GERBERA (Gerbera jamesonii)
1. Climate: Gerbera cultivation can be done under wide range of climatic conditions. In tropical climate, gerbera flowers are grown in the open but in subtropical and temperate climate they are protected from frost and cultivated in greenhouse/shade net house.
Day temperature of 22 –250C and night temperature of 120C to 160C is ideal for cultivation. It requires approximately 400 w/m2 light intensity on the plant level.
2. Soil and its preparation: A well drained, rich, light, neutral or slightly alkaline soil (ph 6.5 to 8.0) is most suitable for gerbera cultivation and production.
The roots of Gerbera go as deep as 50-70 cm. Therefore soil should be highly porus and well drained upto 50 cm to have better root growth and better penetration of roots.
Land should be ploughed deep 2-3 times and brought to a fine tilth. Raised beds of 30 cm height, 1.0 -1.2 mt width should be prepared leaving 30-50 cm between two beds. Well decomposed FYM, sand and coconut peat/paddy husk in 2.1:1 proportion should be added to the beds.
3. Soil sterilization: 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 lt. water/mt2 area or Methyl Bromide (30g/m2) solution and then covered with a plastic sheet for a minimum period of 2-3 days. Then beds should be watered thoroughly to drain the chemicals before planting.