Gerbera daisies are a genus of flowering perennials in the sunflower family. There are about 30 different species native to tropical regions in South America, Africa and Asia. Gerbera daisies bloom during the summer months, forming large, ornamental flowers, which are actually made up of hundreds of smaller flowers. They can be red, orange, yellow, gold, pink or white in coloration. Gerbera daisy plants grow to about 18 inches in height and can live for three to four years. They are easy to grow and require only basic maintenance to thrive in most temperate climates.
Plant gerbera daisy plants during late spring after the danger of frost has passed. Choose a location that receives full sunlight throughout the entire day. Incorporate 1 to 2 inches of organic compost into the soil prior to planting to increase fertility and drainage.
Water gerbera daisies every seven to 10 days between rains. Do not water plants more frequently or during weeks which receive rainfall, as they are prone to root rot. Reduce watering to once every two weeks during winter.
Feed gerbera daisy plants using a balanced slow-release fertilizer once every two months. Spread the fertilizer over the surface of the soil, and then use a spade to lightly cultivate the surface. This will integrate the fertilizer into the soil, as the fertilizer beads must be surrounded with soil to release the most nutrients.
Remove gerbera daisy flowers when they begin to die or fade. The flowers are so large that they sap the nutrients from other portions of the plant, and will cause a decline in health. The flowers can also be cut for flower arrangements before they begin to die, and the plant will attempt to form more flowers.
Spread snail bait around gerbera daisy plants if slugs are present. Check the flowers daily for pests and remove them by hand if possible. Gerbera daises are extremely susceptible to slugs, which can completely destroy their foliage in only a few days.