Gerbera daisies are brilliant flowers related to the sunflower. The large, 4-inch flowers are frequently used in cut floral arrangements and wedding bouquets. Gerbera daisies come in a variety of colours, including yellow, orange, red, purple, pink, salmon and white. Gerbera daisies thrive in a variety of outdoor growing climates. In USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11, the flower is a perennial, but in colder zones, gerberas are an annual. Gardeners should keep this in mind when planting gerberas outdoors. Gerbera seeds should be started indoors, then transplanted outdoors after the seedlings are well-established.
Plant gerbera daisies from a seed in small growing trays filled with potting soil. Make a small hole with a toothpick and place one or two seeds in the hole. Place a small amount of soil over the seeds. Mist the seeds and soil with water. Cover the trays with a clear plastic lid during germination. Keep the germinating seedlings damp.
Place the seedlings in a warm place that receives lots of sun. The seedlings typically germinate in 14 days, but may require up to 30 days. They need at least six weeks before they are ready to transplant outdoors, more if germination was late.
Transplant the gerbera seedlings outdoors in an area with partial to full sun with well-drained soil. In a hot climate, plant gerbera daisies in partial sun instead of full sunlight.
Water the daisies just enough to keep the soil moist. Gerbera daisies need frequent watering but do not grow well in overly wet soil.
Dead-head gerbera daisies with gardening clippers for optimal growth. Removing flowers that have passed their prime encourages new blossoms and improves the plant's overall appearance.
Feed the gerbera daisies any all-purpose liquid plant food suitable for flowers. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for how much food to use. Feed the gerberas every two weeks for best results.
Gerbera daisies flower during the second year, so if you plant them from a seed, you'll have to wait until the next year to see blooms. Nurseries sell gerbera daisies that are ready to bloom.
If seedlings take longer than 30 days to germinate, it's necessary to replant. The seeds are not fertile and will not produce flowers.