Underwatering gerbera can cause stunted growth

Underwatering gerbera can cause stunted growth

Uniformity is one of the most important aspects associated with containerized greenhouse crop production. Variation in plant size within any crop can reduce quality and, in some cases, reduce the number of marketable plants.

In a recent e-GRO alert from early 2023, Chris Currey of Iowa State University recalls a situation in which he looked at a crop of containerized gerbera and found a noticeable difference in plant size from the front of the growing block to the back.

“In walking to the back of the block, the pattern became clear: the edge of the crop had been grown too dry,” Currey says.

Several factors contributed to this problem, according to Currey. First, gerbera daisy can be more prone to drying down compared to other containerized crops simply due to the leaf morphology. The large, serrated leaves transpire more than other leaves and can use up moisture quickly, drying down. While this increased transpiration capacity helps keeps plants cooler, it also causes gerbera to use up substrate moisture more quickly.

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