'Becky' shasta daisy is a cultivar that sports the classic yellow center surrounded by white petals. The plants bear a lot of flowers and bloom over a long period. Leaves are shiny to the eye and slick to the touch. While hardly unusual flowers, these old standbys are well worth growing for their toughness and vibrancy.
|Botanical Name||Leucanthemum x superbum 'Becky' (you will also see it referred to as Chrysanthemum x superbum 'Becky' and Chrysanthemum maximum 'Becky')|
|Common Names||Becky shasta daisy|
|Plant Type||Flowering herbaceous perennial|
|Mature Size||Maximum 3 to 4 feet tall, with a spread of 2 to 3 feet (but often smaller)|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun|
|Soil pH||6.0 to 8.0|
|Bloom Time||This clump-forming perennial flower blooms from June to September.|
|Flower Color||White, with a yellow center|
|Hardiness Zones||5 to 10|
|Native Area||One of this hybrid's parents is oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), which, while iconic in its native Europe, is considered invasive in parts of North America.|
How to Grow Becky Shasta Daisy Plant
Deadheading will promote further blooming on this perennial. Divide clumps of Becky shasta daisy every 2 to 3 years to maintain vigor and propagate. Clumps will expand over time, which is your cue to divide them.
The plants are occasionally plagued by leaf spot, nematodes, and stem rot, but, in the northern states of the U.S. and in Canada, these problems are rarely serious and warrant little attention. Focus more on controlling the following bug pests:
- Aphids and leaf miners: Spray with neem oil.
- Earwigs: These scary-looking pests are easily trapped. Lay down damp newspaper or cardboard in your garden; they will crawl under at night. In the morning, check your traps. Wearing sturdy garden gloves, remove the victims, and dispose of them.
- Slugs: Use the same techniques as you would with Hosta (another target of slugs). A favorite slug-control technique of gardeners is to sink bowls of beer into the ground around your planting bed; slugs are drawn to the beer, fall in, and drown.
Grow Becky shasta daisy in full sun in the North and in partial sun in the South.
Becky shasta daisy prefers a well-drained soil (although it is somewhat tolerant of clay soils).
Becky shasta daisy is drought-tolerant once established. But keep the soil of young plants evenly moist.
Becky shasta daisy does not need much fertilizer, but it is helpful to work some compost into the soil around your plants annually.
Other Varieties of Daisies
Leucanthemum is in the aster family. Many other genera use "daisy" as a common name, including:
- Argyranthemum (marguerite daisy)
- Bellis perennis (common daisy)
- Brachyscome (Swan River daisy)
- Gerbera jamesonii (Gerbera daisy)
- Nipponanthemum nipponicum (Montauk daisy)
- Osteospermum (African daisy)
In fact, the daisy is so common that, for some people, it is the epitome of the concept of "flower," which is why it is used in such expressions as:
- Pushing up daisies (dead)
- Daisy chain (series of connected events)
- Fresh as a daisy (well-rested)
Varieties, Uses in Landscape Design
'Becky' is just one of many cultivars of Leucanthemum x superbum. Others include:
- 'Snow lady'
- 'Snow drift'
- 'White knight'
- 'Sunnyside up'
Becky shasta daisies are long-blooming perennials. This makes them an attractive pick for those seeking color all summer long. Another benefit they offer is their relatively good drought-tolerance, which makes them sound candidates for planting beds in hot regions (although a little afternoon shade may be required to help them hold up there). Use Becky shasta daisy flowers in perennial flower borders. They also make a fine cut flower.
Becky shasta daisy attracts bees, birds, and butterflies. Fortunately, it is not attractive to deer, making it an effective component in deer control.
Origin of the Names
"Shasta" daisy is named after Mount Shasta in Northern California, not far from where this hybrid was developed by Luther Burbank. The word, "daisy," was originally "day's eye." An early metaphorical reference to the sun, "day's eye" was later applied to the sun-like appearance of this flower, with its central yellow disk surrounded by "rays."
As for the botanical name, the genus name is composed of two Greek words: leucos ("white") and anthos ("flower"). If you have studied plant names at all, you will be familiar with the latter, as it also appears in names such as Helianthemum and Chrysanthemum. The species name refers to the plant's "superb" qualities. The cultivar name honors Becky Stewart, who, along with her husband, Jimmy, was instrumental in promoting the plant in the nursery trade.