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Using Less Energy and Lower Temperatures to Cultivate Chrysanthemums

The experts at the Greenhouse Horticulture & Flower Bulbs unit of Wageningen University & Research (WUR) have been working with the Delphy Improvement Centre as part of a project called Perfect Chrysanthemum. The project started in 2017 and is currently investigating whether or not it’s possible to achieve high-quality chrysanthemum production with lower energy consumption.  

One aspect the project is exploring is the effect of relative humidity and CO2 on energy usage and needs. This involves examining the effect of dehumidification and heat reuse from condensation. Additionally, the effects of LED lighting and far-red lighting regarding energy consumption, flowering speed, and heat emissions were researched. 

“When we started, the average energy consumption in chrysanthemum cultivation was 28 natural gas equivalents per square meter per year,” says Researcher Marcel Raaphorst of WUR. “That has since fallen to 24 natural gas equivalents. This is partly due to the energy crisis, but also because growers themselves are actively looking to reduce their energy consumption. The knowledge from this project will help them with that.” 

Since the project Perfect Chrysanthemum’s beginning back in 2017, research has been conducted within a greenhouse at the Delphy Improvement Centre next to WUR in Bleiswijk, The Netherlands. This greenhouse is divided into two, with each half measuring 500 square meters (m2). The project is being financed by the Kas als Energiebron program, ChrysantNL, and several additional suppliers. 

“In the 1980s I was a chrysanthemum grower myself,” says Raaphorst. “At that time I was very active in limiting my energy consumption. As a researcher, I now enjoy contributing to even more energy-efficient cultivation of chrysanthemums.”

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