Is it too late to do a Chelsea chop on a large clump of shasta daisies ‘Alaska’ that I have? They are very tall and require staking. I was hoping that if I cut them now the stems would get stronger. I am worried I might cut off the blooms if I do it now. Thank you.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.
The Chelsea chop makes plants more compact and also delays flowering. I have used it myself on my turtleheads (Chelone sp.) Delayed flowering is useful if you want to stagger the flowering period on plants of the same type. It should be noted that this technique may result in smaller flowers. Shasta daisies are good candidates for the Chelsea chop.
Shasta daisies usually bloom for early summer to fall. If you do not want to be as drastic and cut down the entire clump you can cut only ½ of the stems back by 1/3 to ½. This will actually extend a bloom season as there are more stems in different stages of growth.