Becky shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum 'Becky') are a cultivar of the hybrid shasta daisies. They grow larger than several of the other shasta cultivars, sporting many long-lasting, showy flowers that stretch roughly 3 to 4 inches across. The blooms have a classic daisy look with white petals around a central bright yellow disk. Becky shasta daisies rise up on rigid stems that bear leathery, lance-shaped green leaves. These flowers have a fast growth rate and can be aggressive spreaders in the garden if you let them freely sow their seeds. They can be planted in the spring or early fall.
|Botanical Name||Leucanthemum x superbum 'Becky'|
|Common Name||Becky shasta daisy|
|Plant Type||Herbaceous, perennial|
|Mature Size||3–4 ft. tall, 2–3 ft. wide|
|Flower Color||White with a yellow center|
|Hardiness Zones||5–9 (USDA)|
|Native Area||Hybrid developed in North America|
|Toxicity||Toxic to people and animals|
Becky Shasta Daisy Care
When provided with the proper growing conditions, Becky shasta daisies don’t require much care. Even though these flowers grow fairly tall, they typically don’t require staking due to their rigid stems. They’re commonly used as borders, in mixed flower beds, and in cutting gardens (as they make a wonderfully long-lasting cut flower).
When the daisies are in bloom, deadheading (removing spent blooms) can help to promote additional flowering. Plus, removing the flower heads before they go to seed will prevent unwanted spread of the plants. Furthermore, every two to three years, plan to divide your plants to maintain their vigor. Simply dig up a clump and break it apart at its roots, keeping as many as possible intact. Then, replant the smaller clumps wherever you wish.
Plant Becky shasta daisies in full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days. This will result in the best flowering on the plants. However, in climates with especially hot summers, some light shade in the afternoon can be beneficial for the daisies. But if they are starting to look leggy, that can mean they aren't getting enough sun.
These flowers aren’t picky about their soil type as long as it has good drainage. Soil that remains wet for too long can cause root rot and ultimately be fatal to the plants.
Becky shasta daisies have low to moderate water requirements, and they have fairly good drought tolerance. During their first growing season, water your daisies regularly to keep the soil lightly moist (but ensure that it doesn’t get soggy). After that, you typically will only need to water during prolonged periods of drought when your plants have noticeable signs of wilt.
Temperature and Humidity
These plants have fairly good heat and cold tolerance within their growing zones. But extremely high temperatures can stress the plants and hinder their blooming. Likewise, a late frost or freeze in the spring can injure the buds and prevent some blooming. A layer of mulch around the daisies can help to protect the roots from extreme temperature fluctuations. Humidity typically isn't an issue for Becky shasta daisies as long as they have good soil drainage.
Becky shasta daisies typically don't need fertilizer unless you have very lean soil. But it can be beneficial to work some compost into the soil around your plants annually in the spring.
Are Becky Shasta Daisies Toxic?
All parts of these plants are toxic both to people and animals. Toxicity can occur from ingestion and via skin contact.
Symptoms of Poisoning
In both people and animals, ingesting the plant can cause upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and excess drooling. Skin contact can cause a rash, itchiness, redness, and swelling. If you suspect poisoning, contact a medical professional as soon as possible.
Shasta Daisy Varieties
There are multiple cultivars of shasta daisies besides 'Becky' including:
- ‘Esther Read’: This variety has pure white double flowers (having extra petals) with yellow centers.
- ‘Silberprinzesschen’: A compact plant, it only grows up to a foot tall but features profuse blooms that stretch about 3 inches across.
- ‘Snow Lady’: This is another compact variety that only reaches around a foot high and features the classic white daisy flowers, which stretch roughly 2.5 inches across.
- ‘Wirral Pride’: Double flowers adorn this variety which reaches around 1.5 to 2 feet tall.
These daisies occasionally come down with a fungal disease called verticillium wilt, in which the plants quickly wilt and sometimes turn yellow first. It’s recommended to remove and destroy plants with this disease. They also are susceptible to leaf spot, a fungal disease that causes spots and damage to the foliage. This can be treated with a fungicide. Some common garden pests that might visit Becky shasta daisies include aphids and leaf miners, which can be treated with neem oil.