How to Grow a Gerbera Daisy from Seeds How to Grow a Gerbera Daisy from Seeds

The gerbera daisy is a popular flower in both gardens and flower arrangements, so it's only natural that people want to grow them. However, as with any plant, raising a gerbera daisy from seed can be tricky.

Planting

When you collect gerbera seeds it is important to focus on ones that are fat and have fuzz on one end. Most plants will produce mainly thin, infertile seeds, and some will not produce a single fertile seed. Once you have gathered your seeds, or have taken the easy route and bought them at your local nursery, you are ready for the next step. Fill your flower pots with a sterile, artificial soil mix that permits good drainage. The mix may already contain fertilizer.

Sowing in early spring is the best strategy. Gerberas are sensitive to cold and require temperatures of about 70 degrees F. They also need high humidity.

The best way to plant your seeds is to use a tray with cells for individual seeds. Small pots are fine, too.  Once you have filled the pot with soil mix, poke holes in the soil with a toothpick and insert the seeds--with the fuzz on top--just barely sticking out over the soil. You should plan to keep your seedlings inside to regulate their environment and keep them out of direct sunlight.

Care

Give your gerbera lots of indirect sunlight. This is true both before and after transplanting. Before transplanting, when you are keeping them inside, you may want to move them out of the sun during the afternoon. After you transplant them and move them outside, keep them in a place that is shady in the afternoon.

Water each plant until water comes out of the bottom of your pot. Then, remove the excess water. Keep the soil constantly moist  and be sure to never let the soil dry out completely. At the same time, be careful not to over-water.

It is a good idea to fertilize the plants every 5 to 6 weeks, as well. Use a fertilizer that contains iron or manganese.

Transplanting

Wait until your plants are 1 inch tall to transplant them. Plants should take 2 to 4 weeks to reach the desire height for transplanting. If you choose to keep the plants in a flower bed, plant them about 12 to 14 inches apart. Gerbera need a lot of space and can die if they have to compete with other plants. Alternatively, you can use 3 to 4 inch pots.

Common Problems

Gerbera can suffer from root rot if they have soil with insufficient drainage, so choose your mix carefully. Insufficient drainage can also lead to other problems such as fungus and bacterial infection. Over-watering can cause similar problems, so be careful. Since plants can get crown rot regardless of watering conditions if their crowns are buried, make sure the crowns are exposed.

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