Hello hydroponic gardners, today we came up with asubject of growing hydroponic Gerbera daisy flowers. Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) another entry from hydroponic flowers list,is a daisy-like flowering plant that comes in a variety of beautiful colour tones. The impressive flowers, which grow on top of single, tall stems, are complemented by many slightly misty leaves. At maturity, Gerbera daisy may reach a height of 8 to 24 inches, depending on the variety. Gerbera daisies are generally grown for their bright and cheerful daisy-like flowers. They are known to be originated from South Africa and come in various sizes and colours like pink, yellow, salmon, orange and white, with flower sizes anywhere from 2 to 5 inches across.
A step by step guide to growing hydroponic Gerbera daisy
There are many gerbera daisy cultivars available, improved for their colour and flower shape (single, double or multiple petals). For better results in how to care for a gerbera daisy plant, choose a variety that is compact in size, as flower stems will be sturdier on compact plants, and one that suits the grow pot size or hydroponic system you will be growing in.
Advantages of hydroponic gerbera
1) Working posture
Special in height adjustable systems are developed for the cultivation in grow pots, by which a better working posture can be obtained. This working posture improvement can be a benefit for harvesting and crop-maintenance activities. The speed of harvesting in hydroponic systems is normally slightly higher if the height of the system is adjusted to the height of the growers. Also, crop-maintenance such as leaf picking, rouging can be performed easier and therefore often quicker.
2) Transmission of diseases
As the plants are being grown in separate grow pots or different system the chance of transmission of diseases like Phytophthora is reduced to a minimum.
3) The production
With cultivation in the hydroponic system, the production is approximately 20-35% higher compared to traditional cultivation in the soil makes it one of best hydroponic flowers. This hike in percentage is related to the soilless nature of the system which means the almost nullified incidence of soil-borne mishappenings, climate regulation. Further, the crop will grow better in hydroponics which also results in higher production. This better cultivation is achieved due to the better control of the feeding and water conditions provided in the substrate.
4) water requirement
When growing in the hydroponic system, the irrigation of water with nutrients can be regulated more easily. This can be carried by measuring the quantity of drainage water. In this way, the grower can response to the weather changes (more or less water) and can work in accordance with the direct needs of the plant.
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Propagating Gerbera in hydroponics
One of the flowers that do well in hydroponics can be raised easily in any condition indoors or outdoors. Growing gerbera daisy plants is possible from various means like seed, seedlings or division. The seed is the cheapest and ideal method, but seeds must be sown immediately as they lose viability rapidly after opening. Growing from seedlings or divided plants is quite easier and if you can be sure what the flower type it will be. If you have an older healthy plant, the crowns can be cut and divided in early spring. Remove its lower leaves and replant it immediately.
Growing Gerbera flowers from seeds
Fill grow trays or pots with a light seed starting medium, or make your own mix using grow media like coco coir, perlite, and vermiculite. Plant Seeds by using a toothpick to poke a hole in the grow medium. You should keep the growing media moist, but not waterlogged, and maintain germination temperature above 70° F, with about eight hours or more of bright light every day making it one of best flowers for indoor hydroponics such as petunia hydroponics. When the Gerbera daisy seeds will sprout out in two to three weeks, remove the plastic cover but keep the seedlings moist. After the Gerbera daisy seedlings have developed two sets of true leaves, you can carefully transplant the plants to their destined hydroponic system.
The nutrient solution required for growing hydroponic Gerbera
With the hydroponic cultivation, the growing plant has a limited substrate volume (± 3 liters). This has to be kept in mind when you are irrigating the plants. Good water quality is essential in order to be able to provide the optimum feeding solution. Further, it should be avoided that unwanted accumulation of certain element occurs which may influence the growth of the crop negatively. In order to maintain adequate freshwater in and flushing through the substrate, a minimum of 30% drainage should be achieved. The number of irrigation turns and the quantity of water which has to be given per turn in order to get an optimum growth also depends on the temperature, speed of wind and radiation of light. The pH of the nutrient solution should be maintained between 5.4 and 5.8 and the EC between 1.5 and 2.0. For best maintenance and results of hydroponic cultivation, you can buy easy to use bloom formulation for the gerbera plants from any horticultural store.
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Gerbera Plant care in hydroponics
Removal of inferior quality flowers at the initial stage after plantation is known as disbudding. The normal production of gerbera plants starts after 75 – 90 days from the date of its plantation. Production of flowers may start 45 days after plantation but you get initial production of inferior quality, hence these flowers have to be removed from the base of the flowers stalk. This helps in making the plant-strong, healthy and encourages superior production.
Removal of old leaves:
Plant sanitation helps in keeping the disease and pest infestation below the economic threshold level. The old, dry, infected leaves should be soon removed from the plant and removed from the system as well.
Harvesting of Gerbera daisy in hydroponics
The first flowers may be harvested after 75 – 90 days after its planting. Flowers of most of the varieties (single types) are ready to be picked when 2 – 3 whorls of stamens have completely been developed. Some varieties are picked little later, especially the double types. The ideal gerbera flower has a stalk length of 45-55cm, and diameter of the flower is about 10 – 12cm.
Morning or evening is the ideal time for gerbera flower harvesting. You might require particular skills for harvesting of gerbera cut flowers when doing hydroponic cut flower production. After harvesting the flowers should be kept in a bucket having clean water. Flowers are very delicate hence they must be carefully handled otherwise they can be damaged and their quality may get deteriorated. For harvesting gerbera, no secateurs are required and it can be done simply by naked hands.
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