University of California

Ask the Produce Docs (General)

How can I keep my gerberas fresh longer?

Category
  • Cold Storage
Question

I am a grower of fresh gerbera flowers. I read many articles on your site, and I would like to request your help. In my country, the fresh flower market is very seasonal. To get a good rate we have to store gerbera flowers in a box at cold storage, but they do not store well without water. Could you suggest any chemical or product for pre-treatment to keep the gerbera stems fresh? (N.N.)

Answer

In most studies, and for most flowers, we find that dry storage is superior to wet storage.  If you are storing the gerberas in a cool room, it is vital that the temperature be low enough.  We recommend close to the freezing point of water for storage of most flowers (except tropical species).  Once you have the temperature correct (1 °C would be a good target), pack the flowers in a box lined with polyethylene film.  Allow the flowers to cool to the room temperature, then fold the polyethylene film over the cooled flowers.  If your room can't provide temperatures this cool, you may store gerberas for short periods (no more than 1 week) in water containing 50 ppm hypochlorite (about 1 ml/liter). 

                                                                                --Michael Reid

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