The bright and magnificent Gerbera Daisy brings cheer as both annual and perennial. They are popular plants because they are attractive and come in a wide variety of colors, including white, yellow, orange, red and salmon. Happily, Gerbera Daisy care is generally considered easy, though there are a few important points. Although Gerbera Daisy requires minimal care, it does its best with regular care and maintenance. Also, the more compact types of Gerbera have shorter and stronger flower stems, which makes them generally easier to cultivate than the taller, more rangy types.
Additionally, Gerbera is an excellent cut flower because the stems hold well, it rehydrates rapidly, and can withstand the rigours of shipping.
Quick Growing Guide
Botanical Name: Gerbera jamesonii
Botanical Family: Asteraceae
Water: Needs regular watering
Additionally, when growing gerbera daisy in pots, the more compact plants are a bit more versatile in that they do well both indoors as container plants and outdoors in flowerbeds or containers. Blooms vary in size, ranging from two to five inches across. For even greater variety, there are single, double and multiple petal versions of all colours.
The Gerbera Daisy (a.k.a. Transvaal daisy, Gerber daisy, African daisy or Barberton daisy –Gerbera jamesonii) from the Asteraceae family are popular indoor and outdoor South African floral plants. The genus was named Gerbera by Dutchman Jan Frederic Gronovius in 1737 in honor of the German medical doctor Traugott Gerber. [source]
How Do You Grow A Gerbera Daisy Plant?
It is inexpensive and easy to buy Gerbera seedlings at your local nursery, but it is even less expensive to buy seeds and cultivate your own. Alternately, you can grow the Gerbera plant by division.
If you decide you want to start your own Gerbera Daisies from seed, be advised that you may end up with surprise daisies. Seed is not always accurately labeled. Additionally, you cannot save the seed from one season to the next. You must purchase it, take it right home and plant it immediately. It will lose its viability very quickly after you open the package.
It’s quite a bit easier to grow these daisies from divided plants or from seedlings than from seed. When you do this, you can be absolutely certain of the type of daisy you are getting. Additionally, it’s quite simple to lift and divide the crowns of older plants in springtime. When you do this, you not only know what type of plant you’re getting, you also have some idea of the past performance of the plant.
Is the Gerbera Daisy Annual or Perennial?
As a hardiness zones 8 – 11 plant, the Gerbera is perennial in only the southern and western fringes of North America. If you live in these zones, and you can expect the plant to re-bloom every year.
They are an annual for most of the North American continent. Their attractiveness makes them a favourite annual filler. They are planted as an annual to fill spots in outdoor gardens, or as a container plant for indoor enjoyment. Of course, you can use a container to fill spots in your garden in the summer and move the container indoors when the weather changes.
From seed, Gerbera flowers develop in 4 to 5 months, and about a year for a reasonably sized plant. Be aware that beautiful plants are frequently cloned, and their seeds will not reproduce true to kind.
If you are planting from seed, use a propagation mix that provides good drainage. Place your Gerbera flower seeds in pots in a bright, but indirect light. For best results, seeds and plants need to remain moist throughout germination and the growing seasons; consider placing plastic wrap over the pots.
Happily, Gerberas can be grown from cuttings. More simply, clumps are commonly divided.
Propagating from Cuttings
- Take a 6-8 inch clipping from a healthy Gerbera daisy plant, being careful not to cut too deeply. Remove any blooms or buds from the top of the stem, as well as all of the bottom leaves.
- After dipping the bottom end of the stem in rooting hormones, plant the Gerbera cutting into a container filled with quality potting soil.
- Mist the soil and cover the cutting with a plastic bag. Mist every day to maintain the moisture.
- Place the container in an area of bright and indirect light and warmth.
- After 10–14 days, gently lift the cutting from the pot. If it resists, it’s an indication that it has formed roots, and you can now plant it in an individual container.
Planting Your Gerbera Daisies
These colorful daisies enjoy sandy, well-drained soil and full exposure to the sun. When planting your seedlings or dividing plants, be sure to add some compost to boost growth and encourage flowering.
Because these hearty little spots of color do hail from South Africa, they are used to hot, dry weather. For this reason, they fall prey easily to fungal diseases. Interestingly, some of the older varieties are less susceptible to this problem. With either older or newer varieties, proper planting and judicious watering are very important to prevent crown rot.
Fungicidal sprays are generally not effective.
When planting from divided plants, be sure to avoid crown rot. This is a common problem that is caused by planting the divided plants too close together and/or too deeply and watering too much. Plant only as deeply as the original soil level, leave plenty of airspace on all sides and above and mulch lightly and in such a way that the mulch does not obscure the crown.
How to Care for Gerbera Daisy Care Outdoors
- Watering – Water only in the morning because this will give the plants leaves a chance to dry in the light of day. This greatly reduces problems with fungal diseases and rot. Deeply watered with a soaker hose or a hose with a light trickle once weekly is advised. In this way, you can avoid getting damp leaves, which should be avoided.
- Lighting – Areas with full direct sunlight to partial shade is best for growing and caring for these precious plants.
- Fertilizer – Provide your Gerbera Daisies with a high-quality micronutrient-rich liquid plant fertilizer. Fish emulsion and seaweed are both well advised. Gerberas benefit from slow-release fertilizers, preferably balanced or high in potassium, and prefer a moist but not waterlogged substrate.
- Pests – Protect your plants from leaf miners and caterpillars. Spraying with organic pesticide solutions such as neem spray insecticide oils or pyrethrum is how to get rid of the caterpillars.
- Disease – Powdery mildew can coat leaves, petioles and the Gerbera flower heads, with a white felty or powdery coating. Keep plants well-spaced; provide air circulation.
- Pruning – Spent blooms should be removed (cut off at the flowering stem base) to prevent energy being diverted into seed production, and to improve appearance.
Gerberas are considered to be relatively difficult indoor plants, but with careful treatment and good exposure to sun, they can last for several years. If transplanted to a larger pot, maintain a pH of 5.5 to 6.5.
How to Care for Gerbera Daisies Indoors
While cultivating Gerbera Daisies outside is fairly simple, Gerberas are considered somewhat difficult indoor plants. They may, however, live for several years if properly cared for and exposed to sunshine.
Additionally, planting in pots or containers is advised if you live in an area that has heavy soil or that is very humid. There are many advantages to container gardening. It gives you the option of controlling all elements of the environment surrounding your plants. The vigorous, colourful, and long-lasting blooms produced by Gerbera Daisies make these plants a showy and decorative choice indoors.
Many people receive these cheery plants as potted gifts. They are often considered a temporary sort of plant to be enjoyed briefly and tossed aside, but this doesn’t have to be the case. You can keep your Gerbera Daisy alive and gorgeous for several years if you supply them with the right growth conditions. Your Gardera daisy can be lively and beautiful for several years.
Establish A Consistent, Nurturing Environment
The key to providing the proper environment for indoor Gerbera is getting the temperature and the lighting just right. Areas with full to partial sun are best for growing and caring for these precious plants. The temperature should be moderate and consistent, and the light should be bright but not direct.
If you place your Gerber Daisies in a sunny window, it may become too hot and the leaves may be scorched. On the other hand, if you don’t provide enough light you will have a nice leafy plant but no blooms. The best kind of lighting for indoor Gerbera is morning sunlight with indirect light in the afternoon.
If keeping your Gerbera in indirect lighting throughout the day, you must be sure that this light is ample. Use overhead lights and/or lamps to supplement natural light.
Providing ample lighting is especially important during the winter months. A moderate, slightly cool temperature is preferred, and you should protect your indoor Gerbera against temperatures over 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Hydration and Water:
Water judiciously just as you would with outdoor daisies. Poke your finger into the soil. If it feels dry through the first inch of soil, water deeply. Allow thorough drainage before putting the pot back into its drip tray or saucer. Never allow your Gerbera Daisy to stand in water as this will cause the root to rot.
Just like with outdoor Gerbera’s, take care to keep the leaves dry. Don’t water too much in the winter, and always keep an eye on the soil. It should never be soggy, and it should never be bone dry. Ideally, it should stay lightly moist. Water only when the top inch becomes dry.
Indoor Gerbera does best with fertilizer formulated for blooming plants. Follow the package instructions for the size of your containers. Fertilize as directed in the spring and summer. Fall and winter stop fertilizing.
4. Trimming and Pruning:
When your plant is blooming, watch the blooms carefully and deadhead as soon as they start to wilt. This will help stimulate more blooms and also keep your plant tidy and compact. Whenever there is dead foliage, be sure to remove or cut it promptly to keep the plant clean.
If your Gerbera is doing very well, it will multiply and need to be divided. When it begins to look crowded, you can feel safe repotting it in any season. It can be quite challenging to cultivate Gerbera daisies, but the large, cheerful blooms make all your effort worthwhile. Maintain a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 if transplanting to a bigger container.
They bring delightful colours to your yard in the spring and summer and can brighten your home all year round. When you become proficient in their cultivation, you can enjoy sharing it with your friends and relatives. A potted Gerbera Daisy flower is the perfect gift for any occasion!
Maintaining Cut Flowers
Gerbera stems typically degrade 5 days after being cut. They can, however, survive for up to 10 days if properly cared for.
- Fill a clean vase halfway with fresh water and store-bought preservatives.
- With a sharp knife, cut stems 2.5–5 cm (1–2 inches) from their bases at an angle.
- Recutting the stems and changing the water every 2 or 3 days can help the blooms last longer.
- The water level should be rather low.
- Set the vase in a brightly lit area but not in direct sunlight, and in cool temperatures (13°–24°C or 55°–75°F) is ideal.
Toxicity and Edibility
Although Gerbera cultivars are not harmful to children or pets, they are not edible. Gerbera species, on the other hand, are occasionally used in cooking and medicine in several nations. G. piloselloides, in particular, is utilised by indigenous communities in Southwest China as a spice for meat and distilled beverages, as well as a traditional herbal remedy for a range of ailments. (Source: CBA Page 57)