Gerbera is a perennial and hairy herb of the Compositae family. Its rhizome is short, surrounded by remnant petioles, with thick fibrous roots. Gerbera's leaves are basal, rosette-like, leaves are oblong to oblong, tips are short or slightly obtuse, petioles have thick longitudinal edges, and several hairs; scapes are solitary, or rare in clusters, without bracts; hairs The densest at the top, the head is solitary on the top of the scape; the involucre is bell-shaped, the receptacle is flat, bare, honeycomb; the corolla tube is short, the anther has a long pointed tail; the achene is cylindrical, densely covered with white and soft Hair; crested hair is slightly rough, dirty white when fresh, light brown when dry, united at the base. The flowering period of gerbera is generally from November to April of the following year.
Gerbera is native to Transvaal in southern Africa. This plant likes a warm, airy, sunny environment. The flowers are rich in colors, including red, white, yellow, orange, and purple. They are large and bright in color and can be used for cut flowers, potted plants and garden decoration. (Also Read: 35 Recommended Daisy-Like Flowers for Your Garden In 2023
Gerbera morphological characteristics
Gerbera leaves are basal, rosette-shaped, leaves oblong to oblong, 10-14cm long, 5-6cm wide, short pointed or slightly obtuse at the tip, tapered at the base, irregularly pinnately lobed or deeply parted, without above Hair, underneath pubescent, depilated in old age. Its midrib is convex on both sides, and the lower side is thick and conspicuous. There are 5-7 pairs of side veins, connected by curved arches away from the margin, and the network veins are slightly obvious. The petiole of the gerbera is 7-15cm long, with thick longitudinal ribs and somewhat hairy.
The scape of gerbera is solitary, or a few clusters are rare, 25-60cm long, without bud leaves, coat, hairs are densest at the top, the head is solitary at the top of the scape, the diameter of the tongue at the florescence 6-10cm; involucre bell-shaped, about the same length as the bisexual flower, up to 2cm in diameter. The involucre 2 layers, the outer layer is linear or diamond-shaped, the tip is pointed, 8-10mm long, about 1-1.5mm wide, the back is pilose, the inner layer is oblong-lanceolate, the tip tail of gerbera is 10-14mm long, spproximately 2mm wide, with dry membranous margins, sparsely pilose on the back; torus is flat, bare, honeycomb-shaped, diameter 6-8mm. Its outer female flowers 2 layers, outer corolla tongue-shaped, gerbera tongue is light red to purple red, or white and yellow, oblong, 2.5-3.5cm long, 2-4mm wide, with 3 teeth at the top, 2-lobed filiform, curled, 4-5mm long. Staminodes is filamentous, 3-4mm long, protruding beyond the corolla tube. The style branches of female flowers and bisexual flowers are short, with blunt tips, less than 1mm long.
Gerbera efficacy and role
The ornamental value of gerbera
The gerbera has beautiful charm, gorgeous color, anniversary blooming, and strong decoration. It is resistant to long-distance transportation and has a long insertion period, making it an ideal cut flower. Cultivated well, an average of 30 cut flowers can be harvested per plant a year. It is also suitable for viewing with potted plants, which are used to decorate halls, door sides, window sills and desks. In warm regions, such as southern China, gerbera is used as perennial root flowers for garden cluster planting, flower arrangement, and lawn edge decoration.
The environmental value of gerbera
Gerbera has the function of removing formaldehyde and benzene pollution caused by decoration. It is a green weapon against formaldehyde and benzene and can keep the indoor air fresh.
Gerbera growth habit and growing environment and distribution
Gerbera is native to Transvaal in southern Africa and is commonly cultivated throughout China.
Gerbera likes an environment with sufficient sunlight and good ventilation. The optimum temperature during the growth period is 20℃-25℃, and the optimum temperature in winter is 12℃-15℃. If it is lower than 10℃, it will stop growing. It is a semi-cold-resistant flower and can tolerate a short-term low temperature of 0℃. Gerbera prefers loose, fertile sandy loam rich in humus and good drainage, avoid heavy clay soil, suitable for slightly acidic soil, and can grow in neutral and slightly alkaline soil.
Gerbera sowing and seedling
The seeds of gerbera are directly sown in a plug with a hole diameter of about 3.5 cm. The sowing medium can be slightly fertilized peat, with a p hour value between 5.0-5.5 and a gamma value between 1.2-1.5 mS/cm. You’d better sow seed in each hole of the plug, water it and add a fungicide. Gerbera seeds need light to germinate, so do not cover the seeds after sowing. It’s a good choice to put the plug on the nursery bed in the greenhouse and cover it with a plastic cover. During the germination period, you’d better maintain a high humidity level, and lightly irrigate or use aerial spray.
The optimum temperature during the germination period of gerbera is 22-25℃, and the optimum sunshine length during the germination period is 16 hours. It is recommended to artificially increase the light during low light periods. Gerbera begins to germinate 3-4 days after sowing, gradually remove the plastic cover when the cotyledons are unfolded, and completely remove the plastic cover when the first true leaf is unfolded. The gerbera seedlings will grow up about 5 and a half to 6 and a half weeks after sowing. When 4-5 true leaves have grown, they can be transplanted or potted.
Colonization of Gerbera
Gerbera is an annual flowering plant. The planting season is not limited, but from the perspective of production and sales, the most suitable planting period is from late March to mid-April in spring. Flowers can be picked in autumn and blooming in winter. Staggered planting, plant row spacing 40cm×50cm, planting 6-8 plants/㎡. Too high a density is susceptible to pests and diseases, and the number of flower buds decreases; too low a density affects the economic output. Because the root system of gerbera has the characteristics of shrinking old roots, and the leaves are basalized from the stem, the planting should be shallow planting, and the root neck should be slightly exposed to the soil surface. If the planting is too deep, the plant will shrink and sink with the old roots. When the growing point is buried in the soil, the buds of gerbera are not easy to grow out of the ground, which affects flowering.