We’ve seen a lot of talk about hardy gerberas over the last few years, and quite a few new plants have appeared that claim to meet the description. And, though uou may be surprised to hear it, some really are hardy. These new spider types have survived -20C in two different Worcestershire trial sites.
Developed in The Netherlands, like all gerberas they form a bold rosette of rich green leaves from which the stems arise, each carrying a single flower. Flowering from May to November on 12-18in/30-45cm stems, the long-lasting flowers just keep coming, especially if dead-headed or picked for the house.
There are five colours (above, click to enlarge), Lemon, Orange, Pink, Red and Salmon, all with the same mass of slender rays surrounding a golden eye. When planted in containers, this distinctive flower formation can be more easily seen in close up.
These Spider Series gerberas appreciate good drainage, especially in winter. In containers, use a compost that drains well and stand the pot on pot feet as container composts tend to be mostly peat or peat-substitute and can hold too much winter moisture. Allow the plants to become a little dry before watering. In the garden plant in a sunny border with fertile soil that drains well.
These Spider gerberas also make long lasting cut flowers. Cut them as the ray petals are unfolding but before you see pollen in the central eye. Gerberas are especially susceptible to the build-up of bacteria in the water so be sure to use a flower food.
You can order these Spider Series gerberas as a collection or as individual colours from Hayloft Plants