Gerberas are one of the all-time top-selling cut flowers, and it’s not hard to see why.
Their long-lasting daisy-like flowers are very pretty, coming in various colours from pastels to vibrant hues. You can either buy fully mature plants from garden centres or buy seeds to sow. Sow seeds in trays for transplanting later. Germination may take several weeks, so be patient. When big enough, plant out in the garden in well-drained soil in a sunny, sheltered position. If drainage is poor, plants are unlikely to survive, so pot them up in containers instead. Gerberas do like regular moisture, but they don’t like to be overwatered, or to sit in constantly wet soil.
There’s a new round of gerberas hitting the garden centres, so it’s a good time to plant one if you haven’t already. Grow them in full sun, in light, free-draining soil and provide plenty of water in the warmer months. If you don’t have a spot that’s warm enough, grow them in containers on a sunny deck or patio. Do make sure you water them though. These plants are not particularly drought tolerant.
Whether you like them in the softer pinks or lemons, or in vibrant hues like orange, red, hot pink and butter yellow, gerberas are happy mixed with most plants in the vase. This spring bouquet includes roses, rununculi and tulips. For a summer mix, try hydrangeas, scabiosas and echinacea.
A couple of weeks ago I bought this stunning gerbera. It’s a Garvinea gerbera, one in a new range of gerberas that has been bred for improved performance outdoors. Not only is it cold-tolerant (to minus 5 degrees), it flowers year round in warmer climates. There are several colours in the range, including pink and red, and most are in garden centres now. Plant in a sunny spot for best show, in free-draining soil.