Pruning Daisies to Make Them Bushy

by Doug
(In His Garden)

I need some information on pruning daisies. These Shasta daisies (the daisies-from-hell) turned out to be huge (I started them from seed last year, next time I will read the small print) I have way too many and in all the wrong places because of their surprising height. Can I prune them back next year, early in the season and make them shorter and bushier?

Thank you, thank you


Doug says

One of the oldest gardening trick for perennials is to take a fast-growing and later blooming perennial and cut it back to make it bush out and reduce the height. In this way, instead of getting a taller plant with a few blooms, you'll get a bushier/shorter plant with more blooms.

In the nursery, I used to take the fall mums and treat them as below. We'd take 2 small cuttings and turn them into a 3 foot wide blooming plant by shearing them aggressively.

All the (formerly) Chrysanthemum family do this quite nicely and this includes Shasta daisies.

In general, wait until the plant reaches 12-inches tall and then shear it back to 8-inches.

This will force it to develop lateral branches and thicken up.

If you can do it again (the plant regrows to 12-inches) before the end of June, then shear it again. If the timing or your weather doesn't bring the plant back to that height, then allow it to develop naturally from there.

Some gardeners in USDA zones 5 or warmer find they can put that second bout of pruning daisies back to mid-July and still get a bushy top growth and bud development. This means they can get a very bushy plant.

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Pruning Daisies to Make Them Bushy

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Old Fashioned mums too!
by: shaed

I have old fashioned mums, Clara Curtis I think. I cut them back in late spring, early summer and they bloom abundantly and sometimes still need a stake or two. I then take some of the cuttings after pruning and jam them in the garden earth somewhere, water well for a while and almost always get new plants from them. Bonus!

I may try cutting them a second time just to see if I can get a better shape and not need to stake. They are quite a vigorous plant and I like them very much next to sedum, Autumn Joy. They make a nice display in late season.

by: Doug

As long as the timing is right go ahead

by: Nicola

I'm so glad to see this question, as my daisies have done the same thing. Also, they have lain themselves down to catch the last bit of sun that hits the bed at the end of the day. So I have tall daisies that are laying down flat with just their heads turned up! It is not attractive! Next year I will try pruning them to make them bushier. Is it too late to prune them now since they already got to full height? They look quite hideous.

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