How To Grow Orange Gerbera Daisies
The orange gerbera daisy is a striking flower that looks like a happy burst of sunshine. Just being in its presence instantly bring a smile to your face so a bouquet of them is the perfect arrangement to send to anyone having a bad day. These flowers are a symbol of fascination, creativity and warmth and they are often used to represent tenderness, kindness and cordial love.
Robert Jameson first discovered the orange gerbera daisy in 1884 in Barberton, South Africa but their name actually comes from Traugott Gerber, an 18th century German naturalist. Their foliage is rich and leafy with a stem that ends in a vibrant orange flower that can be as big as five inches in diameter. They are traditionally grown to be cut flowers to use in arrangements but many individuals choose to grow theirs in their flower bed or containers.
The orange gerbera belongs to the sunflower family so naturally they thrive in full sun. In areas where temperatures reach freezing in the winter, these flowers are considered annuals; however, in warmer climates, they are perennials.
Planting In Containers
If you want to grow these flowers outside, the easiest way to get them started from seed is indoors. You will need a tray that has a clear plastic lid, peat pellets, toothpicks, water, spray bottle and seeds.
- First you will need to soak the peat pellets for 15 minutes in warm water until they expand. Place these swollen pellets in your tray.
- Using a toothpick, create a small hole in the top of each pellet down to the center. Slide one seed in the hole making sure that the fuzzy part of the seed is above the surface of the soil.
- To make the peat pellet snug around the seed, simply pinch it very gently. After you have added one seed to every pellet and pinched them all shut, cover the tray with the plastic lid. These seeds require an environment that provides high humidity in order for them to germinate.
- Place them in a window that gets plenty of indirect sunlight and be sure to keep them warm. Ideally, you want to keep them in an area where it is between 70 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Every other day, you should lightly mist the pellets with water. It is very important that the peat pellets remain moist while they are germinating. This will help raise the humidity level as well.
- While your young orange gerbera daisies are growing you will need to keep the lid on all of the time until they have at least three leaves. After six weeks they should be ready to transplant to your flower bed outside.
On occasion, you will get a batch of infertile seeds so if you don't see any growth in 30 days, you will need to start over. The seeds come in packages that are moisture-proof and it is very important that you store them in a dry, cool area until they are sown. After you open a package, you have only one chance to use the seeds because they lose their viability pretty fast at room temperature.
Only a few seeds in each package are fertile, they will be the plump ones. The infertile ones are very thin and will not germinate.
The orange gerbera is prone to a few different diseases so you really have to keep an eye on your plants.
- Powder Mildew – High humidity mixed with cloudy weather will often encourage powdery mildew. This disease spreads fast and will cause the plant to become dry and die.
- Leaf Spots – Humid, hot weather may cause leaf spots that can be fatal to the plant. If you catch it early enough, you can simply remove the dead foliage and use a fungicide on the rest of the plant.
- Root Rot – Excessive moisture from too much rain or over-watering can cause root rot in the orange gerbera daisy. Always provide adequate drainage and do not cover the crown with mulch or soil.