Old fashioned favourite gerbera has become one of the most popular flowering indoor plants, throwing up buds which burst into radiant blooms for weeks on end. Imagine if you could have the same in your garden ...
Well you can now! New winter hardy Garvinea® are a revolution in the gerbera world. Unlike indoor gerberas, which have limited outdoor use due to their susceptibility to cold temperatures, Garvinea® will bloom right through spring to late autumn - outdoors!
Ingenious plant breeders travelled to the home of gerberas, South Africa, to seek out wild species exhibiting the characteristics they wanted in a gerbera: cold tolerant, pest and disease resistant, vibrant colours, free blooming and of course long flowering. Naturally, not all these characteristics could be found in one plant, but after ten years of hybridising different species, breeders came up trumps with a magnificent new collection they named Garvinea®.
Spring is a great time to plant Garvinea®, as they are entering their natural growth and flowering phase. Garvinea® tolerate practically any soil, except permanently boggy soil. And although relatively dry tolerant, it is best to condition the soil with quality compost prior to planting to help retain soil moisture during dry spells. Avoiding any form of stress will keep plants healthier and prevent 'glitches' in flower production. Like other gerberas, Garvinea® will droop at the end of a dry day, indicating they require water. Once watered, they quickly stand to attention again.
Garvinea® are available in a large range of colours to suit all tastes and planting schemes. Their flowers may be smaller than indoor gerberas, but they make up for this in the sheer number of flowers open at any one time and length of the flowering period, from early spring until late autumn or the first frost. Regular deadheading, by breaking flowers off at the base of the flower stem, will promote further flowering.
Garvinea® are relatively pest and disease tolerant making them easy care plants. But as with any prolifically flowering plant, monthly applications of fertiliser (or one application of controlled release pellets at planting time), plus fortnightly applications of liquid fertiliser, will help sustain health and vigour.
Garvinea® are cold hardy to -5°C, meaning cold climate gardeners can now safely plant gerberas outdoors. It is recommended that plants are not groomed in late autumn as the remaining flowers and foliage help protect the crown of the plant from cold temperatures. In frost prone areas, plants can also be covered with straw to protect them from inclement heavy frosts.
Although an old-fashioned favourite, these new generation gerberas are also a stylish solution to the modern garden, providing amazing splashes of continuous colour to both garden beds and containers.