Plant Gerbera daisies after all danger of frost has passed. The wild Gerbera of South Africa are perennials, but they’re not frost hardy. Cultivated Gerbera hybrids are annuals in most North American and European locations, but they can grow as perennials where frosts are mild and infrequent.
Sow Gerbera seeds indoors on the surface of potting mix in late winter, or directly into outdoor garden soil after the last frost. Set nursery plants out in full sun between the last frost and midsummer.
Do not cover Gerbera seeds with soil, as they need light to germinate. Wild Gerbera are fire-adapted grassland plants, blooming on rocky outcrops in the hottest season to take advantage of burns that periodically clear the land
North or South
For northern, mid-continent regions, the University of Illinios Agricultural Extension Service suggests sowing Gerbera seeds indoors in February to produce blooms by early summer. Texas A&M University lists Gerbera among spring-blooming perennials for south Texas gardens.
In Florida, Gerbera grows wild in Alachua County. Both Florida and California produce florist Gerbera, but most are grown in Columbia and the Netherlands.
Gerbera is usually sold in packets of mixed-color hybrids from the same wild parent plants. These commercial Gerbera can interbreed in your garden, but with unpredictable results. Commercial Gerbera are grown from tissue clones.
New Frost Hardy
Florist De Kwakel BV of the Netherlands recently developed a unique, cream-colored Gerbera hybrid (Garvinia), which is frost tolerant and winter hardy in Europe, and available to commercial growers only.