Breeding

In a changing world, we want our breeds to keep evolving, meeting new standards and challenges and keeping us on our toes.

Quality check of the new breeds
Crossbreeding new Hydrangea cultivars
Checking the new breeds in our lab
Planting the new breeds in our lab
Quality check of the new breeds

Survival of the fittest

We watch the new breeds grow. We see the flowers bloom, pick the ones standing out from the crowd and keep testing. We see how they shoot roots, how they fare in a pot or in the ground. The best students of plant class are added to the test centre, where we take the time to get intimate with our plants.

Every now and then, we stumble across a revolution. It’s luck, combined with a lot of experience and even more skill. We keep experimenting year after year. Stronger structures, new colours, more options to choose from. It’s a never-ending Hydrangea playground.

Crossbreeding new Hydrangea cultivars

The man, the legend: Leo Slingerland

Leo spent his 40-year career as a scientist studying and improving the science of plant breeding at Wageningen University. He decided to join us and share his passion. Crossbreeding, experimenting, digging into genetics, Leo brings all his knowledge and experience to our lab and cooks up the most fascinating breeds.

Checking the new breeds in our lab

Plants for the future

When we breed, we look for many different characteristics. Stronger or bigger plants, with more flowers or less, smaller stems or longer. But we also look at the changing world around us.

Summers are getting hotter and the cold sets in much later than before. We breed late bloomers so people can enjoy a colourful backyard in October. And, for the ones with smaller gardens and balcony’s we breed compact plants. It’s all about keeping a close eye on what’s happening around us, and making sure we’ve got the good response.

Planting the new breeds in our lab

It’s all about sports

We get plenty of physical activity walking back and forth across the nursery, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Sometimes, when you’re breeding and experimenting and you’re really lucky, a plant ‘throws a sport’.


A sport is a genetic mutation, usually the result of a faulty chromosomal replication. That sounds like a bad thing, but it doesn’t have to be. A sport could lead to new colours, more flowers or different shapes.

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“It’s all about keeping a close eye on what’s happening around us, and making sure we've got the right response."