Gerbera daisies have large flowers that come in a range of bold colours. Used in cut flower arrangements, as potted plants and as bedding flower, gerberas add colour where ever they are grown or displayed. While it is a perennial in its native tropics, in most areas of the UK it is grown as an annual flower. Planting gerbera daisies from seed is an inexpensive way to add this striking flower to your home landscape.
Fill individual seed pots with one part peat moss and one part perlite. Moisten the potting mix before sowing the seeds.
Sow seeds directly on the soil surface. Seeds are small and fine, so sow as thinly as possible, striving for three to five seeds per pot. Cover seeds in a 3 mm (1/8 inch) layer of vermiculite.
Cover the seed pots with cling film. Place pots in a 23 to 24 degrees C (73F to 75F) room under grow lights for 12 hours a day until the seeds germinate.
Remove the cling film once sprouts appear, approximately five to seven days after sowing. Keep the soil moist at all times, maintaining the same temperature and provide 14 hours of light. Place the seedlings under the lights so the tops of the plants are 10 cm (4 inches) from the grow light and maintain this same distance as the seedling grows.
Fertilise the seedlings when they are 10 days old. Fertilise with a half-strength liquid fertiliser that is rich in nitrogen every two weeks. Increase to full strength fertilisation gradually over the course of three weeks.
Transplant the gerbera daisies to a permanent pot or to the garden bed when they produce at least three sets of leaves. Transplant in the garden only after all danger of spring frost has passed.
Store seeds in a cool room and away from sunlight until ready to plant.
Gerbera seeds quickly lose viability when exposed to room temperature. Sow all the seeds in a package at once to avoid this loss.
Gerbera are prone to fertiliser burn. Water thoroughly after each fertiliser treatment to prevent this.