Gerbera daisies have large 4- to 7-inch diameter flowers that come in a variety of bold colors, including pink, yellow and red. The blossoms have either single or multiple flowers and the large central eye is black, green or red. Grow Gerbera from seeds or purchased seedlings. Ensure you get the most flowering by planting the seeds at the right time.
Gerbera daisy seeds germinate within seven to 14 days when provided with optimum temperatures and moisture. The seeds require both light and heat to germinate, so are best started indoors. Plant seeds on the surface of a moistened, well-drained potting mixture, and keep the soil at a temperature between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the pots near a source of bright, indirect light and water as necessary to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
Once the seeds germinate, it takes approximately 14 to 18 weeks before the plants flower. Time your seed starting so the plants are ready to flower at the desired time. If you prefer indoor flowers in mid-April, plant the seeds in early December. If you want summer outdoor Gerbera flowers, plant the seeds in late January or early February.
Most gardener’s grow Gerbera daisies as potted plants because the plants cannot tolerate frost. Pots can be displayed outdoors over the summer then overwintered in the warmth indoors. You can start seeds for pot culture at any time of year. Transplant the seedlings to a permanent pot approximately seven weeks after sowing the seeds when the plants have produced their fourth set of leaves. Transplanting once the seedling is more mature can lead to root damage and the eventual death of the Gerbera plant.
Frost kills Gerbera daisies, but they can be grown in garden beds as summer annuals or planted outside in subtropical zones that don’t experience winter frost. Plant the purchased or indoor-grown seedlings outside two weeks after the last spring frost date in your area. Seedlings are ready for transplanting to the garden once they have four to five sets of leaves.