With a shape reminiscent of daisies, but with longer, sharper petals and brighter, brighter colors, ranging from white to yellow to shades of dark red, gerberas are flowering plants used for ornamental purposes.
Very decorative and appreciated not only for the simple elegance of its flowers, the gerberas, used as cut flowers have also a long life and are often used to embellish both gardens and apartments.
The gerberas belong to the Asteraceae family and are native to South Africa, in particular to the Trasnvaal and Natal highlands. They have been introduced and appreciated in Europe since 1800 and owe their name to Traugott Gerber, a German naturalist and friend of Linnaeus.
Gerber is a perennial herb plant.
They have a long rhizomatous root, from which green cylindrical stems, 15 to 40 cm high depending on the variety, originate.
The basal leaves are rounded, while the upper ones are large, lance-shaped and with jagged edges. They are covered by a thin and thick white down which makes them silky to the touch.
The gerberas flower from April to October with flower heads with different shades and tones depending on the species: white, red, yellow, pink, purple. They have a single or double corolla formed by long and pointed petals (ligulas), placed in several concentric rows around a central disk, usually of a pale color, on the yellow, but there are also varieties with black disk.
There are about one hundred species of the genus gerbera, but the most diffused and commercialized in absolute is the gerbera jamensonii, also called Transvaal daisy or Barberton daisy, to remember its origin.
The gerberas are beautiful but simple flowers and for this reason they are perfect to symbolize a genuine and sincere feeling.
Like all flowers, their meaning varies depending on the color.
- Red gerberas, like roses, are symbols of love and passion, but dark red gerberas indicate the success that comes from perseverance and will.
- Pink gerberas represent a sincere admiration.
- Yellow gerberas are perfect gifts to express the joy of having your loved one with all your heart.
- Orange gerberas are the symbol par excellence of joy and happiness, also connected to friendship and to be given not only to those who make us happy, but also to those who are going through a difficult time and need positivity to recover.
- The purple gerberas represent an extreme shyness.
- White gerberas are associated with purity.
Gerber: How To Cure Them
Gerber plants are very easy to grow and adapt well to different climatic conditions.
They are therefore suitable for both indoor and outdoor decoration, where winter temperatures are not too cold.
The gerberas should be placed in a very bright position, but not in direct sunlight.
They like a temperature between 15° and 25° and withstand summer heat very well, as long as the soil has the right degree of humidity. Rather, they do not tolerate temperatures below 5°, and, above all, they fear the cold air currents.
Gerberas prefer light, loose and, above all, well drained soils, in order to avoid possible water stagnations.
For this reason, the optimal substrate must be enriched with a good percentage of sand to facilitate the drainage of water.
The gerberas should be watered with moderation and only when the soil is completely dry, to avoid water stagnation, which are not tolerated by this plant at all.
Watering must be constant, every 8-10 days, during the flowering period, from spring to early autumn, always considering the degree of humidity of the soil and the temperature.
It is also good not to wet the leaves, because otherwise the plant could be attacked by powdery mildew or bad white.
Throughout the growing season, gerberas need a liquid fertilizer for flowering plants, rich in phosphorus and potassium and microelements such as magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, boron, molybdenum, to be diluted in watering and administered every 15 days.