Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
This South African perennial has sparkling yellow, red or orange flowers (commercial growers have produced pink, white, salmon, cream and crimson flowers). Its flower-cuts are long-lasting, and if brought indoors in the autumn and kept on a cool window sill, the daisy will continue to bloom all winter.
The gerbera daisy was included in the early NASA studies (Biohome feasibility) and is extremely effective in removing chemical vapours such as benzene from the air. Benzene exposure has been linked with leukemia, and the chemical can enter your home from vehicle exhaust and fumes from glues, solvents, paints and art supplies.
Its colourful display, high transpiration rate and ability to cleanse the air of toxic gases make this a highly valued seasonal indoor plant.
Full-sun to semi-sun. Bright light is essential, but avoid the strong midday sun which may age the blooms prematurely.
Susceptible to root rot from over-watering. Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and feed with a complete fertilizer during its growing season.
Grow in standard commercial potting soil in a standard container.