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If you have ever been to South Africa, and to the Transvaal in particular, you will have seen gerbera daisies.
They are grown for their colourful and bright daisy flowers and you will find them in different sizes as well as colours.
Gerbera daisies come in a range of colours from salmon, pink, yellow, white, scarlet, deep red and orange and can be as big as 5 inches across.
You can grow gerbera daisies yourself from either seed, seedlings, or by dividing the clumps.
Naturally growing them by seeds is far the cheapest way, in fact you can find packets of them at most garden centres.
If you do choose to grow gerbera daisies by the seed method then be sure to use them as soon as you open the packet otherwise they become dormant and may not sprout.
The easiest way to propagate gerbera daisies is to buy seedlings or ask for a piece of a plant that is in your friend’s garden.
This way you will know what type you are getting. You can lift and divide them in the spring and should aim to get them into the ground right away.
Sometimes it looks like the heads and flowers are just too heavy, and the daisies seem to wilt but with regular maintenance you can stop your gerbera daisy from wilting and have them standing upright.
Here are Some Things About Gerbera Daisies that you Might not Know
- They have a long vase life, longer than many other cur flowers.
- The biggest ones can reach up to 7 inches across.
- Hybrid varieties of them are cloned through tissue culture to produce long-lasting flowers which are less sensitive to light and so remain open in the dark, unlike most other daisies which close at dusk.
So, Why Does your Gerbera Daisy Wilt?
One of the first things to think about if you see that your gerbera daisy is wilting is nutrition and nutrition stress.
For gerberas kept indoors you may want to move them to a sunnier spot, or at least place them near a sunny window.
You can also improve the watering conditions. Both too much, and too little water will cause your gerbera to droop.
Gerberas do not do well if they have to compete for nutrients, and if they must fight for their food, they tend to droop.
If your gerberas are planted too close to other plants you should think about moving them away.
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How do you Stop your Gerbera Daisy from Wilting?
If your gerbera is in a pot, you should first think about water around its roots. Gerberas do not like their roots to be wet, they do not appreciate water on the root ball.
Potted gerberas prefer if you feed them from below rather than pouring water in at the crown.
Gerberas also prefer morning sunlight and will wilt in heat above 70 Degrees F. If the temperatures rise above 70 degrees F they tend to wilt.
Check each day to make sure that your gerbera is moist. While they do not like the root ball to be wet, they must have water so be sure to give them if the soil feels dry to the touch.
If you have a regular watering schedule your gerbera will wilt less.
A good quality all-purpose fertilizer will be fine for your daisy and you should feed it regularly. Gerberas that are in pots will need feeding more than those in the ground.
Clip those Wilted Heads
Removing the heads which are drooping will mean more energy goes to the remaining flowers and they will perk up.
Cut wilted flowers and leaves back to the base of the stem with a set of clean hand pruners.
A 2” layer of organic material placed on the top of the soil around your gerbera daisy will help to keep the soil moist and prevent wilting.
Mulch also prevents weeds around your plants and will improve the quality of the soil for your gerbera.
You can mulch your plant with lawn cuttings, bark, wood chips and any organic material.
If your gerbera daisy is wilting because it has been overwatered and has root rot, you may be able to save it by re-potting it.
Look at the roots and remove any areas which are rotten. Re-pot the plant and water sparingly. You may be lucky enough to save the plant this way.
For cut plants
- Your garden centre will be able to sell you packets of cut flower food which will help keep your gerbera from wilting.
- Mix the flower food with 1 litre of warm water (not hot).
- Cut the bottom of the stem at an angle of 45 degrees using a sterile pair of scissors and place in the water in the vase.
- There should only be about an inch of water in the vase so that the ends of the stems are submerged.
- Place the vase in a cool room overnight with temperatures between 32-35 degrees F.
- Move to desirable spot the next day.
Why are Your Gerbera Daisy Leaves Turning Brown?
While this does not seem to hurt the plant at all, it does make it look unkempt and not as pretty as it could look.
The most common reason why your gerbera leaves seem to be turning brown is that you have managed to get water on them when watering the plant.
Gerberas do not like having their leaves wet, so it is a better idea to water them from below to avoid splashing the leaves.
Another reason for brown leaves is if you give your plant too much water. This often is the cause of fungi and brown spots on the leaves.
If we think about the origins of the gerbera daisy we see that they come from the Transvaal in South Africa.
The climate there is mild to moderate (I know as I went to school there. I only saw snow once in the 17 years I lived there!)
Gerberas can be fussy about the amount of water they receive, and they do not like being doused with the hose as you water the rest of the garden.
These plants are better left until the soil is slightly dry before watering them, rather than keeping the soil moist which will prevent oxygen from getting to the roots.
If you are enjoying this article, check out our article on do marigolds attract bees, wasps, butterflies and slugs.
How do you Stop your Gerbera Daisy Leaves Turning Brown?
It is important that you water infrequently and deeply. My mom used to hold off watering until the leaves just began to wilt and then give them a good deep soaking.
If you keep your gerberas in pots then it is important that the pots have good drainage, so the roots do not stay wet. This will cause root rot and the plant may die.
Brown leaves which are caused by fungi should be removed as soon as possible and destroyed.
If you want the plant to grow at its best you should fertilize it each month during the growth season. Also, remove dead and spent flowers right away.
In spring and summer, which are the peak growing seasons for the gerbera, you will need to feed them regularly to keep them looking spectacular.
Pinch off the old leaves to make way for the new growth.
You should also remove any leaves which have fallen off by themselves. If you leave them near the plant there is always a chance that you have fungus growth.
So, the Points to Remember here are These:
- Don’t wet the leaves when you water
- Avoid the sprinkler system which works for the rest of the garden
- Water the base of your gerbera only
- Let the soil get almost dry before watering again
- Use pots with good drainage
- Feed regularly in the growth season
- Get rid of old, dead leaves right away
Best Place to Plant Gerberas?
These plants love to receive the morning sun, and then enjoy the afternoon shade.
In the ground make sure to place them a little apart from others so that the air circulates around them.
Colder climates are not what they enjoy so be prepared to bring them inside during winter.
Your gerbera will survive on a sunny windowsill in the house.
Why are your Gerbera Daisy Leaves Curling?
The most likely reason for the leaves of the gerbera to curl are insect damage. This can also be caused by overuse of herbicides and disease.
Aphids are the pest which thrive on gerberas and these little mites will suck the juices from the young leaves. Other pests which frequent gerberas are thrips and whiteflies.
One disease to which they are prone is powdery mildew. This will start as white spots that quickly spread until the whole leaf is covered and starts to look grey.
The laves will become curled and eventually wither up and die.
How do we Stop the Gerbera Leaves From Curling?
Pest infestations can cause the eaves to curl. Aphids will make your gerbera look yellow and generally unwell so be sure to check for these pests if you see the leaves curling.
To treat your gerbera for pests you can use a remedy made of water and insecticidal soap. You can also buy horticultural oil at garden centres.
Powdery mildew will make your plant’s leaves to curl. This is caused by long periods of high humidity added to cloudy skies and moderate temperatures.
Depending on the area you live these conditions may occur in the early winter months when the days are still pleasant.
If your potted daisy develops powdery mildew you may want to check where it is placed as the conditions may not be ideal.
Additionally, if you have a selection of gerberas placed together and one develops leaf curl, you should move it away from the others.
The pathogens on powdery mildew can spread to others and affect them all.
Leaves which curl should be removed right away, you can simply pinch them off.
It is not a good idea to wipe the leaves with damp cloths as this will remove the tiny hairs from the leaf surface and your plant will die.
Final Thoughts: How to Stop a Gerbera Daisy Wilting
These amazing plants are easy to grow and can be planted in either pot or directly in the ground, making them extremely versatile, as well as attractive for use as cut flowers.
With a little maintenance you can quite easily keep your gerbera daisy from wilting and have a colourful display most of the year.
Before you go, here are some more related articles I encourage you to read below to help solve more of your gardening issues: