If you like the look of daisies, there is nothing as impressive as the Gerbera Daisy for range of color, form and versatility. Although the commonly seen Gerbera jamesonii variety is known and loved by those who can grow it in their warm climate gardens, most people are not aware of the larger range of plants available.
At the Spring Trials this year, a whole range of these beautiful daisies were on display. Two types that caught my eye were the Garvinea® and Patio Gerbera® lines, developed by Florist Breeding and Propagation in the Netherlands.
The Garvinea® Gerbera Daisies grow similarly to the familiar Gerbera jamesonii with flower heads just a little smaller. But size is compensated for easily with the hundreds of flowers that smother the plants during their long growing season from spring until first frost. Color choices are vast and are intense enough to challenge an artist’s paint supply store. Even more exciting, the Garvinea® line offers tougher plants that take more sun and cooler temperatures than other varieties – hardy to USDA zone 7. This means many home gardeners can now grow them where they hadn’t dared before. Testing them in my own garden, I was delighted to see they even withstood temperatures into the triple digits. There is also a fun variety that offers quill shaped petals that are reminiscent of quill-type chrysanthemums but offering smaller, neater plants with more intensely-colored blooms.
The Patio Gerbera® line grow better with some protection from bright sun and extreme temperatures – which is why they do great on the ‘patio’. They make excellent choices for pots and are stunning as cut flowers. Long stems offer huge flowers in intense colors or blends. They can be single, semi-double or pom-pom with flowers up to 6” across.
Although Gerbera Daisies have captured the hearts of gardeners for years with their pure and intense artistic color hues, they are showing off more and more diversity as breeders bring out their hidden talents. Watch for all the different varieties of this charming daisy to grow in your garden or pots, and to grow for cheerful cut flowers in every room.