A Complete Guide to the Gerbera Flower
Because the gerbera flower is a member of the Asteraceae family, it often referred to as a gerbera “daisy” like all of the other flowers in this family. The gerbera flower is mostly used in arrangements of cut flowers because of its size and the wide variety of colors that are available. It is one of the showiest bouquet flowers available.
The gerbera flower is native to Transvaal, South Africa. Many times the flowers are as wide as seven inches across, though the average size is five to six inches. They come in all types of colors, including yellows and oranges, pinks, reds, scarlet and even more. They are available in very bright colors and also are pastels, such as yellow or white. Gerberas are considered perennials and have very large blossoms, which although they look like one flower, are actually groups of hundreds of different tiny flowers.
TYPES OF GERBERAS
There are four different groups of gerbera flowers. These include:
Single flowers, with a green center disc and petals that do not overlap one another. This is considered the most common of the gerberas.
The double gerbera flower has one double row of overlapping petals and the center can be red, black or green.
The third type of gerbera flower is the crested double. Here you will find two rows of petals which overlap plus one or more inner rows of petals which are shorter. These also have red, black, or green discs at the center.
The final type of gerbera flower is known as a full-crested double. This flower has the overlapping rows of petals but it has a smaller inner row which hides the disk at the center of the flower.
How To Plant Gerberas
If you want to grow gerberas, the best method is to plant seeds. You can buy them from most flower seed companies. Give them a good start in an artificial seed starter mix and do not plant them directly into the ground. You should plant each seed at a depth double its size.
Always keep the planting medium moist and never dry. Covering your planter with a sheet of plastic will help accomplish this. If you are planting many gerberas in flats, they will need to be covered as well and can be transplanted into small pots when they have two leaves.
Unless you live in a very warm part of the world, you will have to grow the gerbera flower inside your home. They need to have a constant temperature of 70 to 75 degrees. In the United States, they can only be grown outside in USDA planting zones 7 and higher. People who live in zones 3 to 6 will need to grow the gerbera flower as a houseplant. The plant also likes to have plenty of sunlight, so a window can be the perfect spot.
Sometimes a gerbera flower plant can grow so large that its final flowers are best cut and placed in a vase just like those at the florist. Simply cut the flowers, leaving plenty of stem for the vase. It is best when the stems are cut at an angle as this allows water a better entry into the stems.
Gerberas are one of the flowers which can benefit from a flower preservative. These can be bought at the florist or you can find homemade recipes online. These flowers also like to have filtered water instead of tap water whenever possible. That’s because the minerals in tap water can cause the flowers to have a short lifespan. Water your cut flowers every two days (with added preservative) and snip of the bottom of the stems at an angle as well.
The gerbera flower can be enjoyed for a long time when proper care is taken of the plant.