Commonly called "gerber" daisies or African daisies, gerberas are perennial flowers native to South Africa. In cooler areas, these brightly colored flowers grow as annuals and are commonly used as houseplants. Blooms are 4 inches wide with a yellow center and include hues of yellow, orange, creamy white, crimson and pink. The leaves are deep green and fuzzy. Grow these majestic flowers indoors to add a splash of color against any background.
Fill peat pots with seed starter mixture and insert three seeds vertically into each, with the fuzzy part on top. Water the soil until evenly moist, and continue watering until the seeds germinate in two to three weeks. As an alternative to growing gerbera grow seeds, transplant a nursery-bought gerbera daisy from its original pot to a bigger one. Tilt it to a side and shake it so the flower slides out. Fill your pot with good quality potting soil and lower the gerbera daisy into it. Backfill and tamp the soil down with your fingers.
Transplant seedlings to bigger individual 6- to 8-inch wide pots once they develop three or more leaves. Make sure the pots have adequate drainage holes in the bottom. Layer the base of each pot with small stones or broken crockery to improve drainage. Fill each pot with well drained, lightweight, good quality potting soil. Water until the soil is evenly moist.
Place the pots in a sunny indoor location near a door or window, so the daisies receive at least six hours of sunlight a day. Supplement with grow lights if necessary, suspending them at least 8 inches above the tip of the plant.
Water your gerbera daisies from a watering can; you can allow the soil to dry lightly between watering. Water more frequently when flowers are in bloom, and mist the foliage twice a week.
Feed your gerbera daisies a water-soluble fertilizer every other week. Follow label directions to use the right amounts based on your pot size.
Remove dead or spent flowers and leaves from your plant to maintain its shape and appearance, and encourage new blooms to grow. Use sharp clippers or pruning scissors.
Spray a soapy solution comprised of antibacterial soap and water over the stems and foliage to deter pests such as aphids or white fly. As an alternative, use a mild insecticidal spray.