Thanks For The Gerbera Daisy Seeds!

IMG_2670
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:

IMG_2669

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?

barberton-daisy-gebera-daisy

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.

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.

Gerbera Daisies Purify Indoor Air

gerbera

If you have a home, a window, and some sunlight, why not have Gerbera Daisies somewhere near? It’s a known fact that these happy, colorful, wonders of nature purify your indoor air unlike any “cover up” spray could pretend to do.

Commercial air purifiers can be toxic because they emit ozone gases or ultraviolet rays. Not only that, they are not removing those chemicals in your home. With closed windows in the cold months, and air conditioning in the summer, those chemicals have no place to go.

Wait what chemicals? Well, there are many, but some of the most lethal and common chemicals found floating around in the typical home are:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Tricholorethylene
  • Benzene.

And where do they come from you ask? Formaldehyde comes from such places as foam insulation, plywood, particleboard, clothes, carpeting, furniture, paper goods, household cleaners, and water repellents. And tricholorethylene comes from dry cleaning, inks, paints, varnishes, lacquers, and adhesive. And the always present benzene comes from tobacco smoke, gasoline, synthetic fibers, plastics, inks, oils, and detergents.

Most people know that plants give us fresh oxygen and take in the stale carbon dioxide that we exhale. A life sustaining relationship that we all too frequently take for granted. Well, recently we discovered that certain plants go a bit further and filter out these deadly toxins and pollutants in our air. Recently, NASA researcher Dr. Bill Wolverton placed houseplants in sealed chambers and exposed them to hundreds of chemicals, and found plants like the gerbera daisy suck the chemicals out of the air.

There has never been a more appropriate time than now for people to get back to their roots and embrace plants for pollution free homes and work places.

Top 12 “Green” Air Cleaners

Besides Gerbera Daisies, there are several other species that perform this air purification miracle. Wolverton found the top 12 houseplants that help to filter and clean indoor air most efficiently are:

  1. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema pseudobracteatum)
  2. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Clevelandii’)
  3. Arrowhead vine (Syngonium podophyllum)
  4. English ivy (Hedera helix)
  5. Corn plant (Dracaena fragran ‘Janet Craig’)
  6. Devil’s ivy (Scindapsus aureu)
  7. Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
  8. Rubber plant (Ficus robusta)
  9. Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
  10. Florist’s mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
  11. Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’)
  12. Dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii)