Gerbera jamesonii, or Gerbera Daisy, is a perennial herb native to South Africa. Leaves occur in basal rosettes, petioled, oblong-spatulate and deeply lobed to 10 inches (25 cm) long by half as wide. Plants can reach up to 18 inches (45 cm) in height with a spread of 24 inches (60 cm) wide. Most of the plants today are hybrids and come in a wide array of floral colors. They easy to culture and hardy in the landscape from USDA zones 8-12.
Blooming In the greenhouse, they will bloom all year long. In zone 7, used in the landscape, they will bloom from mid-April to October. The 3-4 inch flowers are on a single stem per flower. As a cut flower, they have a vase life of approximately 14 days.
Culture: Gerbera jamesonii need full sun with a well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 2 parts sand to 1 part loam. During the growing and blooming seasons, the plants are watered and allowed to dry slightly. Too much water can cause crown rot. Plants are fertilized monthly with a balanced fertilizer, especially during blooming. Spent flowers should be trimmed off. During the winter months, flowering slows, the plants are allowed to dry a little more, and fertilizer is reduced to every other month. This is a very important time to pay attention to your watering practices. Crown rots and many fungal vectors can attack the plant if they are kept too wet.
Propagation: Gerbera jamesonii are propagated from division of the crown in summer and from seed. Seed should germinate in 14-21 days. If seed has not germinated in this period it is likely it won't.
Gerbera jamesonii was featured as Plant of the Week December 3-9, 2004.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.