Gerbera is a cute indoor plant native to Africa that is found very appealing thanks to its cute flowers.
Gerbera main facts
Height – 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm)
Exposure – well-lit
Foliage: evergreen – Flowering: all year round
Very often used in bouquets, it holds very well as days wear on and this makes it a favorite of florists.
Planting and re-potting gerbera
Gerbera is a plant that can grow outdoors only in places where it doesn’t freeze. In temperate climates, it can grow and bloom in summer, but don’t expect it to survive over winter.
That’s why it is most often grown as an indoor plant.
Gerbera in a pot:
Gerbera requires good soil mix to bloom again and again.
After that, every 2 years and preferably in spring, repot your gerbera in a pot one size larger (an inch or 3 cm wider across).
During the re-potting:
- Gerbera roots hate having too much water.
Double-check that the new pot has a hole in the bottom.
Increase drainage with a layer of gravel or clay pebbles along the bottom of the pot, to make water flow through more easily.
- Good soil mix is needed.
The plant, when it lives indoors, needs soil mix because that is the only source for the nutrients it feeds on.
- Low but constant moisture levels must be maintained, without wetting the leaves.
Propagation is possible in spring through crown division or by sowing seeds in a tray towards February-March.
Where to place your gerbera in the house
Gerbera requires temperatures that hover between 64°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C) and never drop below 57°F (13°C).
- Minimum temperatures are around 40°F (5°C) for a short time only.
- The temperature of a house or apartment is thus ideal for growing gerbera.
- Gerbera can’t stand the sun’s rays when they touch its leaves directly.
So the plant rejoices in adequate light but not direct sun.
- Absolutely avoid setting it near heat sources such as radiators, because moisture is what this tropical plant needs most.
- It is possible to place your gerbera outdoors in summer in part sun.
- In the Mediterranean area, gerbera can live outdoors all year round if proper shelter is provided.
You can put your gerbera very close to gloxinia because they both share the same growing conditions.
Watering and fertilizing
Regular but moderate watering is called for. Gerbera requires small amounts of water but requires it very often.
In spring and summer
Keep the soil mix a bit moist and check that water drains properly.
Provide liquid leaf plant fertilizer more or less once a month to extend the blooming to the maximum.
- Water from above, ideally with water that is already at room temperature.
- Never wet the leaves and flowers of your gerbera.
To retain a certain moisture level, it is best to put the pot on a bed of clay pebbles with water at the bottom.
In fall and winter
Reduce watering and wait for the soil to be thoroughly dry deep down before watering again.
- Stop adding fertilizer.
Common diseases that infect gerbera
- If the color of the leaves turns pale, it is probably due to a lack of fertilizer.
- Leaves that grow smaller and smaller in size show that you need to consider repotting your gerbera.
Learn more about Gerbera
Gerbera is vulnerable to aphids. To avoid this, spray it often with a pyrethrum-based insect killer.
The ideal lifespan of a gerbera never extends longer than 3 years at most. You’ll have to replace it after this time span.
Cultivars that are most often used are Gerbera amesonii and Gerbera viridifolia. Smaller Germini are increasingly used by florists. Newer lines of outdoor hardy gerbera have also appeared, they’re usually called garvinea.
Gerbera in a bouquet
To preserve your gerbera as long as can be in a bouquet, it’s important to use clean water in a vase that has been thoroughly cleansed.
- Replace the water in the vase regularly: daily, or at least every other day.
Smart tip about gerbera
Gerbera is also very beautiful as a floating flower to decorate a reception table in a wide bowl of water.