Learn all about the breeding process of the ageless gerbera

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In our “Growth” series, we take you on a journey; from the first seed to the delivery of the colorful gerbera to your store. In this blog, we begin with the first step of this beautiful journey: breeding. The gerbera is a flower that can no longer be left out of flower stores. With its many varieties and color variations, the gerbera is a timeless flower. But what does the gerbera’s journey look like?

Complex process
HilverdaFlorist specialises in the cultivation of a wide range of cut flowers, pot plants and garden plants. Among other things, the company breeds gerberas for Summit Gerbera, one of Van der Plas’ Flourishing Partners. Anyone who steps into HilverdaFlorist’s greenhouses immediately realizes how large-scale the breeding process is As far as the eye can see there are flowers in various stages of development. Colored sticks and labels make it clear which flowers belong together. Robin van der Meer, sales manager and product manager of cut gerberas at HilverdaFlorist, explains that breeding is a complex cultivation technique. “The breeding process consists of several steps and often takes several years. We place high demands on the quality of the new varieties we create and want to be sure that the plant meets these requirements.”

Database and tassels
Those who think refinement is done on good sense are incorrect. A special database clearly lists the genetic characteristics of each gerbera variety. “This ‘gene pool’ forms the basis for breeding” Robin explains. “Once it is clear what characteristics the new species must have, we look in this database to see which existing species have similar characteristics. Then we choose two varieties, each of which has a trait that we want to see reflected in the new variety. We pollinate each flower manually with a brush. After fertilization, seeds with traits from both flowers grow in the heart of the pollinated flower.”

Read more at vdplas.com

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