Gerber, or Gerbera, daisies grow as perennial flowers in warm climates, or annuals in areas where winter temperatures drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The large flowers reach up to 7 inches in diameter and come in a variety of forms, including both single- and double-petal types. The gerber blooms are brightly colored in hues that include orange, pink, red and yellow. Whether you grow them as annuals or perennials, proper care ensures they provide their distinctive blooms for most of the summer months.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Spread 2 inches of compost or peat over a well-drained garden bed prior to planting. Incorporate the compost into the top 6 inches of the bed, where it loosens the soil and provides better drainage. Choose a bed that receives full morning sun and some afternoon shade for best blooms.
Plant the daisies in the soil at the same depth they were growing in the nursery pot so that the crown, which is where the stems emerge from the roots, sits slightly above the soil surface. Space plants 12 to 18 inches apart in all directions to prevent overcrowding.
Water the plants once weekly, providing enough water to moisten the top 6 inches of soil. Water at the base of the plant so the foliage isn’t moistened, as this can lead to fungal problems.
Fertilize gerber plants once monthly in spring and summer with a soluble complete fertilizer. Apply at the rate recommended on the fertilizer label.
Prune the plants throughout the growing season. Remove dead and damaged leaves and cut off spent flowers. Leaving dead plant material in the bed can lead to disease problems.
Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch over the beds in fall once the plants begin to die back. The mulch insulates the soil and protects the plants from winter temperature fluctuations.
Dig up the daisies every two years and replant them at the proper depth. The crowns sink into the soil over time, which makes them prone to root or crown rot if they aren’t replanted.
Gerber daisies survive for two weeks or more when cut for indoor flower arrangements.
In areas with cold winters, grow gerbers in pots outside then overwinter them indoors away from the cold.