News archive

News from HBA and its partners.


De Kwakel, 20 March 2019 – Hydrangea Breeders Association (HBA) by definition supplies varieties that have a good shelf life. To fulfil this promise, keeping quality tests at one’s own location in De Kwakel are a fixed part of the selection procedure.

Pot plant expert Jan ten Brinke opens the door to the test room. On long tables there is a variety of pot plant hydrangeas in all sorts of colors and shapes. A number of plants with umbels that look like they have been splashed with pink and white paint catch the eye. “Very special, yes,” says Ten Brinke. “And they keep fresh,” he says, examining.

Focus on the flower
All plants have now been in the test room for three weeks that complies with the shelf life testing protocol. “That means that the hydrangeas here must stand for six weeks at 20⁰C under living room conditions,” Ten Brinke explains. During the shelf life tests, the focus is on how the flower sticks, a secondary aspect is coloring. Cultivation properties such as even flowering, susceptibility to botrytis and beautiful leaves were looked at at an earlier stage during earlier clone trials.

Promising types
The pot plant specialist walks to a number of white hydrangeas. “Those are often sensitive types,” he knows. The flower edges of some varieties turn brown quickly, but the white with double flowers that Ten Brinke points out shows no brown coloring. ,, Look at what beautiful umbels they have. That looks promising. We already have a double light pink and a double light blue, but not a one white yet. ”

Important argument
The full-flowered white is one of the candidates that HBA will be able to put on the market as a new variety in two years, Ten Brinke points to the other hydrangeas in the test room. But first wait for the end of the test. ,, Shelf life is becoming an increasingly important selling point for consumers. HBA pays attention to that. “


De Kwakel, 9 February – Hydrangea Breeders Association (HBA) in De Kwakel has started a trial site with cut flower hydrangeas in Colombia. In the new trial site, HBA planted fifty selections so they can be tested under local growing conditions, “The market requires new shapes and colours, which we are eager to deliver”, Agriomdirector Jaap Stelder explains.
The new HBS trial site at the Los Aromas nursery in La Union is located at an altitude of 2,500 metres in the Medellin region. “At this location, we will do trials with selections like Dream, Force and Ice Cube. These have already proven themselves in Kenya and now, we want to test them in Colombia as well”, Stelder says. “We have also planted different selections which we are unfamiliar with, but which certainly have potential. Now we have planted the trial site in La Union, we can show our customers all we offer at one central location. ”
The cultivation of hydrangeas in Colombia has to modernise, Stelder says. In Colombia, traditionally, a lot of white cut flower hydrangeas are cultivated. About 1,100 hectares are registered, but in practice, about 2,000 hectares of hydrangeas are grown, mostly by small growers on a low-tech basis. Stelder sees that sales to the United States, but also other countries, are increasing. “This means that cultivation has to professionalise and the assortment needs to expand. The market requires new shapes and colours.”
Alejandro Echeverri Mesa, the young entrepreneur who manages the HBA trial site in La Union, shares Stelders’ views and has a lot of experience in growing cut flower hydrangeas and carrying out trials. “We are very confident that Alejandro can contribute to HBA’s success in Colombia.”
HBA is represented in Colombia and Ecuador by Ball SB.

Photo caption: Tropical HBA cut flower hydrangeas offer perspective

More info: Jaap Stelder, +31 6 5140 8341


De Kwakel, 2 January 2019 – Brazilian grower Adriano van Rooyen will focus on growing hydrangeas for cut flowers chosen from the Tropical series offered by Hydrangea Breeders Association (HBA) in De Kwakel. Van Rooyen has been breeding roses in Holambra and Andradas for many years but is taking a new direction by shifting the focus to cut flower hydrangeas. “He has the fullest confidence that the range offered by HBA will secure a good future’’, says Agriom director Jaap Stelder, who visited van Rooyen in Brazil at the end of November.

To learn more about growing the plants and the market potential of cut flower hydrangeas, van Rooyen ran trials of a number of selections from the HBA programme Cut Flowers Tropical for four years. This programme is aimed specifically at breeding cut flower varieties of hydrangea suitable for equatorial production regions. “Adriano see prospects ahead. This is emphasised by the fact that his daughter Camilla van Rooyen and her fiancé Lucas are currently building a greenhouse complex where they will also grow cut flower hydrangeas”, says Stelder.

Agriom, partner in HBA, is the first breeder to start a programme focused on the selection of hydrangeas for the equatorial region. This series contains varieties that have proven to form flower buds easily in tropical climates. The HBA series is grown in regions including Kenya by Blooming Innovations and Flora Delight.

In Brazil, Gé Barendse is making pioneering efforts with the cut flower hydrangea series being developed by HBA. “The specific climate conditions in Holambra are challenging, but Gé is a seasoned grower who gets the most out of our genetics, “says Stelder. “The relationship with cutting supplier Sjaak van Schie, propagator of the HBA varieties, has confirmed Gé’s conviction that cut flower hydrangeas are a promising prospect for the Brazilian market. The ultimate in chain cooperation”, concludes Stelder.

Photo caption: Adriano van Rooyen (centre), his daughter Camilla and her fiancé Lucas see a future in HBA’s cut flower hydrangeas.

More info: Jaap Stelder, +31 6 5140 8341


De Kwakel, 6 November 2018 – From 7 to 9 November we welcome you in our HBA stand 19.18 in Hall 2 at the FloraHolland Trade Fair Aalsmeer.

New are the double-flowered Royal Kiss and Royal Anastasia and the single blue Royal Parade. Just like the other Royal varieties – our winter pruning series – they are extremely suitable for cold and heated cultivation. The Classics show a beautiful color richness and excel in keeping quality. Discover all HBA varieties on our new HBA site.

Click here for registration in advance and more info about the Trade Fair Aalsmeer.


the Hydrangea Breeders Association team


De Kwakel, 17 October 2018 -Hydrangea Breeders Association actively develops cut flower hydrangea for various climatological areas. Apart from the moderate North-Western European climate zone for which varieties like Royal Kiss and Royal Benefit were introduced, HBA is specifically developing varieties for production areas around the Equator.  Due to the huge differences in climate the European varieties which need a cold period, are not suitable for production in the tropics, so specific genetics has been developed.

Under local production circumstances our selections are tested and selected for suitability. For this purpose a test location in Naivasha, Kenya was created in January 2018, and a second location in Rionegro, Colombia will be following in November this year. For Northern European producers a 2.300 m2 test location at Agriom in De Kwakel, the Netherlands, can be visited. Our current varieties as well as promising selections are presented to compare their performance. Also our test and selection location at Tom de Bruijn’s nursery in ’s-Gravenzande, the Netherlands, offers Hydrangea producers the opportunity to have a look inside the HBA kitchen.

Interested? We are most happy to make an appointment with you. Please contact Jaap Stelder, +31 (0)6-51408341 or Jan ten Brinke +31 (0)6-55826262


De Kwakel, 29 August 2018 – It took a couple of months of preparation time, but now the test location of the HBA cut hydrangeas is ready. The HBA varieties and promising selections are presented at the location of Agriom in De Kwakel, where interested growers can get acquainted with the HBA assortment. The blued culture as well as the normal culture can be seen side by side. First production is expected during spring 2019. Of course you are most welcome, please make an appointment with Jan ten Brinke, / +31 (0)6-55826262


De Kwakel, 27 June 2018 – HBA welcomes interested growers of hydrangea cutflowers at the HBA test location at Tom de Bruijn’s nursery in ‘s-Gravenzande, Westland. Thursday 5 July, location: Groeneweg 28. From 7-9 pm the flower trials of existing HBA varieties and promising hydrangeas can be visited. The HBA team will be delighted to inform you about the growth characteristics and possibilities. It is an ideal moment to share your experiences with colleague growers.
Interested? Please register in advance via HBA, or contact Jan ten Brinke for more info +31 6 5582 6262.


De Kwakel, 17 May 2018 – As if the British royal family knew that Hydrangea Breeders Association would introduce its new hydrangea flower Royal Kiss around week 20 … It just cannot be a coincidence that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will give each other the wedding kiss this weekend! The Royal Kiss cut flower hydrangea with the deep pink colour is a very appropriate flower, double flowered and very early. This promising breeding result from HBA is cultivated by grower Tom de Bruijn and traded through Royal FloraHolland (VBN code 122051). Interested parties will have an extra chance to judge Royal Kiss in production during the HBA greenhouse presentation at De Bruijn’s nursery in ‘s-Gravenzande on 5 July. Moreover, this is a great opportunity to see the new HBA clones growing in a production environment.


De Kwakel, 23 April 2018 – Colorful start of the garden season with Kanmara® hydrangeas. Enjoy the beauty of Kanmara® Splendour. from May till October. Available in a range of 7 colors. Click here for more info.


De Kwakel, 15 February 2018 – The jury report: The Tabletensia® ‘Saxtabdar’ is convincing due to its special growth form. It is flat and thus outstandingly suitable for planting in bowls and as attractive table decorations. Due to its rich branching and the rich stock of blossoms, it looks like a bouquet of flowers. You can truly imagine a table dance which it performs well into the autumn with attractive colouring on the tables in the garden, on the terrace and in the house: A promising extension to the wide spectrum of hydrangeas.
Click for the complete HBA pot plant assortment. The prize winning variety from HBA is produced as dormant plants by Kötterheinrich exclusively.


De Kwakel, 4 January 2018 – Welcome in our booth 1B29 at IPM Essen from 23 to 26 January.
Our strong assortment will be enlarged by new eye-catchers. Among others the bicolor Green Lips, with its beautiful shades of green, good flower induction and excellent keeping quality, especially suitable for outdoor, large flowered Sarena, in strong pink and blue, with compact shape and early production. And the first bred double flowered variety from the HBA: Double Pink:compact and excellent branching.
Come and visit our booth at IPM and have a look at the novelties in the Innovation Showcase.
See you at IPM Essen