May 27, 2010

Plant Of The Week

Gerbera Daisy

Distinguished by large flowering heads that closely resemble those of sunflowers, gerbera daisies come in a vibrant rainbow of colors. Bright pink, snow white, sunny yellow, and ruby red are just a few of the gorgeous colors that these happy flowers boast.

The gerbera daisy was discovered in 1884 near Barberton, South Africa, by Scotsman Robert Jameson. While the flower’s scientific name, Gerbera jamesonii, recollects the name of its founder, the meaning of its common name draws from German naturalist Traugott Gerber. Breeding programs that began in England in 1890 enhanced the flower’s quality and color variations. The gerbera daisy’s popularity soon traveled to growers in the Netherlands which, along with Columbia, is the primary distributor of the flower’s cut version today. The gerbera currently ranks as the fifth most popular flower in the world behind the rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, and tulip.

The meanings of gerbera daisies stem from those attributed to the general daisy family. These meanings include innocence and purity, and daisies are also a classic symbol of beauty. However, the gerbera variety holds an added meaning of cheerfulness, which stems from the assortment of colors available. An assorted bouquet of gerbera daisies can lift the spirit and sending one is an ideal way to brighten someone’s day. The sheer multitude of available varieties has helped the gerbera daisy become a favorite choice for many different occasions – birthdays, get well, congratulations, thank you, and more.

There are many types of flowers which can help to express our thoughts and feelings for our loved ones, but the gerbera daisy and its meaning stand out as one of the most distinctly bright and merry. With its bold and striking appearance, the gerbera daisy has become the most highly-prized daisy variety. When you send gerbera daisies, know that these fresh flowers convey a deeply meaningful message and make a lively lasting impression.

Your Gerbera Daisy plant flowers best when it is growing in a small container and is slightly pot bound. Repot growing Gerbera Daisies in April. Use an open, free draining soil mix. When repotting ensure that the crown of the plant is above the level of the soil. Rot will occur if the crowns are buried or the drainage is poor. After repotting keep them in a shaded location until they're established.

The best position for growing Gerbera Daisies is in full sunlight to ensure maximum flower production. A shaded situation results in poor flowering. Keep your plant slightly moist at all times, especially when in bloom, but don't let the pot sit in water. In summer feed regularly every 2 weeks with a weak liquid fertilizer, and regularly pick off the dead flowers to promote further flowering. Indoor growing Gerbera Daisies can flower all year round. Also remove old leaves regularly to prevent fungus infections developing.

The optimal temperature for growing Gerbera Daisies is around 75 deg  but 61-70 deg   days, and 56-65 deg  nights is suitable. In Winter they are best kept above 50 deg F . In a greenhouse the minimum temperature is 40 deg. Freezing will kill the plant. From November to May, water only when the soil becomes fairly dry.


Nariane said...

I love these flowers!
since they're not "perennial" in my area - I might just give 'em a shot in pots.

Rue said...

"Daisies are the happiest flowers" ... from "You've Got Mail."

I think this is true. I have a hard time not smiling when I see a daisy of any kind.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I love daisies and Gerber daisies are like my dream flowers on steroids lol.