Thanks For The Gerbera Daisy Seeds!

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An article I had written on how to grow gerbera daisies has been capturing a lot of attention. A reader named Julie recently posted that she would send some fresh gerber daisy seeds to whoever wanted some. I was quick to say “Yeah” and poof there they were in my mailbox. I”m looking forward to planting them. Apparently Julie gathers the seeds from the plants she buys at the store. I was previously under the impression that store bought gerbera daisies would produce infertile seeds, but she proved me wrong.  From my understanding you need fresh seeds.  Fresh seeds tend to have an almost 100% germination rate.

Here’s what she had to say about planting them:

I have gathered my seeds from plants I bought at various stores. I get about a 98 % germination rate on the seeds I plant. I simply take a tooth pick, and make a hole, then place the seed with the fuzzy top up in the hole. The Fuzzy top must be above the dirt. But they grow really well that way.

Here’s what the germinated seeds look like:

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These seedlings are hurting from shipping. The 2 leaves means it’s still to early to transplant them.  You should wait until there are 4 leaves.  For more information make sure you read the article How To Grow Gerbera Daisies Indoors.

Where Can I Get a Barberton Daisy?

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A lot of home gardeners are trying to grow gerbera daisies from seeds.  They are forced to keep buying these hybrid seeds because the flowers do not produce fertile seeds.  The reason is because the gerbera daisy is a man-made hybrid that can only exist in nature because of science.  I’ve recently discovered who the original parent to these hybrid gerbera daisies is – the Barberton Daisy.  This South African native is named after the city of Barberton.  The barberton daisy produces fertile seeds just like God intended.  And you know, it’s quite pretty.  The only problem is, how do you get a hold of a barberton daisy or its seeds if you don’t live in Africa?  Please post any responses on my blog.

Useful reference:  www.gerbera.org

Possible place to buy seeds: www.bidorbuy.co.za

In Search of The Best Gerbera Daisy Bouquet

Valentine’s Day is long over. At that time I managed to purchase a last minute bouquet for my girlfriend. I opted for the roses. But a gerbera daisy bouquet, now that might make a nice pick for mother’s day. Mothers day will be here very soon, May 11, 2008 to be precise. With gerbera daisy’s being the most popular flowers in the world I’m sure mothers would love them. Now, just for the record I do recommend growing your own gerbera’s, or at least attempting to grow some. It’s a fun challenge and you can benefit from their air purify affects a lot more when they are actually alive and well.

Here are a few great places to order a gerber daisy bouquet:

www.GrowerFlowers.com
Assortment of 12 Gerbera Daisies with vase: $34.95. Also comes with greeting card personalized with your digital photo.

www.OrganicBouquet.com
5% of your purchase goes to the National Wildlife Federation: $39.95

www.USAFlorest.com
Save $5 off any order through this link ONLY.

www.ProFlowers.com
Great selection. 24 Mini Gerbera Daisies $39.99

www.FloristOne.com
6 Colorful Gerbera Daisies with clear glass vase: $39.95

*For more gerbera daisy bouquets view the Sponsors on the left side of this blog.

Just Ordered Gerber Daisy Seeds

I ordered some gerber daisy seeds from ParkSeed. After shipping it came to $6.45. I don’t have them yet, but when I do will take some pictures and show how I grow them from seeds. Sprouting seeds can be a little tricky. I think the challenge is fun. I am going to write a more in depth report on my experiences with growing gerber daisies because a lot of people are coming to my blog looking for this information. They should be here next week. If you want to order some seeds for yourself click the ParkSeed link to the left of this blog.

Peonies – How to Plant & Care For a Perennial Favorite.

Peony Planting Requirements
Peonies are beautiful and they smell amazing. Peonies can live for as long as 50 years, so it makes sense to choose your planting site wisely. Pink Peony

  • Full sun, light afternoon shade in warmer climates is recommended.
  • Rich, well-drained soil. They will benefit from organic material/compost.
  • Blooms best in climates that experience a pronounced period of winter chilling.
  • Plant away from shrubs and large trees so as not to compete for root space and nutrients.
  • Plant in early fall (early September until mid October)

How To Plant Peonies
A mature peony plant can spread out to a diameter of 3 feet or more so be sure to space them out when planting. The most common reason for a peony failing to flower is planting it too deeply. So when planting it’s important that the top of the crown is no more than 2 inches below the soil surface. Generally you’ll end up digging a large hole about 12 inches deep. Be sure to mix in some compost and some bone-meal. If you don’t have bone-meal mix in some general fertilizer.

Caring for Established Plants
Peonies are survivors, but they love a little extra care you can give them.

  • In the autumn cut the stems about 3 inches above the soil and clear away the dead leaves. Add a handful of bone-meal or general fertilizer over the top.
  • If you’re going to mulch, avoid mulching on top of the crown or your plant may become too deeply buried.
  • In the early spring add a couple cups of fireplace ash to the soil and work it in.
  • Larger flowers will be produced if you remove the side buds on each stem as soon as they are visible.

Here’s some great sites to purchase a peony tree:

Garden Direct
www.directgardening.com
– A collection of tree peonies as inexpensive as $12.95. You can choose from pink, white, red, rainbow, purple Nishiki, yellow Kinkaku, etc. GardenDirect has a flat shipping fee no matter the size of the order. This is great for large orders.

Blooming Bulb
www.bloomingbulb.com – A variety of peonies for only $6.30. Free shipping as well! They sell out quick.

Spring Hill Nursery
www.springhillnursery.com – Beautiful peonies for only $9.99. Even better, if you make a purchase through this blog you can take $25 off a purchase of $50 or more.


 

 

How To Grow Gerbera Daisies Indoors

Gerbera Daisies (Gerbera Jamesonii) can in fact be grown as perennials indoors, flowering all year long. Caring for them as a houseplant not only livens up your home but purifies your indoor air of toxins. They are listed in the top 12 “Green” air cleaners by NASA. People are catching onto this fact, but they haven’t quite figured out how to grow them and care for them. gerbera daisies

You can purchase giant gerber daisies at your local garden center or you can buy them online. The other alternative is to purchase seeds and grow your own. Some people are successful at germinating the seeds of the gerbera daisy plants they bought. The seeds have a short shelf life so you will want fresh seeds wherever you get them.

Gerbera Daisy Potted Plants
www.directgardening.com – A mixed array of colors. 1 plant for $3.50. 4 are only $10.50.

www.springhillnursery.com – Choose from red, pink, white, orange, and yellow. 1 plant for $5.99.

Gerbera Daisy Seeds
Park Seed Co. sells giant gerbera daisy seeds in a rainbow mix. 1 packet is $3.50. Click the ParkSeed banner at the left of this blog to go to their website. Making a purchase through that banner helps support me.

How to Grow Gerbera Daisies From Seeds
For earliest flowering start the seeds indoors. The seeds have fuzz on one end. The thin ones can sometimes be infertile, so you want to look for the fat ones. When you plant them make sure to place the seeds vertically with the fuzz on top. Plant them directly in a shallow container with moist soil. Peat moss or peat moss pellets work well. You want them just under the soil line so that the little fuzz is almost poking out. They need light and warmth to germinate so place the pot in a warm sunny location that’s about 70 degrees. Germination takes around 15-20 days at 70 degrees. I recommend covering the pot with clear plastic wrap as this will keep the soil warm and moist. Always make sure the soil is moist when germinating. 

After the seeds sprout provide plenty of light and avoid excessive watering and drafts. When 4 leaves develop you can transplant them to larger pots. Gerbera roots are quite sensitive  so you have to be gentle when handling them.  If you want to grow them outside set the pots outside in a protected area to harden for 3 days. Then plant them in compost rich garden soil with plenty of sun and water them well initially.  Adding some high energy fertilizer (high potassium) in with the water will help grow vibrant flowers.

How to Care For Gerbera Daisies
Gerbera daisies flower best when planted in 6 or more hours of direct sunlight each day. A high source of light can give an abundance of flowers. Gerber daisies need to be kept evenly moist but they should be allowed to dry slightly before watering. Gerber daisies require well-drained potting soil that is nutrient rich. In Mel Bartholomew’s book “All New Square Foot Gardening” he states that the very best soil for anything, plant or vegetable, is 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 vermiculite. Healthy Gerberas are rarely ever bothered by pests, however fungus and stem rot is a common problem with over watered plants. You might want to remove old leaves regularly to prevent fungus infections.

Organic Heirloom Seeds – The Only True Seeds Left

If you plan to start a garden you should know that most modern seeds are hybrid seeds that have been genetically altered and produce sterile or unreliable seeds. What this means is that the modern seed is more likely to yield a crop less in nutrients, less in taste, and in the end give you useless seeds that you can’t even plant for next year. If you’re wondering what has gone amiss, and why seeds are so poor, let’s just say that Shell Oil is the largest seed company in the world. It’s a huge business. Hundreds of billions of dollars are made by chemical and pharmaceutical conglomerates, who acquire native seeds from Third World farmers (for free), genetically modify them, patent them, and then sell them back.

And these corporation who sell genetically modified (GM) seeds to farmers are also free to sell GM seeds to you – the home gardener. Because most people don’t really know what is going on in the agribusiness, our current laws do not require a warning label on the seed packets. So here’s what you do – look for organic and heirloom seeds. They should be open pollinated (non-hybrid) and untreated, and not genetically modified (Non-GMO).plant

They are called heirloom seeds because they are from a plant that has a history of being passed down within a family. Gardeners saved seeds from plants with the most desirable characteristics for their own home gardens and then passed them on to family and friends. And of course, they didn’t let any corporations get their slimy hands on them. After you receive your first crop you can take part in saving your own seeds and passing on the tradition of sustainable agriculture. This simple act will actually sustain a genetically diverse agriculture and keep us all from starving.

Here’s a list of organic or heirloom seeds:

Nature Hills Nursury
http://www.naturehills.com

Heirloom Seeds
http://www.heirloomseeds.com

Seeds Trust
http://www.seedstrust.com

Johnny Seeds
http://www.johnnyseeds.com

Seed Savers
http://www.seedsavers.org

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
http://www.rareseeds.com