How to Care for the Gerbera Daisy
The Gerbera daisy is larger and available in more colors than its smaller cousin, the traditional yellow or white daisy. Gerbera daisies also have thicker, sturdier stems than smaller daisies and are available in colors such as white, yellow, orange, and salmon. Blue or green Gerbera daisies are not natural and have been tinted or dyed to achieve the desired color.
Unlike traditional daisies, Gerberas make excellent cut flowers for arrangements. They range in size from 2 to 5 inches across and are available in single, double, and multi-petal varieties. Gerberas often come packaged with a mix of colors, or all one color. Mixed packages will add a more natural or wildflower atmosphere to your garden or will provide you with the good basis for a floral arrangement.
Things You'll Need for Planting from Seed
- Seedling trays
- Potting mix
How to Plant from Seed
Although fresh seeds from a mother Gerbera daisy tend to germinate better, collecting viable seeds may prove to be difficult, so I suggest purchasing a packet of seeds from the local nursery or store. Plan on starting your seeds indoors, then moving them outside once the seedling has sprouted.
- Fill seedling trays with potting soil and dampen it with water.
- Insert the toothpick in the soil to make a small hole. Place the seed in the soil with the hardened end down and the fuzzy portion faced up. Insert the seed until the fuzzy part barely reaches the soil line.
- Cover the stray with clear plastic and store in a sunny location with temperatures above 70 degrees F. Use grow lights if your area doesn’t get adequate sunlight.
- Keep the soil moistened but not waterlogged.
- Transplant seeds from the tray to a larger pot once the seeds have grown two seeds of true leaves.
- Move the pot outdoors to an area protected from the harsh afternoon sun for a few days. After the plant has acclimated to shifts in the weather, you can plant the bloom in the garden, or keep it inside the pot.
- Feed the plant fertilizer regularly (per package instructions), and keep soil levels moist by not soggy.
Smaller, more compact varieties of Gerbera daisies are generally easier to care for than the taller types because their stems are stronger.
Once Gerbera daisies are outside, water them in the morning hours, so the soil has an opportunity to dry out in the afternoon. Avoid moistening the foliage, and allow for plenty of room between the plants to help avoid disease and rot.
Store indoor Gerberas near the window, but not next too the window. Too much direct light may scorch or wilt the plant.
How to Harvest Seeds From a Gerbera Daisy
Harvesting seeds for your own gerberas allows you to know exactly what color (and roughly the size) of the next Gerbera you’ll get.
- Wait until the plant has finished blooming, and the petals have withered away; the center should look fuzzy.
- Place a brown paper bag over the head of the bloom, grip it near the stem, and shake the flower head. Seeds should fall out and into the bag.
- Plant seeds soon, or store in a cool, dry location for later use.
Caring for Fresh-Cut Blooms
Care for your shipped flowers as soon as the shipment arrives. Remember, your blooms have been without water for hours, so it's best to get them hydrated as soon as possible. Don't worry if the blooms like slightly wilted, they will refresh with the water.
- Remove packaging carefully to prepare for the vessel. Gerbera daisies shipped to you in often come packed with a straw-like stem support, as well as a net placed around the bloom to protect the petals and keep the shape of the bloom.
- Prepare a vessel with cool, fresh water and flower food.
- Cut off at least ½ inch from the bottom of each stem with sterilized clippers. Immediately place stems in a vessel of fresh, cool water treated with flower food.
- Avoid placing the vessel in direct sunlight and drafty locations.
- Recut stems and change water for optimal freshness.