Around 30 species of gerbera are found in South America, Africa and tropical Asia. Vibrant colors of these flowers have made them so popular. The flowers are now widely used as decorative garden flowers or as cut flowers in bouquets and in flower arrangements on various occasions. A gerbera daisy wedding bouquet is also a unique idea.
Gerbera species bear a large capitulum with striking, two-lipped ray florets of attractive bright colors. The capitulum looks like a big single flower but actually it contains hundreds of individual flowers. The flower head ranges between 7-12 cm, depending upon the variety of species. The daisies seen in the greenhouses are mostly a result of a cross between Gerbera jamesonii and another South African species Gerbera viridifolia which is known as Gerbera hybrida. There are thousands of such cultivars which vary greatly in shape and size. You must be familiar with white, yellow, orange, red, and pink gerberas. Sometimes, the center of the flower is black or sometimes the flower has petals of several different colors. These flowers attract bees, butterflies and birds. So your gerberas can create a great atmosphere in your garden.
Gerbera Daisy Care Tips
- Gerber daisies are propagated from seed and it takes about 6 months to reach the blooming stage. You may select a good strong, sturdy, plant with healthy foliage that has bright, clear colored flowers. If the plant has new flower buds, it is well and good. Plants damaged due to disease or insects will have poorly growing daisies. Avoid such plants.
- Add high-quality peat based potting soil (free draining soil mix) in a small container. Your plant can flower best when it is grown in a small container and is slightly pot bound. Gerberas grown in green house are repotted in springs.
- You may water the plant early in the morning, so that the soil may dry slightly during the day. The plants require average humidity and you should keep them evenly moist during the time they are blooming. Over-watering can result in fungus, stem and root rots.
- Gerberas thrive in average to cool temperatures. You need to remove faded flowers and their stems. Do not use any leaf shine products. Slightly hairy leaves of gerbera resent being wiped.
- When gerberas are actively growing and blooming, you are expected to feed them with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Bachman's Excel Gro or Schultz's Blooms Plus, every other week.
- Maximum flower production is ensured when the daisies grow in full sunlight. Healthy daisies are not affected by pests, but poorly growing plants can be attacked by aphids, whiteflies, leaf spot and spider mites. Read the instructions carefully before applying insecticides.
- You should keep these flowers in a vase in the cooler corner of the room. Don't forget to add a tea spoon of sugar in the water or you may add 2 drops of liquid bleach for a gallon of water.
- The long stems of the flowers should be trimmed underwater and at an angle of 45 degrees, everyday, when you are supposed to change the water in the vase.