Caring For A Gerbera Daisy
Gerbera daisies are beautiful, colorful flowers that are often considered to be the most stylish of all daisies. These flowers have lobed leaves that reach to 10 inches in length and grow from the root crowns, which spread slowly to form big clumps. The flowers grow one to a stem and approximately 4 inches in diameter.
Gerbera daisies bloom throughout the year, especially in late fall and early summer. Their colors include oranges and reds, yellows, coral and even cream. When purchasing Gerbera daisies, make sure they are in bloom to get the desired colors and shapes you are looking for.
Where To Grow Gerbera Daisies
The Gerbera daisy is native to South Africa and therefore grows well in similar climates. In warmer climates, the Gerbera daisy may survive better in a coldframe (a transparent-roofed enclosure, built low to the ground to protect plants from cold weather) so long as you mulch well and provide good drainage.
If your climate zone differs from this, grow your Gerbera daisies either in your house or in a greenhouse.
Use of Gerbera Daisy Flowers
Gerbera daisies are great flowers for arrangements. To get the best arrangement, cut the flower the moment it fully opens. To preserve the flower, slit the stem an inch from the bottom and then place in water.
Growing Gerbera Daisies
When planting from seedling, plant as divisions, clumps or from cans. If growing your Gerbera daisies outdoors, give them full sun. If you are growing in a very hot climate, place them in partial shade.
If you are growing your flowers in your house or greenhouse, grow in an area with bright light, and do not let the night temperature drop below 60 degrees.
Gerbera daisies require good soil and drainage. If you can not achieve good drainage, plant your daisies in raised beds to allow water to drain adequately.
Gerbera daisies need to be planted at least 2 feet apart. Make sure the crowns are a ¼-inch above the ground surface. Once planted, give a deep watering without letting crowns being covered with soil. Let dry completely before watering again.
Once you have established good growth of your Gerbera daisies, feed frequently, pick off old leaves and allow plant to grow until crowded. Once crowded, divide plants (ideally between February and April) and leave 2 to 3 buds on each division.
Planting From Seed
Start with fresh seeds. Sow thinly in sandy, peaty soil with a temperature of around 70 degrees. Carefully water your seeds. They will take between 4 to 6 weeks to sprout. It takes 6 to 18 months for them to flower.