|I purchased four Gerbera daisies this spring and they have flourished. Now winter is approaching. Do I need to cut back the daisies or leave them alone until spring? Can they remain outside for the winter?|
|Gerbera jamesonii (Transvaal daisy) is native to South Africa so unfortunately it won't survive your winter weather. Gerberas 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 Gerberas probably flourished because they were given all the right conditions in the garden. If they could winter outdoors they would eventually spread to form big clumps. But they aren't hardy enough in your area to remain the the ground all year. Most Gerberas are discarded at the end of the season, or potted up and taken into a bright room or a cool greenhouse. If you bring them inside, provide average household warmth, bright light and moist soil throughout the winter.
Many gardeners opt for purchasing new seed or plants, or 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, acclimate them to indoor conditions by bringing them in at night, then taking them back out during the day as long as the temperatures remain above 60. Leave them 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 Gerberas!