Gerbera daisies are perennial plants native to South Africa that display a variety of colorful blooms in the summer and fall months. The flowers are prized for their rich colors and texture, and the plants are valued for their versatility. Gerberas can be grown in containers, but also make wonderful bedding plants in the garden. With proper care and maintenance, gerbera daisies will bloom for two to three years before they need to be replaced with new plants.
Plant gerbera daisies in late spring after all danger of frost has passed. Select an area in the garden that receives full sun and has well-drained soil. Gerbera daisy plants cannot tolerate wet roots. Plant in containers or prepared beds, making sure the top of the root ball is level with the surface of the soil. Space plants at least 18 inches apart in garden beds.
Water gerbera daisies once per week, except on weeks of drenching rain. Apply water to the soil surrounding the plants, but do not allow it to come in contact with the foliage or flowers. Allow the soil to dry out thoroughly in between waterings.
Fertilize gerberas once every six weeks during the spring and summer months using a balanced 15-15-15 NPK fertilizer formulation. Apply according to the manufacturer's instructions, and water thoroughly after application to distribute the nutrients.
Apply a 3- to 4-inch layer of bark mulch to the soil surrounding gerberas if the plants are growing in garden beds in an area with cold winters. Container-grown gerbera daisies can be brought inside during the winter months, or left outside in temperate locations. Keep gerberas at a temperature of 40 to 70 degrees F for the best results.
Remove old or spent blooms from gerbera daisy plants as soon as possible. The large blossoms sap the nutrients from the plant quickly, and should be removed when their visual appeal has died. Cutting the healthy flowers also promotes new growth, so don't be afraid to pick a few choice blooms for display if you desire.
Things You Will Need
- Bark mulch
- The best time to fertilize gerbera daisies is just before a normally scheduled watering. Because they can't tolerate standing water, this will ensure that over watering does not occur.
- Gerbera daisies are attractive to slugs because of their large leaves, which provide shelter for the pests. If you notice slugs around your plants, purchase a non-toxic snail bait from your local home and garden store and scatter it around the area according to the manufacturer's instructions.
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