Florida Gardening forum: Livingstone Daisy

Views: 2457, Replies: 7 » Jump to the end
Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
Image
rattlebox
May 22, 2014 11:02 AM CST
Has anyone with a hot/humid season had luck with Livingstone Daisy? I'm talking about the REAL Livingstone Daisy, not that ridiculously mis-named "Mezoo" imposter (a nice plant in it's own right, but not at all a Livingstone Daisy). See here: Ice Plant (Cleretum bellidiforme)

Is Livingstone Daisy an annual or perennial? (Some references say they are perennial in frost-free areas.)

Are they cool-season or warm-season plants? I have read they do well in Miami, but is that in winter, or in summer (or both)?

Do they =really= like relatively dry soil (as is so often stated), or do they prefer free-draining but moist soil?

I have been growing them from seed for three years now. I have tried fall-sowing and spring-sowing. If the soil starts to dry out, the leaves shrivel up badly and plants die. (The result, I guess, of either lack of moisture, or damaged/diseased root system.)

If I keep the soil moist, eventually the flesh starts disappearing from the base of the plants, the roots die, the plant starts to shrivel and will die if not replanted deeper into soil. I suspect fungal involvement here, as I have had my best success this year by spraying the plants and soil with chamomile tea when I see them start to decline. The tea apparently either combats a disease (fungal attack?) situation or provides some needed nutrient, as the plants always look remarkably better the next day.

Seedlings this year:

Thumb of 2014-05-22/rattlebox/bfd421 Thumb of 2014-05-22/rattlebox/6149e6

The cinder block chunks idea was new this year. Figured I could let the soil dry more but allow moisture access to the plants if they wanted it. Also, I realize the pot is grossly over-planted. I had missed planting last fall, and since these tiny seed were now three years old, I expected greatly reduced viability. I was wrong. I think every seed sprouted.

This year, I raised the plants to 4-5" and started getting some really nice blooms:

Thumb of 2014-05-22/rattlebox/5a796a Thumb of 2014-05-22/rattlebox/45007e

But once again, the plants are in decline. I was out of town for a few days and didn't catch the decline early. Once again, Chamomile tea has helped a lot. I have pulled and individually potted several of the larger/worst ones. I'm trying to keep them regularly sprayed with the tea (every 2-3 days). They are looking much better, like they intend to pull through.

I keep reading how easy they are, how you can propagate from cuttings, etc. I am not a newbie to gardening, and while I have had my share of failures, I have learned a lot and have had a lot of successes as well. If I have to keep frequently spraying with Chamomile tea I'm going to have to start growing my own Chamomile (which I may do, anyway Green Grin! Big Grin Green Grin! ).

I really, really, really, REALLY like these plants and hope someone can offer some advice.

Someone? Anyone???

Ron
[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
[Last edited by rattlebox - May 22, 2014 11:03 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #620131 (1)
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
May 22, 2014 2:50 PM CST
Wow, they are beautiful! I've never tried them here, but after seeing them in the database and yours above, I think I will.

Have you tried starting the seeds in the fall, protecting them from the cold over winter and then enjoying the blooms through spring? This is what I do with Nasturtiums here, and it took me quite a while - years in fact - to figure out this was the way to go with them. They just peter out so fast once the humidity returns and the nights are warm.

To me, anything that says "zone 5b - 10" means one thing, we're at the very limit of that plant's comfort zone. So if you can carry young plants through the winter and get them blooming in February, they will give you great bang for your buck (or reward for your work and care). I think trying to keep a temperate plant going through a tropical summer just ain't gonna fly.

I have had limited success getting lavender to survive through a summer, by giving it the driest, coolest spot I can - under my big stand of bamboo. It goes semi-dormant and perks up magically once the nights cool off in the fall. This might work for summering over your ice plants, too.

I'm sure going to give your Chamomile tea trick a try!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
Image
rattlebox
May 22, 2014 7:54 PM CST
Elaine,

I have read repeatedly that Chamomile tea acts as a mild fungicide and helps prevent damp-off, but this is the first time I have used it. I used it on most all my pot-sown seed this spring. Since damp-off is generally a problem with small, newly-sprouted seedlings, it was quite a surprise at the difference it has made when the Livingstone Daisy plants were well beyond that, but I figured, what did I have to lose?

I purchased my seed from Swallowtail Garden Seeds. A little plug, as I have always had good luck with their seed. This was in spring of 2011. I have tried every spring and fall since, except I missed last fall.

I agree with you on the concept of pushing zones, which I do regularly. However, I really question the 5b min. zone in the database. Livingstone Daisy originates from western coastal South Africa with temps much as we have here in SW Florida. Apparently a short-lived perennial there. The big difference is the humidity, as theirs is a Mediterranean climate rather than a subtropical one. (Maybe I should look for clues in that thought.) A USDA range of z9-10 or z10-11 is probably more like it.

Humidity hasn't hit yet, so we are much like a Mediterranean climate right now: hot and dry. In the research I have been doing over the past few hours, I'm wondering if what I need is more like a deep container for a long taproot, dry at the surface but more moist deeper down.

I just purchased more seed so I will be able to continue to experiment over the next couple years.

I do like your suggestion about getting things growing and blooming during the winter. This spring I set up a flower bed for my now 3-yr old granddaughter, who is really into butterflies and picking flowers for her mother and her grandmother. So now I have grown plants that never interested me before, such as Nasturtiums, Pansies, Violas, Snapdragons and Pinks. The Snapdragons and Pinks are still holding on, but the others have now crashed. I need to get a much earlier start this coming winter!

Ron

PS: Any more thoughts, ideas, suggestions?
[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
[Last edited by rattlebox - May 22, 2014 9:11 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #620491 (3)
Name: Jean
Fleming Island, FL (Zone 9a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Composter
Image
qwilter
May 23, 2014 4:34 AM CST
Another natural fungicide is ground cinnamon. Just sprinkled in the dirt.

This looks like the plant that grows around (has taken over & even goes up the wall a bit) the front of a local re-sale store here. It is under the overhang so prob stays rather dry & gets full sun. I brought some home with me last year with the hopes it would spread thru my front bed. I'm guessing it got too much water and disappeared on me.
Blessed are the Quilters for they are the Piecemakers.
Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
Image
rattlebox
May 23, 2014 6:21 AM CST
There's a thought. Maybe mixing a little cinnamon into the top ½" of soil will give a longer-term solution? I wonder how long the effect lasts, what with regular watering and all. Hmmm. An occasional sprinkling on the surface may be simpler, after all. Just thinking "out loud".

The effect I have been wanting to create is well represented in this photo by @clintbrown http://garden.org/apps/sets/view/1337/

Thanks again for that photo, Clint! Thank You!

Delosperma are certainly easier to keep. Maybe I should just switch to Delosperma varieties.

Nah...

Now I want both! nodding Hilarious! Rolling on the floor laughing

It's certainly easier to =want= a new plant than it is to =unwant= one you've wanted for so long!
[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
Image
rattlebox
May 23, 2014 6:43 AM CST
It's just, when I see photo's like this:

http://i1094.photobucket.com/albums/i458/UMARKHANMARDAN/MESE...

I can't help wondering, what's wrong with me? Crying
[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
May 23, 2014 10:52 AM CST
Nothing wrong with you, Ron. They're gorgeous, but look at the soil in that last picture. Looks like dry clay soil to me. They're growing with Nasturtiums in that shot, too. Looks like they do like to dry out. I wonder if an Earth Box would work for them? I grow all my veggies in Earth Boxes, and they have a water reservoir in the bottom, but the top of the soil stays fairly dry (under a plastic cover) and the soil wicks the water up from the bottom. Hmmm . .. or any of the so called 'self watering' containers work on the same theory.

I think the humidity is the culprit in your problems, and of course along with humidity comes fungal growth. We surely have every fungus known to man floating around here in FL and yes, for sure the cinnamon would help with soil-borne fungal growth, but it gets expensive. I use it on my orchids through the summer, and it lasts a couple of months (as long as you can smell it, it's still working, that's my assumption anyway).

I'd bet we won't have many more days with low humidity until October now. Feels a lot more like summer out there today. I'm brewing up some Chamomile tea as I write, and am going to try it out on my little fig tree. It gets rusty fungus every summer, but is clean right now and has figs on it. Spraying with something edible appeals to me a lot! Some people use milk, too but I'm afraid it would stink.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plant and/or Seed Trader Xeriscape Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
Image
rattlebox
May 23, 2014 3:20 PM CST
Since we really haven't had a lot of humidity yet, I also think it has to do with surface moisture. So my growing time for this season may nearly be over.

I saw these two pics in our database. Certainly dry-looking soil there, and look how healthy the plants look and how well they are blooming!



I'm beginning to think along the lines of Sturt's Desert Pea, Swainsona formosa.

whose roots are very susceptible to fungus. A desert plant, when it finally rains, the seedlings that sprout quickly send down a deep taproot, in effect chasing the moisture as the surface dries. It has been suggested to plant it in a tall, porous pipe so the upper soil will completely dry shortly after watering. If the upper root stays moist, it is attacked by soil fungus and killed. I have yet to grow Sturt's Desert Pea, but after a long time reading and searching, I finally have a few seed.

I'm thinking I should master Livingstone Daisy first. Those seed are readily available and cheap! Now I need to figure out how to transition from moist sprouting conditions to dry. I would love to direct sow, but have had very little success here. Too many seed-eating bugs looking for a meal, I guess.

Ron
[He] decided that if a few quiet beers wouldn't allow him to see things in a different light, then a few more probably would. - Terry Pratchett

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Florida Gardening forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Lilium 'Pink Perfection'"