Cartwheel Strawberry Twist Gerberas

Written for Diefenbacher
Newsletter
19
MAY 2020

In the world of highly colorful daisies the big three are Osteospermum, Gerbera, and Gazania. Osteos tend toward the cold and go dormant once the hot weather arrives. Gazanias like heat, just like Gerberas, but they are much shorter and often have stripes in the petals. Gerberas have long stems, big leaves, and the tremendous PR advantage of being a staple in the floral trade.

Hothouse Gerberas are protected from the elements, but we work outside in the weather. We need tough, durable plants that handle the climate, so we recommend the Garvinea series. However, there is another mix, Cartwheel Strawberry Twist, that’s both eye-catching and garden worthy. Buyers often fly by it so we’ve showcased this double Gerbera on the cover of our Spring Idea Book.



Cartwheels deserve attention, so they made the cover of the Spring Idea Book.

Why This Gerbera?

We grow Cartwheel Strawberry Twist alongside the Garvinea series for two reasons. First, the Garvinea flowers are singles. You could argue whether the Cartwheels are semidoubles or doubles, but they definitely are not singles. Second, Cartwheel Strawberry Twist is a mix, whereas Garvinea is sold as single colors.

By decoding the name we can discern the primary selling features of Cartwheel Strawberry Twist. Cartwheel refers to the oversized blooms, measuring about three inches in diameter when mature. Strawberry points to the red theme of the mix, which shows up as a dominant base, or as accents brushed across lightly colored doubles. Twist is a common industry code for mixture.


Bunch 4IN pots tightly in the container to create an abbondanza effect.

The Signature Look

Missing from that unwieldy name is a hint at how impressive these blooms actually are. Their hallmark look is defined by a central halo that is surrounded by a fuzzy mane of dense petals. Most Cartwheels come in dual tones of contrasting light and dark colors, except the red.

Over time the real story unfolds. Blooms emerge with the flat disc of a single; only when they spread out fully does that central ring of denser, fuzzier petals become apparent. As the ring expands the flower goes from flat to 3D, and the outer petals start to droop to make room for the mane, as it gets thicker.

By the time the flower ages completely it comes awfully close to a fully double look. The question of doubleness arises from the fact that the buds emerge at different times and the flowers mature slowly. As a result, one plant can appear to have single, semidouble, and double blooms simultaneously.

Brought together into one unique mix, these Gerberas deliver a sophisticated set of high-impact colors.


Three different rings of petal density, each with its own tints.

For Retail, Landscape or Parks

For this reason, Cartwheel Strawberry Twist is the most dramatic of the colored daisies we sell. For garden centers, it’s a high-impact impulse purchase that flies off the bench when customers see the blooms. Use it as that something different Mother’s Day gift idea, or as an alternative suggestion for spring weddings. Cartwheel Strawberry Twist also goes to work generating cut flowers in the backyard.

Landscapers can deploy this eye-catching Gerbera mix in places where businesses meet the public, like plazas, courtyards, and walkway gardens. Its big flowers make an impact when guests turn the corner, and the blooms become even more interesting as visitors get closer to them. If you have residential accounts that need a wow factor, Cartwheel Strawberry Twist delivers.

In public places it works well by entrances or key junctions where people gather naturally. These areas are often big, open spaces so they need a larger variety that can fill them. Other plants like the Vista Petunias do this, but we’ve all seen Petunias. Who has seen the Cartwheels?


High-contrast tinting within the red is mirrored in the white—a great combination.

Care and Culture

Big, of course, is a relative term. Cartwheel Strawberry Twist is considered vigorous, growing about 16 to 18 inches per pot, more tall than wide. Set these Gerberas about a foot apart if you are looking for a mass planting, or about 18 to 24 inches if you want each one to be a specimen. Since Cartwheel Strawberry Twist is a mix it includes all four types, but the overall color scheme is in warm tones of yellow, pink, orange, and red.

Gerberas require full sun pretty much the entire day. Though they can handle some light shade, any significant lack of sun starts to cut into the bloom count. All Gerberas need a regular watering schedule—they don’t like surprises and unexpected events, so use them where you can count on the water.


Blooms of the Cartwheel series in their semidouble stage.

They Bring the Attitude

There is a place in horticultural design for high drama. Just like Milan, Paris, and New York serve as fashion hubs, we have our garden centers, community parks, and corporate plazas as our catwalks, runways, and window displays to show off flights of fancy and imagination. We like to grow stylish, high-end plants and we can say that the public likes these impressive showstoppers as well.

If you want people to pause in front of the garden with an audible, “Oh, wow!” or if you crave the sparkle that comes from being the center of attention you need Cartwheel Strawberry Twist.


Single 4IN make effective companions for wicker and clay pots.

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