Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii), also known as Transvaal or African daisy, produces large, daisy-like blossoms on long, leafless stems in a variety of colors from spring to fall. Native to South Africa, Asia, Indonesia and Madagascar, gerbera daisy prefers warm temperatures. The plant performs as an annual in cooler areas of North America, surviving as a perennial only in USDA Hardiness Zone 11. Once established in the garden, gerbera daisy requires only minimal care throughout the growing season. Many newer varieties make ideal bedding plants because of their more compact growing habit.
Choose a planting location for gerbera daisy that receives full sun to light shade and consists of well-drained, moist, rich soil. Plant during early spring, after the final frost of the season. Add a 1- to 2-inch layer of organic compost to poor soils and incorporate with a garden tiller to a depth of 4 to 6 inches before planting.
Dig a hole in the soil the same depth and width as the plant's growing container. Remove any excess potting soil from the root system and insert the plant into the hole so the crown is just above soil level. Cover with soil and water lightly.
Water gerbera daisy once every five to seven days, or whenever the top inch of soil feels slightly dry. Keep excess moisture off of the plant's crown to avoid rot. Soak the soil to a depth of about 4 inches at each application to provide adequate moisture.
Feed the plant during early spring, just after planting, using a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer. Follow the manufacturer's directions for proper application and dosage. Moisten the soil lightly prior to feeding to avoid root injury.
Remove dead and faded gerbera daisy flowers as quickly as possible to conserve nutrients and encourage the formation of additional blooms. Pinch off the old blossoms at the base of their stalks to minimize damage to the plant.