Gerbera - How to care for and grow your gerberas

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 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 a black disc. Then there are 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 temperature of the soil 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 in which the buds begin to form and throughout the flowering. 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 the 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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Video: Simplest Way to GrowPropagate Gebera from Cuttings