Hydrangea Breeders Association (HBA) in De Kwakel, the Netherlands, opened a trial greenhouse with cut hydrangea in Colombia. In the new testing grounds HBA has planted fifty selections to test them under local growing conditions. "The market demands new shapes and colors, which we want to deliver", says Agriom director Jaap Stelder.
The new HBA testing ground at the Los Aromas nursery in La Union lies at an altitude of 2500 m in the Medellin region. "At this location we are going to do trials with selections like Dream, Force and Ice Cube. These have already proven themselves in Kenya and we also want to test them in Colombia", Stelder explains. "In addition, we have planted other selections which we know less about, but that certainly have potential. At the testing ground in La Union we can now show customers in one central location what we have available."
Tropical cut hydrangeas show promise. Photo credits: Agriom / Jaap Stelder
Hydrangea cultivation in Colombia has to modernize, says Stelder. In Colombia traditionally a lot of white cut hydrangea is grown. Around 1,100 hectares have been registered, but in practice hydrangea is cultivated on 2,000 hectares, mostly by small growers on a low-tech basis. Stelder sees that sales to the United States, but also to other countries, are increasing. "This means that the cultivation must be more professional and the assortment wider. The market demands new shapes and colors."
Alejandro Echeverri Mesa, the young entrepreneur who runs the HBA testing greenhouse in La Union, shares Stelder's vision and has a lot of experience with the cultivation of cut hydrangeas and running tests. "We have every confidence that Alejandro can contribute to the success of HBA in Colombia."
HBA (Hydrangea Breeders Association) is the collaboration between breeding company Agriom from De Kwakel and the renowned production and selection companies Heuger Gartenbaubetriebe in Glandorf (Germany) and Kötterheinrich in Lengerich (Germany). HBA is represented in Colombia and Ecuador by Ball SB.