Gerbera daisies are a flower native to South Africa and resemble the common daisy grown in many gardens in the United States but have broader petals with a larger center, usually in the same color as the petals are but may have variations depending on the actual color of the flower. Gerbera daisies come in yellow, orange, pink, red and white. As a cut flower, these daisies can really brighten up a room and make a beautiful dining room table centerpiece. As an indoor plant, gerberas can be beautiful, which can also be cut in a certain way so the plant continues to blossom during its growth span.
Growing the Gerbera Daisy
Gerbera daisies are best grown indoors in zones 3 to 6 where they can be kept warm during the colder nights of the fall and winter season. Because the flower is native to Africa, gerberas require a room temperature of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops too low, the plant may die. Keep the plant's soil moist and remove any dead leaves when it blossoms. Gerberas like a lot of sunlight, so they are best placed near a picture or bay window where they can receive adequate sunlight.
Cutting the Gerbera Daisy
The gerbera can be cut at mid-length if the stems are long enough. The plant, if it gets too big and unmanageable for its indoor pot, can have the last of its flowers appreciated as a cut flower. Simply remove the flowers, allowing long enough stems for a vase to remain. Cut the stems at an angle to allow the water to enter the stems when they are in the vase.
Water for the Vase
Gerbera daisies benefit the best from filtered water versus regular tap water. Water that is too heavy in minerals will cause the flower to wilt and die too quickly. Filtered water that is of room temperature is best for this flower. Add a flower preservative that can be obtained from a florist, or one that is homemade that includes bleach and white vinegar diluted in water. The preservative will help this flower last longer.
Preparing the Gerbera Flowers for the Vase
Remove from the stems any leaves that would fall below the water level. Wet leaves will turn the water sour and affect the life span of the cut flowers. Because the stems of the gerbera daisies can be soft, they can be supported with floral wire. Place a strand of green floral wire near the flower blossoms so that they do not droop over. Gently wrap around the stems, but not too tightly so the flowers are cut off. Twist the ends of the wire and cut off the ends. If necessary, the wire can be adjusted each time the water needs changing.
Changing the Water and Preserving the Gerbera
As with other cut flowers, the water for the gerbera needs to be checked regularly. Change the water every 2 days and trim down the bottom of the stems of the flowers at 1", always at an angle. Remove any dead flowers and leaves on the cut stems. Each time the water is changed, add a bit more of the cut flower preservative. The cut gerbera flowers will look healthy so long as they are cared for on a regular basis.