Unknown Problem with Gerbera Daisies
I'm fairly new to gardening and have planted these Gerbera Daises a few months back. I've had this recurring problem with all my plants where something is eating up the leaves and killing the plants. Some plants have died while others have recovered, only to have this problem recur. I've used multi use sprays that attack multiple insects and fungus but nothing has seemed to help. Now my Gerbera Daisies are dealing with this same problem again so I took some pictures in hopes that someone would be able to recognize the source of the problem.
One thing that has been common with this problem is the fact that there is always some strange type of cocoon looking thing on the back of some of the leaves. I have never seen any insects whatsoever in the garden and have no idea what it could be.
Please help me out.
That looks like "caterpillar" type of damage. The fact that the cacoon you took a picture of has some sort of larvae in it makes me think that is the culprit. When I get leaf eating critters in my flowers/garden, I make sure it is not from slugs or snails then spray with BT. I do not like using chemicals, so this is an organic answer. The "pillars" eat the leaf and get sick and die. It works well. I also spray "safers soap" on all my flowers when there is an aphid outbreak. This also kills soft bodied insects, and not just aphids.
Hope this helped
definately the damage to leaves is by some sort of critter. would guess slugs as they are not around during the day so you would not notice them. go out at night with a flashlight and have a look or set a trap by hollowing out a grapefruit half and setting it cut side down among the plants. the little buggers find grapefruit rind irresistable and when you go out in the morning and look under your grapefruit half, if there are slugs around, they will be under there. bag up and destroy any you find. another problem you seem to have is a serious fungus issue in the form of powdery mildew and blackspot. this is usually a result of a combination of lack of air circulation and water on the leaves. if you are watering, try not to wet the leaves of your plants as this will help to deter the growth of fungus, also water in the morning and not in the evening so any water which does get on the leaves has a chance to dry before nightfall. I fthe moisture is not due to watering but to rainfall, well then you cannot control that.
It seems shady in your bed? if it is that's OK but try planting things which prefer shady spots. specifically looking for plants which are resistant to powdery mildew may help as well. the fungus spores are there to stay in the soil and mulch but keeping the leaves of your plants dry will help. I f you are not opposed to chemical control, there is a product available called "Floritect" which controls both fungus and insects but it is quite toxic so handle with care.
I am sorry to say that I think it is too late for these gerbera daisies and they are done for. No matter what you do these particular plants are too infested and will never look healthy and attractive If they were mine I would say goodbye to them and replace them with something else.
hope this helps,
your friend from Canada,
I was thinking a lot in the same direction but then looked at the pics that were posted. YES, slug/snail/'pillar damage looks similar, but when I saw the "cacoon and critter" under the leaves, I thot it was probably 'puillar and not slimy critters.... What do you think?
I agree the coccoon indicates the presence of caterpillers too. The particular 'piller in the cocoon shown is not guilty of the current damage though as he is sleeping and working on becoming whatever moth or butterfly he will become. perhaps a coombination of both pre-cocoon caterpillers and slugs are responsible. the bigger issue though which is killing the daisies is the fungus I think. a healthy plant can recover from a bit of chewing by insects as long as it is not a total anihilation by an army of the little buggers
I would start over.
where do you guys garden?