Monday, October 15, 2012

Remembering Sunshine


It was Tammy of Casa Mariposa who gave me the idea for this post. She asked about the requirements for growing Gerbera daisies, so I thought I would share what I have learned. Although I was successful growing gerberas this year, it has not always been that way.


Each spring, I see the Gerbera daisies in the nurseries and garden centers. The blooms always make me smile and remind me of sunshine--but in various colors. They are so beautiful with the extended petals and wide open blooms I usually cannot resist buying some. And I buy them and plant them in the garden beds only to watch them wilt and die.



I am joining Carol of May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.


This year,  I thought I would try growing them once more before I completely gave up trying to grow them. I chose to plant them in containers, so I could have more control over them. I was hoping with that control I could figure out what conditions worked best.


I used a mixture of equal parts compost, humus, and cow manure for the potting soil. I planted some in clay pots with saucers and planted one in a hypertufa pot and one in a pot with sphagnum moss.

Here is what I learned:

Light - Prefers shade and some sun. Full sun is too harsh and causes the flower to wilt. Full shade does not provide enough light.

Water - Drench with water once a day. They do not like sitting in wet soil all day. They did not mind sitting in the water of the clay pot saucer for an hour or two after watering. The hypertufa pot did not dry out very quickly in the spring, and the gerberas suffered a bit. Once the heat of summer arrived, they did well in that pot. The sphagnum moss pot dried out in the very high heat of summer, and I had to water it twice a day instead of once a day. The clay pots with saucers seemed to do best.

Fertilizer - I fed them a diluted fertilizer every two weeks.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just a note...

Recently, I was honored with category first place wins in a photography contest with the following images. It was such a surprise, and I am delighted. Ironically, one of the winning photos was of Gerbera daisies.



© copyright 2012 Michelle A. Potter

68 comments:

  1. I love gerberas, such beautiful pictures - congratulations on your first place win! I have 3 gerberas, short stemmed, bought as annuals but mine have survived 4 years and are virtually evergreen with flowers almost year round. I can't really believe it as they are not supposed to survive the winter here in London, but mine do!

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    1. Thank you, Helene. That is wonderful that you have kept your gerberas for so long. I have tried to bring them inside, but, so far, have not had any luck.

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  2. Congrats on winning the award Michelle, I'm not surprised you won, your photos are superb, they give me great pleasure. I've never tried to grow gerberas but homegrown short-stemmed ones would be vastly preferable to the ones you buy here that have wire threaded around their stalks to make them stand up tall. Like some medieval torture method. Poor things.

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    1. Thank you! I guess they can be rather floppy in flower arrangements, but I like them better alive.

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  3. Congrats on the award. The pics are beautiful and Gerberas are fantastic plants to have in the garden. Here in Tucson, they do well during our summer months.

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    1. Thank you! I suppose you might get away with growing them all year round.

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  4. Congratulations. You have always great pictures. I like gerberas, but have never tried to grow them. Maybe I'll try next summer. Thank you for your advice.

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    1. Thanks! I hope it helps. I am so glad I was able to enjoy them this year.

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  5. Wow your little experiment paid off! Congratulations for your award, that photo is certainly awesome. However, that last shot in the post, sepia colored, is so beautiful too. Maybe you should join it too in another contest! I love gerbera daisies too, but it flowers only in our highlands with a bit colder temps.

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    1. Thank you, Kalantikan. You are very kind. I am glad you appreciate the sepia. I like monochrome as well as color.

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  6. Michelle, congratulation! I saw the photos of all winners: you are in good company!Very talented work, good photo quality!

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    1. Thank you, Nadezda. I am so glad you enjoyed them.

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  7. Beautiful photos!
    Thanks for the growing advice.
    Congratulations on your win!
    Happy GBBD!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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  8. Thanks for passing along all your learned advice. I've never tried growing Gerber daisies so I just may have a go at it next year. Your photos are always stunning! Congratulations on your win...well deserved!

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    1. Thank you, Karin. I hope you give them a try...they are so pretty. I really enjoyed them this year.

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  9. Very beautiful pictures. Interesting the growing advice about Gerberas, I think it's wonderful you can grow them in your garden or in pots outside. We cannot grow Gerberas outside, too wet, too cold, but we have in our country lots of glasshouses and in our neighbourhood they also grow Gerberas for commercial purposes, for flowershops all over the world.

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    1. Thank you, Janneke. I guess they would grow well in a greenhouse.

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  10. Congratulations on winning the photography contest! Your photos are always magnificent. I always pass by the gerbera daisies, because I've never known how to grow them. Thanks for the info. Maybe I'll give them a try.

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    1. Thank you, Holley. I was surprised that they were a little fussy, but I am glad I figured it out.

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  11. Fabulous photos. You really got some great shots. I love the Gerberas but they are annual here and now that I've reduced part of my gardens I definitely would not have space, but yours are sure beautiful.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Thank you, Cher. They are an annual here as well. My mother has had success bringing them indoors for the colder months, and then placing them back outside for the warmer months.

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  12. Gerberas are wonderful plants. I have several of them in my garden and your post is a reminder that I forgot to include any of them in my Bloom Day post! Oh well...

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    1. I often do that as well...forget to put something in a post. :)

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  13. Congratulations, your photos are always wonderful, you deserved to win! I have always treated Gerberas as annuals, but maybe I should try overwintering them in the greenhouse in future.

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    1. Thank you, Pauline. I would love to know how that goes, overwintering them in the greenhouse.

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  14. A well-deserved award! Your photography is so inspiring. Because I have such a shady garden, I've never grown gerbers--but now I really want to find a bit of sun so I can try. Happy Bloom Day to you!

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    1. Thank you, Julie. You will enjoy them, for sure.

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  15. Wow! Your photos are magnificent! Congratulations on the award and so well deserved. Happy Bloom Day!

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  16. Michelle I am so not surprised you won 2 awards...I have said your photos are a slice of heaven to gaze upon. I also love gerberas and put them in morning sun afternoon shade watering once a day in a clay pot...how funny is that.....they seem to do well. But I am hoping to grow them from seed this spring..we shall see.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. I appreciate that. You seem to have discovered the secret of growing these long ago. :)

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  17. Congratulations on your photography contest win. I'm not surprised ... your macros are stunning. I love that you find gerberas so photogenic.

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    1. Thank you, Joene. I never tire of photographing them...they are very photogenic.

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  18. Congratulations on your photo award--well-deserved, I might add, because I think your photos are always stunning.

    I appreciate your tips on the Gerbera daisies; I've never had much luck with them lasting very long for me. Now I know it's partly too much sun and partly not watering them enough. My dad, on the other hand, loves these plants and has managed not only to keep them looking good all summer, but has overwintered them inside as well. Maybe if I take both yours and his advice next year, I'll have more success with them.

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    1. Thank you, Rose. My mother has had success overwintering them. I hope you give them a try...they are so lovely.

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  19. Those are outstanding photos - congratulations.

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  20. Congratulations on a much deserved honor!

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  21. Well done on your award. I am so glad I dropped by today, I have always been keen on Gerberas. I see there is a new variety to the UK named Gerbera Forever Daisies, said to be fully hardy. I dont think they would survive our Winter here in Scotland, but next Spring I will definitely get a few and pot them up, they may survive if placed in the greenhouse over Winter.

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    1. Thank you, Alistair. I will have to look around to see if I can find that variety here. It would be nice to have a hardy variety.

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  22. What a useful post. And the photographs are gorgeous. Prize worthy!

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  23. Ah, Gerbera were my favorite flowers when I was a kid. Everyone else loved Roses, I loved Gerbera.

    Great photos! Happy bloom day!

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    1. Thank you! I discovered gerberas later in life. I love them now.

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  24. Congrats on your win. These images are truly all winners.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. That is very kind of you.

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  25. Congratulations on your winning shot. I agree with Donna, all the images in this post are really nice. I have always admired these flowers and sometimes buy them as cut flowers. I have never tried to grow them and would feel more confident at giving them a try after reading your post.

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. I am glad that my post helped you feel more comfortable growing them. I had a hard time with them at first. They are worth the effort.

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  26. Congratulations on the award...it was very well deserved...gorgeous images :-)

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  27. Congratulations on your win, that shot was definitely a beauty! Thanks for your trial and error info on the daisies, I've put them on my "to try" list for next spring :)

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  28. Congratulations, Michelle! The winning photos are excellent, but so are your other lovely images of Gerberas. Someone gave me a Gerbera plant this year and I managed to keep it alive, now I'm thinking of putting it in a pot and bringing it inside to overwinter. I'll have to read up on that. Thanks for the info on ideal growing conditions!

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    1. Thank you, Beth. I am sure you will do well to keep it alive through the colder months.

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  29. I must admit I stick to purchasing gerberas as bouquets rather than for the garden. So beautiful but I've never had any luck with them either. Thanks for the tips.

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    1. I had almost given up on growing them. They seemed quite fussy. Now, I am glad to enjoy them.

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  30. Good to know that they need some shade! They are so pretty and cheerful.
    Some beautiful photos - congratulations on the photo contest win!

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    1. Thank you! I think the shade and the watering were the secrets to keeping them healthy.

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  31. Great post! I've never had a lot of success with Gerberas and maybe I'll give them one more try. Congratulations on your win!

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    1. Thank you, Deanne. I hope you have success with them...it is well worth it.

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  32. Stunning photos! Can't wait to see more!

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    1. Thank you, Penny. Thank you for stopping by.

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  33. I finally know the secret! Thanks so much for this post!! Next year they will definitely be coming back to the garden now that I know how not to kill them. :o) Hooray!! Do they need high bright shade? BTW - your photos are GORGEOUS!!

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    1. Thank you, Tammy. I wish you great success with them. For me, the bright shade worked best.

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  34. Your photos are beautiful. I have grown Gerberas on the Gulf Coast and they like the winters here. I currently have one that survived our summer. I will give it some fertilizer and see how it does.

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    1. Thank you! That is great that you have had success with them. The Gulf Coast probably has weather that they like.

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'I see trees of green, red roses, too
I see 'em bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world'
--What a Wonderful World

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