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Pests and Diseases
All gerberas planted in free draining soil or potting mix require regular fertilising.
The ‘Golden Rule’ is little and often. For the home gardener once a month is satisfactory.
By keeping a little well balanced all-purpose fertiliser around the plants, nourishment
is available when required.
During winter the plants find it difficult to take in nutriments through the roots because of the
cold so foliage feeding is recommended. Any fertiliser with high Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium
(Potash) is suitable.
Products like Thrive or Bloom Booster will also be beneficial.
WARNING – Remember the ‘Golden Rule’ it is better to use half the amount twice as often.
Any over feeding in application can cause problems.
NKP Blue is good to use during the summer and a teaspoon per plant is sufficient.
If liquid fertilisers are used leaching will be faster because more watering is required
during hot weather. From late autumn to early spring the nine month slow release ‘coated’
granules such as Macracote or Osmocote do help to supplement the plants nourishment.
A little extra Sulphate of Potash does help to produce more flowers and stronger stems,
but it should always be used in a 1 to 2 ratio with Magnesium Sulphate (Epsoms).
20 grams (about 5 teaspoons) of potash to 10 grams (2 ˝ of Epsoms) in 9 litres of water
is recommended and about ˝ litre of the solution per plant.
Animal manures can be beneficial. The quantities of the various elements is of course
dependant on the animal’s diet and some care and trial and error is probably necessary.
If used as a mulch the manure should be kept well away from the crown of the plant.
For further information refer to Department of Agriculture and Food Fact Sheets
Fertiliser guide for nurseries