Friday, October 1, 2010

Growing Gerberas

Growing Gerberas can be a problem for many people but this is not because of the plant. When you have difficulty trying to grow a Gerbera plant in your flower garden or container it is usually because the plant has not been given the type of soil and growing conditions it requires.

The large leaves and prolific flowering help make the vibrant Gerbera one of the most loved flower varieties in the world. These make wonderful cut flower specimens and this is another reason for their continued popularity.

It is important to put Gerberas in a location where it can get at least 6-8 hours of full sunlight. If you do not provide enough light to these plants they will not thrive and you will notice that they will offer few blooms.

Although Gerberas must have sunshine you will need to offer them protection against the rays from the harsher afternoon sun. This is why so many people have difficulty establishing these plants in the outdoor garden setting. Choose a prime location for these plants that lets them receive the morning sun and provides some shelter during the afternoon. An east facing location will be ideal. Some people also discover that growing Gerberas in front of some taller plants will provide them with the shade they need during the afternoon.

Try using fertilizers with higher phosphorous and potassium ratios that are made specifically for flowering plant varieties. Water soluble fertilizers are ideal and this will allow you to feed your Gerberas on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule.

Never over-water a Gerbera plant because the roots are delicate and too much water can cause root rot or other fungi and molds to develop.

If you want to keep your Gerberas at their peak of perfection you can inspect them frequently to make sure that aphids or red spider mites are not attacking your plants. Either of these insects can destroy your flowers. Your plant can survive most aphid infestations but not those that result from red spider mites. A little misting of water on the leaves and flowers when the humidity is low can help ward off these invading creatures.

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