We visited the 2.7 hectare nursery in Bleiswijk, which we put in the spotlight this month: De Wilgenlei. Director Robin van der Knaap gave us an exclusive tour at the nursery. The nursery has between eight and fourteen employees, depending on the season and specializes in growing pot plants. The Wilgenlei's specialty lies primarily in Ficus and Hibiscus.
The Wilgenlei grows the hibiscus in various sizes and shapes under the name HibisQs ®. This brand name stands for a Hibiscus with a longer flowering time. Flowers that now bloom for 5-6 days, flower buds with sensational ornamental value, large flowers and unique colors delight many consumers in all European countries throughout the season. Due to the good developments, the range of sizes and shapes has been substantially expanded to supply various segments.
The cutting of the plant comes from Vietnam and is at the nursery in Bleiswijk within 48 hours to guarantee quality.
The nursery strives to put together a unique assortment and this is where their distinctive character lies. In total, the nursery has a range of eight to ten different types of ficus. The Ficus Lyrata is grown most at the nursery, no less than 30-40% of the cultivation. Although Wilgenlei already has a wonderful assortment, they continue to research new crops in order to continue to meet demand in a rapidly changing market.
The plant of the month is the Ficus Everest and is characterized by its extremely soft leaves. The plant has a height of 65-75 cm and is supplied in pot size 21. The unique plant has limited availability.
It is clear that the nursery is focusing on innovation. For example, owner Robin says that they grow more than just plants, they really tell a story. They respond to the wishes of the customer and bring out the beauty of their products through, among other things, the use of Instagram (@dewilgenlei). The year 2020 will be dominated by automation and business ecology at the nursery. In this way they want to continue to develop and sustainability is of paramount importance. They are constantly looking for the latest trends, not only in the area of sustainability but also in their own plant assortment.
The nursery is in possession of the following MPS certificates: A, GAP, SQ, ProductProof. Knowledge and development in the field of biological control receives a lot of attention, so 80% of chemical control has since been replaced.