Holstein Flowers 75 years
Founder Henk van Holstein
Cutting of plants
Inventing a new trolley
growing up among the gerberas
Baptism of gerbera 'Nancy Reagan'
growing in the open ground
New construction Futura
The New Cultivation
Sustainable cultivation with LED lighting
Holstein Flowers 75 years!
How it all started ...
1946 Father Henk van Holstein starts as a grower in Den Hoorn. In the open ground he grows melons, cucumbers and lettuce. He starts with simple breeding trays on the ground with a glass window on top. Soon, he builds a higher greenhouse, so that he can also grow taller crops in it. From 1965, the company expands with the purchase and construction of new greenhouses.
From vegetables to flowers
1969 Eldest son Willem enters the company and in 1975 son Leo also starts in the greenhouse. The younger generation decides to switch from vegetables to gerbera cultivation in 1974. In these early days, we grow gerberas in the ground. Our first varieties are the large-flowered Zonnepracht, Petra, Ronald, Arendsoog, Clementine and Apple Blossom. Only the large-flowered gerberas exist. We quickly grow in size and the company expands further.
Starting with breeding
1976 Soon Willem started breeding gerberas as a hobby. He soon breeds some beautiful, strong varieties. Our first own varieties are Maria and Yvonne, a white and a pink large double-flowered gerbera. Very special for that time. The gerberas are named after the wives of Willem and Leo. Breeding is becoming more and more professional. We are developing more and more of our own varieties that we sell worldwide.
Cuttings new plants
1977 The foundation of Vof H.A. van Holsteijn & Zn. is a fact. One by one the sons join the company. Son Tom also joined the company a few years later. He soon learns everything about gerbera cultivation. Such as the annual replacing of the plants. After Mother's Day we remove all the plants and the ground is steamed and disinfected. In the past, if you wanted new plants, you had to make cuttings. Ordering plants from the laboratory, as we do today, was not yet possible at the time. You returned the motherplants to the owner of that variety. You received a little cutting for each mother plant you returned. In these early days, the little cuttings are still all made by hand. This is hard work. Later we also make cuttings of our own varieties. First the harvesting was done completely by hand and shovel, later a harvesting machine was developed to make the work lighter. We also develop a new trolley during this time, a successful invention that is being adopted by other growers.
Gerberas in The White House
1981 About 250 American flower traders visit the flower auction to learn about the Dutch flowers and plants. Especially for this occasion, we named a double purple gerbera after Nancy Reagan, at this time the "First Lady" of the United States. The gerbera is baptized and topped with champagne by the American ambassador and the auction manager. The newspapers are full of it! Via a telegram, the first lady announces that she is very proud of 'her' gerbera. Of course, a bunch of gerberas was also sent to The White House.
Moving to The Hague
1979 We buy a 2-hectare nursery in a horticultural area in The Hague. Unfortunately, we have to leave again four years later. The greenhouses have to make way for housing and industry. But we will not let this put us off. We soon find a new location in De Lier. The new nursery will be named "Holger", referring to Holstein Gerbera. Until now, we have grown gerberas in the open ground, but in 1986 we start growing on substrate, on rock wool mats. Gerbera 'Jaguar' is the first variety that we grow on substrate. In 1988 the fourth son Mathieu also joins the company and a few years later he joins the management.
Building Futura and Bastille
1989 We stop with our greenhouse in Den Hoorn to fully settle in De Lier. In four years' time, we are expanding our acreage here to 47,000 m2. The construction of the Futura nursery is completed in 1993. In 2003 we open another location in De Lier: Kwekerij Bastille. No less than 6000 people will come to the opening to see our revolutionary new mobile cultivation system. At the age of 72, the time has come for father Henk to retire as a partner. In the meantime, the younger generation is literally growing up in the gerberas.
1st spherical gerbera
2004 We are one of the first growers to market the spherical gerbera. The first varieties are Belfi and Pimpernel. Innovation has always been very important to us and is still our driving force.
2010 Leo's sons Hans and Paul van Holstein join the company in 2010 and 2014. Everyone within the six-person management has their own responsibilities and expertise. In the meantime, the company continues to innovate. In 2012, the Futura and Holger greenhouses are demolished to build a brand new and modern greenhouse
The New Cultivation
2012 In the renewed Futura we are the first gerbera grower to start with “The New Cultivation” (Het Nieuwe Telen, HNT). This way of cultivation ensures that the climate in the greenhouse remains as stable as possible and that hardly any energy is lost. We use physical knowledge to optimally control the cultivation in terms of temperature, moisture, CO2 dosing, light and screens.
We open our own laboratory at the Bastille location. Now we can propagate gerberas ourselves.
Sustainable cultivation plays an important role within Holstein Flowers. In 2018 we start a trial with more than 1 hectare of LED lighting. With LED lamps we can light our gerberas in an energy-efficient way. In addition, in the dark months, when we illuminate fully, we need to vent less heat and CO2. It is the most sustainable way of lighting. We have now expanded the LED lighting to 3 hectares. We are the first grower to install LED lighting on this large scale.
Germicros en Gerpastas
2019 Over the years, we keep adding unique and special gerberas. We now have Gerberas, Germinis, Gerspiders and Gerponis in our range. In 2019 we add a new gerbera group: the tiny Germicros with a diameter of only 3 - 5 cm. In 2021, the Gerpastas are added with their curly petals. We offer a wide and complete range of gerberas with unique shapes, sizes and color combinations.
2021 After 52 years, Willem officially retires in March and leaves the management team. He hands over his place to his son Ed. This does not mean that Willem definitely stops working at Holstein Flowers. He will continue to focus on the breeding of gerberas within the company.
Holstein Flowers 75 years!
May 2021 Holstein Flowers celebrates its 75th anniversary! A special milestone. We are proud of where we stand today: a family business with an extensive assortment, a strong breeding department complete with selection greenhouse and laboratory, and the newest cultivation techniques. Our special anniversary logo will be displayed on all communications of the company this year.
Logos over the years
Drag the slider to the right or left and view the Holstein Flowers logos throughout history.