The snowball tree, a wonderfully fragrant bush, grows only once a year. This semi-evergreen shrub blooms in winter or early spring, which is the reason it stands out in a mostly empty winter garden! Not only does this shrub look beautiful in your garden, it is also very suitable as a cut flower!

Johan Buijs

Seasoned snowball tree grower Johan Buijs takes us to his nursery in Aalsmeer. Johan: “The bushes are outside until December so that the plants and the buds get some length. The first plants go into the warm greenhouse, with 26 degrees, in December. Then in January we cut the first branches. Week after week we put more and more plants in the greenhouse, so that snowballs can be cut from January to mid-April!”

Growing in the dark

During the day, the cloths of the greenhouse are closed, because the snowball tree will hang limply in direct sunlight. Even with the cloth closed you can see branches hanging limp where there is most light. When the sun sets in the evening, these branches straiten themselves up again. When put in a vase these snowballs will stay limp if put in direct sunlight, so it’s important to avoid putting them in sunlight!

Mediaverdi

Mediaverdi, Johan’s nursery, was founded in 1901 by his great-grandfather Oor. Oor grew lilacs, carnations and chrysanthemums at the time.  Since 1996 Johan and his wife have been passionately running the nursery. He has expanded the range with the snowball tree. From January to mid-April they grow Viburnum Roseum Opulus (Snowball tree) and from September to November it’s the carnations tur. | “The name Mediaverdi was coined by my father Coos Buijs and means ‘earned with Dianthus (carnation)’!”

‘‘We try to limit the use of pesticides. Only during high need, if there is a lot of louse in the crop, we have to use pesticides. By default, we fight the louse with parasitic wasps and ladybugs. Aphids enter the crop because the snowball tree naturally produces glucose, and this is visible on the plant. All flowers have the MPS-A+ quality mark.  We do everything we can to grow as sustainably as possible through good insulation and heating with water from our own basin,’’ says Johan.

Two and four heads

The snowballs are cut and then carefully sorted by Johan, his wife, and the employees. When sorting, they count the number of balls on the stem. The balls should all be the same size, if a branch has two large and two small balls, they sort them like a two-heads. If it has four snowballs of the same size, it passes as a four-heads. Johan: “Few growers do this; most growers just count the total number of large and small balls on the stem.”

Climate-controlled greenhouse

“We distinguish ourselves with good fertilization of the plant and a fully climate-controlled greenhouse. This contributes to the high quality of the snowballs with dark green leaves and large flowers. Considering that we also carefully sort our branches, this all together makes mediaverdi’s snowballs a favorite for many customers!’’

Take a look at the beautiful snowball offer in our web store!