Bredefleur Lilies

At Hukra, we handle and sell 525.000 stems of Lilies a year on average. Lilies are in our flower top 5, and therefore we need reliable partners who supply us with the cream of the crop. One of our top Lily suppliers is Bredefleur, who supply us with about 40% of the Lilies that we sell. Known for their outstanding quality, this grower produces a whopping 20 million stems a year.

With two locations in the Netherlands, this family company grows about 35 varieties of Lily in their greenhouses in Moerkapelle and Luttelgeest. The company is led by the brothers Peter, Levi, and Thomas. Each brother has their own responsibilities within the company, creating a broad and good base to work from.

Originally, Bredefleur’s assortment consisted of only single flowered Lilies, but they recently acquired a new greenhouse in Moerkapelle, which allows them to experiment with the growing of double flowered Lilies as well. Double varieties require different conditions for optimal growth, and are often more suitable for growing in crates than from the ground. As this new greenhouse was originally designed for pot plants and has a container system, this allows for double varieties to be grown in crates, enabling Bredefleur to expand their assortment.

Lilies are a bulbous crop, and the bulbs get delivered to Bredefleur in crates. The bulbs are placed in a cooling unit at freezing temperatures for several days. This triggers the growth of the flower in the bulb. The bulb is then allowed to thaw, before being brought to the greenhouse for planting. The planting of the bulbs happens with the use of a machine, operated by one single person. The machine plants the bulbs in neat rows, so that every bulb has enough space to develop their flower.

Within 8-10 weeks on average a full grown Lily stem can be harvested.  Bredefleur harvests their Lilies in a riper stage. This increases the vase life of the flowers. But it also makes sure that the Lilies can be enjoyed almost right away in the arrangements they are put in, as the flowers open a bit quicker.  



One of the top varieties that Bredefleur grows is Bach. But they also grow other well-known varieties like Brindisi, and Albufeira. For those wanting something special, we recommend Apricot Fudge! This variety stands out because of its amazing flower shape and colour. There are also varieties that Bredefleur grows exclusively: for instance Zelmira and Viva la Vida. One of the newest varieties to be introduced is Bowl of Beauty, and the first double variety that the company has in their assortment. With its white colour and stunning flowers, it’s a real eye catcher for the wedding season.


Bredefleur grows their Lilies with the utmost respect for the environment. Over the years they have invested in multiple projects to ensure their impact is reduced as much as possible. At both nurseries solar panels have been installed on the rooftops. What the panels generate in excess is supplied back to hundreds of Dutch households. In the nurseries, a kind of insulating cloth is used on the ground to keep the cold out of the greenhouses. The greenhouses remain in the right temperature much easier, which saves 25% in heating costs. The company is currently experimenting with heating their greenhouses with geothermal heat. All water is reused. The company only uses rain water, so no water is extracted from the soil. The rain water circulates in a closed water system and is not discharged. This way the soil is not depleted and no waste streams are created. Like many other growers, Bredefleur is switching to LED lighting in their greenhouses. This will lower their energy consumption up to 40%.

Bredefleur prefers to let nature take its course. Their Lilies are biologically protected and grow with the help of wild insects. These are spread through the greenhouse in very fine sawdust. So whenever you find any of this on your flowers, you know that insects were used to keep pests from entering the greenhouse, and not chemical pesticides! Bredefleur carries the MPS A and GLOBAL-GAP certificates.

Did you know?

It is a well-known fact that Lilies produce pollen that leaves stains on your clothing. But did you know that UV-Light makes the stains disappear? Wash your clothes and hang them out to dry outside in the sunlight and voila! Stain-free clothes!

Wans Roses

Who hasn’t heard of Wans Roses? This family company, located in Straelen, Germany has been growing cut-roses since 1975. Since 2011 they specialize in English type garden roses, scented wedding roses, and roses with exceptional colours. Strictly seasonal, the roses are available from early March until the end of October. Wans’ assortment contains thirty two varieties, which produce around 5.6 million stems a year, and are grown in a modern greenhouse, spanning 42,500 m² .

Last year, we had the opportunity to visit this fantastic grower and learned a lot about the process of how these beauties are grown. Wans Roses grows their roses in a sustainable and CO2-Neutral way. During the cultivation period of approximately five years, the rose plants grow in special coconut substrate on culture channels, which facilitates harvesting work. The greenhouses are heated with sustainable waste heat from three modern combined heat and power plants, which are operated exclusively with renewable energy resources. As of 2022 they also use a new wood chip boiler, whenever there are higher heart requirements. This way the company reduced their C02-emissions by 3,120 tons per year.


Waste water is reused completely through a system that uses UV radiation to clean the water, before it’s stored in large bassins, and the company’s own photovoltaic system powers the machines. The machines are only operated during the time the solar panels produce energy, so that no extra electricity is needed. There is no extra light used in the green house. This means the roses have a natural growing process and are grown with as less impact on the environment as possible, and with a better C02 footprint that roses imported from other countries!

To protect their roses from pests biological plant protection is used. This is mostly beneficial organisms, such as the predator mite and the creeping weevil, which act as natural enemies. Also, in terms of packaging, the company thinks ahead: all their roses are packed in paper sleeves that carry FSC certification. No plastic whatsoever, and the paper sleeves protect the flowers just as well!

You can find Wans Roses’ daily offer in our webshop under the VMP button!

Groot&Groot Peonies

Groot&Groot Peonies is a grower of high quality Peony cutflowers and roots. With production locations and partners in the Netherlands, France, Italy, and South-Africa they are able to provide fresh Peonies year-round.

Their flower assortment spans 39 different varieties and their unique methods during cultivation, harvesting, and processing ensures the highest possible quality. Groot&Groot’s strenght lies within their strict selection process of their harvested flowers. This ensures that every trolley leaving their company has a uniform look and that all flowers in each bucket are the same size. This is exactly why we – at Hukra – are such fans of this company! Groot&Groot is innovative and continuously reviews their assortment. This way, they strive to offer the newest and best varieties available!

The flower
Peonies are a classic garden plant and it’s classified as a perennial. This means that it will flower more than once during its lifespan. The plants can grow up to 100 cm tall and they can last more than ten years.

When grown outside, peonies have a flowering span of about two weeks. The period in which they flower depends on the climate in which they are grown, but this is usually during spring time. A peony plant can produce between 6 to 15 flowers, depending on the variety and the circumstances under which they are grown.

The flowers are cut by hand, so that only the flowers of the best quality and in the right stage are cut at the right time. Groot&Groot does not apply large scale harvesting mechanisms, as this might damage the flower.

Multiple locations
Groot&Groot has multiple partners and production locations in other countries. All locations use the same cultivation standards and harvesting process so that the flowers are of equal quality and standards.

The peonies from Italy are the earliest in the year and are available during March and April, followed by France (flowers available in May and June), the Netherlands (flowers available in July and August), and (this year for the first time) South Africa, from which the flowers will be available from October to January.


Groot&Groot’s wide cutflower assortment spans 39 varieties of single, semi-double, and double flowers, fragrant and non-fragrant. From the ever classic and beloved Sarah Bernhardt, to deep red as Old Faithful and Illini Warrior, bright shades like Coral Charm, and white varieties like Ivory Victory and Class Act. This diverse assortment allows for the workload to be spread during the harvest season, as each variety has its own characteristics and flowering period. The assortment is constantly reviewed and innovated, with new and exclusive varieties being added.

Sustainability is becoming more and more important throughout the entire sector. Groot&Groot is continuously innovating in this aspect. They try to grow their Peonies with as less impact on the environment as possible. They use sustainable and organic pest control, and hold an MPS certificate since 2020. But by carefully monitoring the soil, the company is able to optimize the production of a peony plant, but at the same time the use of pest control and fertilizers is reduced, as the plants receive only what is necessary.

This year, the company had a total of 340 high yield solar panels installed on the roof. The panels provide a large percentage of their energy needs during the spring and summer months, the high season in which the flowers are harvested and processed. By taking these steps Groot&Groot works towards a greener future.



Did you know?
Outside of the flowering season, Peonies can be kept for a long time in a cold storage! This does not impact the quality of the flowers at all if they are kept in the right conditions. Groot&Groot has perfected this way of dry storing the flowers, allowing them to have the flowers available year-round.

Rest assured, the flowers will open when they are put in a vase and they will bloom beautifully!

Workshop at Hukra Stockholm – April

On Monday April 17th, Hukra Stockholm organized another workshop, together with Smithers-Oasis and florist Heidi Mikkonen! Once again, our customers could work with products from Oasis’s FirbreFloral line. This is one of Oasis’s newest products and made from natural ingredients. The product is derived from natural volcanic basalt rock and has excellent water holding capacity.

And of course, we had lovely seasonal and novelty flowers from our sponsors for our customers to work with! For this edition, the flowers were sponsored by Groot&Groot, Deliflor Chrysanten, Wans Roses, Monarch Flowers, Gia Flowers, and van der Valk Groenesier.

For an impression of the event, click on the photos in the gallery below!

Narcissus Magic: WF Leenen

W.F. Leenen is a family company which was established in 1954, and is located in Voorhout, the Netherlands. Brothers Jaco and Dirk are the third generation of growers to lead the company. They specialize in the growing, forcing, breeding, and export of Narcissus bulbs and cut flowers. Their assortment spans about twenty varieties, of which part is of their own invention. They produce about four million stems a year and their bulbs are exported all over the world!

Growing Process
Their bulbs are grown on seashells from the North Sea, so that they are completely free of soil when exported. It also ensures less production loss as the bulbs are less likely to be infected by diseases. The shells can be used up to three times, and as time progresses they fall apart and become of an almost sand like structure. W.F. Leenen has been growing their Daffodils this way for over twenty five years.
After the bulbs are forced, they are placed in cold storage for a period of four weeks. This will cause the flower bud, which already exists within the bulb, to start developing. After that the pallet boxes in which the bulbs are grown are placed in the greenhouse, where they will remain for another four weeks until harvest. During this time, the leaves and flower buds will fully develop.


W.F. Leenen grows single, double, and spray (single and double) Narcissus. More common varieties are Dutch Master, Avalanche, and Paperwhite, but they also have a gorgeous, exclusive range of other varieties, like Amadeus Mozart, Abba, and Delta, and their own Paradise series of double varieties. The big varieties are harvested while the flower is still closed. With the spray varieties it is better to wait a little while, until they have some open flowers. If they have about four to five flowers open, the rest of the buds will also develop and bloom!

Some of the varieties change colour after they open. Snow Paradise, for instance, will be white with yellow on its first day, but with a day or two, it will become completely white.

WF Leenen’s slogan is ‘Growing for generations’, which in their case is absolutely true. Did you know that developing a new Narcissus variety can take up to 30 years, from seedling until it’s market introduction? Their Paradise series, for instance, were first developed in the 1980s, by Jaco’s and Dirk’s grandfather.

So how does a new Narcissus variety come into existence? Two selected varieties are cross-bred in the old fashioned way. Within a few months, the flower will develop seed, which is sowed before the longest day of the year. It takes eight years, for the seed to develop into a full sized bulb. From there on out, the flowers that bloom from it will be observed and reviewed for a period of five years.

If the flower is deemed to be unique and good enough, the bulb is propagated naturally. This is a long and slow process! After fourteen years, about 250 bulbs have been developed, which then are propagated for another three to five years through tissue culture and/or separation.
After this long period of time, the variety is introduced to the market and available for us to enjoy!

W.F Leenen’s daily offer can be found in our web shop under the VMP/Direkt button!

LS Santini : Nature Inclusive Growing

LS Santini is located in Bleiswijk, the Netherlands, and has existed for over thirty years. It’s a true family company, with three of the five children working in the nursery. Daughter Juliska, who is responsible for sales , is the one to lead us around in the greenhouse. LS Santini’s assortment consists of exclusive Santini varieties, like Rossi and Calimero.

The company is known for producing high quality Santini, which are harvested by hand every day. Fresh flowers? You got it! On first sight, the greenhouse looks quite different from what one might expect from a chrysanthemum grower. Instead of having one variety per section as is usual, LS Santini plants multiple varieties in smaller amounts in each section. The result is a colourful blanket of flowers, which are worked through on a daily basis. Only the stems in the right flowering stadium with uniform quality are harvested. The flowers are packed in the greenhouse itself, which also contributes to the high quality standard. After all, the line of communication between the person packing the flowers, and the people harvesting them is short, so it’s easy to adjust if necessary.

Like many other growers nowadays, LS Santini has LED-lights installed in their greenhouse, which reduces their use of electricity by 30-40%. Alongside that, eight dehumidifiers have been installed recently, which reduced the use of gas by 30%. But these are not the only environmentally conscious decisions the company has taken. Six years ago, owner Wilco decided to try a completely different approach to growing Santini. A careful study of plant physiological processes resulted in a new and natural way of growing top quality Santini.

So what is it that is so special about the company’s way of growing Santini that makes them stand out from the rest?

The answer lies in their soil.


Eco-friendly grown feel good flowers!

In many nurseries, the soil is steamed once a year, and often milled completely before planting. Fertilizers are used to give the soil a boost, and plagues and diseases are countered with organic and natural pesticides. But this way of working – while not necessarily bad – is far from natural. The steaming and milling of soil destroys many natural organisms that can actually contribute to healthy flowers and plants. 

LS Santini no longer steams and mills their soil. Instead, after harvesting a section of Santini’s, a thin layer of compost is added to the soil, which is then carefully equalized. The compost is derived from their own organic waste (circular growing), which is put in a compost silo next to their nursery. The compost is compressed, which causes its core to heat up to about 55°C. This kills any bad bacteria and weeds in the soil, and after three weeks the compost is usable in the greenhouse. In theory, this is a natural way of steaming. Before spreading it out over the soil, wood compost is added. The use of this mixture, contributes to a healthy soil life, which results in more healthy fungus, worms, and insects in the ground. For fertilizer, LS Santini only uses natural substances, and on the rare occasion they need to use a pesticide, only natural/organic ones are used.

All of this effort results in a stronger plant that is less susceptible disease and unattractive to plagues. LS Santini likes to call their way of working ‘nature inclusive growing’. By looking at nature and creating a healthy balance in their soil, they can grow their flowers in a way that is way less harming to the environment.

Eco-friendly grown, the Santini from LS Santini are true feel good flowers!

Workshop at Hukra Stockholm

On Tuesday February 7th, Hukra Stockholm organized a workshop, together with Smithers-Oasis and florist Heidi Mikkonen, during which our customers could work with products from Oasis’s FirbreFloral line. This is one of Oasis’s newest products and made from natural ingredients. The product is derived from natural volcanic basalt rock and has excellent water holding capacity.

Each participant could make two different arrangements. It was wonderful to have so many people together, to share inspiration and enthusiasm. We had amazing flowers sponsored by Dekker Chrysanten, W.F. Leenen, Jac Oudijk Gerbera’s, XL Tulips, van der Valk Groenesier, Könst Alstroemeria, and Together2Grow.

For an impression of the event, click on the photos in the gallery below!

Helleborus Aarendelle

You might have seen them in our webshop again! Helleborus Aarendelle through the direct link to the Helleborus assortment of Sonneveld Hydrangea. Sonneveld grows Hydrangeas during the Summer season, and during the winter season they have some amazing Helleborus varieties. All the varieties that Sonneveld grows are of the Aarendelle series. These are known for their sturdy stems, big flowers, and long vase life. Sonneveld grows three of the Aarendelle lines: Sara, Bella, and Nora, and the shades range from pink to purple and dark red.

Sonneveld Hydrangea is a true family company, run by the brothers Piet, Henk, and Steve. Their grandfather started the company in 1927, and over the years they have changed from a vegetable grower to a grower of quality cut flowers. A few years ago the brothers came in contact with a German breeder who was developing a new series of cut Helleborus. Thinking that this would be an interesting flower to grow in the winter season, they decided to give it a try.

They put some of the Helleborus varieties in a small part of their greenhouse, and were quick to discover the cultivation of this flower is very natural, but not easy! A few years down the line, Sonneveld has mastered the cultivation of Helleborus and has expanded the amount of crops in their greenhouse.

The thee lines of Helleborus Aarendelle that Sonneveld grows, each have their own distinct features. The Bella produces large flowers on a thick unbranched stem, while the Sara produces multiple blooms on branched stems. Nora is known for their extra-long stems.
Helleborus grow best in colder temperatures. Therefore their production is rather sustainable, as there is no need for gas to warm the greenhouse. The flowers are cut by hand with a special knife that releases a drop of milk onto the plant to close off the wound. This protects the plants against diseases. After harvesting the flowers are placed into water with a bactericidal pre-treatment agent. This ensures the flowers’ long vaselife. No flower food is needed!


Helleborus Tips

Sonneveld Hydrangea is the only grower in the Netherlands that grows Helleborus Aarendelle. Helleborus Aarendelle are specifically bred cut flower varieties. To ensure the quality the flowers are grown with the utmost care, and harvested in the right stadium. After harvest, the flowers are in water with a pre-treatment agent. It is important that this agent has a bactericidal effect.

With these tips, you can keep the Helleborus up to three weeks:

Flower stem care
1. Re-cut the stems immediately upon arrival for improved water uptake and place them in fresh cold water.
2. Change the water daily, or use water with a bactericidal pre-treatment agent. Re-cut stems that turn black at their bottom ends and place them in fresh water.
3. Important: do not use any kind of flower food!

1. The flower stems need to be stored in a cool place.
2. Make sure to keep them protected from direct sunlight and at a sufficient distance from heaters.

A tip for weak flowers in the vase: Roll the flowers in newspaper. Cut a small piece off the stem and refrigerate them for a while. Then put them back in the vase with clean water.

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