Gerbera

Comon name: Transvaal Daisy

Gerbera jamesonii is a tender perennial native to South Africa that is generally grown as a half hardy annual in the UK, even then they will require to be grown in a south facing sheltered part of the garden, or a cool greenhouse.

The plant grows to about 500mm (18"0 high and spreads to around 600mm (24")

The leaves grow in a rosette close to the soil and are about 300mm (12")long.

The large daisy-like flowers that come in a variety of pastel colours, appear from late May until late August, and make good subjects for adding colour to floral arrangements.

If greenhouse space is available grow a few in pots as they make excellent pot plants

Greenhouse specimens require a minimum winter temperature of 8°C (45°F).

Propagation:

Gerberas can be propagated by seeds, basal cuttings, or division.

Seed: should be fresh for best results.

Week 10: Sow seed in pots or trays of seed compost and germinate at a temperature of 18°-20°C (65°-68°F).

Germination should take a week to ten days.

Week 12: Pot on seedlings if large enough to handle.

Pot on plants as necessary till they are in their final 200-250mm (8"-10") pots.

Plants will flower the following year.

Circa Week 15: Carefully divide established plants and repot into suitable sized pots.

Circa Week 20: Take basal cuttings from the parent plant, once rooted, treat them similar to seed sown seedlings.

Aftercare:

Circa Week 15: Repot established plants into Ji2 potting compost (or similar)

When repotting ensure that the crown of the plant is above the level of the compost.

Rot will occur if the crowns are buried or the drainage is poor.

Gerberas flower better if allowed to become slightly pot bound.

After repotting keep them in a shaded location until they're established.

Week 22: In milder areas, plant out in a sheltered spot in full sun when all fear of frost has passed.

Avoid shaded situations as this will result in poor flowering.

Keep plants slightly moist at all times, especially when in bloom, but do not let the pot sit in water.

In summer feed fortnightly with a half strength general liquid fertilizer.

Dead head regularly to encourage further flowering.

Pests and Diseases:

Generally they are trouble free but occasionally be attacked by aphids,and red spider mites.

Treat these situations with an insecticidal soap spray.

Over-watering can cause fungus, stem and root rots.

If planting outdoors look out for slugs and snails and treat accordingly.

Wintercare:

Plants should be stored where a temperature of 10°C(50°F) can be maintained.

From November to May, water only when the soil becomes fairly dry.





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