Gerbera is one of the most popular and popular flowering plants: it can be used both for interior decoration (with adequate exposure) and for embellishing balconies, terraces or flower beds, directly in the garden. Its corollas are among the most loved for the elegance and regularity of their shape which, in the imagination, make it a symbol of the "perfect daisy". It is available in many colors and some long-stemmed cultivars are also excellent for use in floral arrangements.
To the genre gerbera dozens of species of herbaceous perennial plants originate from south africa; they have been cultivated in Europe since the end of the 19th century and for this reason there are also many hybrids on the market. They produce a dense rosette of leathery, enlarged, dark green leaves, not particularly decorative, which could give the impression of belonging to a weed; from late spring to the first colds they produce numerous flower heads, similar to large daisies, of a size that varies according to the species or variety; exist gerberas which can reach 35-45 cm in height, and are mainly cultivated to obtain cut flowers, the gerberas more commonly grown in the garden, on the other hand, they do not exceed 25-35 cm in height, with particular dwarf varieties, which do not exceed 15-25 cm.
The flowers of gerbera they are highly appreciated as cut flowers, because they last in pots even for a few weeks; they are also used in the garden, or for pot cultivation, because the plant is very floriferous, has few needs and the flowers are very showy; in fact there are gerberas of many colors: pure white, cream white, pink, lilac, purple, red, orange, yellow. The color of the gerberas is very intense and decisive.
How to grow gerberas
Gerberas are cultivated like most perennial herbaceous plants with a mild climate: they are positioned in a bright and sunny place, however avoiding exposure to the scorching sun of July and August; they love loose and fresh, very well drained soils, water stagnation is the number one enemy of gerberas, which if left immersed for a long time in water tend to rapidly develop root and collar rot, fatal for the whole plant.
Before placing the gerberas in the garden, we enrich and lighten the earth, working it thoroughly and incorporating good fresh universal potting soil, little sand or lapillus and mature manure; a soil so prepared will not require fertilization during the growing season.