Orchids are blooming

90% of the orchids in the EU come from NL

90% of all the orchids in Europe come from Dutch greenhouses. A true mega-success.

Not many people realise that Dutch growers are the orchid champions of Europe. Yet that is the case, according to a report from ABN Amro about the plant sector. Every week the growers bring some 1.5 million mature orchids to market, which find their way to the consumer through auctions or contracts. There are now almost 500 football pitches worth of greenhouses filled with plants in the Netherlands.

Propagating orchids is hard work. It takes eight years before a new variety of orchid can be put into production. Most of the plants in the Netherlands are created using ‘meristem culture’. The aim of the propagation is ultimately to achieve the most beautiful high quality plant possible. With wild orchids that is virtually impossible. Their seedlings can contain viruses, and grow in all directions, as it were. You also get varying colours and heights, because the DNA of hundred or thousands of generations is contained within that seed. A lot of newly developed species never make it into large scale production. It really is survival of the fittest.

Why is the orchid plant such a success? It’s a plant which flowers for a long time, requires little care and is not at all expensive. It fits perfectly with the modern, demanding consumer.

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