Problems With Cut Gerberas
Gerbera daisies (Gerbera jamesonii) offer eye-catching and vibrant cut blooms for indoor display. Healthy, well cared for flowers may last a week or even longer in a vase. Stress and bacteria can affect the blossom time for any cut flower, and in addition, there are problems that mainly cause issues with Gerbera daisies. Recognition of these issues and working to prevent them prolongs the life of the flower arrangement.
Bacteria growing in the water poses the largest issue for Gerbera daisies. Thoroughly cleaning the vase before putting the flowers in it helps prevent bacteria from pulling the flowers. Wash the vase using a solution of one part bleach and nine parts water before inserting water for the daisies. Mixing a cut flower preservative to the water further inhibits bacterial growth. Leaves and fallen petals from the water supply material that feeds bacteria; eliminate plant material from the water promptly and change the water every two days or if it becomes discolored.
Cut flowers count on water uptake during their stems for the moisture they should stay in blossom. If the base of the stem heals over or becomes blocked, then the Gerbera cannot receive the water it requires and it will become dehydrated, which causes it to wilt and die prematurely. Reducing the bottom inch off the stem at a 45-degree angle before putting it in the vase ensures it takes in water. Cut the stem while holding it under the water so no air bubble gets in and decreases water uptake. If the flower begins to wilt, consider recutting the stem. Sometimes the stem becomes blocked and a brand new cut enables the flowers to shake back up.
Heat causes cut flowers to wilt and die more quickly. When demonstrating Gerbera daisies, set them in a place that receives bright but indirect sunlight. Temperatures close 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the afternoon stop wilt and death from heat. When possible, shop the arrangement in a cooler place at night. A storage temperature just above 32 degrees prolongs the life of the flowers, but even slightly cooler temperatures at night provide some benefit.
Gerbera daisies can suffer from conking, a condition that causes the stem to become weak and fold in half. Cold storage at night helps minimize conking problems. Ongoing dehydration and bacterial growth in the water also can help keep Gerbera flowers erect. Use a pin to prick the stem just beneath the flower head. This little hole can enable the stem take in water and stop it from weakening. If the stems do suffer conking, add them into a transparent drinking straw. The straw retains the stem erect for display.