Natascha van Santen, Van der Arend Tropical Center

Tropical plant grower finds sustainable solution with coconut

At a stone's throw from the old office, Van der Arend Tropical Center recently moved into a new building. Right behind it is the equally new two-hectare greenhouse, where the newer assortment (Alocasia, Monstera monkey leaf) is cultivated. "This greenhouse perfectly meets the conditions in which we want to grow our plants. It is nice that we no longer use chemicals at all and only use biological control."

"We are working very hard on sustainability and we want to expand that in 2019," Natascha van Santen continues. "Of course it is nice that we succeed, at least up to now, to grow completely chemical free. But of course it is not that simple. At our other location (the high greenhouse, with a much broader assortment, ed.) we still can’t do without, but also there we make progress."

In the field of sustainable business, there is still some good news to report. "We recently started using a new pot, which is completely made of coconut. It is made from coconut waste that elsewhere in the world is simply thrown away. Also the components that are used to bond the material are 100% biodegradable."

In her own words, it is a unique product. "René van der Arend found the product and fine-tuned it himself with the producer, so that it matches our plants and production process. The material itself already has a lot of ornamental value and the plants can remain in the pot for months. When the consumer wants to move the plant to a larger pot, it can be done including the coco pot, this pot will dissolve completely. If, however, he chooses to keep the plant in the coco pot, on a dish or in a ceramic pot, the pot will remain good for years. Only after a certain time the roots will start growing through the pot, which would be a good moment to put the plant and pot in the potting soil."

Unknown makes unloved
These pot plant combinations have been available since the Trade Fair of last November. Van der Arend regularly brings innovations to the market. Sometimes, but not always, they are immediately picked up. Often it concerns plants that are simply unknown to the general public, says Natascha. "We recently introduced the Hoya Albomarginata and the Krinkle 8. Very nice plants with excellent qualities. Sturdy, easy to care for and with great ornamental value. This all gives us high expectations."

For more information
Van der Arend Tropical Plantcenter
De Bruidsbogerd 3
2671 DK Naaldwijk
T. +31 (0) 174 62 58 95

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