Gerberas share the same family as sunflowers, daisies and asters. They are native to South Africa and can be found mostly in Africa, Asia and South America. They are also known as African Daisies. There are various forms of gerbera flowers that can be put into four groups ; single flowers, double, crested doubles or full crested doubles. It is the fifth most cut flowers in the world, after rose, carnation, chrysanthemum and lily.
The first pot of gerberas was given to me by my sister when I moved in to my house about fifteen years ago. My sis, upon seeing my craze for gardening, bought a pot of dark orange gerbera as an addition to my garden of sunflowers and marigolds. I love it instantly and my garden has never been short of a gerbera plant ever since!
These are the gerberas that I have in my front porch. They are really easy to grow, in the sense that, they just seems happy to be in full sun. I just leave them where they can enjoy the sun, as long as they are slightly moist, but not too wet. The only thing that needs to be done, is to pick the leaves as they turn brown and yellow, and cut off the wilted flowers. By doing this, the new leaves and new flower buds will grow and with occasional fertilizer, full sun and enough of water, you can be certain that it will reward you with beautiful blooms all year round. Of course, it won't be as big as the ones in Cameron Highlands, but still as striking and beautiful!
I bought these plants from one particular nursery where nice gerberas plants can be found. The average lifespan of these plants are about 3 or 4 years. But the longest that I have grown is a little over 2 years. Mealy bugs and snails are the main pests. When I buy this plant, I always look for the biggest bunch of leaves and make sure that they are healthy and stay close together.
This is the double crested (I think), the petals are in layers, the colour is pinkish peach. New buds are growing.
Most of the leaves have wilted and there is only one bud, usually there will be at least two or three buds growing at the same time.
The colours of gerberas are simply gorgeous. Of all the colours, my favourite is the bright deep yellow. But my yellow gerbera plant is not very healthy with just a few leaves, trying to "revive" it back. I have therefore just recently purchased another pot of bright yellow gerbera! Without a healthy pot of yellow gerbera in my "garden" is just not complete! All of the plants above have been in my "garden porch" for over a year except for the maroon, about 6 months or so. My white gerbera plant wilted and died a few months back and am tying to find another one, but white gerbera is harder to find. The ones that I found, are scare and not in a healthy state. White gerbera is really beautiful, when put together with the colour ones, the contrasts is really something.
I have never been successful in growing them from seeds from the dried flowers. Any pointers on this, anyone??