With their brilliant, happy colours and long vase life as a cut flower, Gerberas make a cheerful addition to any garden!
CHOOSE A VARIETY
Gerbera Daisies are available in a variety of colours and flower forms. The main forms are single, double, crested doubles and full crested doubles (overlapping rows of petals where the inner rows cover the eye entirely). Originating in South Africa, gerbera daisies are a perennial plant that produces bright blooms in many beautiful shades, including white, yellow, orange, salmon and pink.
TIP: If you are purchasing a gerbera as an established plant, choose the healthiest plant possible from a specialty garden centre. Foliage should be green and healthy and free from insects like aphids.
WHERE TO PLANT
The key elements to healthy gerberas is good drainage and a sunny position. Gerberas thrive in a warm climate, preferring a full sun position for good flower production. Drainage should be carefully considered as poor drainage will result in crown rot and fungal problems. Planting in a raised bed or mounds is a good idea if your drainage is poor or you live in an area that gets rain during the colder months of the year. To avoid crown rot, when planting your gerbera, keep the crown of the plant visible above the soil.
TIP: DIG IN SOME COMPOSTED POULTRY MANURE INTO THE SOIL WHEN PLANTING TO ENCOURAGE FLOWERS. SUPER BOOSTER PELLETS ARE IDEAL.
Watering gerberas is a balance of keeping the soil moist or damp but not so soggy that the plants will rot. Every few days will be adequate during Spring and Autumn but in the height of summer, they may need an extra soaking. It is important to let the crown to dry out between waterings.
TIP: TO AVOID CROWN ROT ALLOW THE PLANT TO FULLY DRY OUT BETWEEN WATERINGS AND DON’T OVERWATER.
Gerbera Daisies are the gift that keeps on giving. Each year in Spring, divide your gerberas to keep the plant healthy and allow light and air to reach the crown.
To harvest the blooms reach down to the base of the plant and twist the flower stem until it gently comes out of the base. When you are putting the cut blooms into a vase, remove the bottom section of the stem. As the flower begins to droop in the vase, cut a small section of the stem to revive it.
A good balanced fertiliser like Katek Rose & Flower will help produce healthy colourful blooms and keep the plants in great condition. It is important to feed the plants regularly, but not to over fertilise as this can mean all growth and not so many blooms. Apply Rose & Flower Fertiliser every 6-8 weeks during Spring and through to Autumn and change to a seaweed liquid over Autumn and Winter to prevent disease.
TIP: A fertiliser like Rose & Flower, based on composted poultry manure is full of live beneficial microbes and rich in plant available, slow release nutrients.
Mulching will keep the roots moist and cool, especially during hot weather. With Gerberas it is very important to keep mulch away from the crown. If you live in a wetter climate, it would be best to avoid mulch and mound your plants or grow them in pots.