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...
Jim Devereux, Green Fuse Botanicals

June 24, 2017

Green Fuse Botanicals New Vice President is Focused on Helping Growers Succeed

Jim Devereux, who will oversee production, sales, and marketing for Green Fuse, says he hopes to bring genetics to the market that break from traditional production methods for finished growers.

Read More
Ushio Sakazaki feature

June 22, 2017

Japanese Breeder Ushio Sakazaki Wins Medal of Excellence Award for Industry Achievement

From Supertunias to Superbells, this innovative Japanese breeder has used wild genetics to create game-changing plants that help consumers reconnect with the beauty of nature.

Read More
CallaFornia Red

June 20, 2017

Dümmen Orange Enters Calla Market With Acquisition of Golden State Bulb Growers Portfolio

Golden State will continue to supply the market through September 2018, at which time Dümmen Orange will assume supply and delivery of much of Golden State’s product line.

Read More
Latest Stories
Jim Devereux, Green Fuse Botanicals

June 24, 2017

Green Fuse Botanicals New Vice President is Focused on …

Jim Devereux, who will oversee production, sales, and marketing for Green Fuse, says he hopes to bring genetics to the market that break from traditional production methods for finished growers.

Read More
Ushio Sakazaki feature

June 22, 2017

Japanese Breeder Ushio Sakazaki Wins Medal of Excellenc…

From Supertunias to Superbells, this innovative Japanese breeder has used wild genetics to create game-changing plants that help consumers reconnect with the beauty of nature.

Read More
CallaFornia Red

June 20, 2017

Dümmen Orange Enters Calla Market With Acquisition of G…

Golden State will continue to supply the market through September 2018, at which time Dümmen Orange will assume supply and delivery of much of Golden State’s product line.

Read More
Plantpeddler Variety Day

June 14, 2017

Plantpeddler Hosting Variety Day on Aug. 4 in Cresco, I…

The free event will allow attendees to tour Plantpeddler’s trial gardens, which include more than 1,200 varieties of vegetative annuals displayed in large containers, baskets, window boxes, and beds.

Read More
Jonathan Babikow, Emerald Coast Growers

June 9, 2017

New Head Grower at Emerald Coast Growers is Excited abo…

Jonathan Babikow, Emerald Coast Growers’ new general manager/head grower for its Lancaster, PA, location, talks about his favorite perennials, the advantages of growing in Pennsylvania, and his future hopes for his career.

Read More
Petunia 'Amore Mio' (Danziger)

June 8, 2017

AmericanHort Update on Genetically Engineered Petunias

AmericanHort is actively assisting affected plant breeders, distributors, growers, and retailers as the genetically modified petunia regulatory response continues. Since the last update, there have been several changes to the list of petunias confirmed or suspected of being genetically engineered and therefore unauthorized to be imported or sold. Also, the list of recognized laboratories for petunia variety confirmation testing has expanded. Most importantly, petunia varieties on the USDA-APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) list require an APHIS Form 2000 for importation. APHIS also began requiring that any Petunia spp. Shipments, not including regulated GE varieties, must be accompanied by a list of variety names. This resulted in some inspection delays at the USDA-APHIS plant inspection station in Atlanta over the past two weeks. In response, AmericanHort has negotiated a more flexible approach with APHIS, and new guidance has just been posted for importing Petunia plants, cuttings, or seed. The new guidance allows […]

Read More
Bailey Expo

June 8, 2017

Bailey Nurseries Expo to Take Place in Late July in Min…

This year’s expo will focus on bridging the gap with Millennials and non-gardeners through creative marketing, engaging in-store displays, and heightened customer service.

Read More
Scaevola Mix from Suntory

June 6, 2017

How Was Your Spring? Let Us Know by Taking Greenhouse G…

Please take a few minutes to answer Greenhouse Grower’s 2017 Spring Recap Survey. The deadline for completing the survey is June 20.

Read More
Eason Horticultural Resources Hot New Perennials Booklet

June 6, 2017

Eason Horticultural Resources Releases New Perennials B…

“Hot New Perennials for 2018” is a compilation of information shared with Eason from a broad range of perennial young plant producers, breeding companies, and breeder representatives.

Read More
Beedance Bidens Yellow (Suntory Flowers)

June 1, 2017

Recommendations for Successfully Growing BeeDance Biden…

Anne Roberts of Meadow View Growers says growers in northern states can take advantage of cooler temperatures early in the season and grow BeeDance Bidens varieties with less heat.

Read More

May 30, 2017

Danziger Launching New Interactive Marketing Programs D…

The new campaigns include a focus on Danziger’s Amore petunia series, using videos and displays to help attendees “share their love” for Amore.

Read More

May 25, 2017

Genetically Modified Petunia Update: Breeders Take Swif…

Now that the initial shock of genetically engineered petunias is wearing off, breeders continue testing for tainted stock and look toward the future. On the consumer side, uncertainties remain.  

Read More

May 23, 2017

USDA-APHIS Bulletin on Unauthorized Distribution of Gen…

On May 2, 2017, USDA-APHIS was informed that an orange petunia variety was potentially genetically engineered and had been imported and moved interstate without required authorization by APHIS. This led to testing of numerous petunia varieties, which confirmed this particular variety and several others are genetically engineered, and meet the regulatory definition of a regulated article under APHIS regulations. APHIS continues to work with the industry to ensure unauthorized GE petunias are not distributed in the United States.

Read More
Petunia F1 African Sunset from American Takii

May 22, 2017

Genetically Modified Petunia Update: Question and Answe…

AmericanHort’s key role interfacing with the USDA on the recall of genetically modified petunias has helped the horticulture industry rapidly address the problem. Senior Vice President Craig Regelbrugge talks about recent updates, the impact on the industry, and where it goes from here.

Read More
Eason 2017 spring trials report

May 16, 2017

New California Spring Trials Report Now Available From …

The report features genetics from 21 different breeding companies and information gathered from the 15 different stops on this year’s tour.

Read More
Schizachyrium scoparium The Blues

May 13, 2017

How Ornamental Grasses and Sedges Can Play a Role in Po…

Grasses and sedges provide food, shelter, and support for pollinators and the birds and mammals that keep insect populations in balance.

Read More
Asclepias with a bumblebee

May 8, 2017

How to Choose the Best Native Plants for Pollinator Gar…

The popularity of native plants is rising as gardeners become conscious of the need to plant more pollinator gardens. The challenge is to select the right plants to put in them.

Read More
Allan Armitage Of Naked Ladies and Forget Me Nots

May 2, 2017

Allan Armitage: How Growers Can Be Creative to Take Gar…

Our industry does a good job of making things convenient for our customers. It’s time to take it a step further.

Read More