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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.



Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
Feature Image Cob 700 (NewLux)

November 28, 2015

16 LED Lighting Solutions For Your Greenhouse

Narrowing in on the right LED lighting product often comes down to considering your specific crop needs and growing requirements to see what works best for your application. Here are 15 LED products to take into account when choosing the right fit for your greenhouse.

Read More
Begonia 'BabyWing Red' (2015 Louisiana State University Field Trials)

November 27, 2015

2015 Louisiana State University (Hammond, La.) Field Trials Results

See the 2015 field trials results (includes photo gallery) for Louisiana State University in Hammond, La.

Read More
Cape Fear Botanical Garden

November 27, 2015

National Garden Bureau Awards Grants To Three Therapeutic Gardens

The grants, totaling $10,000, are through the organization’s Growing For Futures program, which supports the growth of therapeutic gardens across the country.

Read More
Latest Stories
Begonia 'BabyWing Red' (2015 Louisiana State University Field Trials)

November 27, 2015

2015 Louisiana State University (Hammond, La.) Field Tr…

See the 2015 field trials results (includes photo gallery) for Louisiana State University in Hammond, La.

Read More

November 26, 2015

2015 Metrolina Greenhouses (Huntersville, NC) Field Tri…

See the 2015 field trials results for Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville, NC.

Read More
Vinca 'Valiant Lilac' (2015 Texas A&M University Field Trials)

November 25, 2015

2015 Texas A&M University (Overton, Texas) Field Tr…

See the 2015 field trials results (includes photo gallery) for Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Overton, Texas.

Read More
Capsicum 'Basket of Fire' (2015 University of Georgia Field Trials)

November 25, 2015

2015 University Of Georgia (Athens, Ga.) Field Trials R…

See the 2015 field trials results (includes photo gallery) for the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.

Read More
Cannabis marijuana

November 24, 2015

Five Florida Growers Receive Licenses To Potentially Pr…

The Florida Department of Health has announced the five nursery operations awarded with exclusive licenses to grow, process, and dispense “Charlotte’s Web,” a low-THC (non-euphoric) cannabis approved for patients with intractable epilepsy and people with advanced cancer.

Read More
Portulaca 'Mojave Tangerine' (2015 J.C. Raulston Arboretum Field Trials)

November 24, 2015

2015 North Carolina (Raleigh, N.C.) University Field Tr…

See the 2015 field trials results for the J.C. Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina University in Raleigh, N.C.

Read More
Costa Farms Trial Garden Summer 2015

November 23, 2015

2015 Costa Farms (Miami, Fla.) Field Trials Results

See the 2015 field trials results (includes photo gallery) for Costa Farms in Miami, Fla.

Read More
Petunia Bed (2015 University of Wisconsin Field Trials)

November 21, 2015

University of Wisconsin (Verona, Wis.) 2015 Field Trial…

See the 2015 field trials results (includes photo gallery) for the University of Wisconsin display gardens at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station in Verona, Wisc.

Read More

November 20, 2015

2015 Oklahoma State University (Oklahoma City, Okla.) F…

See the 2015 field trials results for Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Read More
Cladium 'Red Glamour' (2015 The Ohio State University Field Trials)

November 20, 2015

The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) 2015 Field T…

See the 2015 field trials results (includes photo gallery) for The Ohio State University/Chadwick Arboretum, in Columbus, Ohio.

Read More
This row of tomatoes with large fruit load is part of an on-going project with DeRuiter Seed Co

November 20, 2015

What To Consider When Growing Vegetables Under Cover

Some critical points to think about before adding vegetables to your crop mix include market, crop choice, and labor.

Read More
Celosia 'Intenz Classic (2015 Mast Young Plants Field Trials)

November 20, 2015

North Dakota State University (Fargo, N.D.) 2015 Field …

See the 2015 field trials results for North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D.

Read More

November 19, 2015

Michigan State University (East Lansing, Mich.) 2015 Fi…

See the 2015 field trials results for the Michigan State University (MSU) Horticulture Demonstration Gardens in East Lansing, Mich.

Read More
Dummen Pop Up Store Romance Rose

November 19, 2015

Dümmen Orange Teaming Up With L’Olivier Floral Atelier …

Opening November 20, the Brookfield Ephemeral Boutique will offer an exclusive collection of grab-and-go bouquets featuring Dümmen Orange varieties and L’Olivier’s own signature arrangements.

Read More
Mast Young Display Garden (2015 Mast Young Plants Field Trials)

November 19, 2015

Mast Young Plants (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 2015 Field Tria…

See the 2015 field trials results (includes photo gallery) for Mast Young Plants in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Read More
Hibiscus 'Little Zin'(2015 Reiman Gardens_Iowa State University Field Trials)

November 18, 2015

Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa) 2015 Field Trials Re…

See the 2015 field trials results (includes photo gallery) for Reiman Gardens, Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

Read More
2015 C. Raker and Sons Field Trials_aerial view

November 18, 2015

C. Raker & Sons, Inc. (Litchfield, Mich.) 2015 Fiel…

See the 2015 field trial results (includes photo gallery) for C. Raker & Sons, Inc., in Litchfield, Mich.

Read More
Supertunia 'Sangria Charm' (2015 Pike Creek Horticulture Center Field Trials)

November 17, 2015

2015 Pike Creek Horticulture Center (Kenosha, Wis.) Fie…

See the 2015 field trial results (includes photo gallery) for the Pike Creek Horticulture Center in Kenosha, Wis.

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