Gerbera in a pot: home care, especially watering and transplanting
In recent years, people are increasingly giving each other not flower bouquets, but flower pots. The advantage of such a gift is that it can please the recipient for several years instead of several days. For many years, gerberas have remained at one of the main places in popularity among gift flowers - they look like chamomiles, painted in bright colors. This article will reveal the secrets of caring for a room gerbera, thanks to which it will bloom and delight its owners for a long time.
Brief description of the plant
Gerbera has been familiar to botanists for a long time: in the eighteenth century it was discovered in South Africa, but only in the next century did it move to Europe. There are more than 70 species of this plant. One of the most common types is Jameson's gerbera - it was from her that all room varieties originated. Although this herbaceous flower resembles a chamomile, it is actually a relative of the aster. Its large cirrus-dissected leaves are collected in a rosette from which stems of peduncles grow. On each stalk 25-30 cm tall, only one inflorescence blossoms in the form of a basket.
Chamomile inflorescences can be of different sizes (from 5 to 15 cm in diameter). There are simple and double flowers (with a large number of petals); the petals themselves are pointed, like needles, and rounded. Against a light green background of foliage, bright flowers of all possible colors (except blue) look very impressive. After flowering, seed boxes are formed at the site of the inflorescences.
Gerberas are African flowers; they like to be warm and light around. To make them comfortable in a pot on the windowsill, it is advisable to create conditions as close as possible to tropical ones. These include:
- Lighting Light needs a lot during the day, it directly affects flowering. In the mornings and evenings, the gerbera loves literally swimming in the sun. But if she stays the whole day in the direct sun, the leaves are guaranteed to get burns. In winter, when daylight hours are short, it is necessary to extend it with a fluorescent lamp whenever possible.
- The temperature should be high enough, but not hot. The most comfortable temperature during flowering is +20 ... + 25 ° С. In winter it should be cooler - approximately +14 ... + 16 ° С, but not lower than + 12 ° С and not higher than + 20 ° С. The plant reacts poorly to changes in day and night temperatures.
- Air humidity. Gerbera loves humid air (70–80%), therefore air humidification with a spray gun is mandatory in the warm season. Water should be warm. You can spray the leaves and air around the flower. But you can not spray: when the street is damp and cold, and if direct sunlight falls on the plant. You can’t do without spraying in the winter, if the air in the room is very dry due to heating. Instead of a spray bottle, you can use a container of water, which should be placed near the pot.
- Soil moisture . The ground should remain slightly moist. The earthen lump should neither completely dry out nor be too wet. With a lack of moisture, the leaves of the plant hang limply, but its excess is more dangerous, since it can provoke fungal diseases.
Now let's talk about how to care for a chamomile flower in a pot. The better he feels, the longer and more beautiful it will bloom.
Important! Water must not be allowed to stagnate in a pot or pan. This will inevitably lead to the development of diseases or to decay of the root system.
For gerbera, you need to choose a place that is well lit and ventilated. The most suitable place in the apartment is the eastern and western windows. On the windowsill on the south side at noon you need to make a shadow. On the northern windowsill, it is necessary to extend the daylight hours to 12 hours using artificial lighting. The flower is not afraid of summer drafts, therefore in the summer it is whenever possible carried out on a balcony or on the street.
How to choose a pot
The size of the pot is very important - it should not be too large. It is better that the roots are a bit cramped than quite spacious. In a pot larger than necessary, the flower will not release buds for a long time. In addition, soil that is not claimed by the roots can quickly become acidic, which causes root decay. The optimal volume of the pot is 1.5 or 2 liters. There must be drainage holes at the bottom of the landing tank. Several holes can be made independently.
How often to water and fertilize
Watering should be moderate, but fairly frequent. Usually this is done 2 times a week, in the summer - more often, in the heat - almost every day. The reference point for watering is slightly sluggish leaves and the top layer of the earth, dried out by 1-2 cm. Pour water carefully, along the edges of the pot, trying not to get on the leaves and in the socket. Convenient way: pour water into the pan for half an hour, then drain the residues. For this, only settled water at room temperature is suitable.
Find out how and how to feed indoor plants at home.
From the beginning of spring to the end of autumn, the plant must be fed every 2 weeks. Complex mineral fertilizers are excellent for this purpose, but their concentration should be halved. At different periods of the growing season, the plant needs different minerals: after winter rest, you need more nitrogen, during flowering - potassium, and if there are yellowish spots on the leaves - iron. You can replenish the soil with iron by inserting a rusty nail into it.
Transplant features and soil composition
Gerbera should be transplanted annually, with the onset of spring.
The transplant process is as follows:
- Carefully remove the flower from the old pot with an earthen lump.
- In the pot, which is slightly larger than the previous one, pour drainage (expanded clay, small pebbles) into the bottom with a thick layer.
- Carefully put an earthen lump there.
- Pour new earth into the remaining space, trying not to fall asleep the root neck.
- Pour well-maintained warm water well.
Any land is not suitable for planting a gerbera.
The soil should:
- be loose, easy to pass water and air;
- have neutral acidity;
- do not contain organic elements.
Suitable as a substrate:
- universal earth from the store, if you mix it with vermiculite and chopped charcoal;
- substrate for roses with the same additives;
- mixture: peat, sand and sheet land (1: 1: 2).
Video: Gerbera transplant
Gerbera can be propagated in only three ways: seeds, cuttings and dividing the bush. Let's consider each of them.
Growing a flower from seeds is the longest of all methods. In this case, the florist will need attention and patience.
Important! The drainage layer must be very thick and occupy the fourth part of the landing tank.
- Fill the box prepared for sowing (a plastic container) with peat or a mixture of peat, fine sand and turf.
- Humidify with spray water.
- Sprinkle the seeds on top with a thin layer. Sprinkle with sand on top to cover them, and spray water again on the surface.
- Cover the box with glass or transparent polyethylene and put in a warm and bright place.
- When sprouts appear in about 7 days, the lid needs to be removed.
- When 3-4 true leaves appear, seedlings should be dived in cups.
- You can plant in permanent pots in the presence of 5 or 6 leaves.
- Flowering will begin no earlier than six months later.
Dividing the bush
Bushes are usually divided in the spring when transplanting. The bush needs to be picked up healthy, not blossoming and not younger than 4 years.
- Remove the selected candidate for division from the pot, carefully cleaning the roots from the ground.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the bush into several parts so that on each of them there are roots and growth points from which leaves grow (at least 3).
- Sections immediately disinfect with coal dust.
- Plant new bushes in permanent pots with ordinary soil. Make sure that the growth point remains on the surface.
Did you know? Gerberas are found in almost all colors and shades. But to bring blue flowers to breeders is not yet possible .
The fastest method to get a new flower. To do this, choose a healthy adult bush without buds.
The following actions are performed:
- Without taking the mother bush out of the pot, with a sharp knife you need to cut the stalk with two leaves and part of the roots.
- Plant the cuttings in a wet mixture of peat and sand.
- To sprout better, cover the pot with a plastic bag and put in a warm and bright place.
- Periodically remove the bag and water the ground.
- Transplanted bush into a regular substrate.
How much and how gerbera blooms in a pot
Gerbera bloom is directly related to lighting. A prerequisite is the duration of daylight hours 12 hours, so the plant blooms profusely in spring and autumn. During the winter daylight hours, a rest period begins, when the bush is gaining strength for the next season. In summer, when the day lasts more than 12 hours, flowering stops again - at this time the green mass builds up. If desired, a gerbera can bloom all year round without rest. To do this, she needs to provide a 12-hour daylight: in winter - with the help of artificial light, and in summer - with the creation of shade. But without rest, the life cycle of the plant is reduced to 2 years.
Did you know? Cut gerbera can stand in a vase for 3 weeks and not wither. Moreover, there should be very little water in the vase so that the stem does not begin to rot during this time.
How to save gerbera from diseases and pests
Gerbera is a moody flower and instantly responds to care deficiencies, especially to excessive irrigation and stagnation of water. It is susceptible to insect attack and disease development. The fact that something is wrong with her can be judged by appearance: the leaves fade, turn yellow, become covered with spots and bloom.
Why do the leaves fade:
- due to pests: spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, thrips, mealy worms;
- Diseases: powdery mildew, late blight, fusarium, gray mold.
How to reanimate a flower:
- if pests attacked, the pot should be isolated from other flowers and treated with an insecticide, you can "Fitoverm", following the instructions on the package;
- in case of a fungal disease, diseased areas should be removed from the bush, watering should be reduced, the flower should be aired and treated with copper sulfate.
- following all content rules;
- high drainage in a flowerpot;
- control the humidity of the earth in the pot and the air in the room;
- treatment with Fitosporin every two months.
Caring for a home gerbera is not easy. However, although it cannot be called an unpretentious plant, this should not stop beginners. Abundant bright flowering pays for all the effort.