Gerbera Research Group Inc.
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Pests and Diseases
Usually after 12 months most gerbera plants have multiplied so profusely that they require dividing. Although gerberas can be successfully divided during all months of the year if given special treatment, it is important that the inexperienced grower divides at the best time, which is mid-September to mid-November. All soil should be washed from the crowns and this can be done either by strong jet of water or vigorously dipping in a bucket of water.
In many cases the divisions can be clearly identified and it is possible to separate them by hand. Do not use excessive force, but if there is any difficulty with separating them by hand then cut on the underside of the crown. Remove all the buds , flowers and unhealthy or discoloured leaves. Take a close look at the crown as quite often underneath there will be a lump of solid growth. Break this off with the hands if possible, otherwise use a sharp knife and if by chance a few roots come away with the growth it is still advisable to remove the “ lump”. Examine all the roots for dark brown to black sections and remove all traces of these.
Then using sharp scissors or secateurs cut off excess roots leaving about 8 centimetres of strong, healthy roots. Any small new white roots should remain.
Should the leaves be longer than 14 centimetres they may be shortened back to that length.
Next, dip the new divisions into weak Condy’s crystals (Potassium permanganate) and then into
a weak solution of White King bleach (about 1 to 15 of water). After dipping in the bleach make
sure to rinse in clear water to remove all traces of the bleach. After dividing each plant all
implements must be also be dipped into the bleach to prevent transfer of any disease to the next
plant to be divided. Now the plant should be free from fungal and disease problems.
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