Gerbera (Gerbera Jamesonii) daisies are a perennial flower native to South America hardy in growing zones 9 to 11. These flowers can be grown in or out-of-doors, although in colder climates are often grown as annuals and wintered over inside to protect from freezing conditions. Gerbera daisies are a popular cut flower with the sturdy stems and 4- to 5-inch diameter blooms with colorful petals in red, pink, orange, purple, or yellow surrounding a dark prominent center. Caring for Gerbera daisies is relatively simple with amazing results.
Grow your Gerbera daisy in a sunny location where the soil is slightly acidic to neutral with a pH of 6.1 to 7.5. Some afternoon shade in extremely warm climates may be necessary so the flowers do not wilting.
Keep your daisy evenly watered about two to three times weekly so the soil stays moist but never has standing water. Use a drip irrigation system or a garden hose allowing the water to run out at a trickle. Adjust how often you water according to how warm the weather becomes and how quickly the soil dries out.
Apply a 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch around your plant to help the soil maintain moisture and keep weeds down. During winter apply another layer over the first to insulate the roots from cold temperatures. Use pine straw or shredded bark for best results.
Fertilize the daisy twice a month during the active blooming season, late spring through summer. Use a water-soluble food and water in well after applying.
Remove faded flowers and any dead foliage to keep the plant looking well kept and encourage more blooming. Watch for pests that may infest the plant such as aphid and white flies. Simply remove any aphids if you see them and use an insecticide for white flies.
Place your Gerbera daisy in a south or west-facing window so it receives at least six hours of sunlight daily. During sunny days you can set your plant outside during the morning hours to receive direct sunlight. Bring the plant in during the afternoon when the sun is at its hottest.
Keep the temperature around 60- to 70-degrees Fahrenheit for best growth. Temperatures above 70-degrees can cause the plant to stop blooming. Supply humid conditions for your daisy by misting the base of the plant twice a week or setting the pot on a tray of pebbles filled halfway with water.
Water your daisy consistently two to three times weekly. The soil should be moist, but never soaking wet. When the daisy is not actively blooming, usually in the winter months, allow the soil to dry down about 1-inch before watering.
Feed your daisy twice a month with a water-soluble fertilize and water in well after applying. Only feed during the active blooming season.
Remove faded flowers immediately for more abundant blooming. Pinch off any dead or yellowing leaves to keep the plant in optimum shape.
Watch for any pests that may infest your daisy such as aphids and white flies. Manually remove aphids if you see them and use an insecticide specifically to kill white flies. If your daisy becomes infested move away from other plants so the pests do not spread.
About this Author
Residing in Southern Oregon, Amy Madtson has been writing for Demand Studios since 2008 with a focus on health, pregnancy, crafts and gardening. Her work has been published on websites such as eHow and Garden Guides, among others. Madtson has been a childbirth educator and doula since 1993.