Elisabeth C. Miller Library

Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Knowledgebase record #254

PAL Question

My Gerbera daisies look marvelous, however, the flowers come up only a few inches and then wilt and fall over, but the leaves look great. There are no yellow leaves to denote over watering. What am I doing wrong? They are planted in the ground.


Ideal growing conditions for Gerberas include the following:

SOIL: A medium that has adequate pore space and yet retains substantial amounts of water should be used. Peat moss and peat-like substances, therefore, are essential ingredients in the preparation of media... The soil pH should be adjusted to between 5.5 to 6.2 for optimal gerbera growing conditions. In very acid soils this can be achieved by adding either limestone or dolomite to the soil mix.It would be hard to get too much organic matter into the soil for this plant. A mixture of one-third sand, one-third leaf mold and peat moss, and one-third rich loam...is ideal.

WATER: Moist well-drained... Gerberas require an abundant supply of moisture, but will succumb under waterlogged conditions.Best grown in areas of long, warm summers and high humidity.

FERTILIZATION: Fertilize lightly but regularly... Fertilizers containing a high percentage of an ammonia-type nitrogen should be avoided.

LIGHT: ...Provide protection from the afternoon sun in hot climates (i.e. summer in the Pacific Northwest).

PLANTING: The most important factor in gerbera production is transplanting... Gerberas need to be transplanted with the crown at or preferably above soil level. The crown should be visible at all times, and should be allowed to dry out between irrigations.

If you are doing all of this and the flowers are still drooping, you might want to dig one of the plants up and take it to a Master Gardener clinic. If they do not know what is wrong, ask them to send it to the pathology laboratory in Puyallup. It is better to go through Master Gardeners first so you will not be charged. To locate your nearest clinic, go to the WSU Master Gardener Program website and click on I Want to Talk to a Master Gardener Volunteer.

1. Annuals for Every Purpose, by L. Hodgson, 2002, p. 138-139.
2. International Plant Propagators' Combined Proceedings, vol. 34, 1984, Gerbera Production and its Problems, by B. Tjia, p. 365-381.
3. American Horticultural Society Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gardening; Annuals, ed. by M. Yee, 1982, p. 101-102.
4. Annuals and Perennials, by editors of Sunset Books, 1993, p. 72.

Keywords: Gerbera
Date: 2008-01-31

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