Here are some situations and solutions that are often encountered when it comes to gerberas.


SITUATION: A box of expensive Dutch gerbera daisies have gone limp because the customer did not pick up (kept pushing the order forward). Finally (day 6) we gave up on the customer, cut stems and placed in water with Chrysal gerbera pills. Holding buckets out of cooler after 2 hours, stems are turgid but petals are still limp.

QUESTIONS: Should we spritz, dunk, submerge the blooms? Keep waiting? Normally, I would worry about botrytis infection if we get the heads wet, but blooms will be put into action on Tuesday. Also our environment is very dry. What else can we do?

 SOLUTION: You’ve done everything right so far.

  • Avoid dunking, spritzing or submerging blooms—too much handling causes mechanical damage, too much water ramps up disease pressure
  • Once stems are full of super clean water (4-6 hrs), transfer into Chrysal Professional 2 solution. Pro 2 provides the carbo-load so petals firm up and colors stay vibrant
  • When you transfer blooms into Professional 2, move buckets into cooler.



SITUATION: Gerbera blooms are locked in side-facing position. I want them to look up, not sideways.

SOLUTION: Take stems out of water and out of cooler for several hours so they get thirsty.

  • Prepare cold water (34-36F) with Chrysal Gerbera pills (1 pill/ half gallon water)
  • Cut stems, with a clean, sharp knife. Make sure to give a fresh cut above the “heel” (white tissue at bottom of stem)
  • Plunge stems into solution. Shallow water level-3-4”
  • When flowers go into buckets, make support stems upright, no hang-overs in bucket. Make a grid with tape on top of processing bucket so stems hang vertical, but don’t suffer scrapes or wounds as flowers are slotted
  • Place buckets in cooler so stems harden-off fast
  • Design Gerberas as usual vase flower food


SITUATION: Gerberas arrive with petals reflexing down toward the floor rather than horizontal position

SOLUTION: Contact vendor and explain the blooms appear to be cut too soon and you’ll need a replacement.

What causes leaves to turn yellow in Lilies?

Flowers from bulbs, rhizomes, tubers and corms (e.g. iris, alstro, lilies, tulips, anemones, freesia, lily of the valley, ranuculas…) stress out when the blooms are cut from the “bulb”.  Harvest causes an imbalance in cell functions. Symptoms are premature yellow foliage, short vase life, buds not opening and loss of color vibrancy. Chrysal Bulb t-bag to the rescue! Bulb T-bags rebalance the chemistry and eliminates the problem.

Should the leaves of Alstroemerias and Lilies be stripped almost to the bloom? 

Leave the leaves in place. The notion of stripping alstroemeria and lily leaves became popular 30 years ago BEFORE there were good post harvest options for bulbous blooms. Because foliage of “bulbous” flowers suffer a chemical imbalance at harvest which results in leaves turning prematurely yellow, florists started stripping stems.

Why not strip?  The leaves of any flower are a source of energy. Nutrients in leaves prolong vase-life and bloom opening. In many flower species, (e.g. roses) leaves are the pumps to pull water up the stem.

Is water falling on rose petals the cause of drooped over heads?

Drooping  flower heads indicates something is blocking flow in stems (generally bacteria and/or air bubbles). The cells under the flower head are the most immature and cannot support a bloom if they are not turgid.

Dripping water on flower petals is another problem altogether. Wet petals can aggravate Botrytis  potential (fungus disease).

CLICK HERE to learn more about Botrytis.