As a lover of flowers, I must admit that I cherish the idea of gardening. For when flowers are well-groomed, they bloom and they rise to serve their natural aesthetic purpose. For that reason, I decided to dig deep into my favorite garden flower, gerbera daisy, a popular flower, known for its crowned multicolored blooms. I believe that my findings on this particular plant will help you to take better care of your gerbera daisy plants.
Suppose that you are a gerbera daisy enthusiast like me, the question is: what would you do to ensure that your flowers blossom?
Like all flowers, good care ensures that they flourish and there is no much difference with gerbera; for it, daisy thrives when planted in well-drained soil with mild climatic conditions. As much as we may believe that all flowers thrive under certain conditions that are often assumed to be similar, gerbera daisy in its uniqueness enjoys some exceptions. These delineations see gerbera daisy bloom strictly in temperate conditions, an exemption that is not a norm for most garden flowers.
Using Homemade Fertilizer for the Gerbera Daisy
Homemade fertilizer for gardening can be as simple as using organic refuse that is easily available within a home setup. Likewise, common commercial plant nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium can be bought separately and mixed at home in certain proportions to come up with a good formula that would foster the growth of gerbera daisy.
Adding compost mature to the soil in which these flowers are to be planted has many benefits and it marks the first step I would take to ensure that gerbera daisy is well taken care of. With organic manure in the soil, there is increased activity of microorganisms.
These microorganisms churn and loosen up soil particles and in the process, provide the much need aeration in the soil. Besides, compost mature is ideal in nourishing gerbera daisy owing to its unmatched ability to effectively retain moisture in the soil.
While organic manure does a marvelous job in enabling gerbera daisy to thrive, commercial fertilizers, on the other hand, have their precise applications. And so the second step that I would take to deliver an ideal homemade fertilizer is to buy these commercial plant nutrients and then mix them based on the objectives that they are to serve once in use.
Generally, nitrogen helps in enriching plant foliage; phosphorus fosters the development of flowers and fruits while potassium improves the stems and roots of plants.
For gerbera daisies, their blooms are as important as their stem and roots. With a prerequisite in mind, I then mix the three nutrients in an equal apportionment of 12-12-12 to denote the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium formula that would work in equal measure to deliver in the development of gerbera daisy flowers.
Typically, nitrogen is often apportioned a relatively higher proportion while dealing with other plants and flowers to enable them to have healthy foliage. However, for this purpose, I lay much emphasis on gerbera’s large and crowned flowers and apportion an equal phosphorous ratio that would enable the flowers to bloom at a faster rate.
How to Get Long Stems for the Gerbera Daisy
Customarily, healthy flowers boast long sturdy stems. Therefore, seeing to it that gerbera daisy has long strong stems would be part of the larger goal in getting the best out of these flowers. The point here is to avoid stunted growth and seek to reduce the rate at which wilting occurs.
Naturally, the undertaking involves the regulation of moisture, temperature, and nutrients. So planting your gerbera daisies in well-moisturized soil, neither too dry nor too soggy is the first step in ensuring that the growth of your flowers is unimpeded.
Moreover, making certain that the right temperature ranges that guarantee their growth is availed; is another aspect toward providing the right conditions. Ideally, the temperature ranges for blooming gerbera daisy plants lies between 100C and 200C (500F and 800F).
Most important in this attempt is to ensure that the plant is supplied with the most favorable fertilizer formula that supports growth. The recommended nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium mixture that I would use to achieve this long and strong stems for the plant is 24-8-16. The formula favors nitrogen and potassium, and as such, leads to the development of strong healthy plants. In addition to these steps is the process of deadheading.
Deadheading ensures that mature or wilting flowers are cut off to warrant the growth of more flowers. What follows after the deadheading process is that the stems of gerbera daisy will grow longer.
How to Deadhead Gerbera Daisy
As flower gardeners, we may understand the idea behind the process of deadheading but do we really know how to go about it? To effectively handle the process, a sharp knife or a pair of scissors is used to nip the flower stalks at their bases to avoid damaging their stem and to give a chance for new buds to spruce up.
Deadheading should be done at the right time. Usually, the nipping process of the flowers is done after a large number of blooms pop up, when they mature up or when the flowers start to wilt.
The deadheaded blooms can then be placed in a water vase, sent as a present, or the wilting ones used to enrich the soil. For newly planted gerbera daisies, maturity and serious wilting begin after the fourteenth week of planting and may run until the eighteenth week. This is the best time to begin the process of nipping these flowers.
Time Taken for Gerbera Daisy to Bloom
Generally, gerbera daisies produce their flowers between the fourteenth and eighteenth week of planting. However, the difference in the blooming period that runs to about four weeks is attributed mostly to care given to these flowers as well as the conditions under which they grow.
For instance, well cared for gerbera daisies endowed with a good combination of conditions such as soil, moisture, nutrients, and sunlight, are likely to mature faster and may even bloom before they reach the fourteenth week.
In poor conditions, however, stunted growth, yellowing of leaves, and disease invasion are the likely norms to be encountered. As expected, such flowers will take a longer time to bloom.
Diseases Likely to Impede Gerbera Daisies’ Blooming and Their Remedy
Diseases generally hamper plant growth, and as such, hinder the maximum blooming of flowers. And gerbera daisy is not immune to this reality. Here are some of the diseases that affect the gerbera daisy as well as the most effective ways of preventing them.
Powdery Mildew. It is a fungal infection that affects the flowers and the leaves of gerbera daisy. It is often manifested as a powdery substance. Powdery mildew is prevalent during high humidity or when there is widespread cloud cover as well as during unfavorable temperatures that typically fall below 100C (500F).
To prevent the disease, necessary conditions that favor the growth of the flowers must be availed at all times. Besides, antifungal substances such as potassium bicarbonate can be used to remedy the infestation of the disease.
Botrytis Blight. When you happen to see grey fungal spores form on the leaves and flowers of your gerbera plants then know that they are under botrytis blight attack. Botrytis blight is common during rainy cold weather and it thrives in similar conditions as powdery mildew.
To prevent the disease, guaranteeing ideal soil aeration and adequate moisture in the soil, ensures that the disease is kept at bay. This can be done by effectively mulching the plants. In the event of botrytis blight infestation, however, Daconil fungicides can be used to remedy the effects of botrytis blight.
Black Root Rot. This disease eats into the roots of the plant and manifests itself in the form of yellow leaves and black rushes that appear at the base of the stem of gerbera daisy. Good drainage, achieved through mulching prevents black root rot invasion.
Besides, an ideal spacing of between 18-24 inches between plants reduces the chance of the spread of black root rot. In the event of severe black root rot invasion, however, uprooting the infected plants is an option that should be explored.
With the understanding that gerbera daisy is a climate-sensitive plant and that it thrives only in specific conditions, we can then work for the plant to provide these conditions and ensure that it blooms.
Providing these conditions is the key to achieving this objective. First, the soil in which gerbera daisy is to be planted must be adequate moisture and well aerated. Then a good formula of commercial nutrients that targets specific parts of the plants must be mixed and used appropriately.
Besides, the process of deadheading gerbera daisy ensures that the plants spruce up more flowers, the stems grow longer and the plant stays healthy generally. Lastly, preventing disease and remedying disease infestation guarantees blooming gerbera plants.