Gerbera daisies, also known a Transvaal daisies or gerber daisies, are valued for their big, satiny blooms in white, hot pink, bright yellow, peach, red or orange. Native to South Africa and Asia, gerbera daisies are sturdy plants that require little attention, adding color to the landscape for several weeks during the summer.
Gerbera daisies are moderate-sized plants that reach heights of 12 to 18 inches. The big daisy-like blooms measure 4 to 5 inches across, on stems rising above low-growing mounds of rich, green foliage. In cooler climates, gerbera daisy is grown as an annual. In mild climates of U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone 8 and above, gerbera daisy is grown as a perennial.
Gerbera daisy plants are welcome gifts any time of year, and when cut, the blooms make beautiful flower bouquets. Gerbera daisies have recently become a favored flower of choice for colorful wedding bouquets. Gerbera daisies are sometimes grown as indoor plants, but the longevity of the blooms is limited. When planted outdoors, gerbera daisies bloom until the first frost in autumn.
Gerbera daisies thrive in plenty of bright sunlight. When grown indoors, place the plants in a sunny window. If light levels are low, gerbera daisies do well placed under a florescent light. Gerbera daisy is watered regularly and the soil is kept moist while the plants are blooming. When the gerbera daisy is finished blooming, allow the soil to dry slightly between each watering. Gerbera daisies benefit from regular, every other week feeding with a liquid fertilizer for blooming plants.
Gerbera daisies bloom best in normal room temperatures and bright sunlight. Otherwise, the plants may not bloom. Temperatures above 70 degrees F. for extended periods of time may cause gerbera daisies to wilt. Cold temperatures below 45 degrees F. are often responsible for leaves that turn black, but brown leaves are an indication that the plant is too dry or too wet. Gerbera daisies are pest-resistant, but are sometimes affected by aphids or white flies. Both pests are treated with insecticidal soap. Gerbera daisies planted too deeply, or in poorly-drained soil are susceptible to crown rot.