"As a breeder you always look 5 to 10 years ahead"

The plants of Natuurlijk Hopmans really brighten up a garden in the autumn. This nursery is known for their eye-catching Hebe and Heuchera with their beautiful colors. At this time of the year, the nursery is filled with the colorful Heuchera and de flowerful Hebe and that gives a wonderful sight, OZplanten write on their monthly blog.

Rudolf Hopmans is the owner of Natuurlijk Hopmans. The “Natuurlijk” of Hopmans stands for Natural and that is also what you see at the nursery. The land around the nursery has an area of more than 40 hectares, which was used for agriculture and a few garden plants, until last year. Since this year Rudolf focuses completely on garden plants. The outdoor nursery is 4 hectares, and for indoor cultivation, there is a greenhouse of 0.5 hectares. In 2006 he started growing Hebe in larger pot sizes to differentiate himself from other growers. He’s now working together with growers association Addenda® for several years and smaller pot sizes have been added to the range. "The cooperation with Addenda® has allowed the nursery to grow into what it is today", a company with a range of top-quality garden plants. 

Varied assortment
The assortment of the nursery is diverse. Natuurlijk Hopmans cultivates 8 different varieties of Heuchera Indian Summer in pot sizes 12 and 19 cm and the Hebe in pot sizes 15, 23, 27 and even in pot size 50 cm. All colors stand out beautifully at the outdoor nursery. Also the mix pots are eye-catchers with different flower and leaf colors. The growth from a cutting to an adult plant takes about 16 to 20 weeks. The growing time is different every year, because Rudolf's outdoor nursery depends on the weather conditions. That makes every year a different challenge to maintain the quality standard. Since this year Rudolf has also started to grow Helleborus. This will be available in the winter of 2022.

Rudolf Hopmans is both a breeder - and grower of Hebe Addenda®. Every year he breeds new varieties that he tests extensively over a period of 5 years. After this test period, only 1 or 2 new species remain. "As a breeder you always look 5 to 10 years ahead, as a grower you do this 2 to 3 years.” He focuses on varieties that flower more abundantly, 'new' colors, and on plants that grow more compact. A new variety of Hebe is the Mucha® Purple, a striking appearance in the garden because of its flowering power. Also because of the development in the field of breeding Natuurlijk Hopmans has become one of the bigger Hebe growers at Addenda®.

Pleasant workplace
The peak days are in spring and autumn because the nursery mainly grows outdoors. Natuurlijk Hopmans has 4 permanent employees and 1 breeder in his team. 5 employees are on call and 30 students work at the nursery during the peak season. "In winter it is quiet and in summer it is busy, fortunately, this works out well with the many students we work with. Some of them have been working with us for 6 or 7 years."

The nursery has its own solar panels that supply power to the covered greenhouse. Rudolf has also started a wind farm together with neighbor companies. The power generated by the windmills is used by local residents. The nursery itself uses little electricity and by paying attention to the compact growth of the plants, fewer chemicals are needed to make sure the plants have the desired size. Because growers share knowledge about diseases, the use of pesticides is minimal. Finally, Natuurlijk Hopmans is Global Gap certified.

For more information:
OZ Planten
Magnolia 11 VBA Zuid
1430 BB Aalsmeer
+31 297 380 780

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