Pink Gerber daisies
image by Carol Henderson/sxc.hu
Eye-catching gerber, or gerbera, daisies have large, 4-inch blooms in bright colors including orange, yellow and pink. Growing gerbera daisies indoors brings their beauty inside, where they brighten up window sills, tables and mantles when displayed in attractive pots. The stems reach up to 18 inches and cut blooms survive for 2 weeks, making them well-suited for bouquets and arrangements throughout your home. Starting from seeds is rarely done due to the long germination period, so purchase gerbera seedling plugs from a nursery or specialty grower to pot in your home.
Fill a well-draining container that is 6 to 8 inches in diameter with potting soil. Make your own soil mix by blending two parts peat moss to one part compost, then mix in a handful of vermiculite.
Dig a hole in the center of the pot deep enough to set the plug inside. Fill in the hole so the roots are under the soil, but the crown---where the leaves emerge from the root ball---is above soil level.
Water the newly planted gerbera thoroughly. Allow the top 1 to 2 inches of soil to dry out between subsequent waterings.
Place gerberas on a sunny windowsill for a minimum of six hours daily. Substitute 12 hours of artificial light if necessary.
Fertilize with a half-strength general purpose liquid fertilizer twice a month during flower production, and once a month after the plant stops flowering until the leaves begin to die back.