Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii), also known as Transvaal daisy, is an herbaceous annual or perennial valued for its large, colorful flowers and general ease of care. The plant blooms during summer, producing numerous flowers in shades of white, orange, yellow, red or pink, depending on the variety. The large blossoms make ideal cut flowers for bouquets or floral arrangements due to their long life. Native to Africa, the gerbera daisy plants require consistently warm temperatures to thrive. Gardeners typically grow them as annuals in much of the United States, though they perform as perennials in U.S. Department of Argiculture zones 8 through 11.
Plant the gerbera daisy in a site that receives bright morning sun and partial afternoon shade, and consists of well-drained, moist and fertile soil. Space gerbera daisies 12 to 18 inches apart to allow enough room for mature growth.
Spread a 1 to 2-inch layer of organic mulch over the ground surrounding gerbera daisy flowers to stunt competitive weeds, insulate the soil and improve water retention. Begin the layer at least 3 inches from the plant's crown to provide adequate air circulation.
Water gerbera daisy flowers once every five days during spring, summer and fall, allowing the crown to dry slightly between applications. Do not water from the top--apply water directly to the soil to minimize the risk of disease caused by wet foliage.
Feed the flowers once per month during spring, summer and fall using a complete 15-15-15 NPK fertilizer. Water lightly before and after applying, to prevent root burn. Check the instructions provided by the manufacturer for the correct dosage information.
Remove dead or faded gerbera daisy leaves and flowers, process also known as deadheading, whenever possible, to improve the plant's overall health and appearance. Pinch off the unwanted growth at its point of origin, to reduce damage and ease the regrowth process.