The most recent Nursery of the Month at OZ Planted, Aphrodite Orchidee, has a professional, modern nursery. The company, which has been around for 80 years and is led by the third generation of the Weerdenburg family, has two locations: in Rozenburg and in Amstelveen. In Rozenburg 12cm potted Phalaenopsis are grown and in Amstelveen the 15cm potted Phalaenopsis. From 1 June 2019 Aphrodite Orchidee will stop growing the 15 cm potted Phalaenopsis due to the decreasing demand and will close the nursery in Amstelveen.
With around 80 employees Aphrodite works with set partners and customers and define themselves through the long shelf life of the Phalaenopsis, the set colour mix and the 3 and 4 branch orchids. In total Aphrodite grows twelve different varieties of orchids.
The plant, which originates from Asia, comes to Aphrodite as a stem. These stems are first quarantined upon arrival for around three weeks. This is to prevent diseased plants from entering. Then the growing process starts with Aphrodite. Co-owner Jeroen van Weerdenburg compares the process to 'a jungle'. He explains it always has to be warm (29 degrees Celsius) for the orchids and the humidity has to be correct. There is a difference between the summer and winter climates. In the winter the roots and flower of the orchid grow. This is to do with the survival instincts of the orchids to bloom in the winter, so that the seeds are created to reproduce. In the summer both the leaves and the root of the orchid grow. The growers continually controls the climate for the optimal living conditions of the orchid.
The growing process of a 12 cm orchid takes a year to complete and that of a 15 cm orchid takes 1.5 years. By using chips Aphrodite has all the necessary information per orchid. When the orchid is ready to leave the nursery, it is first placed in a greenhouse where it can get used to the climate the consumer will place it in. To ensure the plant survives transport, it receives an ethylene treatment for a week. This essentially 'freezes' the orchid and allows it to reach the consumer in good shape.
Aphrodite has a number of certificates: MPS-GAP, MPS-SQ, MPS-A+. As of January 1 the company will also have MPS-ProductProof. This means that they grow with 98% organic materials. They also use a cold-heat storage, which means they can heat and cool the nursery in a sustainable manner.
source: OZ Planten