Guy van Deuren, VD Plant:

Grower tickled pink with Pink Kisses from Portugal

While the majority of the Northwest European grown pot Dianthus are still in the greenhouse, the ones of Belgian grower VD Plant that are grown in Portugal are already in full bloom and are being shipped out for several weeks now. Guy van Deuren, owner of the company, grows the Dianthus Pink Kisses of German breeder Selecta One in the sunny Algarve in Portugal and this location enables him to put the product on the market about 10 weeks earlier.

Guy Van Deuren holding the Dianthus Pink Kisses at the Royal FloraHolland Seasonal Trade Fair in Naaldwijk, the Netherlands.

Next to Dianthus, of which the cuttings are supplied by Selecta One in Germany, VD Plant also grows Lavandula stoechas and Mandevilla. The cuttings of these varieties are produced at their location in Belgium, finished in Portugal as well, and then all shipped to their buffer location in Nieuwveen (Aalsmeer, the Netherlands) where they are acclimatized and packed. According to Van Deuren, this acclimatization is very important. "It drastically increases the quality and shelf life of the plants."

Dianthus Pink Kisses in the field.

The Lavandula is their main crop, followed by the Mandevilla and Dianthus Pink Kisses. This last variety is also one of their newest crops, which they started growing three years ago. According to Guy, the demand for this variety increased sharply since it's introduction. "The demand is rising year by year. We started with Pink Kisses as a trial and since then we tripled the amounts", he says. And he is planning to expand the production even further. "We have enough land available, so for next season we will increase the production, and not only of the Pink Kisses, but of all these three varieties."

Lavendulas in the field.

But what makes the Pink Kisses from Portugal special? "First of all, they are on the market earlier, about 10 weeks earlier than the growers in the Netherlands. Besides that, it is a firmer plant and the colors are stronger due to the high light intensity in Portugal. And this counts for the other two products we grow as well."

Lavendulas in the field.

VD Plant's open field production in Portugal.

For more information
VD Plant
Guy van Deuren

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