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Ellen Kraaijenbrink, Vitro Plus:

Vitro Plus owns 70% of the fern young plant market

Many companies dream about a position such as Vitro Plus has acquired in its market segment. This company produces around 20 million young fern plants on a yearly basis. They own about 70 percent of the fern young plant market.

Ellen Kraaijenbrink (left), together with Head of Sales of Vitro Plus Laura de Glopper.

Ellen Kraaijenbrink, sales employee of the company tries to explain the success of Vitro Plus. "We always worked hard on innovation," Ellen said. "Others didn't or did less. The last part of the breeding process is automated, actually we only insert by hand. Several years ago we started with sowing spores, seeds of the ferns, we hope this will increase the production in the future. And, after a couple slow years, we see that the fern is gaining back its popularity."

Trends and market developments
"Especially in Europe - which is way more trendier than America and which is the biggest market for Vitro Plus - the comeback of the ferns is noticeable," says Kraaijenbrink. "There aren't any noticeable changes in America. They also have different needs: Americans want their ferns in the garden or on the porch as for most Europeans it is more an indoor plant. To be honest, I don't have a good explanation for this comeback. Maybe it's because the general popularity of green houseplants or the commercials from Air So Pure."


Instead of breeding, Vitro Plus is more specialized in tissue culture. But it is a serious side activity. "Sometimes a plant hunter brings us something new or a breeder sees something special and asks us whether production is possible or sometimes we see something special ourselves. We call it a mutant and we take a closer look. But our primary focus is on production not breeding," said Kraaijenbrink.


During peak times the production can be 1 million young plants a week. At Vitro Plus the peak times are around May and June. The plants are produced during those months. The plants will be gone around 8 weeks later, but that varies by plant. The plants are spread worldwide and have to stay at the breeder for four to five months to get the preferred size. Most Americans want their ferns really big so often the breeder has to keep them until next spring.

25 years
Vitro Plus has been in existence for 25 years. This needs to be celebrated of course. The company has every reason to face a bright future and they firmly believe that the fern is at the beginning of a new life cycle.

For more information:
Vitro Plus
Ellen Kraaijenbrink
Sales en Marketing
4328 ZG, Burgh-Haamstede
T: +31 (0)111 46 80 88
F: +31 (0)111 46 86 08
E: [email protected]
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