Gerbera - How to care for and grow your gerberas


HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS

GERBERA

The genus includes herbaceous plants highly appreciated for their very colorful and durable flowers which are also widely used as cut flowers.

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BOTANICAL CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom

:

Plantae

Clado

: Angiosperms

Clado

: Eudicotyledons

Clado

: Asteris

Order

:

Asterales

Family

:

Asteraceae (Compositae)

Subfamily

:

Cichorioideae

Tribe

:

Mutisieae

Kind

:

Gerbera

Species

: see the paragraph on "Main species"

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS

The kind Gerbera belongs to family of Asteraceae and includes numerous species native to South Africa, in particular the Trasnvaal and Natal plateaus, growing at an altitude of 1100 m s.l.m. His hometown it is characterized by average annual rainfall of 650 mm (roughly the same as in Italy) and by temperatures that are around 16-20 ° C. It lives in shady areas, sheltered by trees so it is never found in direct sunlight.

The genus includes herbaceous plants highly appreciated for their colorful and long-lasting flowers, also widely used as cut flowers.

The plant is characterized by a rhizome from which the roots develop, even reaching a depth of one meter. From the same rhizome the leaves develop which when young are rounded and with maturity become large, lanceolate and deeply lobed and to the touch they are silky (similar to those of the dandelion).

THE flowers they are carried by long stems that end with a peeping inflorescence that bears the actual flowers thus arranged: female petal-shaped flowers (ligulate flowers) outermost and variously colored, hermaphrodite flowers with female functionality and hermaphrodite flowers with male functionality that form the disc, the central part of the flower head.The color of the flower is given by the ligulate flowers which can be white, red, yellow, pink, purple with various shades depending on the species and variety. It usually has a light color, on yellow, but there are varieties with black disc. There are also gerberas with single flowers or gerberas with double flowers.

The seed it is an achene with longitudinal streaks ending in a pappus.

MAIN SPECIES

There are about a hundred species of which the most widespread and commercialized is:

GERBERA JAMENSONII

There Gerbera jamesonii is also known as Transvaal daisy because it comes from the Transvaal region of South Africa. It has lobed leaves, with a thick down on the underside and arranged in a rosette.

From the month of May and throughout the summer, long flower stalks appear at the top of which the flowers, simple or double, are formed, whose petals are very colorful. In fact, we can find white, red, yellow, orange and pink varieties.


Gerbera jamesonii with double flowers


Gerbera jamesonii with simple flowers

CULTURAL TECHNIQUE

Gerberas should be placed in very bright places, but not in direct sun and very well ventilated. In its country of origin it is in fact a plant that grows with the soft light between the rocks and the trees. Never in the open field.

The optimal night temperatures are around 15 ° C while the daytime one is 20-25 ° C. They tolerate high summer temperatures very well as long as the soil has the right degree of humidity. During the winter it is important that temperatures do not drop below 5 ° C.

The temperature of the soil is very important, the optimum value of which is about 16-20 ° C. In fact, a good soil temperature stimulates the formation of a good root system with the formation of numerous root hairs and in turn the roots stimulate the production of leaves and therefore flowers (the plant must have emitted at least 10-15 leaves for it to flower If the soil temperature is low, the flower head remains small, the stem short and therefore the flowering modest. In fact, with a soil temperature of 8-10 ° C the plant stops growing. It does not die but remains in a vegetative state and in this state it can also withstand soil temperatures of 0 ° C.

They don't like cold drafts.

It is not particularly demanding and adapts quite well to the different pedo-climatic situations, in fact it can be grown outdoors where the temperatures are not too rigid during the winter period.

WATERING

It is watered regularly so that the soil always remains moist, not soaked, on a regular basis from May until October. Constant watering is essential especially when the plant is in bloom.

Beware of water stagnations which are not tolerated in any way.

TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT

They prefer soils rich in organic substance, light, which favor the rapid draining of excess water and must be done in spring.

Be careful when repotting not to bury the collar of the plant to avoid the onset of fungal diseases.

FERTILIZATION

To fertilize, use a liquid fertilizer suitably diluted in the irrigation water every 15 days from the moment the buds begin to form and throughout the flowering period. Use a fertilizer that has a higher titer in potassium and phosphorus as they favor flowering. Therefore, when you buy a fertilizer, make sure that in addition to having nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and that among these potassium and phosphorus are in greater quantities, it also has microelements, i.e. those compounds that the plant needs in minimal quantities (but still needs) such as magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), polybdenum (Mo), all important for correct and balanced growth of the plant.

Pay close attention to the amount of nitrogen that is added as if it is high, it will favor a greater development of the leaves at the expense of the flowers. In practice, if you want to have a greater number of flowers, it is good to use half doses of nitrogen with respect to phosphorus and potassium.

FLOWERING

In most species the bloomura occurs with the beginning of spring until late autumn.

PRUNING

It is a plant that normally cannot be pruned, simply remove the leaves and the flowers that gradually dry up, eliminating them at the base of the petiole because the stalks left on the plant are a source of fungal attacks (Botrytis spp.). Furthermore, eliminating old leaves ensures better air circulation and the passage of light.

Always use clean and disinfected tools (with flame or bleach or with alcohol) to avoid infecting the tissues.

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How to grow gerberas in pots and in the garden

How to grow gerberas in pots and gardens, how and when to plant, suitable soil, exposure, watering, display and reproduction.

Gerberas are plants that are widely used in gardens and on balconies, the flowers look like gods daisies double giants in many colors.

They are plants that include more than a hundred different species, they are native to Africa and Asia, the flowers are very showy.


The premise to be made concerns the choice of the type of cultivation that can take place in pots or in the flowerbed of a garden embankment. Furthermore, the climate in which you decide to grow your gerbera must not be harsh, so if you live in a particularly cold area with temperatures that fall below 5 degrees during the winter, it would be good to choose a pot so that you can need to transport to an area with a less hostile climate, and more sheltered from wind and rain. Conversely, you can opt for planting in the garden soil, but taking precautions to prevent winter frosts from compromising the flowering of your gerbera.

In any case, it is essential that the gerbera is always exposed to light, and in order to take as much of it as possible, it is therefore necessary to evaluate the exposure of the terrace or balcony, and possibly orient the vases according to the season and brightness. When deciding whether to plant the gerbera in the ground or in a pot, it is necessary to remember that given its potential for growth if inserted into the ground, this flower can reach even 60-70 cm in height, while its dimensions will remain more contained in the case of which the choice falls on the vase. In this case, the soil should preferably be mixed with river sand or chopped peat in order to create an optimal draining effect, in order to prevent stagnant water from irreparably rotting the root system of the gerbera. The appropriate month for sowing, whether in the ground or in pots, is March, when the spring sun begins to heat up and the shoots to bloom, and therefore the ideal conditions are created to guarantee an explosive flowering starting from May.


Cultivation of the gerbera plant

Gerberas, perhaps best known as a cut flower, given as a gift and kept in a vase soaked in water, can also be grown without too much effort.
If you want to grow a gerberas plant you need to pay attention to the position, theexposure to the sun. Even if cultivated in the best way, it is not to be frightened if the gerberas stop making flowers in winter: this is normal, but if in good health they will start to amaze us again with the flowering from spring on.


The most widespread quality of gerbera is the Jamensonii gerbera said Transvaal daisy, region of Africa from which the plant comes. It is recognized by a characteristic that most likely will have struck you to the touch, namely the thin fluff and bushy on the foliage. Its flowers can be simple but also double flowers: in the latter case the appearance of the flower that stands on a long stem robust and fleshy is even more beautiful, given the double concentric circle of petals.

Jamensonii's colors range from white to pink, passing through warmer shades of yellow and bright orange. The plant must find a place in a well ventilated point and not directly exposed to sunlight and heat and then covered in winter. Choose gerberas for your own green space it means being able to enjoy one during the summer flamboyant flowering.

Too hot could damage the beauty of the plant's leaves.
And from to avoid also the stagnation of water in pots, as for example for orchids, which must remain rather dry. the advisable soil to use is the draining one that will avoid areas where the water is stagnant.


Attention also to the frequency of watering: these must not be many and not too close together, to ensure that the soil absorbs the liquid well between one time and another.
The gerbera is a very versatile flower because it is used as a cut, but it can also be grown both in the ground and in pots. It's a outdoor plant, suitable for embellishing, decorating and coloring terraces, balconies and gardens, as long as the exposure is not too direct.

Many choose to grow gerbera, a name that would seem like a tribute to Traugott Gerber, friend of the physician and botanist Linnaeus who dedicated himself to plants and also gave them a name, why does not require care particularly challenging, being a rather easy, robust and long-lasting plant. Think that its roots can even reach one meter in length.


How to grow gerberas

The gerbera is a flower similar to the daisy, only with slightly longer petals, native to Africa. Its flowers can be of different colors and for this reason it is often used in bridal bouquets and bouquets. However, it is also often used as a decoration for both gardens and interiors. Gerberas do not require special care and with a few precautions it will be possible to fill your home or garden with color. Let's see how to do it together.

The soil for our gerberas will need to be fertilized, so I advise you to prepare it well before planting your seedlings. First of all, dig a large hole, moving the soil to make it soft. Then add a little sand to make it draining, so as not to rot the roots due to stagnant water. Remove the larger stones and add a fertilizer, preferably natural. To find out which fertilizer is the best, you can contact a specialized shop. Remember that gerberas prefer acidic soil, so I recommend that you measure the pH of your soil with a special pH meter readily available both online and in garden stores. If the soil is too alkaline, you can make it acidic by adding coffee grounds. Alternatively, there are supplements on the market to change the pH of the soil.

WATERING AND CLIMATE

After preparing the soil as indicated above, proceed to plant your gerberas. If you decide to keep them in pots, I recommend that you repot them once you get home and change the land you find when you buy them. Remove the earthen bread from the pot and shake it gently, freeing the roots from the soil, taking care not to break them, and then put them in their new pot.

As for watering, it is better not to overdo it. It is necessary to water the gerberas only when the soil is completely dry, both in pots and in the garden, and in the case of gerberas in pots, it is advisable to empty the saucer often to prevent the roots from rotting.

Gerberas love places with a lot of light, but, as often happens with other plants, they don't like direct sunlight. So try to keep them away from direct sun by placing them in half-shade positions if they are in the garden or by moving them during the hottest hours if you keep them in pots.

Technically, gerberas are perennial plants, although many people decide to let them dry out after flowering and then buy some already in bloom. Although this decision is up to you, I recommend that you keep your gerbera plant and take care of it all year round. Of course, like all plants, however, it has some weaknesses. In addition to the sun mentioned above, some problems could also be given by aphids, which affect the plant especially in spring, while resisting other diseases quite well. If your plant is attacked by aphids, just treat it with some special and natural product, which can be purchased in gardening stores.

Thanks to these tips, you too can grow your gerberas easily and effortlessly, for healthy and healthy plants.


How to keep them for a long time

If you grow them outdoors, feed the plants with balanced fertilizer every two weeks until mid-August. If you want them to survive from one year to the next, and you live in an area where the winter temperature approaches zero, at the end of autumn you should protect the withered plants from the cold.

If they are in pots, move them to a bright but cool room (a landing with a window is fine). Or use the same technique used in the garden, namely covering with a layer of straw mixed with soil of leaves.


How to use gerberas to decorate

Gerberas are one of the most decorative flowers thanks to their size and varied and particularly vivid colors, and already by themselves they embellish gardens and balconies in an incredible way.

As for the cut gerberas in the gallery below you will find many ideas to use to decorate at home.

Issel Tessari

In the bronze vase Yucatan, cacharelle, solero. The gerberas gathered in this vase that seems painted on the wall have exotic names. Making it is simple: make a bouquet with many different shades, cut the stems to size and place them in a tall and narrow container, so that the flowers are united and form a palette.

Issel Tessari

In gift boxes Closed are an unexpected gift. Open, the gerbera boxes are a decoration to put on a shelf. The secret is to put the gerberas in a florist's sponge cut to the size of the box. So they will last a long time!

Issel Tessari

In the bowls of the aperitif Sandwiches, canapés, pieces of parmesan e. a gerbera that floats on the water as if it were a water lily. It is a cheerful way to decorate the table set for an aperitif or for a party with friends.

Buying guide / 2 Young plants are sold from April to July. To be sure of the color, choose them with at least one open corolla, the following ones will be identical. The price varies from 3 to 5 euros per plant, depending on the size of the pot and the degree of development of the vegetation.

Issel Tessari

In recycled jars Once they were plastic bottles. Now, with a little imagination, they have become flower pots. Just cut the bottom of the bottle, pierce it, insert the bottle upside down and screw the cap back on. The height can be adjusted as desired.

Issel Tessari

In the juice bottle Here is a perfect idea to embellish the fridge with a gerbera: take a glass bottle, decorate it with colored beads and tie it to a suction cup, which you will then attach to the refrigerator door.

Issel Tessari

Explosion It is velvety brick red, widespread both on the external and central flowers. The button, pale yellow, gives depth to the corolla. It is a variety that enlivens the bouquet of mixed flowers where light tones prevail.

Issel Tessari

Solero A more than appropriate name and easy to remember for this gerbera that brings the brightness of golden yellow, the brightest color after white. A perfect flower both alone and in mixed bouquets.

Issel Tessari

Catalina It has an intense pinkish orange hue that recalls the velvety apricot pulp. The small flowers of the button, pale yellow, also bloom creating a soft crown in the center of the flower.

Issel Tessari

Paradox The pale pink, romantic, gradually becomes more intense in the small flowers in the center of the corolla. The dark button creates a strong contrast with the light pink. It is ideal for making bridal bouquets.

Issel Tessari

Cacharelle The shocking pink color and gracefully ruffled appearance are the hallmarks of this strain recently created by botanists and already in high demand. It looks good both alone and in combination with other colors.

Issel Tessari

Yucatan It is a variety of pink gerbera with a dense coral color: in the center it has a beaver-colored button, edged with orange. It goes well with other flowers of the same shade in a light vase.

Toni Boselli

Growing them is easy: which land

If you want to grow gerberas in pots, use universal soil, which is easily found in garden centers. Pour a handful of expanded clay into balls on the bottom of the container to avoid stagnation of water, which is dangerous for the roots. Place the plant in the center and then fill the empty space with soil. If the pot measures approximately 25cm in diameter, use no more than three plants. In the garden, dig holes slightly larger than the pots in which the gerberas are and insert the clod of earth without damaging the roots. At the end of the work, press at the base and keep the leaves a little raised from the ground level. Leave about 20 cm between one plant and another.

Toni Boselli

Growing them is easy: how much water

To help root take root, wet the soil immediately after repotting or transplanting. During the summer, especially in the hottest weeks, avoid the "dry hit". Precisely for this reason, regulate the frequency of watering according to the temperature: from three times a week to once a day. From the end of August, gradually reduce the water and remember to give it a drop, at least once a week, even when the gerberas are no longer blooming. Thus they will remain vital, ready to flourish the following year.

Toni Boselli

Growing them is easy: light and shadow

They love the sun and, if they have enough light and heat, gerberas bloom continuously throughout the summer. Therefore, always choose the best exposed corner of the balcony or your garden (watering correctly).


Video: Gerbera plant grow and care tips


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