Gerbera daisies are native to Africa, South America and tropical Asia. With more than 30 species, gerbera daisies are available in many colors including pink, orange, yellow, red and white. Their bright cheerful blossoms make these daisies a favorite for both indoor and outdoor gardening. Though gerbera daisies appear to be delicate, they are hardy flowers that thrive with proper care.
Choosing healthy plants is the first step in caring for gerbera daisies. Select plants that have green foliage and brightly colored flowers. Ideally, in addition to blossoms, unopened buds should also be present. Healthy gerbera daisy plants should be free of bugs and any obvious diseases. Tip the plant out of the pot and check that the root ball is slightly moist and not rootbound.
Gerbera daisies do well in full or partial sun. Sunshine encourages the plants to blossom well. However, in areas such as the deep south, where the sun and heat are strong, too much sun can result in sunburned and wilted leaves and flowers. In extremely hot climates, gerbera daisies do best in partial shade.
Gerbera daisies need well-drained soil. If the soil has a high percentage of clay, dig in compost for the first 6 inches to help the water drain more easily. You also can plant the daisies on a slope so that water naturally runs off. This keeps the roots from being overly saturated with water. Choose pots with drainage holes when planting gerbera daisies in containers.
Feeding and Watering
Gerbera daisies should be fed every two weeks with an all purpose water-soluble fertilizer. Water the plants regularly, just enough to keep the soil moist, while in bloom. Do not let the plant sit in water. Let the soil dry in between waterings when the plant is not in bloom. Water less frequently between November and May.
As blossoms die, clip them off with garden shears. This not only makes for a more attractive plant, it also encourages the development of new blossoms. Old and decaying leaves should be removed from daisies whether planted indoors or out. Report your daisies in April. Place the crown of the plant, the spot where the stem of the plant connects to the roots, above the soil line. Select a pot that provides ample room for the roots to grow.