Substantial increase flower bulb growing since 1980

The flower bulb cultivation area has increased by nearly 75 percent over the past 35 years. Most flower bulbs are still grown in the province of North Holland, but cultivation is spreading across the entire country. Cultivation areas in the provinces of Drenthe, Flevoland and Overijssel have expanded considerably. The most commonly cultivated flower bulb is the tulip. According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), tulips are grown on almost half of all flower bulb fields.

Flowerbulb cultivation, 2015

Substantial expansion since 1980

The agricultural area used for bulb growing has increased by 10.5 thousand ha (74 percent) during the period 1980-2015. The area expanded rapidly between 1990 and 2000, by more than 6,000 ha. In the period thereafter the total area was expanded by 2,300 ha. With nearly 25 thousand ha, the bulb cultivation area reached a new record in 2015.

Flower bulb cultivation area

Expansion across the country

North Holland plays a dominant part in bulb cultivation and the total bulb field area in this province has expanded over the past 35 years. Bulb fields around the municipality of Den Helder, for example, increased by 3,100 ha and in the region of West Friesland by 695 ha. Bulb cultivation is spreading across the Netherlands. In the Bollenstreek, bulb cultivation fell by 10 percent (240 ha). In the same period it increased in the province of Drenthe from 25 to more than 1,600 ha and in the province of Overijssel from 15 to more than 900 ha. In the province of Flevoland, the flower bulb cultivation area grew by 870 ha, covering an area in excess of 2 thousand ha in 2015.

Flower bulb cultivation area in various agricultural regions, 2015

Tulip bulbs in West Friesland

In 2015 too, the tulip was the most commonly grown bulb in the Netherlands. Tulips are grown on almost half of flower bulb fields (covering more than 12 thousand ha). Nearly one-third of these fields are located in West Friesland and the surrounding area. Apart from tulips, daffodils and lilies are also grown on a large scale in the Netherlands.

Flower bulb exports, 2015


The value of flower bulb exports has risen by around 7 percent to approximately 900 million euros between 2010 and 2015. Bulb exports to non-EU countries rose more rapidly (by more than 10 percent) in this period than to non-EU countries (around 3 percent). Germany is the biggest market for the Netherlands. Last year, Germany bought bulbs worth more than 118 million euros from the Netherlands. With an export value of just over 109 million euros, the United States is the second biggest market.