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Growing Gerbera Daisies


Tips For Growing Gerbera Daisies


Growing Gerbera daisies in your outdoor garden is a fun and rewarding undertaking. These herbaceous perennials are attractive plants that are available in a wide array of colors and they bloom throughout the entire season. Their use as beautiful cut plants has made them so popular that they are the 5th most cut flower in the world. Gerbera daisies, sometimes called African daisies, are considered to be an ornamental plant found in the sunflower family and are found growing in the wild from Africa, South America and Asia. 


Gerbera daisy flowers are made up two-lipped ray florets that are available in a variety of colors including red, yellow, orange, white and pink. There are even several hybridized species offered with pedals containing several of these colors. These flower heads can be rather small or up to 4 inches across. While they appear to be made up of a single flower, they are actually composed of many different individual flowers. They make a great flower for the garden bed, as they attract wildlife such as birds, bees and butterflies and they are deer resistant.


Obtaining Gerbera daisies for your garden is an easy process. They can be bought as seeds or started plants from most garden stores or nurseries. They can also be cultivated from herbaceous cuttings or by splitting a piece off of the root ball. It is best to plant your Gerbera daisies in full sunlight to partial sunlight in well-drained soil. They are generally listed as 9-11 on the USDA Hardiness Zone chart, which means they are hardy to about 20-40 degrees F. Outside of these temperature zones most people have more luck planting and caring for them as annuals. Gerbera daisies prefer soils with pH levels of about 6.1-7.5, which is mildly acidic to neutral. Plant each individual plant about 12 inches apart to allow for adequate growing room. Regularly water your gerberas, but take care not overly water them as it invites some of the diseases and pests that can invade your garden.


Growing Gerbera daisies indoors can also be rather easy. Indoors you can expect your gerberas to bloom for about 4-6 weeks if properly cared for and placed in a sunny spot. Again, avoid overwatering them, and introduce them to an outdoor environment gradually to allow them to acclimate.


There are some diseases and pests that may affect your gerbera daisies, and it best know about them in order to prevent or quickly treat any unwanted problems right away. Gerbera daisies can be susceptible to a condition known as crown rot, where the crown and base of the plant can decay from too much moisture. To avoid crown rot do not plant your Gerberas too deep in the spoil. They can also attract small insects such as aphids, which are tiny transparent flies, leaf miners, white flies and thrips, especially if the plants are located indoors. Thrips can destroy your gerberas because they lay their eggs inside of plant tissues. You can help prevent these pests from appearing by not overwatering your daisies. There are some fungal infections to also be aware of, such as White Powdery Mildew, which leaves your plants looking like they have received a fresh dusting of flour, and Leaf Spots, which creates round rings on the plants. Another pathogen that can ruin your Gerbera daisies is Grey Mildew. These infections can be avoided by not watering your plants from an overhead position and watering them early in the day to prevent excess moisture from sitting on the plant too long.


Growing Gerbera daisies in your yard garden or indoors will provide you with brilliant summer-long colors of yellow, red, orange, pink and white. They are a great symbol of summer time and are hardy and easy to grow for any gardener.


 


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