Repotting may save the plant, but gerberas are prone to root rot and crown rot due to overwatering. So check the state of the roots and crown before repotting, and cut out any rotten bits. If there is any healthy tissue left, repot it, water lightly the dish that the plant pot is in, and put the whole lot in a plastic bag, seal the bag, and leave it for about a week. If there are still signs of life, water it sparingly, and put it back in the sealed plastic bag for another week. Because of the conditions that gerbera live in, they need to be watered when the sandy well-drained soil they are potted in is showing signs of being dry and never before. Like many other people, I suspect Tigs that you overwatered it because it was looking droopy - a standard response to any droopy looking plant. Unfortunately, they are the exceptions that prove the rule. But they are lovely and the daft thing is that, as long as they have plenty of sunshine, will flourish by being 'neglected'. As an aside, the same goes for african violets. I've one of those in a spare room which I'd neglected for a year or more - no water, no feeding, no nothing. A month or so ago, I chanced to go into the room and gave it a water and feed - and it's rewarded me with a wonderful display of flowers. I don't think gerberas would survive quite that long, but I wouldn't be surprised if they do - they're both plants whose ancestors had evolved to thrive in areas with lots of sun and intermitent rainfall.
Right, tomorrow I will go out on the patio and repot, and bear in mind your advice, Fi.
Thank you very much indeed!
The plants here have been neglected for quite a while - some died over the three years Dave was in no fit state to properly care for them, but others have rallied. And he keeps adding more - we have a six foot tall umbrella plant and a five foot tall Devil's Ivy that are recent additions.
I couldn't resist the potted narcissi in Lidl yesterday, either - 1.99 for three bulbs! There are some different ones for the same price today - crocus, hyacinth and a couple of other things. The narcissi are in a gorgeous pot, in pastel yellow, blue and green checks on white.
I also bought a tiny phaleonopsis last week, which is doing well. The humidity in here is pretty low - below 45% - and Dave likes it warm so temperature wise it is low to mid twenties. There are floor to ceiling windows with plenty of ledges, above the radiators, and that side of the house gets most of the sunlight during the day.
When this place is properly squared away and we've finished removing dead leaves and repotting some of the bigger plants, I will take some photos!
Tigs, don't forget that phalenopsis, like most orchids, need humid conditions and shade to thrive - and overwatering will again lead to root rot. The easiest way to provide humidity is to sit the pot on pebbles or the like, and make sure that there is always plenty of water in the dish, but not in contact with the pot. Then give the plants a daily mist of water, or a very light watering, and include orchid fertilizer about once a fortnight while they are flowering. I'm rather impressed with what is a new orchid genus to me - Mandevillia. I bought three plants, yello, red and orange, at the beginning of December, and they flowered until last week. Apparently they thrive at lower temperatures than most other orchids and they prefer sunshine and light shade, rather than total shade from the sun. The flowers are small and delicate but very numerous on each plant - if I can get them to flower again they will definitely go onto my list of desirable house plants.
Thanks, grumpy - I brought it straight back inside and it is on the floor by the radiator to give it a chance to dry out a bit further.
I've been peeking in the bag every day, and the top soil is certainly dry, and it is still a bit droopy but the petals haven't fallen off the one flower that was left and the buds of the other two flowers are still fine.