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Netherlands: Three hectares of schlumbergera at Hofland

In the sixties, Hofland was one of the first in the Netherlands with the Christmas cactus schlumbergera in its greenhouse. The nursery has continued to grow from generation to generation, and in 2015 is now a modern company where father Goos and son Frank Hofland run the business.

Special plant
"We even have glasshouse ledgers from 1900 from my great grandfather," says director Goos. "He grew peaches and plums and eventually passed the business on to his grandson, my father." While visiting one of his customers in England, the customer showed Hofland senior a special plant: the schlumbergera. In 1980, Goos and his brother joined the company. The three of them began to grow the schlumbergera and also rhipsalidopsis.

The young plants for the schlumbergera are selected and crossbred at Hofland. "We're always looking for improvements, a different color for example." The newly developed plants are sent to Kenya. There they are grown on and they function as the mother plant. "The mother plant provides us with new growth again, which in turn is sent back to the Netherlands." Hofland has exclusive licenses over all their own species.

Added value
"We are always working on improvements on our products, new colors but also ideas such as new pots. We want to continuously try to make the range wider and to create added value." Hofland sees the added value also in the shape of bags, pots, packaging and decorations. This includes offering various pot sizes. White, red, orange, purple and pink schlumbergera are all available in pot sizes of 9, 10.5, 13 and 17 centimeters. "It is a challenge for us to keep getting better and we want the business to see six generations!"

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