Although gerbera is perennial, it is usually only kept as an annual plant as a houseplant or in the garden. This is due to the sub-zero temperatures and the long, dark days in winter. With a few tips, you can get your gerbera through the cold season.
Gerbera needs a winter break
If you cultivate gerbera as a houseplant, you can experience a very long flowering period if the conditions are right. The location must be warm, bright, and not too dry. Then the plant can continuously develop new flowers.
In most cases, the ideal conditions in the house cannot be created. Therefore, send the houseplant into hibernation in October. Put them in a location that:
- Is very bright
- Temperatures between 12 and a maximum of 15 degrees (53-59F)
- Is not too dry
- Water only once a month
- Don’t fertilize
Cut off dead flowers and dry leaves. Gradually acclimate the gerbera to the warm spot on the window sill when it gets longer light again.
Keeping gerberas in the garden perennial
There are two ways to care for gerberas in the garden for several years. Either plant a hardy variety or bring the plants indoors in winter.
If you keep hardy gerberas, you must provide winter protection, as these varieties also survive a maximum of minus five degrees (23F).
Overwinter gerberas indoors
Dig up non-hardy varieties in September or early October. To do this, cut out the root ball generously and place the plant in a pot with sufficient soil.
Place the gerberas indoors in a light spot with temperatures between 12 and 15 degrees (53-59F).
In early May, start bringing the gerberas out of hibernation and accustoming them to fresh air. You can finally plant them again from the end of May when no more frosts are to be expected.
Gerbera houseplants bought from the supermarket or hardware store are often treated with a growth inhibitor. It should ensure that the plant does not grow too high. These pot plants usually only flower for one season and cannot be kept for several years.