De Croon Plants
Johan de Croon started his nursery on the Veenhuizerweg in 1989. He built his first 1.3-hectare greenhouse in a field measuring 2 hectares. Violets and summer-flowering plants were cultivated indoors, while perennial plants and cut flowers were grown outside. In 1995, the nursery had to make way for new-build houses and relocated a couple of hundred metres further down the road to Klaverweg 29. Here, the nursery has more than 3 hectares of greenhouse space and 7 hectares of outdoor space at its disposal.
One of De Croon Plants’ specialities is the mass cultivation of plants, more than 5.5 million plants annually. The business has started to specialise in Sempervivum and Selaginella (vascular) plants, rock plants, bedding plants, and violets in recent years. The focus lies on the first two types of plants. By specialising in the niche market for these plant species and becoming an innovator in the colour variations for both plants, De Croon has strengthened its market position. De Croon Plants is even a market leader in the cultivation of Sempervirum plants.
De Croon Plants is primarily targeted towards national and international garden centres and bulk consumers. Flexibility, reliability, bespoke solutions, quality, and fast delivery are De Croon Plants’ core values. Johan’s son, Kim de Croon, the second generation to be actively involved in the business, says: ‘Besides focusing on quality, we also distinguish ourselves with ultra-fast delivery on a large scale. We have a packaging line that can repot 15,000 plants in as many pots in an hour. These pots (often packaged per six) are then placed on roll containers and transported by road to the distribution centres of customers such as Albert Heijn, Aldi, DEKA, Intratuin and Jumbo. There are occasions when our permanent ten-man team is reinforced with dozens of on-call employees to fill and load 2,000 roll containers onto 30 trucks in a single day. Not many growers can handle that kind of volume.’
Direct deliveries take place to Dutch, German and Belgian garden centres, supermarkets and builders’ merchants. For Lidl, the plants are delivered across all of Europe. We also grow plants for the auction. The disadvantage of producing for auctions is the unpredictability of prices, which fluctuate daily. We also supply cuttings to the USA.
The business has grown threefold in the last five years. This is required to grow along with our customers and their increasing demand for greater volumes.
De Croon Plants | Johan de Croon