Gerbera Daisies have made themselves a reputation for being some of the most color-intensive daisy choices for cut flowers, pots or in the garden. Most people think of these cheerful flowers as being decorative but limited in use. So you might be surprised to learn about the wide range of sizes, shapes, colors – and uses — offered by these ray-flowering plants. They come in singles and doubles, round and quill petals, large and small blooms and with the ability to thrive in more gardens than you might expect.
The Garvinea® line of these plants, developed by’ Florist Breeding and Propagation’ in the Netherlands, for example, offers Gerbera plants that will grow enthusiastically outdoors, hardy to USDA zone 7. These plants bloom heavily without needing the gentler temperatures of the frequently seen Gerbera jamesonii variety Flowers grow to 2” in diameter and plants round out to about 18” x 18” in size. Not only is there an astounding range of color available in the Garvinea® line, but some flowers can change color as they age and the plants are so prolific the can bear over a hundred blooms during their long flowering season from spring until frost.
There are also spider varieties that have feathery quill shaped petals that blossom like fireworks. These are great choices for pots and for designing with daisies in the garden.
And speaking of Gerbera varieties, you need to see some if the breath-taking plants I spied at the Spring Trials in Ventura where some of the latest cultivars were displayed for the visiting nurseries for propagation.
These are plants of the Patio Gerbera® line and grow larger with single, semi-double and pom-pom flowers in self or bi-colors. As I walked into the show pavilion, I was stopped short by some of the most impressive blooms I’ve ever seen on these plants. Long-stemmed plants produce showy flowers that smother the plants or can be cut for bouquets. These plants are more delicate and are best protected from temperature extremes and direct hot sun. Give them average water and rich soil. They come with huge flowers that range from 4” to over 6” across. These are sure to be conversation pieces on any patio or in any flower arrangement.
Both the Garvinea® and Patio Garden® lines are grown from tissue culture which means you won’t be able to plant them from seed. There are some other lines, like the Gerbera “Sunnydayz” or the usual G. jamesonii that can be planted from seed, however. All varieties do well in pots. They are reasonably disease resistant, the Garvineas® being most vigorous and strong, but they can be vulnerable to thrips.
Whether you want to show off Gerbera Daisies in containers in your home, entryway or patio, snip long-stemmed flowers for indoor cut displays or grow them outdoors in the garden, these plants offer a wide range of looks on lush plants with attractive leaves and lots of flowers. Wherever you want to spotlight colorful daisies, don’t forget to check out these plants for the best range of color. And keep an eye out for some of the showier and hardier varieties. This is one daisy that is growing more versatile all the time!