I planted 4 of these 2 weeks ago. Two are thriving, one is doing okay, but the photo is of one that it suffering. The flowers withered and drooped, so I cut them. New buds were coming up, but seem to have shrank down to nearly nothing. One plucked off easily when I was checking the crown for texture (checking for crown rot).
I sprayed for insects 8 days ago and will respray tomorrow. As long as the foliage remains green like this, is there hope for this plant?
Various insect pests require specific sprays. What insect are you treating for, and what pesticide did you use? If a caterpillar did this, it has likely moved on anyway. Did you check the label on the product to make sure it is suitable for use on Gerberas?
You made sure the crown was exposed. That's good. I think a period of benign neglect would be your best choice for the time being. Have you checked under the leaves using a flashlight at night to see if any insects or caterpillars are there? If you can't find any insects or other chewing pests I wouldn't spray again, and also would not feed it for now. It is stressed, and fertilizer will stimulate it and that would be counterproductive. If new leaves appear and are undamaged, then you could resume your regular feeding schedule. It doesn't need any blooms at this time either, for they compete with the foliage for nutrients. You only want healthy plants to bloom.
Thanks DP, that's what I've been doing for the past few days -- benign neglect. I thought, since this plant sits furthest downhill from the other gerberas, perhaps it's getting too much moisture, so I stopped watering it directly. When I sprayed for insects, I didn't do so under the leaves. I haven't gone out at night with a flashlight, and don't think I'm going to. Will heed the insecticide and fertilizer advice too, thanks.