Photo courtesy of Sakata Seed America
Gerbera daisies always bring a smile to your face with their bright colors and pleasing flower shape. Sakata’s new Majorette series leads the parade with unparalleled uniformity, flower power and controlled plant growth. Gerbera Majorette initially features 7 colors, including one bicolor, and is ideal for use in 1-quart pots and larger with multiple plants.
Production PLUG STAGE Plug trays used are 128, 144 and 288, depending on finished container. Media: Long fiber peat or high porosity peat. Target a starting pH of 5.5-5.8 and EC of 0.7 (2:1 slurry). Cover: Use light cover of soil or coarse vermiculite. Covering with Reemay (fiber spun cloth) is often used to manage light, humidity and temperature. Temperature: Optimum germination temperature ranges from 72-75°F. Fertilizer: When the cotyledons are up and lying flat, apply 75 ppm N. Increase to 150 ppm N. Cal/Mag formulations after leaves are formed. Target 0.25 ppm B at each fertilization. Lighting: Supplement with 300-500 foot candles from HID lights. 10-14 moles of light per day. PGRs: If needed, B-Nine at 500-1,000 ppm is effective. Crop timing: 5 weeks in a 288 to 7-8 weeks in a 128 tray. FINISH STAGE Potting: Well-drained, porous media with a pH between 5.5-5.8 and EC between 0.8 and 1 mmhos. Spacing: Initially keep pot tight for the first 4-5 weeks and then space out as needed. Temperature: Close to zero DIF. An average daily temperature of 68ºF with days around 70ºF and nights at 66ºF. Watering/fertilization: Apply 150-200 ppm N using a combination of Cal/Mag and ammonium-based fertilizer blends to maintain EC at 1.2-1.5 mmhos and a pH between 5.5-5.8. Lighting: 4,000-6,000 foot candles and 14 moles of light for the best results. A maximum photoperiod of 14 hours is best. PGRs: Apply B-Nine a few weeks after establishing. A rate of 1,250-1,500 ppm is sufficient. 2,500-3,750 ppm are typical rates used to control growth. The use of cultural controls should be employed first as each B-Nine application delays flowering by one week. NOTE: Do not apply growth regulators once the flower buds reach the size of a pea (1 cm). Instead, use fertilizer, light and temperature to manage stem length.