Brilliant Blooms: Planting Gerbera Daisies in Outdoor Containers
Gerbera Daisies are a very popular variety of container plant. They are easy to find in nurseries and flower shops. Their bright, cheery, uniform flowers are the perfect way to set the tone for summertime container arrangements. Gerbera daisies can be found in almost any color and grow well in container arrangements or solo in smaller pots.
Gerbera daisies are native to South Africa. They are grown as perennials in very warm climates and treated as annuals or overwintered indoors in colder climates. While Gerberas are perennials most plants start to struggle after about 4 years.
Gerbera daisies are best started from seed. A sterile sandy potting medium or seed starting mix will work well. Place a thin layer over the top of the seeds or lightly press them into the soil. The seeds should be kept consistently moist, but they should never stand in water. The seedlings should be moved to small pots as soon as the first true leaves appear. This will prevent them from becoming spindly. Gerbera daisies cannot be propagated from cuttings or divisions.
Gerbera daisies can grow up to 18 inches tall, but there are many smaller varieties available as well. The flowers come in reds, yellows, whites, and pinks. There are varieties that produce single flowers and others that produce a ornate double flowers and crested double flowers. One advantage of growing Gerberas is that their flowers make long lasting, attractive cut flowers.
Plant Gerbera daisies with Heliotrope and Lisianthus. Gerbera foliage is not very spectacular, so you may want to include interesting foliage plants such as Dusty Miller.
Gerbera daisies can perform well in part to full sun. They can tolerate cool and damp weather, but will be killed by frost. Gerberas should be planted in a well draining potting mix that includes part perlite and part course sand. They can be prone to root rot and will not survive in soggy conditions. Feeding the plants once a month with a fertilizer high in potassium will encourage plentiful blooms. Remove spent flowers right away to increase bloom production as well.
If you live in a harsh climate, bring your Gerbera indoors for the winter. Find a cool spot that won’t freeze. The plant will also still need plenty of light. A cool greenhouse is ideal. The plants require very little water during these dormant, winter months.
Gerbera daisies also look very nice indoors in small tabletop containers. Although, they are difficult to entice into a second round of blooming. Gerberas require plenty of bright light but are easily scorched by the heat of light coming through a window. It is hard to find the right balance of light and temperature to keep a Gerbera daisy indoors for an extended period. That said, they can still make pretty plants for a time and then be discarded or moved to an outdoor location once the fade.
For good reasons Gerbera daisies are a popular plant both as a cut flower and a potted plant. Add these bright blooms to your container arrangements for a cheery, summery look.