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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Tuesday - July 08, 2008

From: Montgomery, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Container Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Failure of Gerbera daisies in hanging basket
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I had perennial Gerbera daisies in a hanging basket, the flowers died,I was not sure whether to remove just the flower or to go from the flower to the stem at the plants main stem? There is nothing regrowing, what did I do wrong?

ANSWER:

The Gerbera daisy is also known as the African daisy. There are 30 species in the wild, extending to South America, Africa, Madagascar and tropical Asia. Thousands of cultivars exist for the commercial trade, with numerous colors. Since this plant is not native to North America, it will not be in our Native Plant Database, but we will see if we can find some information on your plant.

Although you called your plant a perennial, the first website we looked at had this remark: "After the last flowers are spent... discard the plants and purchase a new indoor flowering house plant." This website Growing Gerbera Daisies seems to agree with that recommendation. They are referred to as "tender perennials" which means they need warm weather to survive over the winter. Some that are planted in the garden will reseed and return next Spring. In the case of potted plants, such as yours, the general consensus seems to be that no potted plant lasts forever, and when it's gone, it's gone. Perhaps before you plant another one, some of the information in the above website will help you figure out how to make them last longer, but apparently, they won't last forever.

 

 

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