New to the gerbera Festival series, Apricot with Eye and Red with Eye are bred for improved compact plant habit. They feature shorter flower stems for easier shipping. Other available colors include Lemon Yellow, Salmon Rose, Blush, Cream, Orange and White Shades.
During germination, a slightly fertilized peat with 20 percent perlite works well. For optimum results, maintain a pH of 5.5-5.8, EC of 0.7 and temperature of 72° F. Gerberas are photosensitive during germination, so no top cover is needed.
After seedlings have emerged and cotyledons are present, provide good air movement and an air temperature at 68-72° F. Fertilize with 50- to 75-ppm nitrogen from a well-balanced, calcium nitratebased fertilizer around day 10. Gradually increase fertilizer concentration to 100-ppm nitrogen to maintain a media EC between 0.8 and 1.0 as seedlings progress.
When plants are ready for transplant, select a sterile, well-drained media with good aeration. Keep pot tight for the first four to five weeks after transplant. Then, space before leaves cover the crowns of other plants. Optimum day temperature is 72-75° F and 65° F at night. Gerbera require high light levels; maintain light level at 4,000-6,000 foot-candles.
Major pests to watch for include leaf miners, whiteflies, cyclamen mites and aphids. Common diseases are Alternaria, Phytophthora and powdery mildew.