Gerberas bear huge daisy-like blooms on long stems, from clumps of lobed leaves. Long-flowering, they're perfect for pots, adding colour to borders and even indoor conservatory displays. Gerberas also work well as a cut flower – the large, bold blooms are borne on sturdy single stems and last for weeks in a vase. Gerbera daisies come in many colours from bright shades of hot pink, red and yellow to cooler pastel yellows, pale pink and white.
Most gerberas originate from South Africa, hence the common names of Transvaal daisy, African daisy and the Barbeton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii). This species used to be the only one widely available in cultivation and is frost tender, grown primarily as an indoor plant. Recent years have seen the development of hardy gerberas that can withstand several degrees of frost, notably the ‘Garvinea’ varieties that can bloom from spring right through summer, sometimes even flowering up to the first frosts. Gerbera daisy blooms are attractive to bees and other pollinating insects.
How to grow gerberas
Plant gerberas in spring or early summer to establish in borders, where they will need fertile and reasonably well-drained soil. In pots, gerberas can be planted anytime from spring to late summer as good-sized gerbera plants are fairly widely available to buy and can be used to create instant colour.
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