Did you know that next only to roses and carnations the Gerbera is the most popular flower used by florists. The Gerbera is from the same family as the daisy, aster and sunflowers and grows from Africa to Madagascar, in South America and tropical Asia. It has been through hybridization that Gerberas now come in a wide variety of colours.
The meaning of Gerbera flowers comes from its close association with the daisy and means purity and innocence. Daisies are a flower known for their incredible beauty and the gerbera is also known for the extra meaning of cheerfulness simply from the array of colours the gerbera comes in.
- The gerbera is actually a native flower to Transvaal in South Africa
- Because the gerbera has such a long vase life gerbera’s are used widely by florists around the world as they add colour to any room.
- Gerberas are great garden plants and are used for landscaping, garden beds, as border flowers and make wonderful table arrangements
- Gerberas are also known as Gerbera Daisies – Daisy being the general name to the species of the Asteraceae family to which the Gerbera belongs
- The hybrid Gerbera varieties were cloned through tissue cultures and are all uniform, they have long lasting flowers and are not light sensitive so they will remain open in the dark – this is another reason for their popularity as cut flowers
- Gerbera flowers measure approximately 17.8 cm across
- Gerberas come in many colours from light and dark and include yellows, orange, pinks, deep red, scarlet and many more
Gerberas come in many forms including single flowers – these do not have overlapping petals and are the most common gerberas available. The double or duplex flowers – have double rows of overlapping petals. Crested doubles – these have two rows of overlapping petals with one or more inner row of shorter petals. The full crested doubles have solid overlapping rows of petals with the inner row smaller in size.
The best way to grow Gerberas at home – and also the most inexpensive way is from seeds. Seeds will need to be germinated in sand and fertilizer, later transferring the seeds to pots with good drainage holes, water carefully and cover the container with some plastic and place it below a florescent light – approximately 45 cm away from the light itself. Check daily for signs of germination and keep moist. Never allow the soil to dry out, when you do water use enough water so it drains through and out of the pot, and ensure the pot itself is not sitting in water so discard any that is left over. Transplant the seedlings to small pots as soon as the first leaves start appearing. Seedlings can be grown successfully in small pots until they are large enough to be transplanted into your flower bed.
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