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Elke Nagels, Hanaplant:

"Belgium: "Garden centers ask for easy to grab pots"

"Next to the appearance of a pot, the user friendlessness of it is also highly important," says Elke Nagels of HanaPlant, a Belgian grower who sells herbs in large 7.5 and 10 litre pots. According to Nagels, people buy the herbs and want to put them straight onto the terrace, easily. "Even garden centers are asking for pots that can be grabbed and moved easily."

Elke Nagels.

Large pot sizes
In January, Elke and her husband Dries took over the 3,000 square metre sized greenhouse with a 5,000m2 sized container field. They are specialized in growing garden herbs in large pot sizes. "Many herb growers use the 10.5 cm pots, but we only use 15 cm pots or larger. For rosemary, thyme and the herb combinations, for example, we use 24 cm and 28 cm pots," says Elke. These large sizes seemed to be highly demanded. "We only started in January and even though we didn't have time to build up a large stock before the start of the season, which is in March, we still sold out quite fast."

Manual work
In order to keep the quality high, the propagation and re-potting of the large herbs is all done manually. Therefore, it is important that they the pots are user friendly. "As we often replace the pots manually, we do not only attach a lot of value to the quality of the pot, but also the shape of it. We need to pick them up easily. This was one of the reasons why we chose the 24 cm and 28 cm Valencia pots of Maceflor. These Valencia pot rims are large which enables us to move the plant easily." Besides that, the large pot rim also enables their customers to move the plants easily. "Garden centers are even asking for plants in pots that can be grabbed andmoved easily."

The Valencia line is a decorative pot that consists of 16 pot sizes varying from 1 to 65 litres. The pots can be used for all types of plants and are available in different colours. The Valencia line is Maceflor's broadest line of pots.

Another reason why HanaPlant chose the Maceflor's Valencia pots is because of their appearance. "It is a good-looking pot and as we are living in a society that is fond of instant usage, this is an advantage. The majority of customers who buy large herbs in the garden center do not want to re-pot it when they are at home. With this pot, they can directly and easily put it on their terrace and enjoy it," says Nagels.

Future plans
At the moment, HanaPlant is propagating herbs and preparing for the new season. "As it becomes colder and the winter is approaching, we are gradually moving our plants from the container field to the greenhouse. They can stay overwinter in the greenhouse. Some plants we have to re-pot as they have grown out of their current pot." Besides that, they are working hard to gain the GLOBAL G.A.P. certification. "We would like to expand our export market and in order to do so, we need to be GLOBAL G.A.P. certificated."

For more information
Elke Nagels
Email: [email protected]
T: +32 478271206