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Gerberas Care and Handling

Gerberas Care and Handling

Grown in an array of colors and variations, the versatility of Gerberas in design offers endless possibilities.  Gerberas are somewhat delicate, but by following a few simple care and handling guidelines, Gerberas are sure to impress.

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The popularity of Gerberas is undeniable and it’s easy to see why.  Gerberas are generally available year-round.  Grown in an array of colors and variations, the versatility of Gerberas in design offers endless possibilities.  Gerberas are somewhat delicate, but by following a few simple care and handling guidelines Gerberas are sure to impress.

Problems & Solutions

Problem:

Ethylene Sensitivity

Solution:

Although low risk, some varieties might be more sensitive to ethylene than others. So it is best to use EthylBloc™ products during transport and/or storage.

Problem:

Sensitivity to Fungal Diseases

Solution:

Gerberas are sensitive to Botrytis and other fungal diseases. Do not over pack buckets with bunches to allow enough breathing room between stems. Also, respect the cold chain and avoid temperature fluctuations. Do not get water on or handle the flowers by their blooms. It is best to remove the protective nets as soon as you are starting to hydrate Gerberas at retail level.

Problem:

Prone to Physical/Mechanical Damage

Solution:

Flower petals are delicate and bruise easily. Handle Gerberas with care and never handle by the flower head. Also, pack with care.

Problem:

Neck & Stem Bending

Solution:

One of the major post-harvest problems in Gerberas is the tendency for the stem to bend (around 10-15 cm below) the blooms resulting in quality loss. Stem bending is primarily due to net water loss from the stem, particularly around the area of bending. Another cause of neck bending is low mechanical strength in the upper parts of the stem. Bacterial/microbial plugging of the stems can prevent water uptake and promote stem bending in Gerberas. Use flower food or chlorine-based solution to keep stems free flowing. Also, start your hydration journey with FloraLife® Quick Dip.

Problem:

Brown Spotting

Solution:

Gerberas are sensitive to fluoridated water. Symptoms show as brown spotting, especially at the ends of the petals. Use clean medium water quality. Gerbera responds well to chlorine. Avoid softened water.

Need to Know: Gerberas Helpful Hints

Properly Mixed Flower Food: The Benefits

  • Helps blooms fully develop
  • Helps Gerberas stay hydrated and avoid wilting
  • Longer vase life
  • Better color retention

Keep it Fresh!

  • Most Gerbera varieties are harvested when the two outer rows of disk florets have begun to open. Once harvested, flowers should be immediately treated in a solution of FloraLife® Express Clear 100.
  • Use FloraLife® Transport Paper sheets for dry shipping and storage.
  • Recommended flower food solution for storage/transport: FloraLife® Express ULTRA 200.
  • Recommended flower food solution for end consumers: FloraLife® Express Universal 300 packets.
  • Cooler / Storage temperature should be 34-38°F, 1-3°C
  • Shipping and storage method whether dry or wet should include support for flower heads. Flowers can be packed individually in shallow cardboard trays designed to support gerberas or placed into firm plastic sleeves or nets. Stems may be inserted into plastic tubing to reduce stem bending. Nets should be gently removed prior to processing Gerberas at store level, before being merchandised or used in floral arrangements.

Performance

  • Average vase life for Gerberas is 4 to14 days.
  • Blooms are received fully open either in cardboard tray or protective nets holding them closed.
  • Maturity, free from defects, stem length, strength, and straightness are important quality parameters to look for in Gerberas when purchasing.
  • Gerberas can be mixed with other flowers without any negative or harmful effects.
  • Avoid crooked, bending stems by hydrating in a tall container with flower food solution while ensuring the stems are supported by either straws, or blooms by the shipping trays they are packaged in.
  • Susceptible to stem burn in low quality floral foam. If designing in foam, be sure to cut stems at a sharp angle before inserting into foam. Performs best in OASIS® Maxlife Floral Foam.
  • Use FloraLife® Finishing Touch spray once designs are complete to keep blooms fresh and hydrated.

FIFO

  • FIFO (First In First Out) inventory rotation is always our recommendation to keep flowers fresh. Some Gerbera cultivars may be sensitive to chilling injury and should not be stored longer than one week. Even this shorter storage period can have a negative effect reducing vase life.

Questions, comments or just need expert advice? Visit FloraLife.com or contact your local representation for an in-person consultation!

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