Africa is the origin of many colorful plants, such as the gerbera, a species that occupies one of the first places for florists and landscapers. Its care does not imply being an expert and its flowers can offer great appeal.
If you have been surprised by the beauty of gerberas and wondering how to care for African daisies (another name associated with them), you have come to the right place. In a concrete and simple way, we will try to explain how you can add the color of this plant to your garden.
We will start by clarifying that gerberas, although they look a bit like daisies, are not from the same family . In fact, it is a common misconception that someone who sees a white gerbera thinks that it is a large, exuberant daisy. Next, we explain what this plant needs to grow healthy and flourish.
Colored gerberas are widely used commercially as cut flowers because they can remain beautiful for several days. However, its long stem and the large number of shades available make it a species that fills gardens with life. Let’s see the requirements of this plant.
The gerbera jamesonii is a plant that does not tolerate waterlogging well. Because of this, when choosing the mulch or substrate, you must ensure that the composition contributes to providing good drainage. It prefers soils that are light and deep, rich in organic matter. To help the plant even more, if you are going to grow it in pots, you can include a layer of gravel at the bottom. If you’re planting it in the ground, you’ll want to make sure you prepare the soil well, keeping in mind that the water needs to filter properly and not stay on the roots. According to experts, you need a relative humidity between 75 and 90%.
In addition, since, in the case of the gerbera plant, the flower is its main ornamental attraction, great attention must be paid to causing the inflorescence. To achieve this, the soil must be rich in nutrients. The fertilizers that best suit the needs of gerberas are those that combine phosphorus and potassium. If you find a liquid formula, you must dilute it in water and apply it for 15 consecutive days during its growth. In this way, you can have abundant flowers for each plant.
Gerberas are excellent outdoor summer flowers, as they need temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees to bloom. However, you should not worry too much about seasonal changes, as long as the temperature does not drop below 10 degrees.
On the other hand, it is important that indoors they are not placed near radiators or heaters, as they can drastically reduce the humidity they require to survive.
Although they can be grown outdoors, you should take care that your gerberas are not in areas fully exposed to the sun, since it is a plant that prefers lighting from the sides (this encourages flower buds). For this reason, it grows and proliferates very well when it is under mesh or whitewashed roofs.
To maintain humidity in gardens with many gerberas, it may be convenient to install a drip system. In this way, the amount of water they receive can be better controlled. However, it is enough that you are moderate in watering and carry it out regularly .
If it is very hot, the gerberas may require daily watering, but if the humidity is high, watering them twice a week may be enough. Of course, try to use water low in calcium, since this could alter the acidity of the soil, which should be between 5 and 7 on the pH scale, to avoid problems with the assimilation of nutrients.
It is enough to remove dry leaves and buds that have deteriorated to keep the plant in good condition. In the cases of growing gerberas for commercial purposes, it is necessary to resort to more intense pruning when the plant enters its resting phase, so that, when the time comes, it acquires greater vigor.
It is possible to obtain several plants from one specimen. However, you will need to wait for its root system to mature , a process that can take 1-2 years. Basically, it consists of sectioning the rhizome of the original plant, taking care that each portion has both roots and aerial parts. While not all sections can be propagated, it is a good way to get multiple plants that will have the same qualities as the parent plant. To increase success in this division, it is recommended to treat the patches with a fungicide and to be careful with drip irrigation. If everything has been done correctly, in approximately 20 days the rooting of the new plants can be achieved.
Some meanings of gerberas
It is very common for meanings to be attributed to flowers, so we want to share some that have been related to gerberas.
The yellow gerbera is associated with happiness, kindness, success and wealth. Therefore, a garden that contains them can transmit a great positive energy. On the other hand, if you give an orange gerbera, you are wishing for moments of happiness.
For those who are about to marry, it is best to choose white gerberas, although it is worth knowing that they are also widely used for religious celebrations, such as baptisms and first communions, since they symbolize innocence and purity.
On the other hand, it is not strange to think that the red gerbera is given to represent passion and trust. However, its vibrant tone can also be used as a symbol of victory. Now, if what you want is to tell a woman that she is feminine and delicate, it is best to resort to pink gerberas; there are them in different shades and they will be a romantic gift for someone special.
In addition to being beautiful, the gerbera is used in the medicinal field. It contains anti-inflammatory substances and can soothe muscle pain . For this reason, its extracts are added in ointments. In the same way, you can also prepare aromatic drinks with gerbera in the form of infusions.
We hope that, after knowing the care of the gerbera, you will be encouraged to cultivate it, it can be a very rewarding experience. In addition, other good news is that it is easy to buy a gerbera at an affordable price, since it is an inexpensive plant, so you can get more than one to add color to your home.