CHRYSANTHEMUM Shasta Daisy

The hardy perennial Chrysanthemum which is so often seen in herbaceous borders is the Shasta Daisy (C. maximum). The flowers are large, 2.5-4 in. across, and may be single, semi-double or double. The petals are white and at the centre of each single variety is a prominent yellow eye. It is an excellent plant for garden display and cutting, but it should be given some care and attention. Divide theclumpsabout every 3 years and mulch around the plants in May. Dead-head spent blooms and cut down the stems to ground level in autumn.

VARIETIES: There are many named varieties of C. maximum (height 2.5-3 ft. Spacing 1.5 ft.

Flowering period: June-August). The most popular one is the double-flowered ‘Esther Read’ but a better choice is ‘Wirral Supreme’ which bears larger flowers. There are several reliable single varieties, such as ‘Everest’ and ‘H. Seibert’. More difficult to find is the low-growing C. rubellum (1.5 ft). It flowers from August to October, just when the popular ones are finishing, and the petals are pink or yellow rather than plain white.

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained soil will do – add lime if it is acid. Thrives best in full sun.

PROPAGATION: Plant cuttings in a cold frame in March or divide clumps in spring.

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