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...

February 4, 2016

Poinsettia Growers Discuss Their Recent Trials And Triumphs

Growers from Pennsylvania, Illinois, and North Carolina describer their experiences trialing everyone’s favorite holiday season flora.

Read More
Rhododendron ‘Dandy Man’ (Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs)

February 2, 2016

Spring Meadow Nursery Partnering With Proven Winners Europe To Introduce New Flowering Shrubs

The expansion creates a cohesive brand for what is now a global market, immediately introducing more than 24 shrubs to the European market, with the potential for 125 or more in the future.

Read More

February 1, 2016

12 New Poinsettias For Holiday Growing

Poinsettias are still a consumer favorite during the holidays for home décor and gift giving. For greenhouse growers looking to get a jumpstart on purchasing young plants for the 2016 poinsettia growing season, there is no shortage of great varieties to choose from. Here are 12 new varieties to keep in mind for holiday product offerings.

Read More
Latest Stories

February 4, 2016

Poinsettia Growers Discuss Their Recent Trials And Triu…

Growers from Pennsylvania, Illinois, and North Carolina describer their experiences trialing everyone’s favorite holiday season flora.

Read More
Rhododendron ‘Dandy Man’ (Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs)

February 2, 2016

Spring Meadow Nursery Partnering With Proven Winners Eu…

The expansion creates a cohesive brand for what is now a global market, immediately introducing more than 24 shrubs to the European market, with the potential for 125 or more in the future.

Read More

February 1, 2016

12 New Poinsettias For Holiday Growing

Poinsettias are still a consumer favorite during the holidays for home décor and gift giving. For greenhouse growers looking to get a jumpstart on purchasing young plants for the 2016 poinsettia growing season, there is no shortage of great varieties to choose from. Here are 12 new varieties to keep in mind for holiday product offerings.

Read More

January 27, 2016

Costa Farms’ Season Premier Provides Sneak Peek A…

Costa Farms presented the 2016 Season Premier at its 2-acre Trial Gardens in Miami, FL, in the third week of January. The event showcases varieties from breeders of all sizes to growers and major retail buyers, providing a look at what genetics are coming to the market and how they’ll perform in retail settings and in the landscape, when consumers bring them home. The mild winter climate in South Florida allows Costa Farms’ Research and Development Department to simulate the spring growing conditions of various regions in the country. Because each group of visitors to Costa Farms’ Trial Gardens wants to see what the new plants look like in the environments that matter to them, Season Premier offers several areas within the Trial Gardens that highlight different ways to look at the wealth of new varieties. The New Product Showcase offers a way for retailers to see how plants will […]

Read More

January 26, 2016

Beekenkamp And Danziger Partner To Distribute Poinsetti…

Danziger is continuing to expand its portfolio of products to the U.S. market with the addition of poinsettia cuttings of Beekenkamp’s varieties.

Read More

January 24, 2016

Positive Consumer Experiences Help Advance The Orchid C…

HGTV HOME Plant Collection plans to expand its Fresh Style product line through a partnership with Green Circle Growers (Oberlin, Ohio), which will supply decorative orchids, tropical plants, and indoor garden combinations. Greenhouse Grower asked Maxwell Sherer about Green Circle's orchid program, the latest trends he’s seeing, and where he thinks orchid growing is headed in the future.

Read More
Sansevieria in Corner of home

January 21, 2016

Tropical And Indoor Foliage Plants Emerge As A Lifestyl…

Consumers are incorporating houseplants into their everyday lives, which is driving the trends toward smaller-size plants and unique products that appeal to a younger demographic.

Read More
Pollinator-Conference-NC State

January 20, 2016

How To Promote Pollinator-Friendly Plants This Spring

Following last year’s launch of the National Pollinator Garden Network, groups like the National Garden Bureau and others remind growers that offering pollinator-friendly plants is a great way to keep up with consumer demand.

Read More
Caladium Painted Frog Series (Plants Nouveau)

January 17, 2016

16 New Foliage Plants To Round Out The Garden

Every garden needs a good mix of flowering and foliage plants for an attention-grabbing show of thrillers, fillers, and spillers. These new foliage varieties will not only act as a lush backdrop for colorful blooms, they can also stand on their own with their noteworthy textures and colors.

Read More
California Coast

January 13, 2016

Mark Your Calendars For The 2016 California Spring Tri…

It’s time to think about registering for the 2016 California Spring Trials. You won’t want to miss any stops along the way, so use this quick reference to help with planning for your trip.

Read More
David Roberts Bailey Nuseries Feature Image

January 12, 2016

Bailey Nurseries’ David Roberts Says New, Novel Varieti…

Roberts was recently hired by Bailey Nurseries to be the General Manager and Breeder for Plant Introductions, Inc., which Bailey acquired last year.

Read More
Kelly Norris - feature

January 11, 2016

Kelly Norris: Questioning The Purpose Of New Plants

Norris asks if the time has come to rethink new plant introductions, or how we market them to consumers.

Read More
Weeks Roses Miss Congeniality

January 11, 2016

Weeks Roses Introduces New Lineup Of Roses For 2016

Weeks breeds and grows a wide range of rose bushes, all of which are field tested for many factors.

Read More
CAST2015_Floranova_Vegetalis_Ageratum Cloud Nine Blue

January 8, 2016

Floranova Opening New Chile-Based Research Station, For…

Floranova has announced it is building a new research station in Chile that will open in mid-2016. As a result, the company will not participate in the 2016 California Spring Trials, but says it will be back in 2017.

Read More
Streptocarpus 'Yellow Blue Eye' (Green Fuse Botanicals)

January 5, 2016

15 Flowering Foliage And Tropical Plants For The Home A…

Tropical and foliage plants are the ultimate lifestyle plants because they enrich the environment and provide mood-boosting benefits. Take into account some of these new introductions for a crop mix that helps your customers realize the true benefits of plants.

Read More
BallSeed-WebTrackToGo-app Feature Image

January 5, 2016

Ball Seed Launches WebTrack To Go App For Mobile Phones…

The app is available for free in the Google Play and iTunes app stores, and serves as a companion to Ball’s full WebTrack business management system.

Read More
Terra Nova Garden Decorating Guide

December 31, 2015

Terra Nova Nurseries Releases New Garden Decorating Gui…

The guide’s wheel-shaped design groups new plants by color and was inspired by the Pantone Matching System color guide.

Read More
Northwest Horticulture offers four different mixes of sedum tiles for green roof projects. Photo courtesy North West Horticulture Feature

December 29, 2015

Growing Succulents Never Goes Out Of Style, Here’…

Succulents are more popular than ever, and with good reason. Learn why these tough, low-maintenance plants are a hit with consumers and deserve a place in your greenhouse, then check out the accompanying slideshow for the latest in succulent trends.

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