Gerbera Daisies are small flowers with yellow petals and white stamens. They have a sweet fragrance and are commonly known as “Daisy Lilies”. There are several types of gerberas, but they all share many characteristics such as being very easy to grow, long lasting flowers that bloom only once a year, fragrant blossoms and large flowers.
The most common type of gerbera daisy is the Gerbera grandiflora . They are native to Mexico and Central America.
These plants have been cultivated for centuries and their history goes back thousands of years. They were used as a medicine in ancient times, but today they are mainly grown for their beautiful flowers.
The flower buds begin to open at night when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 Celsius). When the sun comes up, the flowers burst into life!
The flowering period lasts from April through June.
Gerbera daisies are one of the easiest houseplants to grow and require little attention other than regular watering. They thrive in average temperatures between 65°F and 85°F (18°C – 25°C) but will survive some heat waves if provided with plenty of indirect sunlight.
Gerbera daisies prefer full sun, but will tolerate part shade better than direct sunlight. It is best to place them in a location that receives diffused light throughout the day. These plants are also very drought tolerant and require little water once they are established. Under-watering is much kinder than over-watering.
The flower stalks will wilt before the flowers bloom if they need more water. The soil should be kept moist but not wet.
If you see any yellowing of the leaves, this means that the plant requires more water. The roots of the plant should not be allowed to stay wet for prolonged periods as this will cause root rot. Yellow leaves may also be caused by underwatering or inadequate light, so if you correct these problems, the plant should bounce back within a few days.
Your houseplant should be fertilized about once every two weeks during its active growth period. The soil can be tested with a PH testing kit and if it registers between 5 and 6, it is in good condition.
The plant should be pruned anytime from early spring to early summer to keep it healthy and encourage a bushier growth. If you don’t want to trim the plant yourself, any garden center or nursery can do this for you.
The flowers will last about a week if they are put in a cool location (such as your basement) after they are cut. The fresh flowers can even be preserved by putting them in a container with fresh ice and water.
These plants do not undergo the same dormancy that other plants do every year. They will keep growing as long as they are alive.
You can propagate your daisy by dividing it, or taking stem cuttings in late spring or early summer. These plants do not bloom every year and when they do flower, the process is a lengthy one.
It takes about half of the year for the first signs of flowers to appear and then a few weeks for them to fully bloom. They will continue to bloom for about a week and then the plant will start to grow taller with no flowers. The leaves can reach a length of about three feet and the flower petals can span about a foot.
When your plant is dormant, meaning that it has no leaves and no flowers, it should be in an area that is slightly cooler (about sixty five degrees) and should be allowed to experience a longer period of darkness each day.
If you notice that your plant has mushrooms or other fungus growing on it, cut or tear off the infected parts and make sure that the soil is kept moist but not wet.
It is best to keep your plant protected from extreme temperatures, drafts, and direct sunlight. If any of these are experienced, you may notice leaf curling, browning, or wilting.
The leaves will usually straighten themselves out if the temperature is lowered or the sun exposure is reduced.
The soil should be kept moist at all times, but not wet. It is best to water the plant before it is expected to be dry.
Your thumb should be able to leave an impression in the soil after it is watered. If you are using a regular sprinkler, keep the pressure low or the water will force its way through the soil and out the bottom of the pot. If this happens, drainage problems can occur.
Your plant should be fertilized about once every two weeks. Any time that you notice the edges of your leaves develop a yellowish color, this means that the plant needs to be fertilized.
Your plant can grow to be about three feet wide if it is kept in a sunny window and continuously fertilized.
No matter what the conditions, your plant will need some sun each day. If it does not receive enough sun, the leaves will become small and pale and may not develop all of their colors.
You can use a wood framed mirror positioned against a wall to create the same effect as sunlight. The bottom of the mirror should be about a foot away from the plant and it should be tilted at a angle so that it reflects light onto the plant.
A south-facing window is best, but if you do not have one then a mirror will work.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Status and prospect of gerbera cultivation in Bangladesh by S Prodhan, NI Sarker, S Islam… – International Journal of …, 2017 – mail.aipublications.com
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Fungicidal management of Alternaria alternata (Fr.) Keissler causing blight of gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii H. Bolus ex JD Hook) by DT Nagrale, AP Gaikwad… – Journal of Applied …, 2012 – journals.ansfoundation.org
Growth media/rootzone temperature analysis in gerbera under polyhouse condition by K KULKARNI, S BAGADE, JD JADHAV – Journal of Agrometeorology – researchgate.net
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First report of Fusarium proliferatum causing root rot of Gerbera in China by D Zhao, X Yang, S Wu, H He, Q Tan, X Chen… – Journal of Plant Diseases …, 2020 – Springer
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