Have you seen the pictures of rainbows that children have been drawing and placing in windows during the COVID-19 pandemic? This heartwarming display has been popping up in houses across the country, and was encouraged by schools during online lessons to spread cheer through an otherwise dark time. But if you’re busy working on your garden, then you can easily spread cheer through your use of colour!
There’s one plant that stands out as an artist’s palette of eye-catching hues amongst the greenery: Gerbera. Also known as the ‘African Daisy’, Gerbera was discovered back in 1737 in South Africa, before being brought back to Kew Gardens in the UK for breeding; all Gerberas can be traced back to these plants!
Still extremely popular today (it’s in the top five best-selling cut flower varieties), the Gerbera is a go-to choice for gardeners who want to add some summer-to-late-summer colour to their patios.
Rainbow Gerberas: bigger, better and more colourful
One particular variety of Gerbera that attracts the attention of colour loving gardeners is the Gerbera jamesonii – AKA Rainbow Gerberas. Why? Its blooms are larger than a standard Gerbera, and its available in more colours – perfect for creating that rainbow patio display that you always wanted!
About Rainbow Gerberas
This variety is available in almost any colour you can think of (apart from blue and green!), and therefore suits any colour scheme. It blooms profusely throughout the summer, and outlasts average patio Gerberas by around two to three weeks. Not only are the flowers worth a double take, the plant also complements its colourful blooms with lush, shiny, green leaves and long, strong stems for picture-perfect symmetry.
Approved by NASA
19 plants were tested by NASA for the removal of harmful chemicals from the air, and Gerbera jamesonii was found to be extremely successful at this task! The plant was able to remove benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air, all of which are known to be toxic when breathed in.
Caring for Rainbow Gerberas
This variety is best planted in a 35-40cm diameter pot per plant – those large blooms need a fair amount of space, so don’t overcrowd them! Preferably place your Rainbow Gerberas in a sunny, sheltered position – just like many other summer bedding plants. They’re ideal for a patio, balcony, terrace, front door or in garden borders.
Plant in well-draining soil and water frequently from below, as getting the crowns (the area where the stems join the root) wet can cause crown rot. And don’t forget to feed regularly; Richard Jackson’s Flower Power is perfect. Remove spent flowers by twisting off at the base to encourage repeat flowering. Alternatively, you can cut stems low to base.
To overwinter, keep your plant in a cold greenhouse, and in spring, give the foliage a good cut back.
Colourful patio inspiration
Need some inspiration for bringing your patio back to life after spring? Here are some of my favourite colourful patio ideas:
Find your perfect combination of plants with a mixed container, like this one by Stacie Speith.
Play around with the height of Gerberas and use them to create vertical interest when mixed in with plants in smaller containers.
Group certain colours together for a more organised look. If you’re really keen on this idea, try creating a ‘rainbow’ of hues by grouping together colours in a gradient style.
Where to buy Rainbow Gerberas
Think this plant would suit your patio? Then you’ll adore the Gerbera Patio Collection from QVC. With your order, you’ll receive six seven-centimetre established plants in the following colours:
- Bighorn – a fantastic double with hot pink blooms
- Fundy – a two-tone beauty that contrasts a delicate light pink with an intense true pink shade
- Glacier – large, decorative pure white blooms set against a dark eye
- Olympic – outstanding double, deep red blooms with a dark eye
- Orange County – vivid orange blooms that glow with radiance
- Painted Desert – sunshine shades of yellow and orange with a black centre
This collection will bring a huge amount of variety and interest to any patio, balcony, terrace and more. Enjoy your plants well into the summer and early autumn – and maybe even snip a few stems for displaying inside the house!
Get them here at QVC.
The QVC Gardening Tips series
The presenters at QVC are helping me put together a series of videos containing quick tips for improving and making the most of your garden! Watch the first video in the series below:
What are your top tips for your patio or garden? Let me know in the comments below!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook – and writes a plant-focused Substack called Grow This, Not That.