Dictionary of Flowers: Gerbera (Gerber Daisy)

Gerbera (Gerber Daisy). Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of Vanessa Pike-Russell and Flickr

Gerbera (Gerber Daisy). Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of Vanessa Pike-Russell and Flickr

  • Gerbera 
  • Common name: gerber daisy
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Category: frost sensitive annual, acts as perennial in USDA zones 9 and warmer
  • Height: 10" to 18"
  • Width: 12"
  • Sun/part shade
  • Blooms: summer to fall
  • Attracts: butterflies
  • Growth habit: bushy, trailing. Used as filler in container combinations
  • Maintenance: easy
  • Soil: average to fertile, well drained. Water regularly if grown in containers
  • Garden uses: containers, mixed border, edging, houseplant, cutting garden
  • Diseases: root and crown rot if kept too wet
  • Pests: leafminers

Gerbera is a genus of flowering plants from Asia, Africa and South America.

They are sold as both a houseplant and bedding plant. Most of the varieties available for garden use are hybrid cultivars.

Gerber daisy bloom size depends on the cultivar, they can be as large as nearly five inches wide. They grow on stiff stems above a rosette of green foliage. 

Colors range from white, yellow, orange, pink and red. They can be single or semi double.

Gerber daisies prefer average to moderately fertile soil. They need to be fertilized regularly with either a balanced liquid fertilizer, or by applying a granular time release formula when planting in the garden or in containers.

When planting in the garden, amend the soil with compost to improve drainage and provide nutrients. Foliar feeding with a fertilizer containing iron helps keep gerber daisies healthy.

The soil needs to be kept moist, but well drained to avoid rot. Plant gerber daisy with the crown slightly above the soil line. 

They grow in full sun, but some protection from the afternoon sun in hot weather areas is desirable. Deadhead to prolong bloom. 

IWILLWRITECAPTION. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of NAMEOFFLICKRUSER and Flickr

At the end of the growing season and before the first frost, gerber daisies can be lifted from the garden and potted to overwinter indoors.

If any pests are present, spray with insecticidal soap before bringing indoors. They need to be placed in a bright light location.

Gerber daisies can be propagated by division or seed.

When dividing, search for plants with more than one crown and separate carefully as not to damage the roots by cutting the new crown away from the main crown with a knife. Pot the divisions in containers.

If propagating by seed, plant indoors in late winter in individual containers or peat pots. Do not cover seed. Kept at around 70F, it takes anywhere between two to four weeks to germinate.

Seed collected from purchased plants might not come true to the parent plant, as they are hybrid. 




IWILLWRITECAPTION. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of NAMEOFFLICKRUSER and Flickr

Gerber daisy's diseases can be avoided by providing good drainage and ensuring the crown is planted above the soil line.

Leafminers can be eliminated by using a systemic insecticide. 

Popular varieties:

  • Gerbera 'Festival Mix' - a foot tall, repeat bloomer. Bloom colors range from creamy white to red
  • Gerbera 'Garvinea' series - survives to zone 7 if protected with mulch. Robust variety with smaller flowers, they grow up to eighteen inches tall
  • Gerbera 'Jaguar' series - early bloomer, compact plant. Large blooms on short stems, colors range from white to yellow, pinks, oranges and red
  • Gerbera 'Royal' series - single flowers and semi double, large. Early bloomer

IWILLWRITECAPTION. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of NAMEOFFLICKRUSER and Flickr

Full List of Dictionary of Flowers Entries

Annuals For Containers

Perennials For Containers

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