Gerbera daisies, also known as African or Transvaal daisies, are popular perennial garden flowers native to South Africa. Hardy in USDA zones 9 through 11, Gerbera daisies cannot tolerate cold temperatures and are treated as annuals in zones 8 and above. Gardeners prize the plants for their long-lasting blooms that appear in shades of white, yellow, orange, pink and red. Often grown in cut flower gardens, Gerbera daisies last up to two weeks in a vase of water after being harvested. The plants require minimal care to thrive and produce abundant flowers throughout the spring and summer months.
Plant Gerbera daisies from late spring to early summer in a location that receives full sunlight and consists of well-drained, fertile, moist soil for the best results. Space Gerbera daisies at least 12 to 18 inches apart to allow adequate room for growth.
Use a shovel to dig a hole at the planting site of equal depth and twice as wide as the root ball. Loosen the soil around the roots and insert directly into the hole. Cover with soil and water lightly to collapse air pockets.
Spread a 1- to 2-inch layer of organic mulch over the soil surrounding Gerbera daisies to increase moisture retention, deter competitive weeds and insulate the soil. Start the mulch at least 3 inches from the crown of the plants to prevent rotting.
Water plants once each week during spring and fall to prevent the soil from drying out completely. Increase watering frequency to once every five days during summer, except on weeks that receive more than 1 inch of rainfall.
Feed Gerbera daisies once per month using a complete 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer to provide proper nutrition for growth and flowering. Apply at the rate recommended on the product label and water in thoroughly to prevent burning the roots.