Saturday, March 7, 2009

Gerbera jamesonii, Barberton Daisy

Gerbera jamesonii 
Barberton or Transvaal Daisy
The Gerbera is a great South African plant and a true star performer as well. It is probably more common as a florist flower now though it deserves to be more widely grown as a garden flower because of its hardiness and ability to flower continuously during the warm months and well into autumn. It likes to grow in a spot where the soil is not too rich or full of compost and is a little on the dry side. It remains a survivor in many old gardens of houses built in the '50's and '60's, growing in narrow brick garden beds like the ones below.

Gerbera flowers can be single or double with a great range of colours such as cream ,rose, pink, salmon, orange, yellow and red .The single varieties are easily grown from seed sown at any time of the year. The double flowering forms are available from specialist growers and are often exhibited at garden shows as named cultivars.The dwarf Happipot Gerbera often sold as potted colour is usually for indoor decoration. As it is raised in a peat rich mix it invariably fails to transplant well to a garden situation. Gerberas can also be divided being careful not to damage the crown in the process and this is best carried out in spring or early summer. Though tolerant of moderate frost they need a dry winter to do well in cold climates.
Gerberas growing  in a long narrow bed in Bali
2017 update: They are on my to do list to grow the simple single forms.

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