There once was a grower in the Westland area of the Netherlands who was looking for a new product to cultivate. He already familiar with carnations and found them a bit boring. How about cacti, then? Too prickly… he was looking for an unusual product, something new… something colourful… Eureka: Celosia!

It has been more than 25 years now, and father Ard Ammerlaan still walks around the nursery, but now as an adviser. He is as proud as a peacock of his successors Gertjan and Jeffrey, who by now produce more than 4 million Celosia plants every year.

Silly antics
“Celosia suits our character: a little quirky, striking and exuberant,” said co-owner Gertjan Sosef. “When the new season start again, I have no qualms about donning a purple suit. Then we come up with a fun promotion, to draw attention to ourselves.” For example, they recently pitched the Celosia Reef with a video showing them ‘swimming‘ in the greenhouse in swimming trunks and goggles. The aim was to win votes, and they succeeded. The Glazen Tulp Award was presented to Ammerlaan Sosef last autumn.

Gertjan: “I wouldn’t want any other crop than Celosia in spring and summer. We can really pour our creative heart and soul into this. By playing with light and heat, for example, you can achieve a completely different plant, which can turn out to be surprisingly fun.”
“Just look at this one, isn’t it beautiful?” he says, pointing to Celosia Wild. “We developed this variety together with Royal Van Zanten. We could see market opportunities for a plant with a slightly wilder growth habit. It is perfect for people who do not like a neat and tidy garden but prefer a lush woodland style. We can just let this plant do its thing, so we don’t have to intervene as much, which means that the crop also becomes more environmentally friendly.”


Sign up for our newsletter and receive inspiration, tips, photography and more 8 times a year…