How To Prune A Gerbera Daisy
Gerbera daisies are very popular house and garden plants that bloom in a variety of bright shades of pink, orange, yellow, and red. To get the best out of a gerbera daisy plant, give it proper care and prune it annually.
Step 1 - Examine the Gerbera Daisy Plant
Before you begin, evaluate the health of your plant. Daisies are quite fragile and require daily care. Prepare to remove any material that does not directly contribute to the health of the plant.
Step 2 - Remove Dead Leaves
Dead leaves from a healthy plant will literally fall off if lightly touched. The plant should create a plug at the base of the leaf stem. If that is the case, you need do no more than remove the leaf.
Step 3 - Cut of Dying Leaves
Leaves that are discolored and wilting are dying. Cut off any dying leaf as close to the stem as possible. Do not use secateurs because they will tear the stem and cause damage. Use a very sharp knife or a safety razor blade. Make the cut vertical so that water will not gather there and cause mold.
Step 4 - Remove Dead Bulbs
Remove any blooms that are past their prime (unless you are saving them for the seeds they might produce). Cut them off very close to the stem, again using a sharp knife or safety razor. Make the cut as close to vertical as possible to prevent creating a collection spot for water.
Step 5 - Promote Blooming
A potted gerbera will respond to a little prompting to produce more blooms. Although this is not strictly pruning, take off young and barely-opened blooms to put into a vase. These blooms will survive for up to 14 days, by which time the plant will have pushed out even more new blooms. Always cut the blooms the same way: use a sharp knife or safety razor to cut as vertically as close to the stem as possible.
Step 6 - Check the Stems
A pot-grown gerbera will have quite a solid mass of stems, and it is important to cut out any dead or dying ones. In such a concentration, it is easy for molds and fungi to take over and kill the plant. Remove any dead, dying or damaged stems using your sharp knife or safety razor. Cut the stems as close to soil level as possible. Try to angle the cut so that any water falling on the exposed end will roll off.
A neglected daisy will require a lot of work and even this can represent a danger to the plant by shocking the system. If you come across a neglected plant, do the pruning over a period of a few days if possible. This will enable the plant to produce any natural coagulants to block open wounds you have caused without reducing energy levels too much.