Gerbera daisies are members of the family Asteraceae, which also includes sunflowers. Sometimes called Transvaal daisies, Gerbera daisies are popular with gardeners due to their large, striking blooms that can reach five inches across. They are native to South Africa. In the warmer climates of the U.S., Gerbera daisies act as perennials when planted outside. Cooler regions should treat them as annuals. Caring for Gerbera daisies is a relatively easy task and healthy plants will give you a wealth of beautiful blooms all season long.
Situate your Gerbera daisy plants in the garden in an area that receives full sunlight for most of the day. Place container-grown plants in an area that receives high light such as a bright window or doorway. Situating the plants in high light areas will guarantee more blooms.
Amend sandy soils with an organic mix that contains peat. Work the peat into to existing soil to a depth of 6-10 inches. Make sure the planting site drains very well, as Gerber daisies will die in waterlogged areas. Grow container plants in a lightweight, well draining potting medium that contains peat.
Plant Gerbera daisies outside in springtime when all chances of winter frosts and freezes have left your area. They will not survive freezing temperatures.
Mist Gerbera daisy plants grown indoors once to twice a week with water to increase humidity. Water the planting site regularly to keep the soil moist during the blooming season. Cut back the watering to once to twice a week after the blooming season has ended. Do not over-water as this can cause crown rot and cause the daisy to die.
Fertilize outdoor-grown and container plants once per week with a 20-20-20 water-soluble fertilizer during the blooming season. Cut back to once every couple of weeks, once the blooming is finished.
Situate indoor plants in a warmer and sunnier area of the house, if they do not bloom and the plants are not juveniles. Do not grow plants in areas where the temperatures can drop below 45 degrees.
Prune off any brown or dead leaves and check the soil for being too dry or wet, which is usually the cause. Cut the blooms and use them as cut flowers.
Select an insecticide designed for use on Gerber daisies if your plants become affected with whiteflies or aphids. Use the product at the recommended schedule and rate.