Gerbera L. is a genus of plants in the daisy family. Gerbera is native to tropical regions of South America, Africa and Asia. Gerbera species bear a large capitulum with striking, two-lipped ray florets in yellow, orange, white, pink or red colours. The capitulum, which has the appearance of a single flower, is actually composed of hundreds of individual flowers. Gerbera jamesonii (and its hybrids) is commonly known as the Barberton daisy or the Transvaal daisy.
Gerbera is very popular and widely used as a decorative garden plant or as cut flowers. The domesticated cultivars are mostly a result of a cross between Gerbera jamesonii and another South African species Gerbera viridifolia. The cross is known as Gerbera hybrida. Thousands of cultivars exist. They vary greatly in shape and size.
Gerbera is the fifth most used cut flower in the world (after rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, and tulip).
The Festival series (Gerbera jamesonii F1 ‘Festival’) of Gerbera produces massive 5-inch blooms atop a 12-inch stem. Colors range from white and pink to bright yellow, orange and reds. This collection of Gerbera puts sizzle in the summer garden.
- 8-10″ height and 6-8″ spread.
- Spectacular flowers and high bud count.
- Extremely uniform with a tight flowering window.
- 22 colors and 6 mixes, including singles and semi-doubles.
- Continues blooming from summer to fall.
The Gerbera Jaguar series (Gerbera jamesonii F1 ‘Jaguar’) from Park Seed produces a deep green foliage and up to 5 blooms at a time on each plant. The compact growing habit and early blooms makes this a fantastic choice for bringing in the Spring. The cheery blooms are approximately 3-4” wide and extend above the foliage on short thick stems. Jaguar series are desired most for their bright colors, nearly double row blooms in containers, baskets and in cut arrangements. This is a great annual for Spring, Summer, and Fall.
- 8-12 inches height and 6-8 inches spread.
- Flower of different colors all bloom at the same time.
- Blooms from spring to late fall
In the Garden
Gerbera is popular as a bedding and container plant in other warm climate areas. Match gerbers of a single color with other bedding plants of similar or complementary hue. Its stems can reach a foot long, but the foliage is much shorter, forming a nice rosette about 10 to 14 inches wide.
Hardy in zones 8-10, they are happy to overwinter indoors or in a frost-free location farther north, and thrive as a container plant. As pot plants, there’s nothing like a pot of blooming gerbers to brighten up a winter window sill.
- Daisy-like flowers in bright colors, on long stems.
- Continuous blooming from summer to fall.
- Attractive to bees, butterflies and birds.
Caring & Growing
USDA Zones 9 – 11. Can tolerate some frost but freezing temperatures will kill plant to the roots. Gerbera are perennials but are usually grown as annuals.
Grow Gerbera in full sun to partial shade. While Gerbera must have good bright light for repeat blooming, it can also be quickly damaged by direct harsh sunlight due to excessive heat. Shelter from the noonday sun is advised in Southern regions with hot summer environments.
When planting Gerbera in a location that receives full sun for a few hours a day, make sure to accustom the plant to it over a few days. Otherwise, expect the plant to go into shock.
Best grown in average to rich, evenly moist, well-drained soil. If the bed is poorly drained, try raise the bed to help draining. If possible, amend the soil with a 2 to 3 inch layer of compost or well-rotted manure, as Gerbera prefer humus-rich soil. Gerbera also prefer a slightly acidic soil.
Spread 1 to 2 inches of natural mulch such as shredded bark or dry grass clippings around the plants. Allow 2 to 3 inches of space around each plant so the mulch doesn’t touch the stem.
Water deeply once or twice a week to keep the soil evenly moist. The plants need about 1 inch of water per week at the very least, more while first getting them established and during hot, dry spells.
Water thoroughly, wetting the soil to a depth of about 6 inches. Allow the surface of the soil to dry before watering again, as the plant may rot in waterlogged soil.
Depends on the quality of the soil, feed plants once or twice a month with a water soluble fertilizer is advised. Use fertilizer that is high in Potassium (or Potash) to encourage repeat flowering. However, using a balanced, general-purpose fertilizer is also acceptable.
Fertilize frequently throughout summer to encourage blooming.
Misc. Maintenance Tips
- Over-winter gerbera daisies inside on a sunny windowsill.
- Deadhead any spent flowers at the base of their stalks.