The Gerbera Daisy, also known as the Barberton Daisy, is considered a tender perennial but is closer to an annual in most of the United States due to winter climates. While often used as colorful additions to gardens or in outdoor pots, these bright blooms are included on NASA’s list of plants that help filter indoor air pollutants.
Barberton Daisy Appearance
The leaves of the plant can be either lobed or pinnate; most are toothed on the edges. The Barberton Daisy grows to a height of between 10 to 18 inches tall and 9 to 12 inches wide. The blooms, which appear in the summer and fall, come in single flower, semi-double, double and spider varieties of petals and formation. Prized for their bright colors, the flowers come in red, yellow, orange, pink, and white.
Gerbera Daisy Sunlight Requirements
These daisies prefer bright, indirect sunlight throughout the day. The plant will tolerate some direct morning sun, but never direct midday sun which will scorch the plant and cause wilting due to excessive heat.
Watering Your Gerbera Jamesonii
Water the Gerbera Daisy plant when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil feels dry when a finger is inserted. Water until the moisture runs through the pot’s drainage holes to ensure sufficient root contact. Continue this watering schedule throughout the spring and summer, reducing waterings in the fall and winter once blooming is finished.
Soil and Fertilizer Requirements
Grow your plant in a well-draining soil with added peat moss or compost for nutrients. Use a high-quality potting soil, but avoid soil mixes with a pH higher than 6.5, which causes yellowing of the leaves. During the blooming season, fertilize the daisies once per month with a water-soluble fertilizer.
Temperature and Humidity Levels
Average household temperatures for spring and summer are acceptable for optimal growth. If possible, place the plant in a cooler area of your home for the winter months. Aim for temperatures between 45 to 50 Fahrenheit ( 7 to 10 Celsius). Average humidity levels are fine, but for dry climates humidity can be increased with a pebble tray under the plant’s pot.
Pruning the Gerbera Daisy Plant
Deadhead expired blooms to encourage a longer blooming season by redirecting the plant’s energy into new flower production. Regularly pinch or trim long stems and leaves to encourage fuller foliage growth.
Propagating the Barberton Daisy
Division of mature plants in the spring is the easiest propagation method. Remove the plant from its pot and use a pair of sharp and sterile shears to cut the root ball into two separate sections. Plant each new section in its own pot filled with quality potting soil. Water the plant well and place it in bright, indirect sunlight.
Cuttings can be taken from healthy plants in the summer. Choose a stem from the base of the plant or a side shoot. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone to increase rooting chances. Plant the stem in a small pot filled with quality potting soil. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy, and place it in indirect sunlight.
Common Pests and Diseases
Common pests of the Gerbera Daisy plant are aphids, mealy bugs, and whiteflies. Stressed plants are more susceptible to infestations, so keep your plants well watered and remove dead or discolored foliage regularly. For small infestations, place the plant in the shower and spray the insects off. For larger infestations, treat the entire plant with neem oil.
Root rot and powdery mildew are the two diseases to watch for on your daisies. Root rot is caused by overwatering the plant and allowing the roots to sit in soggy soil. Powdery mildew is often a result of overhead watering where moisture sits on the foliage and results in fungus growth.
For root rot, reduce watering and ensure the soil is fast-draining. Amend the soil with perlite if water pools on the surface during watering. For advanced cases, remove the plant from its pot and trim any dark and mushy roots. Repot with fresh soil. If powdery mildew is an issue, prune any affected foliage and treat the plant with a houseplant fungicide. When watering, ensure you pour the water directly onto the soil and not the plant.
The Gerbera Daisy is a fun, colorful plant that brightens any room it lives in. In addition to its fun appearance, these plants work hard to help remove harmful pollutants from your indoor air. Add these easy-care plants to your home and enjoy its many benefits.
Gerbera Daisy FAQ
These plants do best in USDA zones 8 to 11.
No, the Gerbera Daisy is not toxic to your pets.
Repot your daisies once every year or two, once the plant becomes root bound in its current pot. Increase the pot by one size and fill the pot with 3 inches of quality soil. Place the plant in the center of the pot and fill around the root ball with additional soil.
Gerbera Daisies help filter formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.
This plant is native to South Africa.