The Q&A Archives: Pest Control For Gerbera Daisies

Question: I have bought several gerbera daisies this spring only to see them suddenly wither up and die. I seem to be having two problems - white filmy leaves, which I realize can be from too much watering and not enough drainage and something seems to be eating the roots. I have dug up the plants to determine if it could be slugs or a small grey beetle but can't tell if it's one or the other. I've dusted with some kind of "7" stuff but need to know if this is going to help. Got any suggestions????

Answer: The white film on the leaves is probably powdery mildew. It's a fungal disease and you can stop the spread by removing affected leaves as soon as you notice the problem. To avoid, make sure there's plenty of air circulation around your plants and provide full sunshine (partial afternoon shade if your summer weather is really hot). Overwatering can cause root rot which results in wilting. If you've improved the drainage your plants may recover and begin putting out healthy new growth. Sounds like you've dusted with Sevin, which is an insecticide, not a fungicide. I'd avoid using such a powerful insecticide on flowering plants; it's toxic to bees and bees can't resist visiting brightly colored flowers. They can pick up residue and take it back to their nests. Hope your gerbera daisies regain their health.

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