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Denis-Plants

Greenhouse Denis-plants
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With its 40 years’ experience, the Denis-Plants young-plant company is a global player both in house plants and outdoor plants. By continuing to invest in high-quality staff and new technology, in combination with the constant search for the best quality and new varieties, Denis-Plants has grown into one of the most inspirational young plant companies in Western Europe.

René Denis: ‘Our slogan Denis-Plants, your quality label reinforces our key asset. Which is the ability to take control of our quality and react quickly to changes, thanks to an in-house lab. We also invest heavily in customer service, and with our personal cultivation guidance aim for a high-quality end product.’
 

40 years’ experience
In 1975 René Denis took over the family firm and set up BVBA Denis-Plants. ‘At that time we cultivated a wide range of about 15 different species of conservatory plants from cuttings or seed to end product’, says René. ‘Shortly after the takeover we switched to a Schefflera monoculture, and thereafter further specialised and focused mainly on the reproduction of Schefflera. That’s how we got into the young plant business. In 1984 we built a completely new glasshouse complex with a view to further specialisation. From 1987 we made increasing use of in vitro technology in our production. The young-plant company gradually turned into a hardening company and continued to expand into its present 10,000 m2, on which we harden off about 7 million fabric plants a year.’ Today, Denis-Plants has a range of over 450 types of plant. And since the production surface areas rented from companies became cumbersome, they proceeded to buy 21 000 m² of polytunnels, connecting to the current location. The conversion work will be rounded off by 2018.

 

In-house lab
‘We have been doing in vitro propagation ourselves since 1997. First at the Bruvitro lab in Brussels, and since 2012 in our own lab next to our main building in Lochristi. Now that we organise these in vitro activities in-house, we have a better overview and can respond to developments. Our own, familiar range of plants is produced entirely in house; from initialisation in our own development lab to delivery of the hardened quality products that Denis-Plants, Your Quality label, represents. That gives us a significant head-start compared to many young-plant companies that don’t have their own labs’, emphasises René. The in-vitro material is bred in Vietnam, completely supervised by Denis-Plants.


 

Indoor and outdoor range
‘We have house plants and outdoor plants in our range. The favourite house plants are Calathea, Marantha, Cordyline and Spathiphyllum. Hardy Geraniums and Heuchera are really popular among the outdoor plants. We have a very extensive assortment of Heucheras. And while previously the leaf used to be all that mattered, now we are seeing that the flower is also of interest. Among the Geraniums I’d like to point out our top-seller Rozanne, a prize-winner and a real beauty in the garden with its blue colour. In addition to that, we are of course always on the look-out for something new. For example, a couple of years ago we launched our Bicajoux®, a Calathea that combines a ravishing bloom with a stunning leaf pattern. And we are always searching for new plants to surprise our customers,’ says René. That’s why Denis-Plants follows market developments so closely.

 

Global player
‘About 90% of our products are destined for the export market and travel to all four corners of the world. With regard to house plants we are active on virtually every continent, from Asia and Australia to America. Our outdoor plants go mainly to Western Europe and the US’, says René. ‘In this respect we like to sell directly to our international customers so that we can offer them the best service. So, for example, we set up customised cultivation schemes, including the necessary cultivation advice. Where necessary, we can also provide our clients with personal assistance, if they want to optimise substrate, fertilisation and climate. This means we can ensure that our young plants grow into high-quality end products,’ concludes René.

Denis-Plants in figures:

  • Employees

    • 2 managers

    • 25 full-time employees

    • 15 seasonal labourers

  • Plants

    • 450 types of plant

    • 8,000,000 plants/year

  • Company surface area

    • 1 ha heated greenhouse

    • 2 ha polytunnels

  • Export: 85% of the turnover

  • Investments

    • Recent expansion by 2 ha

    • New robotization

    • 50 new products

    • First edition of a catalogue