Tips for Finishing Leucanthemum Successfully

Leucanthemum 'Daisy May'
Leucanthemum ‘Daisy May’

Leucanthemum is a staple item for every perennial assortment. There are many varieties, from the very short ‘Snowcap’ to the long-legged beauty ‘Becky.’ Light yellow selections such as ‘Banana Cream’ have also become available over the last few years. The gold standard in white Shasta daisies is ‘Daisy May,’ prized for its perfect knee-high habit, its ability to rebloom multiple times throughout the growing season and its shorter vernalization requirement. Here are a few tips to help you grow leucanthemum successfully.

Potting And Timing

Growers who are looking to sell large, full, heavily flowering specimens of leucanthemum should start them from small plugs in late summer the year prior to sale. Fresh, 72-count plugs planted into premium 1-gallon containers in late summer will need eight to 10 weeks to finish before winter arrives.

If late summer planting is not possible, growers should start with larger plugs planted in spring. Vernalized 30-count plugs planted into premium 1-gallon containers will need six to eight weeks to finish.

Plant leucanthemum plugs into a well-drained peat/bark/perlite soil mix with a pH of 5.8 to 6.2 for best results.

Cultural Recommendations

Fertility
Leucanthemum is a moderate feeder, generally requiring 75 to 150 ppm nitrogen using a constant liquid feed or 1 to 1 ½ pounds nitrogen per yard of growing media of slow release fertilizer. However, growers will learn as they produce different varieties of leucanthemum that some will prefer heavier feeding and others will not need as much.

It is good practice to monitor fertility levels throughout the growing process and make adjustments as you see fit. Also monitor salt levels and maintain an EC of 2.0 to 3.0 using the pour-through method.

Moisture
Leucanthemum prefers moderate to moist soil. Never let the plants dry out, as this will stunt their growth and fewer flowers will be produced. If using overhead watering, irrigate in the morning so the foliage is dry by evening to prevent diseases from settling in.

Lighting
Leucanthemum requires high light intensities to grow well. In the greenhouse, grow them under clear plastic rather than white plastic. During their natural growing season, supplemental lighting should not be necessary. However, if you are forcing them to bloom earlier, note that long days (16 hours) are necessary to initiate flowering and supplemental lighting will be needed to provide these conditions.

Temperature
The ideal temperatures for growing leucanthemum in spring are:
• Rooting temperature: 65°F to 72°F
• Growing/bulking temperature: 55°F to 65°F
• Holding temperature: 40°F to 50°F

If growers are not able to provide such growing conditions, alternatively leucanthemum can be grown at 65°F to 68°F until finished and then held at 40°F to 50°F.

Pests And Diseases
Leucanthemum is relatively carefree if grown under the proper conditions. It is always a good idea to scout for aphids, whiteflies and thrips and treat as needed. If grown under poor conditions, diseases such as botrytis, crown gall, powdery mildew and septoria can become an issue. To help prevent disease, water in the morning, provide good air circulation and space plants properly.

Finishing Tips

When potting leucanthemum plugs in spring, be sure they have been vernalized for at least six to 10 weeks. Likewise, when planting fresh leucanthemum in late summer, be sure to provide a six- to 10-week vernalization in order for plants to flower well the following spring. One advantage of growing ‘Daisy May’ is that it only requires four weeks of vernalization to flower profusely. This is a key advantage, particularly for southern growers.

Be sure to space plants well when finishing leucanthemum in order to form well-rounded, uniform plants and to prevent disease.

Pinching And PGRs
When potting leucanthemum up in late summer from small plugs, do a soft pinch at time of transplant and again two to three weeks later if needed. This will help to promote lateral branching and result in more well-rounded finished plants.

Varieties that tend to bloom heavily at a young age like ‘Daisy May’ will need to have their flower stems pinched out of the young plugs until the plants are fully bulked up in the containers. You do not want the plants to flower before they are finished.

Taller varieties of leucanthemum like ‘Becky’ may benefit from PGRs to keep them looking neater in the pot. If you choose to use PGRs, northern U.S. spray rates are 2500 ppm of daminozide (sold as B-Nine or Dazide) or 5 ppm of uniconazole (sold as Concise or Sumagic). Rates may be higher in the southern U.S. The recommended application frequency is one to two applications at seven-day intervals when the flower stalks are beginning to elongate.

Forcing
Finished containers of vernalized leucanthemum are best forced into flower at cool temperatures (60°F) for approximately 10 weeks. Plants forced under these conditions will naturally be more compact and have larger flowers. Growers wishing to minimize forcing time can force plants in warmer (70°F) temperatures for six to eight weeks. However, the tradeoff will be smaller flowers and PGRs may be necessary to control stretching.

To force ‘Daisy May’ into flower for Mother’s Day sales, plant one 72-count plug per premium 1-gallon container in late summer and finish before winter arrives. Allow a minimum of four weeks vernalization for ‘Daisy May.’ In late February or early March, warm the plants up to 60°F and use supplemental lighting to provide 16-hour days for approximately 10 weeks. This should bring them into flower by early May.

Visit the Walters Gardens website for more grower tips.

 

Topics:

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
Wave Petunias Team

May 3, 2016

Hot Pink Wave-Rave Van Making Its Way To The Big Apple To Promote Wave Petunias And Pansies

Imagine driving down the road, minding your own business, when you’re passed by two smiling, waving, happy women driving a hot-pink van that’s adorned with petunia and pansy flowers. That’s not something you see every day, but motorists in the Midwest and Northeast may catch a glimpse of the Wave-Rave van this week as Ball Horticultural Co.’s Claire Watson, Product Marketing Manager, and Katie Rotella, Marketing Communications Manager, make their way to a media tour and plant giveaway in New York City. Watson and Rotella visited Cleveland’s WOIO Channel 19 news on Tuesday morning to tell consumers about Wave Petunias and Wave Pansies, and remind them to visit their local garden centers to purchase gifts for Mother’s Day this weekend. Check out this clip on Periscope. After the morning news, the ladies stopped by to visit the Greenhouse Grower staff at Meister Media Worldwide in Willoughby, OH. Next stop: Chelsea Garden Center in Brooklyn, NY, where […]

Read More
National Garden Bureau CAST 2016 Bloggers

May 3, 2016

5 Things Gardens Bloggers And Writers Learned At California Spring Trials

For the second year in a row, the National Garden Bureau hosted five popular garden bloggers and writers on a trip to California Spring Trials. Here’s what each of them had to say about their experience.

Read More
Chick Charms

April 29, 2016

Kelly Norris: Why The Plant Collector Market Is Set To Explode, And What It Means For You

In his latest column for Greenhouse Grower magazine, Kelly Norris says there are more plant collectors out there than we think, which opens the way for the gift plant market to explode.

Read More
Latest Stories
Wave Petunias Team

May 3, 2016

Hot Pink Wave-Rave Van Making Its Way To The Big Apple …

Imagine driving down the road, minding your own business, when you’re passed by two smiling, waving, happy women driving a hot-pink van that’s adorned with petunia and pansy flowers. That’s not something you see every day, but motorists in the Midwest and Northeast may catch a glimpse of the Wave-Rave van this week as Ball Horticultural Co.’s Claire Watson, Product Marketing Manager, and Katie Rotella, Marketing Communications Manager, make their way to a media tour and plant giveaway in New York City. Watson and Rotella visited Cleveland’s WOIO Channel 19 news on Tuesday morning to tell consumers about Wave Petunias and Wave Pansies, and remind them to visit their local garden centers to purchase gifts for Mother’s Day this weekend. Check out this clip on Periscope. After the morning news, the ladies stopped by to visit the Greenhouse Grower staff at Meister Media Worldwide in Willoughby, OH. Next stop: Chelsea Garden Center in Brooklyn, NY, where […]

Read More
National Garden Bureau CAST 2016 Bloggers

May 3, 2016

5 Things Gardens Bloggers And Writers Learned At Califo…

For the second year in a row, the National Garden Bureau hosted five popular garden bloggers and writers on a trip to California Spring Trials. Here’s what each of them had to say about their experience.

Read More
Chick Charms

April 29, 2016

Kelly Norris: Why The Plant Collector Market Is Set To …

In his latest column for Greenhouse Grower magazine, Kelly Norris says there are more plant collectors out there than we think, which opens the way for the gift plant market to explode.

Read More
Pennisetum Fireworks

April 28, 2016

Why Ornamental Grasses Are Great For People In Condos A…

Allan Armitage says breeders need to do a better job of making growers, brokers, and garden centers aware of better ornamental grass cultivars for the increasingly shrinking garden space.

Read More
Andropogon gerardii Blackhawks (Intrinsic Perennial Gardens)

April 27, 2016

Know Your Market When Choosing Ornamental Grasses

Growers have no shortage of choices in the ornamental grass market. Narrowing down the selection comes down to finding the right plant for the right purpose.

Read More
Bee on Bidens

April 25, 2016

Breeders Go The Distance To Bring New Plant Varieties T…

Breeders are meeting the demand for new varieties that perform and sell well by extending trialing to engage the grower community, using advanced technology, and encouraging international collaboration.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

April 20, 2016

Growers And Breeders Are Always Looking For A Better To…

While edibles become more diverse, there's one goal that hard-core gardeners and urban foodscapers share.

Read More
Syngenta Pentas

April 20, 2016

Syngenta Flowers Opens Its Perennial Genetics To The Ma…

California Spring Trials 2016 visitors to Syngenta Flowers found the breeder company and its employees happy and excited for the future, in the wake of the announcement of its acquisition by ChemChina. Now Syngenta Flowers is ready to move forward with its breeding efforts in geraniums, pentas, and other crops, and it is opening its perennials offerings to the whole supply chain for a better chance to get those plants to retail.     Syngenta Wants To Revolutionize Geranium Breeding The big news in this year’s trial, says Karl Trellinger, Technical Services Representative at Syngenta, is the change in Syngenta’s breeding efforts in geraniums and pentas. The Calliope geranium series, long considered a premium line in the market, is getting a makeover. Growers have told the breeder that they love the colors available in the Calliope series, but the plants are just too vigorous for smaller containers and combinations. As […]

Read More
Petunia Vista Bubblegum (Proven Winners)

April 20, 2016

Proven Winners Funds Gardening “It Couple,” Names Plant…

Since 1992, Proven Winners has been changing the gardening game, and it’s not stopping now. With new plants, improved series, and interesting retail customers, the brand aims to make planning easier for growers, and make gardening easier and more fun for consumers. At its new 2016 California Spring Trials location at Kirigin Cellars in Gilroy, Proven Winners had the space and a beautiful setting to lay all of its offerings out, from new and improved varieties in annuals, perennials, and shrubs, to marketing and retail programs. Check out the slideshow below for highlights.   Proven Winners Is Flexing Its Marketing Muscle One of the ways Proven Winners is working toward better use of its products and gardening in general, is by supporting the gardening authorities that gardeners of all ages trust on social media. Director of Marketing Marshall Dirks says while searching for influential gardeners, he came across a young […]

Read More
Scaevola 'Purple Haze' (Danziger 2016)

April 19, 2016

Allan Armitage Picks His Favorites From Proven Winners,…

From “crazy” petunias to container pentas, there was plenty that caught Allan’s eye during the final day of 2016 California Spring Trials.

Read More
CallaFornia Red

April 19, 2016

Golden State Bulb Company Shows Off New Concepts In Cal…

There’s no question that Golden State Bulb Company’s specialty is in breeding virtually any color of Calla Lily, available in about any habit — cut flower, bouquet pot, upright pot type — the list goes on. But now, the bulb specialist is focusing on making calla lilies more accessible to the masses, for use in combination planters and the landscape, with calla six-packs. Calla breeder Peter Beckman showed us the shrunken-down version of these beauties, and they’re certainly perfect for patio pots, planting along paths or at the front of the garden, or en masse for an elegant statement. This presentation makes it easy for consumers to pick up and use callas, without the intimidation they might feel from a bulb crop, says Dr. Allan Armitage.   They’re also versatile for growers to plant in early to mid-February to add to finished containers in the spring, or to sell in […]

Read More
Disney Trial Garden

April 17, 2016

Mark Your Calendars For Florida Flower Trials In May

The two-day event, which takes place in Orlando, is held in conjunction with the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and offers educational seminars, tours, and open houses.

Read More
Dianthus Paint the Town Fuchsia_CJW14 (2)

April 16, 2016

Proven Winners Focuses On A Better Consumer Garden Expe…

Excellent, long-lasting performance, and easy maintenance are at the core of Proven Winners’ introductions.

Read More

April 15, 2016

Pacific Plug & Liner Features Plenty Of New Varieti…

One of the best-merchandised spots on the California Spring Trials is always Pacific Plug & Liner (PP&L), where the greenhouse is stocked with beautiful plants and displays, and the people are dressed to the nines and graciously ready to help in any way.

Read More

April 15, 2016

American Takii Commemorates 180 Years Of Industry Commi…

American Takii, Hilverdakooij, and newcomer HMA Plants show off zombie-zone celosia, new dianthus, and hip succulents.

Read More

April 15, 2016

Ernst Benary of America Takes Plant Fashion Week To The…

Ernst Benary of America gave growers a taste of the fashion world during the new variety promenade held during California Spring Trials 2016.

Read More
Fashion Show At Benary

April 15, 2016

California Spring Trials: Dr. Allan Armitage Notes Emer…

Attractive new varieties will draw the eyes of consumers, but innovation and creativity will keep them coming back.

Read More
Delizz Strawberry packaging

April 14, 2016

ABZ Seeds’ Delizz Strawberry Makes Mouths Water At Spee…

Speedling, Inc. hosted Hem Genetics, Thompson & Morgan, ABZ Seeds, Plant Source International, and Vista Farms For California Spring Trials 2016. Here are some of the highlights of the trial.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]