Although members of the Gerbera genus are perennials they are usually grown as half hardy annuals in the garden.
Gerbera species range in height from 20 to 60 cm and bloom in the summer.
When in bloom they have flowers similar to those of daisies. Flowers may be yellow, red, pink.
Some common varieties of Gerbera plants grown in the garden include Barberton Daisy, Transvaal daisy and African daisy.
Common Names: Transvaal Daisy, Barberton Daisy, Gerbera Daisy, Catherine's Daisy, African Daisy.
Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 cm).
Native: South America, Tropical Asia, Africa.
Growing Region: Zones 7 to 10. As a perennial in zones 9 and 10.
Flower Details: Yellow, white, pink, red, orange, brown. Two-lipped ray florets. Flower heads range from 3 to 5 inches (7 to 12cm). Although the flower head looks like a single flower it is composed of hundreds of tiny individual flowers.
Foliage: Herbaceous. Deeply lobed lanceolate.
Sow Outside: No
Sow Inside: Surface. Use peat pots. Germination time: two to four weeks in the light. Temperature 73°F (23°C). Water from below. Three months in advance. Transplant outdoors towards the end of spring.
Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade in hot areas. Soil pH 6 to 7. Rich soil. Moist soil. Fertile soils. Monthly feed. Winter mulch. Regular watering. Deadhead. Propagate: dividing or cutting in late summer.
It is best to start Barberton daisies and other Gerbera indoors when growing from seed. Sow the Gerbera seed on the surface of soil in peat pots towards the end of winter. Seeds should take from two to four weeks to germinate in the light at a temperature of 21 to 24 degrees centigrade.
Transplant outdoors towards the end of spring and space them about 30 to 40 cm apart. Ideally Barberton daisies will grow in a sunny area, though will tolerate partial shade in hot climates. The soil should be slightly acidic, rich and moist.
Gerbera plant species such as African daisy and Barberton daisy are easy to grow and look after in the garden. As they like a moist soil endure that they are regularly watered. They should be fertilized every 5 or 6 weeks to keep the soil rich and fertile. To tidy up the plants it is a good idea to remove dead flower heads. If you require more daisies then propagate Gerbera plants by taking cutting in summer, or by division in spring or autumn.
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