Gerbera daisies have always been one of my favorite flowers, especially when I was a florist. That was a long time ago, but I remember it was the variety of bright color that sparked my attention.
These beautiful flowers originated in South Africa; depending on where you live, they perform as an annual further north and a perennial for southern gardeners in zone 8.
If you want to add gerberas to your garden, I recommend the compact plants as the stems will be sturdy and continue standing for a longer period of time.
How to Begin Growing Gerbera Daisies
You have a few options to begin growing gerberas, first would be to germinate seeds.
This can be a little challenging and seeds may be difficult to find, but if you want those nice long stem gerberas for vase arrangements this might be the avenue to pursue.
Seeds must be started immediately because after opened they lose their zest for quality germination.
Beginning with seedlings or even divided plants would be much easier and less difficult to find at specialty nurseries.
If you’re just seeking color to add within landscaping then honestly, I would go ahead and choose a variety of 6-inch potted plants that you can transplant right into your beds.
There are many available options and my favorite would be that hot pink, well if I was being honest all shades of pink.
The Right Planting Conditions
Finding the right planting conditions isn’t that difficult because these beauties love full sun and sandy soil. Of course, composting will always help produce amazing blooms so it’s important to make sure the soil is prepped for best results.
If you live in an area where clay is in abundance then this is a flower, you’ll want to consider planting in containers or raised beds.
I love using terracotta pots.
Dealing with Crown Rot, Watering and Mulch
Since gerberas do originate from south Africa, they’re partial to hot dry weather. Which means they can prey easily to fungal diseases like crown rot.
To avoid do not plant deep into the soil, the plant crown should be visible above the soil and allowed to dry out between each watering. It’s easy enough to water in the mornings so the leaves can dry out during the day reducing risk of disease.
Mulch is also fine but it’s important to make sure the crown isn’t covered. If you live in a wet or humid climate then planting in pots would also be a better option to avoid crown rot.
About halfway through the growing season you can add a nice fish fertilizer to the soil to encourage new blooms. My grandmother used this variety through her flower beds and it did wonders for the bloom population throughout her yard.
Fish fertilizer can be purchased at small or large nurseries and if you homestead animals then don’t hesitate to make your own fertilizer tea.
I did this on our farm all the time using llama and sheep droppings and wow do I miss having access to that.
Learn how to make fertilizer tea here.
Anybody can grow beautiful gerbera daisies in their garden or yard, just remember they take a little more care than most blooming plants and that’s simply because they’re not a native plant.