Ronald van Dijk, Henke Kunststoffe:

Better draining hydrangea container saves on soil, transport

It started with the idea of improving the draining capacity of a 14 cm hydrangea container and resulted in a container that also requires less potting soil and better fits Danish trolleys. The container in question is the new hydrangea container that Henke Kunstoffe recently added to their Topfit range. "Trials revealed that the new shape results in 20 percent more efficient loading and savings of 12.40 euro on potting soil per 1000 hydrangeas", says Ronald van Dijk, Henke Kunststoffe’s sales manager Benelux.

Björn Stiening and Ronald van Dijk at the IPM Essen 2018, where they showcased the prototypes of their new hydrangea container.

Sloping elevation
Together with a Dutch hydrangea grower, Henke Kunststoffe designed this new pot. "This grower was looking for a solution to increase the drainage of the pot and therefore contacted us." Together with the grower, Henke started to search for a possible solution. "We found the bottleneck, which was the center of the bottom in this container. It was not draining well; the center was often too wet which resulted in no or limited root development of the plant in that area." The next step was finding a solution. "After doing research, we decided to create a sloping elevation with a center hole and 3 drainage holes in the center of the bottom of the pot. It absorbs and drains the water better. Besides, the substrate volume in the center of the pot is better used by the plant because now the roots are developed in that area as well." This means that you can use a smaller pot instead a 1.4 or 1.5 liters.

3D drawing of the container.

Additional benefits
During their search for this improved hydrangea container, Henke Kunststoffe came across more benefits. Next to the better water absorption and draining, the elevation in the pot results in less usage of potting soil. "The volume 1.245 liters instead of 1.4 liters results in a saving of 155 litre substrate per 1000 hydrangea plants." (saving of 155 liter substrate at a price of 80 euro/M3 is 12.40 euro difference and even bigger in compare with a 1.5 liter pot). This all without loss of the plants quality because the available substrate is simply better used.

Next to the slope elevation, they also adjusted the diameter of the container, from 14 cm to 13.7 cm. "Then, exactly five rows of pots will fit on a Danish trolley. In turn, it results in a 20 percent more efficient loading."

April on the market
The new container will be available at Henke Kunstoffe's distributors from mid-April and the demand seems to be high. "The first few million pots have been sold already."

For more information:
Ronald van Dijk, sales manager Benelux - Benelux

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