Table of contents:
- Gerbera care
- Top dressing gerberas
- Gerbera transplant
- Gerbera propagation
- Problems of growing gerbera
- Gerbera care
- Top dressing gerberas
- Gerbera transplant
- Gerbera propagation
- Why gerberas don't grow at home
- Personal experience of growing gerberas
- Problems of growing gerbera
Family of Compositae. Homeland Africa, about. Madagascar, China, Japan, Australia, South America. There are more than 80 species in nature.
Gerbera Jamesonii is a perennial herb with a shortened, thickened stem and a well-developed root system. The leaves form a basal rosette, oval in shape, pointed at the end, deeply lobed. The leaves are covered with silky hairs. Inflorescences are single baskets, on long peduncles. Flowers from 5 to 15 cm in diameter of a wide variety of colors (yellow, orange, red, cherry).
It is the Gerbera Jameson's hybrids that are on sale (as well as hybrids of the Jamesonii and Viridifolia species). These are thermophilic plants, in central Russia they are not able to winter in the garden, so they can be grown outdoors all summer long, taken home for the winter, or grown as a potted annual plant, and thrown away with the end of flowering.
Growing gerberas at home all year round is problematic for a variety of reasons, in order to understand what is so difficult in this culture, we will understand in more detail the requirements for conditions and compare how gerberas are grown in commercial floriculture.
Temperature: During the growing season from March to September, gerbera prefers moderate temperatures, about 22-25 ° C, with a night drop to 18-20 ° C - these are the conditions in nature, and in this temperature regime gerberas are grown in industrial greenhouses, for example, in The Netherlands. In winter, the house needs a cool content at 14 ° C, with very rare watering. The critical minimum in winter is 10 ° C, although in its natural habitat it is + 6 ° C, you should not risk it before - the roots of a gerbera sitting in a pot may dry out or overcooled. Gerbera does not tolerate heat above 28-30 ° C, it quickly overheats, therefore, on a sunny day in summer, the window (window) should be open for ventilation. Gerbera needs good air ventilation; it is not afraid of a draft if it is not directly under the air conditioner.
|Day temperature||Temperature night|
24-26 ° C
21-24 ° C
19-22 ° C
21-24 ° C
18-20 ° C
16-18 ° C
14-16 ° C
16-18 ° C
Lighting: Gerbera loves direct sun, she needs it for a good set of leaf mass, for the formation of healthy bushes. Shading is necessary only in two cases - in spring, after cloudy days, and in summer, when it is hot. Shading is necessary when the light intensity reaches approximately 60,000 lux. Such lighting near the glass on the south windowsill at noon. At the same time, very good supplementary lighting is needed on the north-facing windows all year round. Minimum illumination 35,000 lux for both summer and winter.
Gerberas bloom in short daylight conditions, i.e. when they receive light 12-13 hours a day. But lighting for 14 hours is necessary at the beginning of leaf growth, in the first two weeks after transplantation, to help the plants gain leaf mass and take root.
With such requirements, a gerbera at home (central Russia) should bloom in early spring and late summer - early autumn. By the way, in Africa, the birthplace of gerberas, the sun rises much faster than ours, and the light intensity is better than on the windowsills. Therefore, if you buy an already blooming gerbera in a pot, take into account not only the amount of light (supplementary lighting is required on north-facing windows), but also the length of the day, for example, from May to August, you can maintain long-term flowering by limiting the length of daylight hours using shading. It would be possible to cover the pot with gerbera with a box that does not allow light to pass through, but it is undesirable - the movement of air, airing is limited, the drying of the soil is delayed. It is more correct to transfer the plant, for example, to the bathroom. Although, one must understand that this is not quite the right decision,it is undesirable to disturb flowering plants. That is why gerberas are so difficult to care for, and often purchased flowering specimens quickly fade at home.
Watering:Moderate during the growing season and flowering. The soil should be slightly damp in the depths of the pot, but probably have time to dry out in the top layer of the soil. Watering needs to be adjusted so that it is even, regular, i.e. alternation of wet and dry soil in this way: moistish within 4 days, almost dry by 5-6. When gerberas are grown in greenhouses, the temperatures there are stable, and there is no need to adjust to changes in the rate of drying of the soil, the plants are watered strictly every 3 or 4 days (depending on which program). At home, there is no stability, humidity and temperature largely depend on the weather outside, so we have to adjust and adjust the amount of water to get into a similar schedule: when it is cooler or rainy weather, water less, when it is dry and hot - more. But anyway,try to pour so much water that the soil in the pot dries out no longer than 4 days. In this regard, it is more difficult to care for gerberas than many other indoor plants, they cannot be overdried, and these are plants that really require attention.
When watering, avoid getting water into the outlet and on the leaves. Rak up the soil in the pot so that the level is lower to the edge of the pot, when watering, direct the water at a distance of about 4-5 cm from the rosette of leaves. In autumn (depending on how damp and cold it is) and in winter, watering is limited. The frequency of watering still depends on the rate of drying of the soil, water after a few days, after the top layer of the earth has dried, avoiding only the complete drying of the root ball. Do not water with cold water, avoid waterlogging.
Air humidity:You cannot spray a gerbera, but it loves humid air of about 65-75%, so the pot should be placed on a pallet with wet pebbles so that water does not flow to the roots, or use a humidifier. Too humid air, when condensation appears on the window panes (humidity above 85%), is undesirable - there is a high probability of multiplication of fungal infections. Moreover, in winter such humidity is more dangerous - there is practically no ventilation. If black fungi appear on your windowsill or walls, this means that there is practically no ventilation, here you need to think not about flowers, but about people (black mold is toxic to humans). In the warm season, for example, during the rainy season, high humidity is not so dangerous if you have a window or micro-ventilation mode on the windows constantly open. However, be careful with watering, rememberthat the soil should dry out almost completely in 3-4 days.
Top dressing gerberas
Manganese deficiency on gerbera leaves - this plant is three years old in a pot, all the time it was fed with the Rainbow fertilizer, which has an alkaline reaction and contains only nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, without any trace elements. The result is severe chlorosis.
Top dressing of gerberas depends not so much on the season, but on the phase of development: at the beginning of the growth of the leaf mass and with the end of flowering, the gerbera is fed with complex fertilizers for deciduous plants, two dressings with an interval of 2 weeks are enough, but if the plants were transplanted into fresh soil, top dressing is needed apply not earlier than a month later, and if by this time it has gained buds, use not nitrogen fertilizer for deciduous, but complex fertilizer for flowering plants, where there is more potassium and phosphorus, for example, Fertika-Lux.
The gerbera does not have a dormant period in the usual sense, which is characteristic, for example, of cacti or succulents in hibernation (during cold wintering), all processes of vegetation and small growth continue at winter temperatures of 14-16 ° C, however, the lighting intensity during this period is much lower, artificial supplementary lighting in such an amount that slowly growing leaves do not show signs of chlorosis. Therefore, fertilizing of gerberas in autumn and winter continues, but the concentration decreases two to three times. Fertilizers with the NPK formula 14-4-14 are ideal for the winter period, during the period of intensive growth 17-5-17, at the time of budding and flowering 15-10-30.
If a salt effusion appears on the surface of the soil in a pot - a white or gray-red bloom, this is an alarm signal. There may be two reasons for this:
- the first - the soil in a pot with a gerbera dries for a very long time, this is fraught with root rot, the development of pathogenic microflora;
- the second is salinization (alkalinization) of the soil due to an excessive dose of fertilizers (too frequent or concentrated fertilizers) or watering with too hard water;
In any case, alkalization of the soil leads to the fact that some of the nutrients are not absorbed, as a result, a deficiency of some elements (iron, manganese, etc.) may appear on the leaves, due to the formation of insoluble hydroxides. This is expressed in yellowing of the leaves, chlorosis (while the veins usually remain green), the absence of flowering. To avoid this, do not overuse fertilizers, do not start feeding heavily, it will be even worse, just change the soil in the pot. For the future - check the acidity of the soil, prevent acidification of the earth, periodically loosen the soil, change the top layer of the earth when salinized.
Every year, gerberas are transplanted into a well-drained soil of a slightly acidic reaction, or close to neutral, acidity in a fairly wide range - from 5.6 to 6.8, optimum pH 6.5. Do not approach strongly acidic and alkaline substrates. The approximate composition of the soil: 1 part of sod land, 1 part of peat land, 1/4 of humus, 1 part of gravel (2-3 mm) or vermiculite and 1 part of sand. Gerbera grows on sandy soils, does not like clay, dense, which are cemented from irrigation into a monolithic mass. Transfer in February - March. The pot is medium in size, not too spacious or cramped, preferably earthenware. The gerbera bark system grows well into the pot. Therefore, drainage of about 2 cm is required (can be made from broken foam). If you want to use soil from a store, it is worth buying soil, focusing on the pH value on the package at least 5,5 and not higher than 6.5 (considering that the soil gradually alkalizes in a natural way). It can be a universal soil or for seedlings, but you need to add well washed zeolite granules (from the Barsik cat litter) to it, about a handful per pot.
To avoid infections:
- when transplanting, the gerbera should not be deeply buried in the ground - the stem and root collar should be above the substrate!
- it is important to plant gerbera in disinfected soil, and adding phytosporin to the water for irrigation will help to avoid the appearance of various diseases.
- after purchasing the plant, during quarantine, water it once with a solution of foundationol (2 g per 1 liter of water).
Yet even these measures are not enough. In industrial greenhouses where gerberas are grown for sale, given the high tendency to infection with fungal infections, the soil before planting gerberas is disinfected with 2% formaldehyde and is constantly kept under control, at the slightest suspicion of infection, fumigation is carried out with serious fungicides of class 2 toxicity, which are not allowed for use in home conditions (so I don't mention the name).
Gave a gerbera what to do
Decide whether you will grow it in the future as a perennial or throw it away after it fades. If thrown away, no need to replant, otherwise flowering may end. If you want to try to grow gerbera further, then you must definitely transplant it, since it was planted in pure peat and grown hydroponically. The transplant must be carried out immediately, without delaying time for acclimatization and despite the fact that it blooms! To get rid of the peat before transplanting, soak the plant in warm water, you can simply rinse the root in a bowl of water. Then disinfect with a solution of any available fungicide. If it is not possible to water or soak the gerbera in a fungicide solution, the simplest thing iswhat you can do is dust the center of the gerbera rosette and the surface of the soil with colloidal sulfur powder (sold in flower shops).
Indoor gerberas can be propagated vegetatively - by dividing the bush and seeds. The difference is that by dividing you get a clone of the mother plant, and the seeds usually grow simple "daisies" - with narrow, ray-shaped petals.
If you have successfully grown a gerbera in winter and have a strong healthy bush by spring, you can divide it. Prerequisites: the gerbera must be about three years old, i.e. a large bush, without signs of diseases or pests, otherwise both the cut and the mother plant will die. Carry out the division during transplantation, carefully separating part of the bush with roots with a sharp knife. All sections must be sprinkled with crushed coal. Take a birch ember, crush it into powder and dust all the roots. Do not water the planted cut, like the mother plant for two days, but during the first week after dividing the pots should be in a cool, slightly shaded place.
Gerbera seeds can always be found on sale in flower shops, but they quickly lose their germination, so see the date of packing. Seeds germinate for about a month.
Optimal conditions for growing gerbera from seed
- sowing in a disinfected substrate, which consists either of clean river sand (washed and sifted from cementing dust), or a mixture of sand and vermiculite in equal parts
- daylight hours 16 hours. If possible, use additional light in low natural light (ideal illumination 40-48,000 lux)
- temperature 23-24 ° С, after the cotyledon leaves open, decrease to 21-22 ° С, with the development of the first pair of true leaves 20-21 ° С
- humidity of air and soil 90-95% from the moment of sowing and another 2-3 days after the emergence of shoots (i.e. a bowl with crops under glass or film), with mandatory ventilation; at the same time, avoid overheating of the soil - temperatures above 25 ° С
- after seed germination, reduce the moisture level to 70 to 75%, ventilate more often, wipe off condensation from film or glass
- the appearance of the first true leaves (after about 8 days of germination) - a critical period for reducing air humidity and regulating soil moisture - you need to lower the humidity to 55 to 60%, dry the topsoil before watering
- good air circulation is the key to the survival of seedlings and the formation of strong healthy gerbera rosettes
- watering with water with a low dose of fertilizers, you can use fertilizers for seedlings, but those with the NPK formula of 17: 5: 17 or equal to nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) and three times less phosphorus (P) are ideal, use the fertilizer concentration 3 times less than the recommended rate on the package, feed every week
One of the biggest mistakes in growing gerbera seedlings is overfeeding with fertilizers! It is especially dangerous to introduce organic matter - this is an absolute guarantee of plant disease.
The second is to allow moisture (condensation) to enter the young leaves.
The third is watering in the evening, when the soil cools, water in the morning.
The fourth is the misconception that gerberas tolerate an alkaline substrate well; pH 5.6-6.5 would be ideal for it.
Why gerberas don't grow at home
This is really a problem and there are several reasons for this, each is important:
- the inability to find a bright place with a cool temperature for wintering - the basement is not suitable, only an insulated balcony
- inability to maintain recommended temperatures, usually at home much warmer than required
- inability to provide systematic ventilation at high air humidity
- difficult to control the length of daylight hours
- it is difficult, sometimes impossible, to fight diseases and pests (drugs that can be effective are unacceptable for use at home)
Personal experience, gerbera in a pot
Dara: June, heat - I water my two gerberki every day, or rather, every evening. If I don't water it in the evening, by noon, when I wake up, the flowers lie on the windowsill. I water it, and in less than half an hour they get up. Once, shortly after the transshipment, when I woke up, I saw - both flowers and leaves - everything was lying flat. She poured abundantly and left the water in the pan, in an hour all the leaves stood up, as if nothing had happened. Apparently, if the earth dries up, after watering it flows down the walls directly into the pallet, from where it immediately pours out by a caring mistress, and the earthen lump itself does not have time to really be saturated with moisture. My personal conclusion is that gerberas need abundant watering, especially during flowering. When I leave even for two days, I leave it in a bowl of water, fortunately, I put the drainage. And now two such beauties live well with me.
Iplants.ru comment: Indeed, when the air temperature is above 25-26 ° C, gerberas require more frequent watering than usual, but it is more correct to water in the morning, by noon they, of course, dry up. And so that the soil instantly absorbs water and is evenly wetted, it is worth adding loosening components, such as zeolite granules or vermiculite, about 4 tbsp. spoons on a pot 15 cm in diameter. If the soil has an acidity of about 6-6.5, you can use pine bark (boiled, without resin) as a baking powder.
barsuchok: It is my experience that gerberas can be grown in a pot at home as a perennial. In winter, of course, they look miserable, in the sense that there is very little foliage, leaves practically do not grow (not to mention flowers). But in the spring, a rapid growth of foliage begins, and then buds. My gerberka is already a year and a half, the second bloom was absolutely no different from the first purchased one.
Iplants.ru comment: If during the spring and summer gerbera grows a good leaf mass, the bush will become strong and strong, it will bloom for a long time, then it will continue to grow. If during the winter the plant decays, in the spring it grows weaker in mass slowly, it does not have enough strength to bloom, it may bloom, but in the end the plant is depleted and dies. Gerbera leaves naturally age and turn yellow and must be removed. But at the same time, there should be an increase in leaf mass.
Experience in growing gerberas in a pot on the forum
Problems of growing gerbera
This gerbera is affected by a fungal infection, black dots are even noticeable on the leaves - spores of phytopathogenic fungi, in addition, signs of nutritional deficiency.
The main problem with gerbera is susceptibility to fungal and bacterial infections - late blight, gray rot, powdery mildew, fusarium, rhizoctonia, which are often provoked by high soil moisture and poor ventilation. In addition, gerberas are susceptible to the tomato mosaic virus, so if the flower died for an unknown reason, get rid of the soil in which it grew, and rinse the pot with a sanitary ware disinfectant. Gerbera and nematodes are affected.
If you show signs of illness, treatment is lengthy and not always successful. Gerbera is the case when phytophthora fungicides can be used to prevent diseases. Of the medicines, copper-containing preparations or basezol can help the plant, and topaz can help against powdery mildew and rust.
By the way, on an industrial scale, when growing gerberas for sale, manufacturers insure themselves - they not only thoroughly sterilize the soil before sowing or planting flowers (for example, 4-6 hours with hot steam), but also add to a complex complex fertilizer for dressing, where magnesium, manganese are required, zinc, molybdenum and boron, microscopic doses of copper sulfate, which is not only a source of the available form of copper, but also a light fungicide.
Despite the fact that the gerbera is photophilous, in the summer, during the hottest midday hours, it is better to remove the pot from the windowsill or shade it with a light cloth (white non-woven fabric, mosquito net), because gerbera flowers in the bright sun lose their brightness and fade.
Gerbera does not tolerate very acidic or alkaline soils, but it tolerates waterlogging of the soil worst of all.
Gerberas sold in stores are usually grown using so-called retardants - chemicals that inhibit plant growth. The retardants cause an increase in the chlorophyll content in the leaves, and they acquire a dark green color. Therefore, often, purchased gerberas at home after a while turn pale, begin to stretch and lose their original appearance. During this period, it is important to comply with all lighting and temperature requirements so that the plant becomes perennial.
Among the pests of indoor gerbera, spider mites, cyclamen mites, whiteflies, thrips can threaten, if the plants are in the garden, then snails and especially miner flies. Against all pests, with the exception of ticks (spiderweb and cyclamen), Aktara is effective with simultaneous spraying and watering of the soil according to the instructions. It is difficult to fight a mite on a gerbera, since it cannot be rinsed in a hot shower, there are preparations of the group of acaricides (apollo, vermitic, actellic, etc.). But in commented greenhouses, ticks are fought, as a rule, with the help of predatory ticks of the genus Phytoseiulus persimilis.
Here is what the specialists of the Dutch company Terra Nigra, which specializes in breeding new varieties and growing roses and gerberas, tell us:
"Cultivation of gerberas in industrial greenhouses (commercial floriculture) is two years. In the second year, the regularity and quality of flowering is significantly reduced. Under certain circumstances, it is possible to cultivate gerberas for several years, but since from an economic point of view it is impractical, the plants are changed to second year."
And now, before grieving that you cannot grow perennial gerberas in a room, think, even professionals, with fully automated provision of greenhouses, a proven program for the prevention of diseases and pests, are not able to get plants in the third year that can charm a simple indoor fan. flowers.
Perhaps you should get used to the idea that the average life span of a gerbera in an apartment is no more than two years, and you should not treat it as an indoor perennial, but as a beautiful decoration of a window sill or balcony for the spring and summer period.