Agapanthus: round shape & intense colour

“When the sun shines and there is a blue glow over the field.. that is a real goose bump moment”, says Bianca van Eijk. She runs Eyco, an agapanthus nursery in Pijnacker (the Netherlands) along with her brother Danny. “Those goose bump moments don’t last long, because in my mind I am quickly making plans to pick them! We have to be quick, especially on warm days.”

Peeling

Agapanthus must be harvested just before the first bud opens. The colour is already there. “We peel the flowers, just before this point. Each flower consists of mulitple flower buds with a membrane over each. As soon as the membrane opens up a little, we peel it off. Otherwise there is a chance that the flower will be uneven in terms of shape or colour. We want a beautiful round shape and an intense colour.”

Breeding.

As well as growing agapanthus as a cut flower, Bianca and Danny are also busy breeding the flowers. “My father started to breed agapanthus. Thanks to our own breeding we have developed varieties that flower for a long time: from the end of March until the end of November. We now have agapanthus in different shades of white and blue. Red or pink ones would also be lovely, but something like that takes a lot of time.”

We leave the plants to grow for four years. Then we dig them up to split them (a part is replanted). It is a big job because agapanthus has lots of tuberous roots!”

“In the summer when we are in full production, you can see a sea of flowers here. It makes you so happy.”

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