Feverfew, the close cousin of the daisy.
image by aussiegall/Flickr.com
Feverfew is a member of the daisy family. Growing 3 to 4 feet in height, it produces small, white flowers and dark green leaves historically known for alleviating migraines and reducing high fevers. However, the plant is extremely bitter in taste and chewing the leaves to cure a headache can actually cause painful sores in the mouth. Instead of growing for medicinal purposes, many people grow feverfew as an ornamental backdrop or as a handy bee deterrent.
Obtain seeds from a local supplier. Be sure to gather 20 or more seeds. This increases the chance of successful germination and sprouting.
Fill a small potting container with a 1:1 ratio of soil and peat moss or compost. The container need only be 3 to 6 inches deep and should be able to fit in your refrigerator.
Evenly distribute your seeds 1 to 2 inches below the surface of the soil. Water the soil until it is moist.
Place the container in your refrigerator and keep the soil moist but never soaked at all times. After 7 to 14 days, the seeds will germinate and sprout.
Once the seeds have sprouted, move them to a larger pot. Each seed should have an inch of room between it and another seed. You might have to repot your seeds in two separate containers.
Place the pot(s) on an east or west windowsill. Feverfew needs full sun with moderate amounts of shade. A filtered but sunny windowsill is perfect for the flower.
Continue to keep the soil moist and never soaked. You do not need to fertilize feverfew. Simply repot the flowers if they ever begin crowding each other or outgrowing their pot.
The flowers can be transplanted outside to an area with full sun. Many people use them to line driveways or walkways. Others move them to areas around the house where bees are undesirable. The bitter taste of the flowers keeps bees completely out of the area surrounding feverfew.