New Gerberas Offer Options For Containers, Bedding And Cut Flowers

Gerbera 'Cartwheel Strawberry Twist'

Gerbera has been a favorite flower for decades, and its popularity continues to grow.

Discovered in South Africa in 1884, gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii) was named after the German botanist Traugott Gerber. It was first cultivated in England in the 1890s, and was originally brought to market by florists as a potted crop meant to draw customers into their stores.

Today, gerbera is one of the five most popular flowers behind roses, carnations, chrysanthemums and tulips. It has grown into a multi-purpose plant that is coveted for containers, bedding designs and cut flowers, and it has evolved from its traditional roots to a modern beauty
with a twist.

Cut Flowers Vs. Potted
Primarily grown in the Netherlands and Colombia, cut flower gerbera are commonly used in floral arrangements. Unlike the older varieties, these gerbera are produced from tissue-cultured plants and are grown in specialty production facilities. These facilities are especially suited for cultivating plants with thicker, longer stems that produce a continual
harvest of cut flowers.

Bred to stand out and brighten any garden, bedding gerbera have short, sturdy stems that produce three to five flowers at first flush. They bloom throughout the season, providing continual color that will pop at retail. Their compact growth habit and manageable foliage allow growers to increase their profitability by growing more plants per square foot and maximizing shipping rack space.

Consumers in the warmest parts of the country, Zones 9 to 11, will see gerbera last throughout the winter season, while the rest of the country will see beautiful annuals in the landscape through the summer and into the fall.

More than 100 years after being discovered, varieties suited for potted gerbera have been subject to the greatest evolution. Once a delightful classic with core colors, the potted gerbera has transformed from a flower seen only in florist shops to a modern, diverse plant that is sold in premium containers alongside other bedding plants. They have been bred to be more vigorous with bloom sizes ranging from mini to extra-large. These potted gerbera are a high-quality blooming potted plant that growers can produce in large quantities and demand a premium price.
Modern breeding has also brought consumers a rainbow of novelty colors to choose from beyond the classic red, yellow and white. For example, the latest gerbera innovation from Syngenta Flowers showcases this potential for unique colors that consumers love. Gerbera ‘Cartwheel Strawberry Twist’ is a segregating genetic that brings various flower colors and shading to each plant. The flowers can vary from plant to plant, producing a range of colors from buttery yellows with a hint of pink to deep strawberry with a hint of yellow and everything in between.

With more choices in plant type, color and habit, growers have a wide variety to choose from. Each gerbera type is ideal for different markets and can fit the needs of different retailers.

Trends In Breeding
When choosing a variety to grow, it is important to know the current breeding and consumer trends. Over the past few decades, consumers have started choosing container varieties over landscape varieties, which may be influenced by limitations of space in urban areas. Consumers tend to be drawn to plants with larger blooms, more flowers and unique colors. They are also prone to choose plants that are easy to maintain and can be mixed with other ornamentals to make the perfect designer combinations.

The evolutions seen in gerbera breeding not only satisfy consumer desires, but also improve production and profitability for growers. Historically, quality gerbera were started from tissue-culture liners, which came at a lofty expense. However, with the advances in seed breeding, gerbera can now be propagated from seed and result in high-quality plants at a lower cost to growers.

Recently, breeding companies have also sought ways to help growers produce gerbera more efficiently. Many gerbera varieties are now available in coated seed, which allows it to flow easily through modern seeders. Using coated varieties also makes seed more visible in plug
trays, helping to ensure that seeds are not accidentally multi-sown into a single plug cell. This will ultimately save costs for the grower.

Technical Advances
In addition to progressive breeding, advances in technical support are making gerbera easier to grow today than ever before. By managing the growing environment and controlling insects and diseases, growers are having great success producing this profitable plant. Additionally, most gerbera breeding companies provide production assistance, culture guides and plant protection options.

Gerbera has come a long way from its humble beginnings. The increasing popularity of this crop has led to more breeding advances and given growers more options for producing gerbera. Whether it is grown for beautiful cut flower bouquets or for beds and containers, gerbera is a great choice to give consumers tradition with a twist.          GG

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...

October 17, 2017

14 New Shrubs With Fringe Benefits

What’s popular with shrubs? Consumers want varieties that will give them more return on their investment, in terms of long-lasting blooms and multi-season appeal that lasts from spring until fall and at times stretches into the winter months. Here are 14 new varieties of shrubs and sub-shrubs to consider for your product mix in 2018.

Read More

October 14, 2017

PlantPeddler Hosting Poinsettia Variety Day in December

The event will feature side-by-side comparisons of more than 100 commercial and pre-released varieties from seven breeders.

Read More

October 10, 2017

Coastal Callas Is a Dream Fulfilled for Founder Adrian Espinoza

Adrian Espinoza and his family founded Rancho Espinoza Inc. and Coastal Callas in California seven years ago with a mission and purpose to provide consistent quality and reliable supply of calla lilies to the marketplace.

Read More
Latest Stories

October 17, 2017

14 New Shrubs With Fringe Benefits

What’s popular with shrubs? Consumers want varieties that will give them more return on their investment, in terms of long-lasting blooms and multi-season appeal that lasts from spring until fall and at times stretches into the winter months. Here are 14 new varieties of shrubs and sub-shrubs to consider for your product mix in 2018.

Read More

October 14, 2017

PlantPeddler Hosting Poinsettia Variety Day in December

The event will feature side-by-side comparisons of more than 100 commercial and pre-released varieties from seven breeders.

Read More

October 10, 2017

Coastal Callas Is a Dream Fulfilled for Founder Adrian …

Adrian Espinoza and his family founded Rancho Espinoza Inc. and Coastal Callas in California seven years ago with a mission and purpose to provide consistent quality and reliable supply of calla lilies to the marketplace.

Read More
Azalea Encore Autumn Bonfire

October 4, 2017

Big Changes on the Horizon for Woody Ornamentals

The future looks bright for the woody ornamentals market, with exciting new varieties in the pipeline that will offer greater disease resistance, cold hardiness, bloom capacity, and more.

Read More

October 3, 2017

25 New Blooming Potted Plants for Luxury Sales

Consider these new blooming potted plant varieties that offer full blooms, unique foliage, and a touch of extravagance and easy maintenance for time-strapped customers who want to pamper themselves.

Read More
Hydrangea 'Berry White' (Bailey Nurseries)

October 2, 2017

Woody Ornamentals Market Set for Growth

The woody ornamentals market is looking up. Now, out-of-the box thinking about product offerings and consumer education will keep things moving in the right direction.

Read More

September 27, 2017

New Mum Intros From California Spring Trials 2017

For fall gardening product selection, you can't go wrong with offering mums. Here are a few of the new introductions that we saw at California Spring Trials 2017 that will be making their retail debut in 2018.

Read More
Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer BloomStruck’ (Bailey Nurseries)

September 26, 2017

Bailey Nurseries Enhances Product Development Program, …

Plant Introductions, which Bailey purchased almost three years ago, is being rebranded as Bailey Innovations, an entity that will breed and trial new varieties in Georgia.

Read More
Green Fuse Lupine Staircase Pink

September 24, 2017

How to Effectively Grow Staircase Lupine

The Staircase Lupine series, part of Green Fuse Botanicals’ First Light Perennials collection, has the potential to put on a great display with solid and bicolor hues.

Read More
Terra Nova 2018 Catalog

September 23, 2017

Terra Nova Nurseries’ Latest Plant Catalog is Now Avail…

The new 2017-2018 plant catalog, which features hundreds of varieties, series, and collections from Terra Nova Nurseries, pays homage to the company’s 25th anniversary.

Read More
Armitage GWA Buffalo Tour 5

September 21, 2017

Tour of Buffalo Gardens Reveals Hidden Gems And Communi…

This past August, Allan Armitage joined the Association for Garden Communicators on a tour of Buffalo. It was a reminder that that we can make a difference in neighborhoods, in cities, and in people’s lives.

Read More
Suntory Grandessa argyranthemum - feature

September 18, 2017

Breeders Open Availability for Unrooted Cuttings; Here&…

With new avenues for buying young plants for vegetative production, growers should have an easier time finding availability and receiving shipments of unrooted cuttings for the coming seasons.

Read More
Ball, Tagawa Succulents Partnership

September 14, 2017

Ball Seed to Partner With Tagawa Greenhouses on New Suc…

The new program includes in-demand retail products that are popular with younger shoppers, allowing growers to easily build a comprehensive succulent program and stay on-trend in the marketplace.

Read More
Strait-Laced Elderberry

September 10, 2017

Check Out the Top Varieties On Display at Farwest 2017

A panel of plant experts, along with show attendees, selected their favorite offerings during the Farwest 2017 New Varieties Showcase.

Read More

September 5, 2017

Hort Couture Announces New Propagation and Broker Partn…

The new grower-propagator partners are deeply vested in the independent garden center channel with propagation expertise, as well as finished production focused on the independent grower.

Read More
Helianthus Sunfinity (Syngenta Flowers)

September 3, 2017

Growing Tips for Helianthus Sunflower ‘Sunfinity…

This annual sunflower is a profuse bloomer with strong branching that produces multiple flowers per plant from spring to fall.

Read More
Ball Seed Field Day 2017

September 2, 2017

Highlights from Ball Seed’s Annual Field Day and Landsc…

Attendees of the one-day event had the opportunity to see new plants in up-close-and-personal trials, and engage with speakers and product experts.

Read More
Bidens Popstar (Kientzler)

August 31, 2017

Allan Armitage: Why I’ve Become a Fan of Bidens

The rather boring plant with mundane daisy-yellow flowers has morphed into a vigorous plant carrying colorful flowers that seems to be comfortable in most of the country.

Read More