“This year, we started testing the system for flowers, and we were not expecting the results to be this good,” says David van Steenkiste, founder and CEO of Plant-T. This Belgian company has already been growing herbs and vegetables on their growing towers, as it provides them with many benefits. And this year, they decided to see if flower growers could benefit as well.
David van Steenkiste
This spring and summer, Plant-T has been testing their growing towers on flowers and hanging plants for the first time. And Van Steenkiste mentions that the results have been surprising. “We tested several different varieties, from geraniums to petunias and violets, and even hanging plants. We were not expecting that they would be growing so well and fully that we quickly could not even see the towers themselves anymore. In addition, we noticed that the vase life was great, and we didn’t have any issues with diseases.”
Growing towers as the solution
According to Van Steenkiste, the goal of these growing towers has always been to provide a solution to challenges that growers run into. “For example, you save a lot of water as you maintain 90% of the water in the tower. In addition, you don’t have to deal with any weeds, and the flowers remain much cleaner than when they are put into the ground. The towers are also a labor-saving solution, as you basically just need one person to maintain the towers, from seeding, transplanting to harvesting.”
A future for commercial growers
Van Steenkiste explains that, at the moment, the towers are mainly used as a solution for urban spaces, such as in parks or public gardens. The towers are also in demand in restaurants and the general catering industry, where they can immediately use their edible flowers, for example. “We just started focusing on ornamental floriculture, but we definitely see a lot of future potential in this industry as well. Therefore, we are hoping to work with some bigger commercial flower growers in the future. We are already expanding our markets, as we are now shipping across Europe, and are excited to see where the future takes us.”