Overview:Gerber daisies can be so vividly colored, you will wonder if they are real. They are. Gerbera is a large genus in the same family as sunflowers (Asteraceae). They are native to South Africa, but a lot of breeding has gone into developing the large daisy-like flowers we see today. They were initially bred to be cut flowers and are still the 5th most common cut flower in the world. Gerber daisies intended for the garden followed. They can be grown from seed or plant and are popular as houseplants and outdoors in containers and beds, however they are not frost hardy.
- Leaves: Plants form basal rosettes that slowly spread. The leaves are lobed or pinnate and often toothed.
- Flowers: Large flowers heads have rayed petals around a center disk or green or black. The disk is composed of the actual tiny flowers. Petal colors range from pale pastels and cream to bold oranges, yellows, reds and bi-colors.
There are 4 general classes of Gerbera:
- Single flowers: This constitutes the main class. Singles will have either one or 2 layes of petals.
- Semi-double flowers: These have a row of short petals around the center disk. Cut gerbers are usually semi-doubles.
- Double flowers: With multiple layers of petals (5 – 7) the doubles looks a bit more like zinnias or dahlias, than daisies.
- Spider flowers: These have thinner, more pointed petals.
Botanical Name:Gerbera (pronounced GER-bear-uh)
Common Name(s):Gerber Daisy, Transvaal Daisy, Barberton Daisy
Hardiness:USDA Zones 8 – 11. They will need some winter protection, in zone 8. Most gardeners grow them as annuals or potted plants.
Light Exposure:Full sun to partial shade. Gerber daisies do not like intense heat. Give them morning sun in warmer zones, and full sun in cooler climates. Try not to plant them near a foundation or stone wall, that would reflect heat back all day.
Mature Size:Height: 10 – 18 in. (24 – 45 cm)
Spread: 1 – 2 ft. (30 – 60 cm)
Bloom Period:Early summer through frost, in colder climates. They can bloom year round, in warmer climates, but they bloom best from fall to spring.
Keep reading for how to plant and care for your Gerber daisies and which to grow.