Indoor Gerbera - bright potted bouquet
Gerbera today has somewhat lost its position in floristry, and, once considered almost the main competitor of roses, the culture cannot boast as much popularity as a dozen years ago. But then she is rapidly developing another career - indoor. And here it is difficult to compete with gerbera for other flowering plants. Catchy, large, massive, its unique baskets of inflorescences literally transform the rooms, placing in them the most vivid color accents. Gerberas are compact, their greens are almost inconspicuous, but in any circumstances they seem like a living bouquet in a pot. And although it is not so easy to grow them at home, but these beauties are so bright that you will not even notice the difficulties.
Beautiful flowering and compact indoor gerberas
It is high time to forget that gerbera is a purely cutting culture that is not suitable for growing at home. This amazing beauty feels great in a pot culture, her flowers are by no means inferior in beauty to ordinary bouquet gerberas. Among the many cultures that have changed their rare status to the title of a fashionable indoor plant, gerbera is a clear leader. We owe a change of career to relentless selection, the cultivation of mini-varieties adapted for growing flower pots in a limited space.
Gerberas are herbaceous perennials from among the flowering species. The elongated leaves forming the basal rosettes are very beautiful. Rounded edge, cirrus-notched shape, rich green color perfectly emphasizes the beauty of large inflorescences. Baskets resembling a chamomile in shape with a denser texture and a large center and reaching 10-15 cm in diameter are painted not only in size.
Reed flowers are arranged in several rows, the color of tubular small flowers in the center usually repeats the color of the "petals", differing only in the center. In addition to simple gerberas, among the room assortment you can find both terry varieties and semi-double hybrids. Peduncles rise from the center of basal rosettes, powerful, large, unrefined and long.
Pot gerberas will not exceed 40 cm in height. Even those varieties that initially reach a height of 50-70 cm in pots are limited to a much more modest peduncle length. The rosette of gerbera leaves is completely limited to 15-30 cm.
Gerbera flowering period is super long. Flowering plants for sale can be found not only from May to September, but also in winter, and each plant delights with flowers throughout almost the whole year with a break of 1-3 months, during which the gerberas manage to prepare for the new season.
The color palette of room gerbera is by no means inferior to greenhouse varieties. Snow-white, yellow, orange, red and pink varieties with invariably bright, acrylic, catchy shades allow you to choose a plant for every taste and for any interior.
Types and varieties of room gerbera
Despite the fact that in the genus of gerberas there are more than 70 species of plants, and all of them are used in floriculture, in room culture they use only one species - gerbera jameson (gerbera jamesonii) Based on the beautiful varieties of this plant that produce flowers almost all year round, low-growing compact forms suitable for potting and room culture were developed.
The most famous forms are Happipot, Ilios, Parade, Hummingbird. But pure forms are almost never found, completely replaced by the best hybrids. And for the choice of plants, classification is of key importance, taking into account the structural features and characteristics of inflorescences, dividing gerberas into 6 groups:
- Narrow-petalled large-flowered American varieties with inflorescences from 13 cm in diameter and bushes up to 60 cm high (the best varieties are orange “Vega”, yellow “Jupiter”, cherry ‘Alkor’, pink “Migar”, etc.);
- Small petals gerberas up to 50 cm tall with 8-9-centimeter inflorescences (the best varieties are pink "Aldebaran" and cherry "Alcor");
- Terry petals or semi-terry gerberas with inflorescences of about 10 cm in diameter and a maximum height of up to half a meter (pink cultivar Viola, scarlet cultivar Sonya, yellow cultivar Kalinka);
- Medium-petal large-flowered gerberas with flower diameters up to 13 cm and peduncles up to 60 cm high (for example, soft red “Mars”);
- Large-petalled, large-flowered gerberas (peduncles from 40 to 70 cm and inflorescences from 10 to 15 cm), represented by orange varieties Saturn and Markal, red Romeo, pink cultivar Vera, etc .;
- Wide-petal, terry, powerful gerberas with inflorescences up to 14 cm in diameter and peduncles up to 70 cm (for example, the Iskra variety with dark red, semi-double baskets of inflorescences).
When choosing a room gerbera for yourself, be guided nevertheless by purely aesthetic parameters: the color of the inflorescences, their terry and the width of the petals should be liked by you. Indeed, in the cultivation of gerberas of all 6 types there are no differences, and the sold plants also gained greater compactness due to inhibitors.
The main thing is not to forget that gerbera at home should be perceived as a color accent. And therefore - pick it up for your interior. And it is also important to take care of the most decorative and bright capacity.
Gerbera Care at Home
Bright lighting is the key to the beauty and size of inflorescences, the vitality of potted gerberas at home. It is better to protect bright beauties from direct sunlight, but the lighting should be as bright as possible. If it is impossible to “scatter” the light, leaving it intense, it is better to leave the gerbera in direct sunlight.
Gerbera is one of the cultures that respond well to artificial lighting. They can compensate for the lack of natural light. Moreover, if, with the advent of cold weather, the gerbera begins to lighten, the plant will not go to the dormant stage and will continue to bloom for a much longer period.
Comfortable temperature setting for gerbera
Indoor gerbera - plants are extremely heat-loving. In order for the plants to bloom profusely, they must be protected from temperature extremes and coolness. In winter, these plants will not tolerate a drop in air temperature even to 15 degrees Celsius, and in summer the minimum threshold is completely limited to 20 degrees. But nevertheless, in the heat, the gerbera blooms worse, so they provide restrained warm conditions for it, as close as possible to 18-20 degrees.
If the air temperature rises, it is better to place the plant on a balcony or terrace, in a sheltered place in the fresh air or provide good ventilation. Gerbera simply loves fresh air, so airing should be given increased attention in any conditions.
Winter maintenance for indoor gerberas must necessarily be accompanied by a decrease in air temperature. After flowering, the gerbera should immediately be transferred to the dormant stage, lowering the air temperature to 12-14 degrees. In this mode, the gerbera should be until February.
Gerbera is afraid of not only lowering air temperature, but also substrate hypothermia. To protect the plant, in winter it is better to put this beauty on a stand so that the rhizome does not suffer from a temperature contrast between the surface on which the gerbera stands and air.
Watering and humidity for gerbera
In order for the gerbera to bloom relentlessly at home and give out the maximum number of inflorescences-baskets, the plant will need stable humidity. But it should not be intense, but light, with the substrate drying out between the procedures by almost half and there is no risk of stagnation of water in the pan. Before the dormant period, the plant must be smoothly transferred to more scarce irrigations with almost completely dry soil. And only then lower the temperature for wintering.
A critically important parameter for gerbera at home is not only the use of high-quality, soft and settled water, but also temperature control. Gerbera is watered only with warm water at a temperature of about 20-24 degrees. And the higher the air temperature, the warmer the water should be for watering this plant.
But the most important thing is the accuracy of the procedure. Gerberas are watered so that water does not fall on the base of the leaves, does not stagnate in the outlet, literally along the edge of the pot. You can simplify the process and get rid of the risk of decay of the top of the rhizome and the base of the leaves by resorting to lower watering or using containers for automatic watering.
High air humidity at home for room gerbera is not a critical parameter, but nevertheless, the higher the indicators, the more beautiful will be the foliage of the plant and its flowering. For gerbera, it is not necessary to install humidifiers, you can simply confine yourself to conventional spraying. But during the procedure, make sure that moisture is sprayed only on the foliage and does not fall on the inflorescences of the plant.
Fertilizers for this plant are not quite common. During the period of active growth and during almost the entire flowering season, fertilizing for potted gerberas should be quite intense. In active vegetation, starting from 1 month after the picking out, gerberas begin to be fed weekly with a half-reduced dose of fertilizers or every 2 weeks with a full dose. And then they are gradually reduced and stopped with flowering stopped.
It is better to start reducing the amount of fertilizers in September-October, so that the plant adapts to the new regime for winter. Between October and February, fertilizers for gerberas are not applied.
For gerberas in pot culture, complex fertilizers with a full composition of microelements are used.
Trimming Room Gerbera
To go to the dormant period, the gerbera at home does not need special pruning or removal of foliage. During the winter, the plant itself will arrange a “cleaning”, and you just need to carefully remove the dry leaves from the bushes. So in fact, all pruning on a gerbera comes down solely to removing fading inflorescences.
Transplant, substrate and containers for potted gerbera
Gerbera transplantation, regardless of age, is carried out annually, at the very beginning of spring, after the first signs of renewed growth of greenery appear. It is best to increase the capacity for a gerbera by a few centimeters, but the main attention should still be paid to maintaining the previous level of penetration. Gerbera is not transplanted, but transplanted without destroying the old earthen coma (except for removing the contaminated top layer of the substrate).
Newly acquired gerberas, unlike many other plants, are recommended to be transplanted not at typical times, but 2 weeks after purchase. The plant needs to be adapted to lighting and other parameters of the place in which it is planned to be grown, and then transferred to a new substrate and container.
The substrate for this flowering beauty should be high-quality, loose, not contain fresh organic matter (both compost and humus). The optimal soil mix for indoor gerberas is considered to be soil composed of leaf soil with the addition of half smaller proportions of sand and peat. If you plan to use ready-made substrates, then stop at neutral neutral universal mixtures.
Pots for room gerbera need specific ones: to make the plant comfortable, you need to choose wide or expanding tanks up. In narrow straight "cylinders", gerberas bloom worse.
Diseases and pests of room gerbera
Gerberas migrated into pots cannot be called the most resistant plants. At home, they often suffer from pests, including aphids, spider mites, whiteflies. And powdery mildew on plants is not so rare. The fight for potted gerberas should immediately begin with fungicides and insecticides.
Propagation of indoor gerberas
Gerbera seeds are very difficult to propagate, as well as vegetative methods. The most convenient way to get a new gerbera at home is to separate the bushes. It can be carried out with an annual transplant. Adult, 3-4-year-old bushes are divided into no more than 2-3 parts with a large segment of rhizome each (at least 2-3 growth points are left in the divide). Rooting of delenoks is a long process, it can last up to 1 year.
If you managed to get the gerbera seeds and you are not afraid of mutation of varietal characters, the loss of a characteristic color and the spread in decorativeness between plants, then try to grow a gerbera from seeds. For sowing, the usual nutritious and light substrate with sand addition is suitable, in which in the spring, in March-April, gerbera seeds are sown, only slightly covering them with soil. Shoots will appear only at temperatures from 22 degrees Celsius, in bright light and under glass or film.
Shelter should be regularly ventilated, moisten the substrate from the spray gun as it dries. Plants are dived twice, after the appearance of the third real leaf in large containers, and after the appearance of the fifth leaf - in individual pots. Gerbera will have to be grown about 1 year before flowering, in the first 2-3 years it can bloom no longer than 4 months.