Also known as Transvaal daisies, gerbera daisy plants produce colorful, long-lasting flowers, popular for their use in floral arrangements. Beloved as bedding plants in the United States, gerbera daisy blooms appear in summer in shades of white, yellow, orange, pink and red. Hardy to around 30 degrees F, gerbera daisy plants perform as perennials in warm climates. In areas where winter freezing typically occurs, the plants will likely not survive for more than one growing season. Requiring only minimal care to thrive, gerbera daisies add a brilliant splash of color to the home landscape.
Choose a planting site for gerbera daisies that receives full morning sun and partial afternoon shade, and consists of well-drained soil. Improve drainage by spreading a 3-inch layer of compost over the planting site and using a garden tiller to work it into the soil. Plant during spring and space the plants 12 to 18 inches apart.
Spread a 1- to 2-inch layer of organic mulch over the soil surrounding the gerbera daisies to improve moisture retention and deter the growth of weeds that compete with the flowers for nutrients. Keep the mulch at least 3 inches from the plant's crown to minimize disease vulnerability.
Water gerbera daisies once every five days while actively blooming, to keep the soil consistently moist. Decrease watering frequency to once every 10 days when plants are not in bloom, but cease watering altogether during the winter dormancy period. Apply at least 2 inches of water at each application.
Feed the plants once per month using a complete 20-20-20 NPK fertilizer to provide proper nutrition for the development of flowers. Use a bloom-boosting fertilizer to further increase flowering, if desired. Apply according to the manufacturer's directions for the best results.
Dig up gerbera daisies once every two years to prevent the crown from sinking too far into the soil and rotting, being careful not to damage the root system. Replant the flowers so that the crown is slightly exposed above the soil.