The Gerbera daisy is one of the most in-demand flowers throughout the world. The main reason this amazing flower is becoming so popular is simply due to its amazing variety of natural colors. Colors range from blazing red, bright orange, sunny yellow and shocking pink. Pastel colors include pale to medium pink, soft yellows, peach and light purple.
Where did this amazing flower come from in the first place? It originates in South Africa and is also known as the Transvaal daisy or African daisy but is now widely cultivated in warm climate regions across the globe.
The gerbera daisy was actually discovered in 1884 near Barberton, South Africa, by Scotsman Robert Jameson and by 1890 had spread to England where breeding programs enhanced the color and quality of the flower. However it was not until another 40 or so years later that Dutch botanists perfected the breeding process. They eventually named the flower after famed German botanist Traugott Gerber.
With the increasing demand for cut flowers the Dutch commercial farms started exporting their bright and colorful gerbera daisies across the globe. The bright and cheerful colors created a massive demand for these interesting flowers. In fact nowadays gerbera daisies are the 5th most produced cut flower variety. Large commercial farms to supply this demand exist in the country of Colombia and Netherlands, but it is also grown commercially in Florida and California.
Gerbera daisies are also a very long lasting cut flower variety and their low prices makes them even more attractive. Some people place Gerberas next to their beds to enjoy better sleep as these flowers discharge oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide and other airborne toxins at night.
In recent years the garden variety of the gerbera daisy has started to gain popularity in the southern states where the warmer temperatures allow Gerberas to be cultivated.
How to Grow Gerberas
Cultivating gerberas in the outdoors requires some specific requirements in terms of temperature. First of all they require plenty of daytime sunlight, with the afternoons being shaded. Second, they cannot be planted during months of below freezing temperature. This means that in most areas of the United States, they are perennials, so that gardners must prepare the ground and plant in April/May. Next they must take care to keep the soil slight moist, but not too soggy to provide enough moisture without drowning the plant. The flower will then bloom after 14 to 18 weeks. For those living in colder climate zones around August/September it is necessary to dig up the Gerbera plant and place it in indoor potting plants so as to prevent any winter damage. Once winter passes these potted plants can be brought back outdoors.
Gerberas are nowadays even used in wedding bouquets and some entrepreneurial jewelers have started using these daisies as part of their jewelry collection. Gerbera daisy necklace is nowdays a popular type of real flower necklace.