Gerbera Daisies

Gerbera jamesonii

by Carly Bye

hotpink gerb


How My Fascination Began...          

         Four years ago I began working at a greenhouse. When I first walked into the cooler I was initially amazed at all of the flowers, then I began looking around to see if there were any that I hadn’t seen before. Soon enough a bucket filled with suspended daisies caught my eye, and I was in love. The gerber daisies amazed me with their size and their multitude of bright colors. It wasn’t long after working at the greenhouse that I was unpacking a shipment of blooming plants, and came upon a 4” pot filled with a mound of green leaves. Rather confused that it wasn’t ready to bloom, I went and asked someone what kind of plant it was. To my amazement, it was a gerber daisy. In order to encourage it to bloom I put the plant in the greenhouse where it would get more light than in the shop, and the next week 3 light pink flowers had appeared. Unfortunately I was not familiar with how to care for gerbs, and my little pet project soon died. After four years of working, though, my gerb care has improved. This site will offer help on where to find cut gerber daisies, the care of the plant, and links to sites that know more than I do.

Vase of Gerbs

Gerber Daisies as Cut Flowers:

            As I said earlier, I first became acquainted with gerber daisies as a cut flower. Throughout my four years I would also have to say that I saw more cut gerbs come through the doors than potted gerbs, so my personal experience lends more help throughout this portion. The keys to keeping gerbera daisies flourishing in vase arrangements are pretty much the same as any other cut flower. If the flowers are going into a vase arrangement the vases must be clean and free of bacteria, and water should be replaced every 3 or 4 days. This will help keep the water free of bacteria that could grow and cause the stems to clog, which would result in a drooped flower head. Gerbs are naturally top heavy, so the large flower tends to bend down when left on a long stem. A way to avoid this is by using a specially made clip or a tube around the neck of the stem to support the large bloom. If you don't have any clips, an easy solution is to take a piece of wire (20 or 22 guage) and wrap it around a permanent marker to make something that looks like a spring. Slide the looped wire onto the stem and up towards the neck. This will give the extra support that the flowers need. If taken care of properly gerbs can last anywhere from 2-3 weeks in a vase arrangement. If I have you convinced that gerber daisies are worth the $2, you can make a trip to your favorite florist to pick out your favorite color.

  Red Potted Gerber Daisy

Gerber Daisies as Potted Plants:

            From my own experience, and from reading other people’s experience, I have found that gerber daisies tend to be a bit tricky as potted plants. When kept indoors, gerber daisies like bright, filtered light. I found that putting them in the greenhouse worked the best, because they didn’t get quite enough light from the shop windows. If using them as an outdoor potted plant or a bedding plant, plant gerbs in a location with partial shade, preferably an area that is hidden from the hot afternoon sun. When the daisies are blooming keep soil moist, but not wet. During non-blooming periods you can allow the top of the soil to become dry between waterings. If you are using your gerbs as a bedding plant be sure to plant them so the base of the plant is just above the soil line, as they are prone to crown rot. The plants are also susceptible to powdery mildew when the humidity is high or temperatures are low. If you have a gerber daisy as an indoor blooming plant it is best just to let the plant go after it is done blooming. The plants generally don’t do well indoors after their last blooms have gone.


Gerber plant information sites: