How to Propagate Gerbera Daisies
Gerbera daisies are perennials grown as annuals in temperate areas. In USDA zone 8 and warmer, Gerbera daisies can be grown as perennials, with winter protection for their roots. Propagate these charming daisy-like flowers by starting them indoors from seed like other warm weather loving annual flowers. If you live in warmer, frost free areas, propagate them by dividing the roots in early spring. Either way, your newly propagated Gerbera daisies will be blooming by mid to late summer.
Propagate from Seed
Start gerbera daisies from seed in very early spring, about 8 weeks before your average last spring frost. Fill 2-inch individual pots with peat moss or a commercial soil-less seed starting mixture. Level the top of the mixture. Sprinkle seeds on the surface of the pots. Lightly press into the soil with your hand. Do not cover the seed.
Set pots into a larger shallow container. Add water to the container until it comes about half way up the sides of the 2-inch pots. Allow the pots to sit in the water until the surface of the soil looks moist. Remove pots from the larger shallow container and let them drain completely. Mist the surface of the soil daily until the seeds germinate.
Place pots in a warm area until the seeds germinate, which should take about 10 to 14 days. Put the pots on top of the refrigerator or near a radiator to keep them warm. Another option is to set them on a heated seed starting mat set at 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Move the pots under artificial lights when the seedlings emerge. Place the plants so that the lights are about 3 to 4 inches above the tops of them. Raise the level of the lights as the plants grow.
Transplant seedlings when they reach about 2 inches in height. Cut the clump of seedlings in each pot into four smaller clumps and re-pot each clump into its own 2-inch pot. Continuing growing them under lights until frost free weather, then plant the clumps outdoors 8 to 10 inches apart in well-drained, sandy soil in full sun to part shade.
Propagate by Root Division
Propagate Gerbera daisies by root division in early spring. Dig up plants by driving a shovel into the ground all around their base. Lift the root ball and shake off excess soil. Divide the mass of plants and offshoots by pulling a portion of root with its attached stem off of the mother plant. Each division that includes a root and a stem will grow into a new plant when planted in the garden.
Dig a small hole with your garden trowel and slip the roots of the newly divided Gerbera daisy into the hole. Firm the surface of the soil with your hands so the little plant stands up on its own. Transplant divisions of Gerbera daisies 8 to 10 inches apart in full sun to partial shade in well-drained, sandy soil.
Water each transplanted division individually with a hand watering can. Check them daily and water as needed to keep the soil moist, but not saturated, until they begin active growth. After that, water only as needed so the plants receive the equivalent of 1 inch of rainfall per week.
Mulch the bed of newly planted root divisions with 2 to 4 inches of hay or shredded bark to conserve moisture and discourage the growth of weeds. Position the mulch so that it is not covering the small transplant, just the soil around it.