Gerbera

by M. Arjoca, vegetalshapes.com

Orange gerberaIt is native to South Africa and can be found worldwide. Gerbera belongs to Asteraceae family and its flowers resemble those of daisies, but their color can be orange, red, yellow, purple, pink, white, cream or a combination of different shades. They have one, two or more rows of petals that are arranged like rays around the center of the flower. The green leaves make a rosette from where the stalks of the flowers grow. Each stalk has a single flower.
Gerbera is one of the most popular plants grown for cutting, but it can be grown both in garden and indoor.
It is a plant that loves the light and therefore it is suited to sunny gardens and to south facing windows. Yet it is recommended to keep for a while a new bought plant or a plant that was inside, in partial shade before you transplant it outside, in a sunny spot. This way it can adapt gradually to the strong light. Gerbera doesn’t bloom if it has not enough light.
The blooming season is in spring-summer, but if cared properly it can bloom also in autumn. Gerbera prefers moderate temperature, 16°C-25°C. It doesn’t make flowers if the temperature is too high, but it doesn’t resist to frost either. That’s why it must be brought inside before the first frost.
Gerbera is one of the plants that purify the air, cleaning it from trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde.
Pink gerberaIt has shallow roots and it needs a pot that is not too deep. Gerbera prefers rich soil that has enough sand for good water drainage. Organic fertilizers and compost can be added. The ideal soil pH is slightly acidic to neutral (6-7.5).
Gerbera can be infested with fungi and therefore it can rot. That’s why good water drainage is essential for it. Its pot must have a saucer and the watering is recommended to be done in the saucer, exactly how is done for African violets. If grown in garden, the watering must be done as possible at soil level, not from above.
The leaves must stay above the soil. If they are in the ground, the plant can not bloom. When grown in garden the recommended distance between the plants is about 30 cm.
Gerbera and the rose are good companion plants because they have similar needs and problems. Therefore they can be cultivated in the same bed.
The propagation can be done through seeds and crown division. The propagation through seeds takes longer, but the plant makes suckers that can be removed and potted separately. When you do this, take care that each sucker has some roots and try not to do too much damage to the plant. If it is necessary you can cover the pot of the suckers with a transparent bag or jar, to assure permanent moisture.
White gerberaThe dangers in its case can be:

If cared properly gerbera makes colorful, cheerful flowers that last long.

More information about:
Plants that purify the air
Hibiscus, the China rose