeds in moving up the sales window in a couple ways. First, it reduces required vernalization of plants from eight weeks to four. Daisy May also has a more free-flowering habit with better branching and reblooming characteristics.

Grow With Daisy May

Traditional crops of leucanthemum require buying liners in fall the year before sale, establishing the plants in their containers, rooting them and then allowing them to grow and flower in their natural flowering window around June with some cultivars.

Daisy May has a shorter vernalization time than older cultivars, requiring only four to five weeks at 40°F for best quality. Older cultivars require about six to eight weeks at 40°F or lower to initiate and develop strong flowers. Daisy May can be produced the traditional way, but the reduced vernalization time and its early flowering and branching habits make it a candidate for forcing even earlier for spring sales.

Get Repeat Sales From Rebloom

Daisy May is also likely to rebloom. Well-grown plants are heavily branched and carry lots of secondary buds to extend the crop lifespan for the grower and the retailer. Older cultivars form single-stemmed flowers with little axillary branch development, but Daisy May branches freely and, if deadheaded, follows with a secondary blooming.

Rick Schoellhorn is director of new products at Proven Winners. You can e-mail him at rick@provenwinners.com.

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