Gerbera daisies are delightful plants that sport lovely blooms in hues of white, orange, yellow, red and other colors. They are wonderful to plant in any garden or front yard and are sure to add a much-needed splash of color to the area. If you are interested in growing your own gerbera daisies, you should learn everything you possibly can about their proper care.
Also known as the African daisy, the gerbera originates from Madagascar, South Africa, South America and some parts of Asia. In a nutshell, it is a tropical plant. It is commonly known for its amazingly bright colors that appear on the blooms that reach between 10 to 18 inches in height. Gerberas are best when grown in hardiness zones 9 and 10 and are normally grown as an annual or perennial plant. If you live in an area that sees four distinct seasons, including a cold winter, it is recommended to dig up your gerberas to store them indoors for the winter.
You can plant a gerbera daisy from seeds or cuttings. If you do so with seeds, do so within 10 to 20 weeks prior to the first frost. When you plant, make sure to choose a location that receives a good amount of full sunlight during the morning hours. A gerbera plant should get less sun during the afternoon, when it gets hotter, so partial shade is appropriate during those hours. A spot that faces east or north is ideal. Make sure the soil on which you plant them is rich and acidic, not to mention well draining. Gerbera daisy plants do not enjoy soils that stay especially wet, although you should keep them moist. Place a good layer of mulch, peat moss or compost around them after watering. If you are somehow unable to improve drainage conditions in the soil, it is a good idea to plant your gerberas in a container or raised bed. This will help the plant to avoid crown and root rot. You can propagate your gerbera daisies from seed; however, you should keep in mind that it may take as long as six months to reach the blooming period.
Administer water to your gerbera daisies early, during the morning, and allow them to dry somewhat. Once you notice they are dry again, you can repeat. Always avoid overwatering your plant, as this can lead to crown rot as well as poor flower blooming. Fertilizer is also necessary, and you should give your gerberas a half strength, balanced fertilizer during the blooming period of spring and summer.
Gerbera daisies are generally hardy plants that should not suffer any disease as long as you know how to properly care for them. The most common ailment of the plants is crown rot, so make sure to never, ever overwater your gerberas. However, gerbera daisy plants are commonly attacked by aphids and whiteflies. If you notice these pests on your plant, visit your local nursery to obtain an insecticide. Ask someone who works there about the appropriate kind, and make sure it is organic and not harmful to the environment or any animals.