European azalea cultivation showed a steep decline in the past decades. Meanwhile, however, the situation seems to have stabilised, and more opportunities may be waiting. Johan Vanderhaegen, Flemish cultivation consultant and breeder, sees several trends that might benefit the species.
It is only 8:30 a.m. on a week day and Johan Vanderhaegens phone has already rung three times in just fifteen minutes. In the greenhouse at the pilot company in Kruisem, situated between Kortrijk and Ghent, Danish trolleys loaded with azaleas are awaiting export to Poland. Nothing suggests that the 67-year-old azalea grower, breeder and consultant is toning down his activities, but he is: Vanderhaegen is transferring his knowledge of breeding to an employee at Hortibreed. (..)
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