Gerbera daisies are vibrant flowers that are so beautiful that you may think they’re artificial. These African natives are in the Aster family, the same as sunflowers.
It’s best to plant your gerbera daisy plants in the spring after there’s no longer a threat of frost. You can grow them in garden beds or containers and keep them indoors or outside.
These showy flowers have long, thin, ray-like petals that grow outside a small center disk. You can choose from single, double, semi-double, and spider flowers.
Gerbera Daisy Care
Scientific name: Gerbera jamesonii
- Family: Aster
- Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
- Mature Size: 10-18 inches tall and 9-12 inches wide
- Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
- Soil Type: Moist, well-drained
- Water needs: Regular watering, approximately 1 inch per week
- Flower Color: Red, pink, orange, yellow, and white
- Bloom Time: Summer and fall
- Hardiness Zones: 8-10 (USDA)
How to Care For a Gerbera Daisy
You can find gerbera daisies as “starts” or purchase seeds grow. The downside to sowing seeds is the time it takes for your daisies to grow.
Unless you live in a climate with warm weather, buying starts is your best bet. Gerbera daisies will make stunning additions to your garden if you provide the proper care.
You can pair these beauties with grassy perennials to contrast against their bright flowers or short, tiny flowers to add a little color to the foliage.
However, gerberas are so bright and pretty that they make excellent statement pieces on their own in containers.
Keep in mind that these plants will spread and can start getting bushy. If your plant’s foliage is getting too cluttered, you can separate the offsets.
For best gerbera daisy care, it’s essential to deadhead them as needed. They enjoy lots of water, though too much can cut down on their display time.
Water your gerbera daisies regularly with around an inch of water per week or when you notice that the top 1-2 inches are dry.
You may need to water your flowers more regularly during periods of drought, but be sure not to overwater.
If growing your daisies outside, avoid watering during the winter when they’re dormant. During colder months, you’ll need to lightly water once monthly.
Sunlight and Temperature
Gerbera daisies can be tricky because they do best with full sun but don’t like high temperatures.
If you live in an area with hot summers, plant your gerberas in an area that gets plenty of afternoon shade.
Additionally, avoid planting your daisies near structures like stone walls, which will reflect heat onto them.
Fill your garden bed or container with rich, well-draining soil that’s high in organic matter. They prefer a pH level between 5.5-6.5.
A pH level that’s higher than the aforementioned range may cause chlorosis, which will start by giving their foliage yellow stripes.
If the pH level is too low, you may notice dark patches or spots on the leaves.
Gerbera daisies sometimes require fertilizer for the best blooms, but it depends on the quality of your soil.
Typically, a water-soluble fertilizer applied monthly should do the trick. Another option is to add organic compost around its roots once per month.
Growing Gerbera Daisies
There are various methods to grow gerbera daisies, so let’s dive into them.
How to Grow Gerbera Daisies From Seed
If you live in an area that has warm temperatures all year long, you should be able to grow these plants from seed.
Start the seeds indoors around 12-18 before the last frost date if your location experiences cold winters.
Sow the seeds in paper or peat pots by gently pressing the seeds into the top of the soil. You don’t want to bury them because they’ll need light to germinate.
Cover the pots with a lid or clear plastic wrap to consistently moisten the seeds. Place the container in a warm spot with plenty of sunlight; you should see germination in 2-4 weeks.
Once the danger of frost passes, choose an area with well-draining soil and plenty of light exposure.
Plant the seedlings in the dirt and ensure that half an inch of the crown is above the soil line.
Dividing Gerbera Daisies
Gerbera daisies multiply underground with the use of rhizomes. So, if you already have a mature plant or know someone who does, you can divide the flowers.
By dividing up your plant, you’ll allow them plenty of room to grow while ensuring that there is space for light to reach them all.
To separate your daisies, start by watering them with an inch of water a couple of days before dividing.
Dig up the entire mother plant, ensuring you get the whole root ball. Gently remove the soil and cut the roots using pruning sheers.
As you divide, ensure each new plant has healthy roots and a crown. Then, replant your new daisy with the crown at ground level in your chosen area.
Keep the new daisies 12-18 inches apart from one another. Water your divisions weekly with an inch of water to keep the soil moist but not muddy.
Growing a Gerbera Daisy in Pots
Because this species needs direct sun but dislikes temperatures above 70 degrees, it can help grow a gerbera daisy potted.
This way, you can move the container to the proper location depending on the season. Aim for a site that gets morning sun with light afternoon shade.
When watering your plants, don’t let any water settle on the crown or leaves, which can cause rot.
How to Grow Gerbera Daisies Indoors
Not only do gerbera daisies make beautiful outdoor garden plants, but they can add a lot of color to the inside of your home.
For the best results, choose an area in your chosen room with moderate temperatures and bright indirect sunlight. Direct sun can scorch the leaves, while shade can inhibit growth.
Pick a container that has drainage holes and add well-draining soil. Water your indoor flowers when the top of the dirt feels dry.
Remove any flowers that start to wilt to encourage new growth. As your plant grows, you’ll need to repot into a larger container.
Gerbera Daisy Problems
Gerbera daisies may have issues with insects like thrips, spider mites, aphids, or whiteflies.
These pests are magnets to stressed plants, so keep your flowers as healthy as possible to keep them away. If you notice any pests, neem oil or insecticidal soap can help control them.
Additionally, your gerberas may attract leafminers, which will damage the leaves. Remove any leaves that you notice with irregular tunneling patterns throughout the leaves.
Crown and root rot can also affect gerbera daisies. Ensure not to overwater your plant and avoid getting excess water on the flower petals or leaves.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding gerbera daisy care.
In tropical climates, you can expect gerbera daisies to come back yearly. These plants are perennials in zones 9-11, while they are annuals in zones 6-8.
Gerbera daisies are repeat bloomers who benefit from regular pruning and deadheading. Remove dead, damaged, or wilting leaves or flowers throughout the growing season.
Fertilizer can also help to encourage blooms. The right fertilizer for your plants will depend on the health of your soil.
These plants can be easy to grow if you provide the proper conditions.
Ensure gerberas receive adequate water, are in the suitable soil, receive bright, indirect sunlight, and don’t grow in sweltering temperatures.
Gerbera daisies are vibrant flowers with long, showy, ray-like petals. You can grow them outside in a garden or indoors.
When growing outside, the easiest way is, to begin with starter plants. Seeds can take a bit of planning and will need to start indoors.
These plants need regular watering to moisten the soil consistently but can’t withstand sitting water on their roots, petals, or leaves.
They prefer bright, indirect sunshine, but harsh afternoon sun can burn their leaves. Keep them in an area that doesn’t get too hot but gets plenty of indirect light.