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Gerberas - The Smiling Flowers

by Loan Pham on June 19, 2020

So everyone knows about gerberas, we all drew pictures of them as kids.

Basically you just need to draw the sun and then just add a vertical line below for the stem.

gerbera drawing

 

Basic Facts about Gerberas

In actual fact, yellow gerberas look quite similar to the larger sunflowers.  They are both from the Daisy family (Asteraceae).  While sunflowers can grow to over two metres tall, gerberas are typically 40 - 50 cm in length.  Unlike the massive sunflower head which can grow up to more than 25 centimetres in diameter, a gerbera flower head grows up to around 12 centimetres in diameter.  Smaller ‘mini gerberas’ have a head diameter of around 8 centimetres.

 

Gerberas are one of the most popular cut flowers in the world.  They are grown in hot houses and are available all year around.  Gerberas require a lot of TLC to produce the high quality flowers found in Melbourne flower shops.  Because the heads of the gerberas are quite large relative to their stem, the stems require additional support to grow perfectly.

bright gerberas

Gerberas are available in a large range of colours including shades of red, yellow, orange, pink, white and purple.  The centre of the flower is typically a different colour to the outer petals, although some varieties are just the one colour.  In more recent times, there has been experimenting with breeding to produce gerberas with ‘frilly’ petals or multicoloured petals

colorful mini gerberas

 

Gerbera Uses

This quote from American artist Georgia O'Keeffe made me ponder, in relation to gerberas, their size, brightness and simple natural form would make them difficult to ignore in this busy world.

 

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”

Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/georgiaok138692.html?src=t_flower

 

When I see a gerbera, the first thoughts in my head are happiness.  I think smiles, bright colours and the simple beauty found in nature.  For these reasons, gerberas are an excellent inclusion or feature flower in mixed flowers boxed arrangements.  Particularly for occasions such as Happy Birthday or Get Well Soon.  

 

 bright gerberas balloon gift pot

 

Gerberas are not commonly used in wedding flowers, however we have featured them in some bridal bouquets over the years.  It is more likely to find gerberas included in table centerpieces, especially for corporate events.

white gerberas wedding centerpiece

 

Gerbera Care

Typically all Melbourne florists would wire around the stems of gerberas to strengthen them when supporting the large flower head.  The gerbera stems are like a big straw, enabling the flower head top draw water up from the vase.  We only ever use a little water in vases full of gerberas only.  About 5 centimetres of water in the vase is all that is recommended for gerberas.  

Changing the water every 1-2 days in also a good idea to keep it fresh and bacteria free for optimum flower life.

 

How to Select Fresh Gerberas

When choosing gerberas from a florist there a a couple of things to look out to assess their freshness.  

  1. Gentle bend their petals down with your fingers.  If the petals are springy, that is a good indication of freshness.  Older gerberas will not have a lot of bounce in the petals.  When gerberas are near the end, their petals droop down and then they start to wither.

  2. Check the bottom of the gerbera stems that are in water are still quite firm.  Take one stem out of the vase and give the stem a gentle squeeze with your fingers. Older gerberas will have stems that are quite soft when squeezed and even turn to mush with the slightest of pressure.

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