The Q&A Archives: Gerbera Daisy

Question: Hi! (At least I think a Gerbera Daisy is a perennial!) I received a small plant early in the spring and planted it in a container where it struggled for a long time. Although it lived, it never grew. I finally took it and planted it in my garden in early July where it also stayed the same size until early August when it suddenly rejuvenated, grew lots of lush green leaves and finally a blossom. There are several more blossoms coming up now too. I am wondering if it will overwinter in my zone. If not, can I dig it up, repot it and bring it indoors for the winter? If so, what special care does it need? Dormant period? If I can pot it and bring it indoors, should I leave it in the pot next year when I replant it outdoors to make bringing it indoors less traumatic?

Answer: Gerbera jamesonii or Transvaal daisy is native to South Africa so it won't survive your winter weather. Gerbera's thrive in full sun and rich soil with excellent drainage. They prefer a thorough watering and then dry soil, followed by a flooding again. The plants need frequent feeding during the growing season and will produce new leaves and flowers if the old leaves and flowers are pinched off regularly.

Your Gerbera probably perked up because it was given all the right conditions in the garden. If it could winter outdoors it would eventually spread to form big clumps. But, it isn't hardy enough in your area to remain the the ground all year. Most Gerbera's are discarded at the end of the season, or potted up and taken into a bright room or a cool greenhouse. Provide average household warmth, bright light and moist soil throughout the winter.

Many gardeners opt for collecting seeds in the autumn, sowing them indoors and having a full-grown plant ready for transplanting outdoors in the late spring.

If you're potting yours up to take indoors, bring it in at night and take it back out during the day as long as the temperatures remain above 60F, leaving it out for shorter and shorter periods of time each day. This acclimation period will make the transition from outdoors to indoors less stressful on your plant.

Good luck with your Gerbera!

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