The gerbera daisy is a type of flowery plant that is widely known for its cheerful and bright daisy-like flowers. The gerbera daisy originated from the southern part of Africa, and it has varying colors and sizes. The height of an average gerbera daisy is between 8 to 24 inches, and its perfectly complemented by the flower, which is usually 2 to 5 inches wide. The flowers come in colors like pink, salmon, yellow, and white.
Today, gerbera daisies are often planted and cultivated mainly for their attractive, colorful flowers and overall pleasant aesthetics.
How to Grow a Gerbera Daisy
Before gerbera daisy is planted outdoors or indoors, you must decide if you want to plant a grown gerbera daisy or the seed. Although it is cheaper to get a gerbera plant seed, it takes a longer time to nurture a seed to full maturity than if you plant a developing one. The demerit of nurturing a grown seed is that it is more expensive to acquire than buying a seed.
Planting Gerbera Daisy Seeds
A gerbera seed needs to be planted indoors. After sprouting, you can then move it outdoors. At that stage, it is strong enough to withstand a harsher environment.
For a start, add damp potting soil to your seedling trays, use clear plastic to cover the tray, and place it in a place that has a room temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If there’s no sunshine, use a grow light instead. Wet soil can damage the seed, but the seed still needs water, so you should ensure that the soil is moist for the seed to get what it needs.
Transfer the seed to a pot when they start sprouting, then put them in a sunny area. After some days in the new location, you can transplant in the place where you want them.
Planting a Gerbera Daisy from Division
One way to make a fully grown gerbera daisy grow more is by dividing the flowers. To divide the flowers, pour one inch of water onto the plant a day or two before dividing the flowers.
Right at the spot where you want to plant the gerbera daisy, mix a few inches of compost or peat with the top layer of the soil. Gently remove the gerbera daisy from the soil, and then use a garden spade to remove the plant carefully so you don’t damage the root. When the plant is out of the soil, thoroughly and carefully brush off the remaining soil that is attached to the root; if you brush it vigorously, it can kill the plant.
Use pruning shears to slice through the root of the plant. Only divisions with healthy roots and a crown can survive, so all the division must meet up with those criteria if you want them to live.
For optimum growth, the crown of each division should be at ground level. Also, each division needs to have a space of 12 to 18 inches from each other. You need to water each division with one inch of water for a few months; this is to ensure that the soil is moist.
Outdoor Care Tips
• Water the plant at least once a week.
• The soil should be watered in the morning
• Put the gerbera daisy in an area with good access to sunlight
• The fertilizers you apply should be rich in micro-nutrients
• Trim the flower when the bloom start wilting; this way, the new bloom can replace the old flowers
Indoor Care Tips
• Water the soil when it is dry
• After watering the soil, adequately drain the pot before returning to previous locations
• Water the gerbera daisy plant at the base to keep the leaves from drying
• Add less quantity of water at winter
• Fertilize the soil at summer and spring
• Put plants that are bigger than their containers in a much bigger container
Having gerbera daisies in the corner of your home makes your house more attractive. Apart from this obvious use, gerbera daisies are also used by some for its health benefits. Gerbera daisies have some compounds that can be used as an anti-inflammatory substance, and the herb is used by some as an herbal tea for curing bronchitis, respiratory tract inflammation, and to treat the common cold. This flower stimulates the digestive system and can be used to treat some illnesses like constipation, mild gallbladder and liver problem, diarrhea, and gastritis. Traditionally, the gerbera daisy has been used for treating cystic, painful menstruation, and some mild problems of the urinary tract. The plant has chemicals that can speed up the healing of sores, small wounds, and body scratches.
Gerbera daisies are pretty easy to care for when mature, but some pests are common to them and can inhibit their growth. Here are some common pests of gerbera daisies:
Aphids: Aphids eat the sap from its leaves, and when they do, the leaf begins to lose its color.
Whiteflies: Whiteflies eat the sap and juices on the leaves of the gerbera daisy. You can easily get rid of whiteflies by spraying insecticides on the leaf. Avoid planting an infected gerbera daisy beside a non-infected one; it can spread whiteflies to healthy plants.
Thrips: Thrips also eat the leaves of gerbera daisies, but it goes even further infecting your healthy plant by carrying diseases from one gerbera daisy to another.
Spider Mites: They suck the sap in the leaves of gerbera daisies, and those leaves die. To keep Spider mites away from Gerbera daisy, spray your plant with a soap solution and cold water.