“A flower is a flower is a flower” – a characterization that quickly swims through your head when looking at a gerbera. It is something like the “flower in itself”, and that too in exceptionally clear, radiant and diverse colors. What not all flower lovers know: the gerbera is not only good as a cut flower, but also likes to decorate your rooms as a potted plant. Here you will learn the most important things about caring for beauty.

A brief description of the gerbera

The genus Gerbera from the sunflower family is at home in the tropics, in the tropical parts of Asia, America, Africa and in the south of mainland Australia on the island of Tasmania. Of the approximately 40 different species in the genus, many have spread to new areas, and they all also grow wild in nature. Most gerberas can be found in Africa, tropical Asia, and Madagascar. However, the naturally occurring biodiversity is greatest in South Africa, in the area of ​​the Cape flora.

The spread of the plant in culture goes all over the world. The most important species in culture is the Gerbera jamesonii, which the Englishman William Jameson brought to Europe from South Africa a good 100 years ago. It originally had simple flowers, but has long since been bred in varieties that develop double flowers. The gerbera hybrids are mostly bred with the participation of these Gerbera jamesonii, and other South African gerbera species are usually crossed with them, the Gerbera viridifolia for example.

The gerberas grow as herbaceous plants, some of which are characterized by an amusing peculiarity: They have extremely fine hairs that feel really velvety or fluffy to the touch. Gerbera lovers with children often have to struggle with the problem that the children enthusiastically stroke the gerbera – and occasionally stroke them to death, because the gerbera is a very tender plant that is really only gentle Tolerates caresses.

The right location for the gerbera

As a tropical child, the gerbera naturally needs the brightest location with us that you can offer it. Most of all, she likes morning sun and evening sun, but at least during the summer no blazing midday sun falling directly on her. But you don’t have to remodel your house to find such a location, the gerbera will be happy if you protect it from excessive exposure to radiation with a bright, partially transparent curtain or by placing it on a table at a distance from the window.

However, when a gerbera gets full sun, it burns up pretty quickly, and it generally doesn’t like temperatures that are too high or pent up. Accordingly, you should make sure that it is always nice and airy around the gerbera without it being exposed to any kind of wind.

In summer a gerbera wants to go outdoors
During the summer season, the gerbera, like any tropical plant, feels extremely good to be outdoors, so it should move to the garden, balcony or terrace. But also at the outdoor location: Please no direct and blazing midday sun.

The gerbera can move outdoors when the night temperatures have steadily leveled off at around 15 degrees, which is with some consistency in almost all parts of Germany only imaginable after the ice saints in mid-May.

Caring for the gerbera

Gerberas are quite thirsty in summer and they definitely need enough water to prevent the soil in the pot from drying out. On the other hand, you shouldn’t overdo it with watering, because like so many plants, the gerbera doesn’t like waterlogging at all. You can evenly balance the water supply in summer by spraying the gerbera daily with a little water from a spray bottle, which she likes anyway, and the humidity in the pot can be better adjusted this way.

Between May and September you can add some liquid fertilizer in a fairly low concentration to the irrigation water for the pot once a week, this supports a persistent flowering.

The right substrate for the gerbera

A very loose substrate that can be a bit sandy is ideal for a gerbera.

You can loosen up the earth z. B. with perlite, a type of volcanic glass, which, by definition, is a stone. Perlite is a very loose rock that is also sustainable because it is newly formed with every volcanic activity. Perlite is a virtually inexhaustible raw material. And it does not have to be disposed of in any way, but can be brought directly into nature as the rest, e.g. B. in a garden bed. Soil mixed with perlite is ideal for plants like gerbera that need a well-drained substrate, where they can develop their roots very well. Another advantage: Perlite cannot mold and there is always a certain risk of mold in thirsty houseplants. Gerberas are said to be very easy to cultivate in pure perlite, in other words in a special form of hydroponics.

There are tons of other substances you can mix in to keep the soil nice and permeable, such as: B. Kokoshum. As an environmentally conscious person, you should no longer use peat these days, so that the moors can continue to give us their climate protection.

Wintering the gerberas

The gerbera grows at their home locations for at least two years and often also for several years. We mostly sell it as an annual plant, but nobody forces you to necessarily believe this prophecy. You can overwinter your gerberas indoors, the houseplants anyway, and the garden gerberas can be taken out of the beds in autumn and overwintered indoors. There is not only one gerbera friend who reports that his gerbera has kept this way for several years.

During the winter season, from autumn to spring, the gerbera is best placed in a light spot in the house, with temperatures ideally between 8 and 12 degrees. Then the plant goes into a resting phase, which will help it to develop a splendid bloom in the next season. If it is kept under these conditions in winter, it is enough to water it about twice a month, it does not need fertilizer at all during this time.

If such a room is not available to you, you should choose the coolest room available to you, at around 15 degrees the gerbera usually takes enough winter break to gather strength for the next bloom. During this winter break, the plants should reduce their metabolism a little, which helps the foreign guests, who are actually not completely satisfied with us, to allow their previous growth to mature well and to start fresh in the next season. At these temperatures, the fertilization is also stopped and the irrigation is reduced, but the gerbera gets a touch more water than when kept at 8 to 12 degrees.

If there is no other way, you can keep the gerbera all year round at (the same) room temperature, then it will continue to be watered as normal, and you can reduce the fertilization for a while. During wintering like this, however, you should expect that the gerbera will run out of strength a little earlier, either the strength for a magnificent bloom or at some point the strength to continue growing.

Gerbera umtopfen

Gerberas usually only have to be repotted when the plants are a bit older, their roots do not grow very quickly. If you notice that the roots are now slowly “blowing up the pot”, you should take action in spring and move the plants to a slightly larger pot.

Gerbera in the garden

Gerberas can certainly be planted in the garden, in any case they can be planted in a bed during the summer season. They pamper you with their decorative flowers from April to October. The gerbera in the garden also wants to be bright, but not burned, be watered abundantly in summer and fertilized regularly. You can put the “normal” gerberas in pots in autumn and overwinter in the house as described above.

But there are also special varieties of gerbera that are described as winterproof. But don’t be fooled here, in the case of these tropical plants, winter-proof means frost tolerance down to minus five degrees, nothing more. Such a variety is z. B. the gerbera “Garvinea”. If the temperatures at your place of residence and in particular winter are very favorable and you want to try wintering outdoors, you should send the plants into winter with all the plant matter that has formed over the summer; this plant matter is already a good winter protection. In addition, of course, it gets a lot more protection, mulch and straw and sticks.

Typical use of the gerbera: In the vase

The gerbera from the garden also beautifies the interior and provides material for the most beautiful bouquets to give away. The gerbera always attracts attention with its extraordinarily wide flowers, alone in the vase or combined with other flowers in a bouquet or arrangement.

If you want to put gerberas in a vase, you should put very little water in the vase, about two centimeters. Because the stems of the gerbera soften when they come into contact with water, the flower can then only take care of itself poorly because water absorption becomes increasingly difficult. To make it easier to absorb water from the outset, you should always cut the stems diagonally before you put the gerberas in a vase. The little water that is put into the vase is then used up quickly, of course, and should be topped up or replaced regularly.

Gerbera really crazy

The Japanese company Let’s Corporation has just come up with a very special gag in which the gerbera can very well play the leading role: They have launched a vase in which the flowers are transformed into loudspeakers. In the “Ka-on” (in German = Blumenklang) a magnet with a wire spool is incorporated on the floor. When the Ka-on is connected to a CD player, the vibrations of the sounds generated by the devices are transmitted through the stems of the in the Ka-on forwarded standing flowers to the petals.

In this way, the flowers should then spread the sound throughout the room, and the gerbera should be the flower next to the sunflowers that delivers the best sound. According to Masumi Gotoh, President of Let’s Corporation, the sounds created in this way are intended to convey extraordinary relaxation. Gotah is also convinced that the flowers also benefit from the sound – “The plants like the music”, vermin stay away and cut flowers last longer …

The Ka-Ons have already been sold by the thousands, there is also a version for potted plants, but around 10,000 pre-orders are also available. The smallest Ka-on costs a little over 30 euros, and the Let’s Corporation website can be reached at www.lets-co.co.jp, but you should get linguistic assistance when ordering – the website is only in Japanese.

The gerbera is a wonderful and decorative flowering plant that always looks great in the garden, in the vase in the living room and in the bouquet you put together yourself. In addition, it is really quite easy to care for, so you will definitely enjoy a gerbera even if it does not spit any sounds out of the vase!

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