Botanical name: Gerbera jamesonii
Gerbera daisy also called Barbeton Daisy or Transvaal Daisy is an ideal flowering houseplant for a well-lit spot. The striking flowers are a pleasant sight to behold. There are many colorful Gerbera Daisy plants available. The colors range from soft pink, white, pale yellow, pink, orange, red and purple. The hybrids are more compact and produce up to six blooms at a time. To get more blooms, once a flower fades, cut off the flower stalk at the base to encourage more blooming. Gerbera Daisy has been grown as a flowering pot plant for a long time. It grows to a height of 2 ft. The leaves are about 6 in. long, deeply veined and soft and hairy on the undersides. According to a study carried out by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), Gerbera jamesonii was found to get rid of common VOCs specifically formaldehyde and benzene from indoor air. Gerbera Daisy is native to South Eastern Africa. It was first described by Robert Jameson in 1889 while exploring the Barberton area of South Africa.
Gerbera Daisy prefers bright light with some direct sunlight. Regularly turn the pot to ensure the plant gets adequate light on all sides. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants
Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy as soggy soil can lead to Root-rot Disease. Allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering during the cold period. Avoid wetting the crown as it can lead to Crown and Stem Rot Disease. Learn more on how to water houseplants.
Gerbera Daisy prefers average warmth between 15-250C. Protect them from cold and hot draughts. Learn more on temperature for houseplants.
Gerbera Daisy have no need for high humidity. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity if the air is too dry. Occasionally clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth. Ensure good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases.
Feed Gerbera Daisy every 3 weeks with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season. Withhold feeding during the cold season. Find out more on how to feed houseplants.
Repot Gerbera Daisy only when the plant is extremely pot-bound; it blooms more when slightly pot-bound. Do not repot a plant that is in flower. Use a pot 1 size larger and one that has a drainage hole to prevent waterlogging as it can lead to Root-rot Disease. The soil should be rich in organic matter and free-draining.
Pruning Gerbera Daisy is easy. Cut off the flower stem at rhe base once flowering is over to encourage more blooms. Get rid of dead leaves to keep the plant neat and tidy. Learn more on how to prune houseplants.
Gerbera Daisy can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from seeds or by division.
Propagating Gerbera Daisy from seeds
Spread Gerbera Daisy seeds evenly on moist free-draining soil and cover lightly withsome soil. Cover the set up with a plastic sheet to create a greenhouse effect. Place the set up in a warm brightly-lit place. Maintain the soil moist through out by gently misting the soil surface. Transplant the plants when the seedlings are well established.
Propagating Gerbera Daisy by division
Carefully divide a large Gerbera Daisy plant into sections while ensuring each section has enough roots. Pot up these sections into individual pots in moist free-draining soil. Ensure the crown is above the soil surface to prevent rotting. Place the set up in a warm brightly-lit place. Maintain the soil moist until the plant is well established.
There are two reasons for brown leaf tips and shrivelled leaf edges in Gerbera Daisy. One reason is dry air; set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise himidity. The second reason is underwatering; maintain the soil consitently moist and do not allow the soil ball to dry out completely.
These are an indication of Leaf Spot Disease. Gerbera Daisy is prone to Leaf Spot due to humid and warm conditions. Allow good air circulation around the plant.
Limp leaves and a rotten crown center in Gerbera Daisy is an indication of Crown Rot Disease due to wetting of the crown during watering.
Mouldy leaves and flowers in Gerbera Daisy is an indication of Botrytis or Powdery Mildew. Do not mist Gerbera Daisy as moisture on the foliage creates suitable conditions for these diseases. Cut off diseased parts and keep the plant warm while ensuring good air circulation
The cause of plant collapse in Gerbera Daisy is Root-rot Disease which is brought about by waterlogging.
Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) plants are non-toxic to both humans and pets. They are safe to grow indoors.