Were you charmed by the bold and beautiful blooms of a gerbera daisy at the garden center and took one home? Perhaps someone gave you a nice potted gerbera daisy as a gift over the holidays? Whether you buy a gerbera daisy, or receive one as a gift, gerbera daisy care will certainly be something that crosses your mind when you start to wonder what you do once it stops flowering.
It may come as a surprise to learn that gerbera daisy is a native of South Africa, but it’s true. What is usually sold as a houseplant or a garden annual is actually a herbaceous perennial. What does this mean? It means that in the right conditions, a herbaceous perennial can die back to the ground, but will regrow from parts of the plant that remain alive underground.
Gerbera Daisy Care By Zone
Where you live will ultimately dictate how to care for your gerbera daisy. If you are lucky enough to garden in Zone 8-11, gerbera daisies can be treated like a perennial in your garden. Yes, you can plant the whole plant in your garden and expect it to come back year after year.
In colder zones, gerberas should be treated like an annual bedding or container plant. It is grown and cared for like all of your other garden annuals and either allowed to die back at the end of the garden season, or pulled and composted at the end of the season.
Gerbera Daisy Houseplants
As I mentioned above, gerbera daisies are often acquired as a potted plant. These are intended to be short-lived houseplants that you enjoy for a few weeks and then you toss them. Generally speaking, you can expect your potted gerbera plant to bloom for about 4-6 weeks if you place it in a sunny window and don’t allow it to dry out to much, or remain too wet.
Watering Gerbera Daisy Plants
Gerberas can be expected to grow about a foot tall and about a foot wide. These plants are susceptible to crown rot and should not be planted too deeply in your garden’s soil. You should avoid putting water directly in the center (crown) of the plant when watering so that it doesn’t rot.
Another problem with gerbera daisies is that they are susceptible to powdery mildew, again, learning how to water will help mitigate this problem for the most part.
Landscape Gerbera Daisy Care
If you are growing gerberas in the landscape, fertilize your plants monthly during the growing season. Similarly, fertilize gerberas in container gardens with your standard fertilizer and on your regular schedule. If your gerbera is potted and grown as a houseplant, fertilizing shouldn’t be an issue since most plants come ready to bloom and will be tossed after. But you should remove spent flowers from houseplant gerberas to prevent them from going to seed too soon.
Keep these facts and tips to make your gerbera daisy care seem like second nature. Don’t overwater your plant, keep water away from the crown (center) of the plant, and off the leaves when you are watering to prevent diseases. If you are in a southern zone, your gerbera can be planted in the landscape and container gardens like the rest of your herbaceous perennials. In northern zones, it should be treated as an annual or a short-lived potted houseplant.