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Gerbera jamesonii (photo courtesy of Proven Winners)
Gerbera jamesonii (photo courtesy of Proven Winners)

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Zones A1-A3, 1-45, H1, H2
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water

Gerbera jamesonii

Transvaal Daisy
Asteraceae (Compositae)
Annuals, Perennials, Flowers

This species is among the most elegant and sophisticated of daisies. Clump of tongue-shaped, lobed, 10-in.-long leaves sends up slim yet sturdy stems to 1 1/2 ft. high, each bearing one slender-petaled, 4–5-in. daisy. Colors are pure, unshaded, and glowing; include cream through yellow to coral, orange, flame, and red. The basic flower has a single ring of rays surrounding a prominent central disk. Many strains are sold, including dwarf types only 7 in. tall.

As perennial in Zones 8, 9, 12–24, H1, and H2, it can bloom any time of the year, with peaks in early summer and late fall. Beyond its hardiness range, treat as a summer annual. In Zones 12 and 13, it’s best as a winter annual (may last longer during a cool spring). Needs organically enriched soil with excellent drainage (if soil drains poorly, grow in a raised bed). Plant 2 ft. apart; to avoid rot and keep the root crown slightly above soil level. Protect from snails and slugs. Water deeply and let the soil become nearly dry before watering again. For best flowering, fertilize monthly. Divide (in late winter) only when the clump is crowded and flowering declines. When cutting blooms for arrangements, slit the bottom inch of the stem before placing in water.

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