The gerbera is on the Flower Agenda in April 2020
Playful, cheerful colours and shapes, available all year round and unscented: the gerbera matches every personality. The flower’s symbolism is also linked to cheerfulness. For example, the Celts believed that a gerbera would diminish the burden of daily life. The flower also symbolises the joy of children, making it a perfect gift.
Some history. Gerberas originate from southern Africa, Asia, South America and Tasmania. The flower is a member of the plant genus Asteraceae, and there are some thirty species in the wild.. The German doctor Traugot Gerber, who went on expeditions to find various types of medicinal herbs and plants, spotted the flower. He then christened the flower ‘gerbera’, after his own surname.
At first glance the gerbera may seem to be a simple flower, but appearances can be deceptive. Take another look. The outermost ribbon-shaped flowers determine the shape of the whole flower, and the gerbera’s heart also consists of small flowers. It really is a wonder of Nature. There are now more than 600 varieties - too many to simply be divided by colour or into large-flowered and small-flowered varieties. Hence there are small gerberas which are sold as ‘nano’ varieties and double-flowered, very pointy and bicoloured varieties and varieties with twisted petals. Or think of new cultivars like Fireworx Firefly®, Pastini Cesena® and Power Ball®.
What to look for when buying gerberasThe length of the stem, the diameter of the flower and the colour of the petals.
- Check for the presence of pests and diseases. Spots on the petals or stems and grey mould in the heart of the flower indicate botrytis.
- The gerbera’s heart determines the freshness of the flower. If the heart is a ‘woolly’ with more than 3 or 4 rings of stamens, the flower has already been standing in water for a few days.
Care tips for professionals
- The gerberas’s vase life is good: good quality flowers can last two to three weeks. They then no longer need wires.
- Use a clean vase and clean water with a preservative.
- Trim the stems slightly so that they can take up water well. Like tulips, gerberas continue to grow in the vase. Take account of this in a mixed bouquet.
- Big temperature fluctuations, a damp environment and direct sunlight will reduce the vase life.
- Do not place gerberas near fruit: the ethylene gas released by the ripening fruit affects the vase life.
- It’s better for the gerbera to refresh the water regularly rather than pour lots of water into the vase in one go.
Display tips for professionals
The gerbera represents cheerfulness and liveliness, and is therefore often used to add colour to bouquets. The smooth stem makes it easy to combine the flower with other flowers in a bouquet or arrangement. In April the gerbera combines well with blossom branches. Fill a vase with water and flower food, and cut the branches to different lengths. Place the branches together with gerberas of different heights tightly in the vase. This provides the flowers with plenty of support, and creates an attractive vertical bouquet.
Care tips for customers
- Gerberas can last two to three weeks if you look after them well.
- Place the flowers in a clean vase with clean water and preservative.
- Trim the stems slightly. Like tulips, gerberas continue to grow in the vase.
- Gerberas do not like big temperature fluctuations, a damp environment or direct sunlight.
- Don’t place gerberas near fruit.
- Regularly refresh the water in the vase.