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Gerbera or transvaal chamomile is a perennial ornamental plant of the Aster family. Grown in the garden, most often for cutting. However, it can be grown both as a garden and even as a houseplant.
Today there are many varieties and types of gerbera, among them there are quite compact plants that can fit in a pot on a windowsill. The variety of flowers in such gerberas is simply amazing, because there are a lot of them. How to grow a flower at home? Find out about this and more in our article.
When is the best time to plant?
Gerbera can be propagated in several different ways: by seed, cuttings or dividing the bush. (read about how to propagate a gerbera at home here, and find out how to grow a gerbera from seeds here). Regardless of how the seedling was obtained, it is best to plant it in a pot at the very beginning of spring. It is at this time that the period of active growth and flowering of gerbera falls.
If the gerbera has already entered the house in a pot, you should not immediately replant it. It is necessary to give her time to adapt to the conditions of the new home, otherwise the plant will die. Acclimatization usually takes about 14 days.
You can understand whether a plant is ready for transplantation by its appearance. If the leaves revived and the flower looked better, then the acclimatization process was successful. Now the plant can be transplanted to a permanent place (how and when to transplant a gerbera after purchase?).
Preparation: soil and pot
First of all, when planting a gerbera, you need to prepare a pot where it will grow. Better to opt for pottery. Due to its porous structure, it allows air to pass well to the roots and will not allow them to rot.
If the pot is made of a different material, good drainage must be ensured. It is recommended to pour boiling water over the pot before planting.... This will get rid of the presence of harmful bacteria.
A slightly acidic soil is suitable for gerbera. You can cook it yourself by mixing leaf and peat soil and sand in a 2: 1: 1 ratio. You can also add a little pine bark to the mixture.
If there is no opportunity to prepare the soil yourself, you can buy a ready-made one. Best of all ready-made mixtures for gerbera is a soil for roses.
Detailed instructions on how to plant a plant at home
When the pot is selected and the soil is prepared, you can start planting:
- It is necessary to be especially careful with the root system. An earthen lump located directly on the roots does not need to be removed. The rest of the ground can be removed.
- Pour drainage into the bottom of the selected pot. For this, expanded clay or small pebbles are well suited. If the drainage is not purchased in a specialized store, it is also better to disinfect it.
- Place the gerbera roots in a new pot and sprinkle with earth.
- Water the flower gently.
Important! Do not deeply deepen the roots when planting. This can lead to the appearance of fungal diseases (how to recognize and treat room gerbera diseases?). It is also impossible to allow the earth to fall on the rosette of leaves. A couple of weeks after planting, you can start feeding the gerbera.
Below you can see the photo of the plant.
How to care?
Transvaal chamomile is native to Africa. This is due to her love for warmth. Plants of this species growing in open ground are dug up for the winter and transferred to the premises.
For the comfortable growth of gerberas in a pot, you need to provide the following care and conditions:
- Lighting... Gerbera loves diffused soft light. Being in direct sunlight is highly undesirable for her. For a room gerbera, it is best to choose a position on the west or east window, or next to the windowsill. If the pot will be on the southern windowsill, it is better to shade it at noon so that the leaves do not get sunburn.
- Watering... Gerbera does not tolerate drought. The soil must be constantly moist. However, it is highly undesirable to flood the plant. Proper watering can be achieved in two ways. First, you can water the gerbera around the edge of the pot to avoid getting water on the flower outlet. Secondly, you can water the plant in a pan, but after a while the water that the plant has not absorbed must be drained. If you do not follow these rules, the roots of the plant can rot.
- Air humidity... Gerbera loves spraying, but it is imperative to keep water out of the flowers. The mist must be very fine and only greens can be sprayed. Also, water droplets should not be allowed to enter the flower outlet.
- Temperature... Optimum temperature for gerbera: 16-24 0C during the flowering period, 12-14 0C during the rest period.
- Top dressing... Gerbera needs feeding in spring 2 times a month and in summer 3 times a month. Organic fertilizers for this plant are categorically not suitable. Gerbera reacts best to mineral supplements.
Indoor gerbera does not need pruning at all. It is only necessary to remove the peduncles as soon as they fade, as they inhibit growth. You do not need to cut them off, you can simply break them off with your hands to the very root.
Until the end of August, the gerbera is gaining green mass, after which it blooms... Flowering usually lasts until the end of September. In order for the plant to please with flowering every year, you need to arrange rest for it from November to February. At this time, the flower should be removed to a cool place and watering and feeding should be reduced to a minimum. At this time, the flower is gaining strength for flowering next season. You can return the plant to normal in March.
With such an annual rhythm, the gerbera will live up to 4 years, after which it can be rejuvenated. If you do not arrange for her a dormant period after flowering, she will live much less.
In the video, you will learn more about the intricacies of caring for a gerbera:
Gerbera is not the most unpretentious flower. To grow it, you need to know and follow all the rules for caring for a flower. However, it pays off with a beautiful bloom. If you take the cultivation of gerbera with all responsibility, she will definitely respond with beautiful flowers of all shades of yellow and red.