In the Aster family, there is another representative of stunning beauty – this is the gerbera, which has about 70 species.
Bright flowers of all kinds of shades came to us from the tropics and subtropics of Africa. The appearance of the name is still controversial. According to some sources, the word comes from Latin «herba», what does grass mean. According to other information, the word was derived from the surname of the German botanist Traugott Gerber.
Features of the flower and its external signs
The flower belongs to perennial herbaceous plants. The succulent leaves are elongated and bright green. They reach a length of 35 cm and are collected at the root in a rosette..
The peduncle is completely devoid of leaves and grows up to 80 cm. The diameter of the flowers is within 15 cm. There are varieties with double petals and simple ones. At the same time, a simple gerbera can be compared with a chamomile, and a terry one with an aster. Achene ripens as a fruit on gerberas.
Unfortunately, year-round cultivation of gerbera in the open field in the Russian climate is impossible. The flower is very fond of warmth and grows only in summer. The solution is to grow gerbera daisies on the lawn as an annual plant or use pots to create the necessary mobility..
In addition, the flower can be grown in greenhouses and cut as needed for home decoration..
Since most varieties look like chamomile, the plant received a second name. «transvaal chamomile» or «transvaal daisy». Gerberas exist in a huge variety of colors and shades. The exception will be blue, which cannot be obtained naturally..
Variety of species and varieties of gerbera
At the moment, there are about 1000 plant subspecies. They differ in size, color and shape. Lingulate corollas in marginal flowers can be:
Various combinations of these flowers on one plant are also possible..
There are varieties with a black core. They look especially mysterious and original in the composition of bouquets and on flower beds..
Most of the varieties grown today are hybrid varieties. In the classification of indoor subspecies, the dwarf variety of Gerbera Jamson can most often be found. It is this variety that is cut for sale in stores..
The flower of this variety reaches 10 cm in diameter and pleases buyers with a large number of shades. The core usually has a different color from the petals..
The most suitable variety for cultivation is Festival. A specific feature of the variety is its large flowers on short stems. This is a great plant for growing on a windowsill..
Among the most common varieties are:
The varieties Alkor and Aldebaran reach a height of 50 cm.The plant is distinguished by small flowers up to 8 cm in diameter.
Mars reaches a diameter of 11 cm.The peduncle grows up to 70 cm.The rest of the above varieties are also decorated with large flowers on high peduncles.
Effective Gerbera Care
Adequate care will ensure a vibrant, long-lasting bloom. The main points in the list of required procedures will be:
- bright place;
- moderate watering;
- nutrient soil.
As for the place, it should be sufficiently lit, but at the same time, the gerbera should be protected from the scorching direct sunlight. It is good to use windowsills on the south side, where you can organize shading during the hours when the sun is most active. At the same time, additional illumination is welcomed in the cold season..
Indoor varieties must be regularly taken out into the air. This can be done only in the summer. Perceptible temperature fluctuations are harmful to the plant, especially during flowering. If possible, it is necessary to maintain 22-24 degrees.
As the flowering proceeds, you can gradually allow the temperature to drop and by the winter season you can reach 12-14 grams.
You need to water the gerbera according to certain principles. Irrigation should be moderate during the growing season. Soft water at room temperature will work best. It is necessary to avoid excess moisture, as this can cause the development of fungal diseases..
You should also avoid getting water into the leaf outlet. This can adversely affect the appearance of the flower. During the dormant period, watering is reduced. At the same time, overdrying of the earth should not be allowed..
Gerbera feels best in a humid environment, similar to the conditions of the tropical homeland of the plant. This can be achieved by placing the pot in a large pallet with wet expanded clay, pebbles or moss. In this case, the rhizome of the plant should not come into direct contact with water. Spraying gerbera can only harm.
If the gerbera is grown indoors, then it needs to be replanted every year. To do this, each time you need to choose a larger pot than the previous one. Beforehand, it is worth providing good drainage..
The composition of the soil provides neutral acidity to the roots of the plant. In this case, the substrate should be nutritious and light. If you mix the soil yourself, then you need to include in its composition:
- 1 part leafy soil;
- 1 part of peat land;
- 1 part sand;
- some pine bark.
Top dressing is also part of the necessary care. During the growing season, you can use a complex fertilizer. You need to make it every 2 weeks. During the rest period, feeding should be stopped..
In order for the gerbera to bloom profusely and brightly, it is necessary to promptly remove wilted flower stalks. This is due to the fact that they will rot and inhibit the growth of new shoots. In addition, gerbera can be harmed by diseases and parasites. The spider mite creates conditions for yellowing and leaf fall. This may be an indication of insufficient moisture in the soil and air..
Powdery mildew that appears on a flower may indicate an excess of nitrogen in complementary foods, excessive moisture and sudden changes in temperature. In addition, a lack of moisture leads to the appearance of aphids and whiteflies..
Certain difficulties are associated with the cultivation of gerberas, but if you pay due attention to these flowers, then the reward will be large flowers that will decorate the flower bed or window sill in the house with bright spots.