Bouvardia: strong flowers, fresh colours
From woody to floral
A greenhouse full of Bouvardias is bursting with life. Just after the shrubs have been pruned you mainly see woody stems, but very soon they’re bearing fresh new green leaves. Sprays of flowers appear some 12 weeks after pruning, and they soon reveal their colour, from pure white to candy pink. After the flowers have been harvested, the shrubs are pruned again and they show their vitality once again.
“The crop soaks up water overnight, and looks fresh and firm in the morning. I always find that a wonderful sight,” says Bouvardia grower Jaap Vreeken, who walks through the greenhouse every day to see how the plants are looking. “When I walk through the crop in the morning and it’s growing well, I really enjoy it.”
Bouvardia grower Lies van Wijk has a different approach to growing the plants. He specialises in the ‘heart-branch cultivation’ of Bouvardia. “After 10 weeks we harvest one long Bouvardia branch from each planted cutting; most are 70 cm long. When a section has been completely harvested, we plant new cuttings.” Crywijk nursery is the only business in the Netherlands to grow Bouvardia in this way. “The ‘heart-branch cultivation’ enables us to grow Bouvardia all year round; we harvest 52 weeks a year, six days a week.”
Excellent vase life
“When I walk through the greenhouse and the crop’s growing well, I really enjoy it,” says Lies van Wijk. “I also like seeing our Bouvardias at the florist. I usually have a chat about the quality. Luckily negative experiences with the vase life are a thing of the past. Today’s varieties have a vase life of 10 to 14 days. Florists that stock them also always confirm that they’re very strong flowers.”
Did you know …
Water is vital for the Bouvardia. They need a lot of water both in the greenhouse and in the vase (a glass vase is handy for keeping an eye on the water level).