Native to Transvaal, South Africa, the gerbera daisy is a tender perennial grown as an annual in most parts of the U.S. Although it can tolerate temperatures to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, it cannot survive in areas where the soil freezes. Foliage appears in mounds and reaches heights of 12 inches. Blooms appear on slender stems held 6 inches above the foliage. Although gerbera daisy can be planted from seed, the resulting flowers do not reproduce true to type and their color may vary, according to B. Tjia, R.J. Black, and Sydney Park Brown from the University of Florida Cooperative Extension. Purchasing seedlings from the nursery is the most reliable method for obtaining the color you prefer.
Prepare an area for gerbera daisies in a location that receives morning sun with afternoon shade. Gerbera daisies will grow in full sun, but prefer shelter in the afternoon.
Dig a hole in the prepared garden bed to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Add 2 to 3 cups of well-rotted manure or compost. Work it in well with the existing soil.
Remove the gerbera daisy from the plant pot. Place the plant in the soil, and spread the roots out over the soil. Position the crown of the plant, where the foliage joins the roots, at or slightly above the soil level. Fill in around the roots with soil, and firm down with your hands to secure the plant.
Space individual gerbera daisy plants 12 to 18 inches apart.
Water thoroughly to moisten the soil to the root level. Allow soil to dry slightly before watering again. Typically, deep watering once a week is sufficient, but water needs vary depending on the soil, size of the plant and weather conditions. If soil is dry 1 inch below the surface, your gerbera daisies need water.
Mulch with 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch. Use care not to cover the crown of the gerbera daisy when mulching. Mulch holds in moisture, but the crown cannot tolerate moist conditions. Always allow the crown to dry after watering.
Apply water-soluble fertilizer once a month until fall. Select a formula that contains either iron or maganese, as gerbera daisies are prone to micronutrient deficiencies.