plant of the month
(also JUR-bur-uh, jur-BEE-ruh, gur-BEE-ruh and JAYM-sun-eye)
Transvaal daisy, Barberton daisy, African daisy, Veldt daisy
Potted Gerberas’ large daisylike (composite) blooms, including single, double, quilled, crested, cushion and “feather”-petaled flower types, generally range from 2 to 31⁄2 inches in diameter and stand on leafless stems (scapes) above a base of crinkly, deeply lobed leaves. The newer, compact varieties of potted Gerberas usually reach 6 to 12 inches in height, depending on pot size, which typically range from 4 to 6 inches in diameter.
Gerberas are available in a variety of warm, often vibrant, hues including red, burgundy, magenta, fuchsia, pink, red-orange, orange, peach, salmon, apricot, yellow, cream and white as well as bicolors. The center disc, or eye, can be yellow, green, brown, black or dark red-violet.
Depending on environment, care and variety, potted Gerberas’ bloom cycles can span from two to four weeks.
Gerbera plants are available year-round.
in-store and consumer care
These plants require bright light, including exposure to some direct sun.
Gerbera plants need evenly moist soil. Water them thoroughly when the soil surface is dry to the touch, and allow water to drain. Be careful, however, to not overwater, and do not allow pots to stand in water.
Moderate temperatures are preferred. When flowering, potted Gerberas like daytime temperatures between 65 F and 70 F and nighttime temperatures from 60 F to 65 F. During the winter, these plants can tolerate temperatures as low as 55 F.
Gerbera plants prefer humid environments but with good air circulation. Place pots on a pebble tray or frequently mist the leaves of plants in dry indoor environments.
Low; these plants are fairly resistant to the effects of ethylene gas.
Feed potted Gerberas weekly during their blooming cycles.
Loose humus-rich soil or a standard soil mix with sand is preferred.
Cut off flowers as they fade.
REPOTTING / REBLOOMING
After the first set of blooms fade, weather permitting, transplant the plant into a patio pot, and enjoy outdoors. In colder regions, store the plant indoors or in a greenhouse during the winter months. Some people choose to discard Gerbera plants, which are grown from seed, following their initial blooming cycle.
Handle these plants with care because leaves and flower stems can break easily. Advise customers to do the same.
Watch closely for whiteflies. Treat infested plants with insecticidal soap.
Powdery mildew, a fungal growth that appears as a dusty white to gray coating on leaf surfaces or other plant parts, can occur. It can be removed by rubbing the leaves, in most cases. For severe cases, remove infected plant parts, and spray the plant with a plant fungicide. In addition, reduce the relative humidity around the plant, improve air circulation, and gather and dispose of fallen leaves. sfr
If you have trouble viewing these PDF (portable document format) files, download a copy of the free Adobe Reader.
WHAT’S IN A NAME The genus Gerbera is named after Traugott Gerber, an 18th-century German medical doctor and naturalist who was the director of the oldest botanical garden in Moscow, taught medicine at the university and created a medical garden to educate medical students in herbology.
The specific epithet (species name), jamesonii, is in honor of Robert Jameson (1832-1908), a Scottish condiment manufacturer who collected live specimens of these plants while on a gold prospecting expedition in Barberton, South Africa, in 1884.
The common names—Transvaal daisy, Barberton daisy and Veldt daisy—come from the flowers’ origin: Transvaal is the former name of the northeastern province of South Africa to which these flowers are native; Barberton is a town in that region; and “veldt” is a term applied to the grassy plateaus of this region of South Africa.
FAMILY MATTERS Gerberas are a member of the huge Asteraceae/Compositae family. Close relatives include Asters, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, Dahlias, Zinnias, marigolds, bachelor’s buttons, black-eyed Susans and Calendulas.
HOME SWEET HOME Gerberas are native to South Africa.
Some information provided by:
Botanica, by R.G. Turner Jr. and Ernie Wasson
Chain of Life Network®, www.chainoflifenetwork.org
The Houseplant Encyclopedia
by Ingrid Jantra and Ursula Krüger
The New House Plant Expert, by Dr. D.G. Hessayon
New Pronouncing Dictionary of Plant Names
by Florists’ Review
SAF Flower & Plant Care
by Terril A. Nell, Ph.D. and Michael S. Reid, Ph.D.
Stearn’s Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners
by William T. Stern