The Gerbera Daisy is a cheerful, colorful flower that is popular all over the world. Its blooms are available in a wide variety of bright colors, which makes them a great addition to brighten up any home.
Fresh-cut Gerbera Daisies from a florist will only last just about a week in a vase with some water. But the good news is that you can grow your own, and then enjoy these beautiful blooms for much longer.
In this article, well teach you a little more about the Gerbera Daisy and show you how to pollinate the flowers to grow your own.
Some Gerbera Daisy Plant Basics
Generally speaking, companies that create a high-quality product tend to stand behind it by offering excellent Also known as the Transvaal Daisy, this plant originates in South Africa and is distinguishable by its colorful blooms on top of single, tall stems. Unlike the normal white or yellow daisy, the Gerbera Daisy comes in many colors, including purple and pink, and the stems of a mature plant can grow as tall as 24 inches.
The diameter of the flowers can be anything between 2” and 8”, with the outside of the flower head comprising brightly-colored ray-shaped petals. These beautiful petals attract pollinating insects. The center of the head is home to a mass of tiny flowers, both male and female, which means the Gerbera Daisy is a self-fertile plant.
Before you buy any plants or seeds, make sure you do a little research on the specific type of Gerbera Daisy you want, otherwise, you may end up with a larger or smaller plant than you hoped for.
A key consideration is that the Gerbera Daisy does not just grow annually. In fact, under the right conditions, it is perennial.
If you want to grow the Gerbera Daisy plant outdoors, it will need specific climate conditions in order to thrive. Without that, you might never see those gorgeous flowers in full bloom.warrantees.
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When To Plant The Gerbera Daisy
The U.S. Department of Agriculture ranks the Gerbera Daisy’s plant hardiness as zone 8 or above. However, in colder zones, it is just an annual plant.
There are a few things to consider when planting your seeds.
Planting this flower by seed requires perfect timing. The seeds will germinate within two weeks, but it takes 7 more weeks more the plants are large enough to be safely transplanted to an outdoor grow spot.
Gerbera Daisies don’t handle frosty weather too well. Therefore, you should plant the seeds no less than nine weeks before the end of the frosty season in the region.
Although they are somewhat hardy, the ideal outdoor temperature for the Gerbera Daisy is 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures will cause the plant to wilt.
Sunlight hits a flower bed differently as seasons change. Ideally, a Gerbera Daisy flower bed will receive full sun, getting around six hours of sunshine every single day.
The perfect timing is when the flower bed gets sunshine in the morning, followed by shade during the afternoon.
How To Plant The Gerbera Daisy Outdoors
This isn’t a difficult job, but it is possible to damage a plant in the process, so you must take care with these few basic steps.
First of all, ensure you have taken the right precautions with the timing and temperature as detailed above. When you’re ready to plant Gerbera Daisies, follow these steps:
Find A Good Location
Consider that these plants need a lot of bright sunlight to look their best. If you are in a particularly hot climate, they will benefit from having some afternoon shade. Find the optimum place in the garden to plant the daisies.
Prepare The Soil
Use a spade to dig about 8-10 inches deep into the soil. Then, fill 1-2 inches of the hole with organic matter, such as manure or compost.
Place The Plant
Put the Gerbera Daisy into the hole, taking care not to damage it during the transfer.
Where the stem meets the plant’s roots is known as the crown. Ensure that the crown is just above ground level so that the plant doesn’t suffocate.
Space The Daisies Out
You’ll probably plant more than a single daisy. To make sure each plant gets enough space to thrive, leave about 18 inches or more between them.
Pollinating The Gerbera Daisy
This isn’t necessary by any means. It only matters when you want to collect the seeds to replant them. The flowers on this plant will still bloom, even without pollination. However, little to no seeds will develop.
If you want to pollinate the Gerbera Daisy, just be aware that it can be a little bit difficult with hybrid varieties.
Replanting collected seeds won’t produce a replica of the parent plant. You need to get seeds from a matching cross. In any case, it’s still a fun experiment to collect the seeds and see what version of the Gerbera Daisy grows.
How The Pollen Is Spread
Remember we mentioned the tiny flowers in the flower head? Well, they’re arranged in a ‘central disk’, which is like a landing pad for pollinating insects.
So, the pollinator, which is typically a bee, wasp, or fly of some kind, moves over this disk and distributes pollen. At the same time, it leaves behind pollen traces from other gerbera blooms it has visited before.
This mixture of pollen is what creates genetic variation. When the seeds grow, the resulting flowers will exhibit traits of both the parent plants. Both the self-pollinated Gerbera Daisy and the cross-pollinated
daisies are classed as open-pollinated.
The easiest way to combine multiple varieties of the Gerbera Daisy is by cross-pollination. Simply plant all the varieties in the same flower bed, and then let nature take its course. The bugs will do the work for you.
Conversely, you can limit the flower bed to a single variety of daisy, therefore restricting the chance of cross-pollination.
If you want to grow multiple types of Gerbera Daisy without cross-pollination interfering with the results, you’ll need to separate the original plants, either in different greenhouses or by placing them in flower beds that are miles apart. You’ll also need to check that your neighbor isn’t growing their own batch behind the fence.
How To Hand Pollinate The Gerbera Daisy
If you’re really intent on producing some great Gerbera Daisy seeds, then hand pollination may be the best option. Be sure to do this on a warm, sunny morning.
All you need is:
1. A small, new paintbrush or a cotton swab
2. A magnifying glass (optional)
Next, follow the steps below.
Check the Trans Florets for Pollen
The trans florets are located just between these disk florets and the outer ray petals. Use a swab or brush to gently touch these pollen-producing structures.
Check the swab or brush to see if there are yellow pollen grains. If so, then the flower is ready to be pollinated.
Use the swab or brush to rub on the anthers that come up out of the trans florets. You should be able to see grains of pollen on the tip of the brush or swab.
Take the pollen-dusted brush and move to the prospective mother daisy plant. Rub the brush on its stigmas. These are the shiny receptors emerging from the central disk florets.
Whenever the flowers are open, repeat this process every day. Just make sure it’s easy to get the pollen, and that the stigmas still appear shiny and receptive.
Use the magnifying glass to inspect the florets and stigmas, making sure the transfer was successful.
Take Care Of Your Gerbera Daisy
If you want to end up with Gerbera Daisies that really turn heads, then you need to look after them. The job isn’t done once you’ve planted the flowers, nor is it finished when you move some pollen around.
Here are some essential aftercare steps to follow:
With care and consideration for the needs of this plant, you can have beautiful, colorful flowers in your garden and home all year round.
It’s not that hard to do, and with some practice, you’ll soon have the neighbors asking for tips on how to grow such gorgeous Gerbera Daisies.