How to Care for Gerber Daisies in Mississippi

Overview

If you are hoping to attract butterflies and birds into your Mississippi garden, plant gerber daisies. The gaily colored petals of the gerber daisy act as a magnet for a variety of wildlife, whether grown in pots or in the garden. Gerber daisies do especially well along the Gulf Coast and, although the plant thrives in full sun in most of the regions in its USDA hardiness zones (9a to 11), southern Mississippi gardeners should plant theirs in an area where it will receive morning sun and afternoon shade.

Step 1

Remove all weeds from the garden bed. Common Mississippi weeds, such as purple nutsedge and pigweed, compete with the gerber daisy for water and soil nutrients. If the weeds contain seed heads be careful not to scatter them when removing them from the garden.

Step 2

Add a 3-inch layer of compost, in spring and autumn, to the base of the gerber daisy plants. Scratch it into the soil around the plants.

Step 3

Water the gerber daisies enough to keep the soil moist during the flowering season. In the hot summers in Mississippi, this may require watering several times a week. After that, allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry between waterings.

Step 4

Fertilize the gerber daisy once a month during the flowering season. Floriculture specialists with the University of Florida suggest that you select a water-soluble, all-purpose fertilizer that contains iron or manganese. Apply the fertilizer at the rate suggested on the package. Avoid getting the fertilizer on the leaves as this can cause them to scorch in the Mississippi sun.

Step 5

Add mulch around the base of the gerber daisies. This is especially important when the weather begins to heat up in Mississippi. Gerber daisies have a tendency to wilt and stop blooming if the temperature remains over 70 degrees. Mulch will help to keep the roots of the plant cool and moist.

Step 6

Deadhead the plants frequently to prevent dead flowers and leaves from falling to the soil and providing breeding areas for pests. To deadhead, just pinch off dead or dying flowers and leaves and dispose of them.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch

References

  • Mississippi State University Extension: Weeds in Mississippi
  • University of Florida: Gerberas
  • "The Southern Living Garden Book;" Editors of Southern Living Magazine; 2004
  • "Better Homes & Gardens Flower Gardening: Annuals;" Carolyn B. Mitchell; 1995
Keywords: gerber daisies care, daisies in Mississippi, annuals in Mississippi

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.