Even in the most modest interior of an apartment, luxurious bright gerbera flowers can create coziness and a festive mood. You can, of course, grow garden gerberas in the summer, cut them and collect them in bouquets that will stand in your room in a flower vase for a couple of weeks. But, nevertheless, it is much more interesting to grow this beauty in a pot at home and enjoy its amazing flowering for several months. Good lighting, mild microclimate of city apartments and knowledge of some of the nuances in caring for room gerbera at home will allow anyone to achieve the desired results.
Gerbera Daisies: how to care indoor
The heat-loving flower is usually grown indoors or in a greenhouse. It is not so difficult to please yourself with a blooming gerbera in a pot.
The plant needs bright sunlight and long daylight hours. It is kept on the windowsills of the sunny side, and in winter it is supplemented with phytolamps. On very hot days, it is recommended to ventilate the room more often or put the flower outside. At noon, the crown is shaded with a tulle curtain.
Gerbera develops best at a temperature of + 18 … + 24 ° C. Too much heat is as undesirable as a cold snap. In winter, the plant is at rest, it is kept at + 14 … + 16 ° C. All temperature fluctuations should be smooth. Gerbera can survive a cold snap of + 8 … + 10 ° C, but not too long.
Although the plant adapts well to normal indoor air humidity, it is recommended to spray it periodically. In this case, water should not fall on the inflorescences. The leaves should sometimes be wiped off dust with a damp cloth.
Gerbera needs regular and abundant watering so that the soil is always slightly moist. Stagnant water is undesirable, so the sump is emptied half an hour after irrigation. The water should be soft and well purified. Do not use liquids colder than room temperature.
The flower needs regular feeding (up to 4 times a month). However, it is customary to use half the concentration of the diluted mineral complex. It is poured into the soil. In the spring, formulations with a high nitrogen content are used. From the period of bud formation, potassium-phosphorus dressings are used.
Gerbera does not tolerate transplanting very well, so the procedures are carried out when the pot becomes too tight. The container is used not too spacious, only a few centimeters larger than the previous one. The soil should be nutritious and loose. It is made up of peat, sand, sphagnum moss and leafy earth. All planting work is contraindicated during the flowering period.
Diseases and pests:
Gerbera is considered a resistant plant, but when the water stagnates, it is affected by powdery mildew, late blight, root rot and fusarium. Prevention is regular ventilation and moderate watering. If necessary, carry out the treatment with “Fundazol”. Among the parasites on gerbera, the most active are spider mites and aphids. These small insects are not always visible, but they cause great damage, so you need to get rid of them right away.
The diameter of the pot should not be too large, only 2-3 cm wider than the root system of the flower. The tightness in the pot is one of the conditions for the abundant flowering of gerbera. The volume is approximately 1–1.5 liters.
A deep unglazed ceramic pot is best suited for a gerbera – this will allow air to flow well to the roots of the plant. But, in winter, on a cold windowsill, gerbera roots in such a pot can be overcooled. This should not be allowed, because the gerbera is very sensitive to this. In this case, foam or a wooden support under the pot for thermal insulation will help.
For growing indoor gerbera, it is best to purchase a ready-made universal soil for flowering indoor plants. In the wild in South Africa, gerbera grows on soils rich in minerals, but almost devoid of organic matter. It is also possible to prepare the substrate yourself. It should be nutritious, loose, with a slightly acidic reaction. Mix leafy soil, peat chips, coarse sand (or sphagnum moss), small pieces of charcoal in a 2: 1: 1: 1 ratio.
Add some pine bark. It is important that humus or compost does not get into the soil – a minimum of organic matter! (They can burn the delicate gerbera roots.) The soil mixture of the specified composition will be sufficiently fertile and permeable to water, it will provide free air access to the root system of the plant.
How to Propagate gerbera at home
Gerbera readily reproduces in “captivity” in several ways. Let’s consider them in order.
By Dividing the bush:
This is the easiest way to get a new gerbera bush from a healthy plant at the age of 3-4 years, on which several basal rosettes have formed. In the spring, during the transplantation of a flower, it is divided into parts so that each has 2-3 points of growth (at least one) and a part of the root system.
The root system should first be soaked for 2-3 hours in warm water, slightly pink from potassium permanganate. After that, the roots should be carefully cleaned of the ground, untwisted, if possible, with your hands. Use a clean knife or scissors to divide the roots. Sprinkle all sections with crushed charcoal (activated) charcoal or cinnamon. Transplant the bushes obtained by dividing into separate small pots filled with a substrate suitable for adult gerberas, water. Groom in the future as usual. When transplanting, make sure that the growth points are 2-3 cm above the soil surface. Rooting takes a long time, from six months to a year, then flowering can occur only 10-12 months later or the next year after transplanting.
This method is less effective – cuttings often rot. But you can try. From the plant, cut off a part of the stem obliquely, about 10 cm in length, with 2-3 leaves. It is possible to root the stalk in sand, perlite or vermiculite, covering the container on top with a plastic bag or a glass beaker (jar), maintaining high humidity, a temperature of 25-27 ° C and, if possible, bottom heating. When a new leaf appears on the handle, we can assume that rooting was successful. The stalk can now be transplanted into a pot with suitable soil and taken care of like an adult plant.
By Growing from Seeds:
Growing gerberas at home from seeds is a complex and time-consuming method. Moreover, it does not guarantee the preservation of the main varietal characteristics of the flower, such as dwarfism, doubleness of petals, their shades and other “highlights” of the variety. However, the seeds can be harvested by yourself or purchased from the store. Good germination (more than 50%) remains in seeds for six months. If the seeds are more than eight months old, there is no point in planting them. Gerbera specimens grown from seeds will bloom only after two years. The optimal time for sowing seeds is from the end of January to March. Seeds are sown in containers or other containers from which it will be possible to build a greenhouse. Use a mixture of sand and peat chips as a substrate, which must be well moistened before planting.
- Spread the seeds over the surface, without deepening them, sprinkle on top with a thin layer of fine sand.
- Close the lid of the container (cover the container with glass or foil). Keep in a dark, warm place until germination. Ventilate daily to remove condensation. After 8-10 days, the first shoots will begin to appear.
- Now move the greenhouse to a bright place at a temperature of 18-20 gr. Protect from direct sunlight.
- When the second true leaves appear on the seedlings, it should be cut into small plastic cups ( drainage holes and a drainage layer are required! ), And into the same substrate. Try to harm the roots as little as possible.
- When young gerberas have 4–5 leaves, they should be transplanted into pots, 9 cm in diameter, in a substrate suitable for adult gerberas. Then take care of it as usual.