I have a black thumb - please help!

My Mom used to say I could kill silk flowers and it's true! I am trying to help my daughter's MOH with the shower. She wants to do small pots of growing gerber daisies and/or calla lillies to do double duty as table decorations and favors for the guests to take home. What suggestions do you have to accomplish this? We are going to buy small clay pots and paint them but where do we get the flowers? Will these type of flowers be blooming at the end of July? I know some of you ladies are gardeners - please help!

Re: I have a black thumb - please help!

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    saacjwsaacjw member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper First Comment
    edited May 2012
    Gerber Daisys should be pretty easy to find at a garden store. The one I worked at sold them in 5" pots, so they'd be really easy to transfer if you find them like that. Most of the ones I've ever dealt with have been growing at the end of July too.

    Catch- I have seen them develop mold and mites on leaves if the leaves get to wet so a) lift leaves when watering and b) keep them moist, but the soil needs to drain well, so don't get pots that have no drain at the bottom. A lot of the clay pots you can find have little plates- so get those. Also, they need  A LOT of sun. I had a customer bring in a dead one that had been sitting in an average sunny kitchen and it wilted into a sad state. Just not enough sunlight.

    I have no idea about calla lillies, I've never dealt with them, but I imagine if you go to a garden store that has them, they'd be able to give you good advice. I'd also look into shade growing annuals if you need to keep these inside for long periods of time.

    ETA- I've used a fertalizer for potted plants before that was seriously effective. I also can't remember what it was called, but again, a garden store should be able to direct you to it.
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    Thank you so much for your advice. I am hoping we can get these just a few days before the shower and have the MOH, Bms and the MOG and I put them in the decorated pots. That way they won't have to be inside. I have a sunny area in my backyard where thay can sit for a few days so hopefully that will work. I will remember to get the pots with the little dishes under them - that's areally good tip. Again thanks for taking the time to share. Wish me luck!
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    I have a fairly large garden and have recently been going to a few nurseries for purchases that I do every year, mostly for annuals not perennials.

    You don't say how many pots of each you want. One of the nurseries I just went to had calla lillies and gerbera daisies in pots. However, both were already blooming, and not cheap. I think the pots of daisies were in 5 inch pots and about $3.59 each, and had 1-3 flowers blooming. The calla lillies were quite a bit more, maybe $9 per pot with 1-3 flowers blooming. I did not see "starters" of any of these plants, ie smaller pots or even in plastic flats that could be transplanted into a garden or pot.

    I have no idea whether they will be available in late July, as most people buy their plantings in the spring because they want to have them bloom in their own yard. I have a lot of different plants in my garden and have purchased calla lillies twice to grow at home. The "planting zone" they are in is not conducive to our northern climate (I'm in Michigan, appears you may be around Chicago). Even if you can find them in July, the likelihood any of your guests can transplant them into their own gardens and be successful may be  minimal.

    If I were trying to do what you are, I'd probably go to the nurseries now and ask how late into the season they have these potted plants, and whether they come in smaller pots. I have never tried to separate a gerbera daisy plant into multiple containers, and it would be hard to get them into a pot smaller than 5" based on the larger mature plants I've seen for sale this spring. Even if you bought them now and were able to keep them from dying, they would be so "root bound" that they still might die before then. You don't want to leave this to the last minute and be out of luck.

    In the end your daughter may have to adjust her desires and you may have to have annuals (geraniums, petunias, pansies) instead of the perennials you mentioned. Depending on the nurseries in your area your selections may be limited in late July.

    Good luck.
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    You can get these at lowes and they are fairly inexpensive, then transport them to the pot and make sure to water them.  If you haven't bought the saucers, you may want to to protect the table linens. 
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