GERBERA (Gerbera jamesonii)
Sun Set, Nevada, Sangna, Lynx, Macho, YCD-1, YCD-2, Vino, Venturi. etc. are the popular varieties of gerbera.
Soil and Climate
Sandy loam with good drainage capacity having a pH of 5.5 – 6.0 is more suitable. Temperature should be within the range of 25° C - 27°C to avoid bud abortion/scorching. It is better to raise the crop under poly/green house.
The crop can be cultivated throughout the year.
Propagation and Planting
It can be propagated through suckers and tissue culture plantlets. Raised beds with 4 ft. width and 40 cm height are formed at an interval of 60 cm and planting is done at a spacing of 30 x 30 cm.
Greenhouse cultivation of gerbera
Before starting gerbera cultivation, disinfection of the soil is absolutely necessary to minimize the infestation of soil borne pathogens like Phytophthora, Fusarium and Pythium which could otherwise destroy the crop completely. The beds should be drenched / fumigated with 2% formaldehyde (100 ml formalin in 5 litres of water / m2 area) or methyl bromide (70 g / m2) and then covered with a plastic sheet for a minimum period of 2 to 3 days. The beds should be subsequently watered thoroughly to drain the chemicals before planting. Well developed tissue culture plants having 4 -6 leaves can be planted firmly without burying the crown.
Drip irrigation is done once in 2 – 3 days @ 3.75 litre/drip/plant for 15 – 20 minutes. Average water requirement is about 500 – 700 ml/day/plant.
Drip irrigation for gerbera
Neem cake 2.5 ton/ha
P - 400 g/100 sq.ft.
MgSo4 - 0.5 kg/100 sq.ft.
Calcium Ammonium Nitrate and Muriate of Potash at the ratio of 5:3 is mixed and applied at 2.5 g/plant/month.
1. Hand weeding is done whenever necessary.
2. Remove the flower buds up to 2 months and then allow for flowering
3. Rake the soil once in 15 days to facilitate easy absorption of water, fertilizer and to provide air to the roots.
4. Remove older leaves to facilitate new leaf growth and good sanitation.
1. To control Nematode - Carbofuran 7-8 kg/ha is applied at the time of planting.
2. Leaf spot - Carbendazim 2 g/lit or Mancozeb 2 g/lit is sprayed alternatively.
3. Leaf miner - Chlorpyriphos 20 EC 2 ml/lit.
4. Glasshouse whitefly - Monocrotophos 36 WSC 2 ml/lit or Neem oil 3 ml/lit.
Season of flowering and Harvesting
When flowers completely open, harvesting is done. Flower stalk is soaked in Sodium hypochloride solution (5-7 ml/lit of water) for 4-5 hours to improve vase life.
Gerbera ready for harvest
Post harvest handling
Harvesting is done when outer 2-3 rows of disc florets are perpendicular to the stalk. The heel for the stalk should be cut about 2-3 cm above the base and kept in fresh chlorinated water. Flowers should be graded and sorted out in uniform batches. Flowers packed individually in poly puches and then put in to carton boxes in two layers.
An abnormality characterized by numerous leaves, short petioles and small laminae, which gives some cultivars of gerbera a bushy appearance known as bushiness. Nodes are not clearly distinguished and no internode elongation is seen.
It is a common post harvest disorder in cut gerberas. This is mainly caused by water imbalances. It could be ethylene controlled and associated with early senescence caused by water stress.
Yellowing and purple margin
Nitrogen deficiency causes yellowing and early senescence of leaves. Phosphorus deficiency causes pale yellow colour with purple margin. Increase in levels of nitrogen and phosphorus were found to promote development of suckers and improve flowering in gerbera.
Based on stem length and diameter, flowers are graded in A, B, C and D.
The crop yields 2 stems / plant / month. Harvest starts from 3rd month of planting and continued up to two years. Under open condition, 130 -160 flowers / m2 / year and under greenhouse condition, 175 - 200 flowers /m2 / year can be obtained.