Flower bulb cultivation continues to flourish

The area of farmland destined for bulb cultivation in the Netherlands continues to grow. Since 2000, the total area of flower fields has increased by 18 percent to more than 26 thousand hectares. Most of this growth was in tulip bulb cultivation. At the same time, the number of bulb growers has fallen. This is according to definitive figures taken from the Agricultural Census conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Tulip cultivation area and tulip bulb growers
 Cultivation area (x 10 ha)Number of farms
2000970.51663
200110051561
200210561509
20031102.11474
200411021426
20051055.11320
20061036.21250
200710741172
200811391127
20091172.81075
20101139.9996
20111186.1978
20121124.8877
20131135863
20141144850
20151215.6853
20161320.2881
20171340.8893

Between 2000 and 2017, the cultivation area for tulips increased by 38 percent to over 13 thousand ha. This means that, by 2017, half of the total flower-growing area was dedicated to tulip bulbs. Over the same period, the number of tulip bulb growers fell by 46 percent; in other words, fewer growers have been cultivating more tulips, although the number of growers has grown slightly since 2015.

Acreage used for lilies and hyacinths grew by 27 and 26 percent respectively over this period, so less rapidly than tulip cultivation; similar to tulips, there has been a decline in the number of growers since 2000 paired with an increase in cultivation area.

Flower bulb cultivation area (ha) (x 1,000)
 TulipsLiliesOther bulbs and tubersNarcissiHyacinthsGladioli
20009.715.071.821.841.131.64
200110.054.951.871.881.171.45
200210.565.072.552.021.191.51
200311.024.942.752.031.191.28
200411.024.542.461.791.141.35
200510.554.322.541.761.261.38
200610.364.892.051.881.311.31
200710.745.011.821.771.331.39
200811.394.971.741.971.381.17
200911.734.271.651.881.391.12
201011.44.681.511.81.381.12
201111.865.081.381.811.451.17
201211.255.091.451.781.451.11
201311.354.891.431.761.431.11
201411.445.221.441.681.481.01
201512.165.841.471.681.480.94
201613.26.071.581.591.460.93
201713.416.441.761.491.420.99

Smaller area and fewer growers of narcissi and gladioli

The increase in tulip cultivation area seems to be at the expense of other popular bulb varieties such as narcissi and gladioli. The area used for gladioli fields has decreased by 40 percent since 2000, the area of narcissi by 19 percent.

The decline in acreage was accompanied by a decline in the number of farms cultivating these varieties. Since 2000, the number of narcissi and gladioli growers has dropped by 52 and 66 percent respectively.

Fewer bulb growers on more land

The number of farms specialising in flower bulb cultivation has decreased by 39 percent relative to 2000, to over 1,600. This decline is seen in all bulb varieties, but is particularly strong in irises and crocuses with 81 and 75 percent respectively.

In short, the decline in the number of growers goes hand in hand with an expansion in farmland area used towards flower bulb cultivation. In 2017, the average bulb grower cultivated nearly twice as much land as in 2000.

Flower bulb cultivation per municipality, 2017 ( ha)
 Flower bulb cultivation area
Aa en Hunze0
Aalburg0
Aalsmeer10
Aalten40
Achtkarspelen0
Alblasserdam0
Albrandswaard0
Alkmaar172
Almelo12
Almere39
Alphen aan den Rijn16
Alphen-Chaam0
Ameland0
Amersfoort0
Amstelveen0
Amsterdam0
Apeldoorn10
Appingedam0
Arnhem0
Assen10
Asten10
Baarle-Nassau0
Baarn0
Barendrecht0
Barneveld0
Bedum0
Beek (L.)0
Beemster25
Beesel19
Bellingwedde0
Berg en Dal0
Bergeijk0
Bergen (L.)47
Bergen (NH.)495
Bergen op Zoom10
Berkelland10
Bernheze28
Best11
Beuningen0
Beverwijk12
het Bildt10
De Bilt0
Binnenmaas0
Bladel0
Blaricum0
Bloemendaal34
Bodegraven-Reeuwijk0
Boekel41
Ten Boer0
Borger-Odoorn141
Borne0
Borsele54
Boxmeer62
Boxtel0
Breda0
Brielle0
Bronckhorst35
Brummen10
Brunssum0
Bunnik0
Bunschoten0
Buren0
Capelle aan den IJssel0
Castricum73
Coevorden116
Cranendonck10
Cromstrijen0
Cuijk15
Culemborg0
Dalfsen179
Dantumadiel10
Delft0
Delfzijl35
Deurne87
Deventer10
Diemen0
Dinkelland0
Doesburg0
Doetinchem42
Dongen0
Dongeradeel10
Dordrecht0
Drechterland1090
Drimmelen0
Dronten340
Druten0
Duiven0
Echt-Susteren27
Edam-Volendam0
Ede11
Eemnes0
Eemsmond77
Eersel12
Eijsden-Margraten0
Eindhoven0
Elburg0
Emmen18
Enkhuizen65
Enschede14
Epe0
Ermelo0
Etten-Leur10
Ferwerderadiel0
Franekeradeel39
De Fryske Marren198
Geertruidenberg0
Geldermalsen0
Geldrop-Mierlo10
Gemert-Bakel54
Gennep24
Giessenlanden0
Gilze en Rijen0
Goeree-Overflakkee799
Goes24
Goirle10
Gooise Meren0
Gorinchem0
Gouda0
Grave10
's-Gravenhage (gemeente)0
Groningen (gemeente)0
Grootegast10
Gulpen-Wittem0
Haaksbergen0
Haaren0
Haarlem0
Haarlemmerliede en Spaarnwoude0
Haarlemmermeer189
Halderberge10
Hardenberg474
Harderwijk0
Hardinxveld-Giessendam0
Haren0
Harlingen15
Hattem0
Heemskerk63
Heemstede0
Heerde0
Heerenveen135
Heerhugowaard136
Heerlen0
Heeze-Leende0
Heiloo50
Den Helder1351
Hellendoorn58
Hellevoetsluis0
Helmond10
Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht0
Hengelo (O.)0
's-Hertogenbosch10
Heumen12
Heusden0
Hillegom381
Hilvarenbeek10
Hilversum0
Hof van Twente0
Hollands Kroon3000
Hoogeveen0
Hoogezand-Sappemeer0
Hoorn0
Horst aan de Maas194
Houten0
Huizen0
Hulst75
IJsselstein0
Kaag en Braassem20
Kampen0
Kapelle0
Katwijk0
Kerkrade0
Koggenland1129
Kollumerland en Nieuwkruisland10
Korendijk0
Krimpen aan den IJssel0
Krimpenerwaard0
Laarbeek23
Landerd82
Landgraaf0
Landsmeer0
Langedijk10
Lansingerland0
Laren (NH.)0
Leek0
Leerdam0
Leeuwarden0
Leeuwarderadeel0
Leiden0
Leiderdorp0
Leidschendam-Voorburg10
Lelystad56
Leudal242
Leusden10
Lingewaal0
Lingewaard0
Lisse369
Littenseradiel0
Lochem0
Loon op Zand0
Lopik0
Loppersum37
Losser0
Maasdriel0
Maasgouw0
Maassluis0
Maastricht0
De Marne58
Marum0
Medemblik1170
Meerssen0
Meierijstad21
Menameradiel10
Menterwolde0
Meppel0
Middelburg (Z.)10
Midden-Delfland10
Midden-Drenthe1248
Mill en Sint Hubert25
Moerdijk0
Molenwaard0
Montferland0
Montfoort0
Mook en Middelaar0
Neder-Betuwe0
Nederweert107
Neerijnen0
Nieuwegein0
Nieuwkoop10
Nijkerk0
Nijmegen0
Nissewaard0
Noord-Beveland0
Noordenveld10
Noordoostpolder2692
Noordwijk72
Noordwijkerhout1045
Nuenen, Gerwen en Nederwetten0
Nunspeet0
Nuth0
Oegstgeest0
Oirschot10
Oisterwijk0
Oldambt10
Oldebroek10
Oldenzaal0
Olst-Wijhe10
Ommen95
Onderbanken0
Oost Gelre10
Oosterhout0
Ooststellingwerf22
Oostzaan0
Opmeer174
Opsterland15
Oss22
Oud-Beijerland0
Oude IJsselstreek18
Ouder-Amstel0
Oudewater0
Overbetuwe0
Papendrecht0
Peel en Maas112
Pekela23
Pijnacker-Nootdorp0
Purmerend0
Putten0
Raalte33
Reimerswaal0
Renkum0
Renswoude0
Reusel-De Mierden13
Rheden0
Rhenen0
Ridderkerk0
Rijnwaarden10
Rijssen-Holten0
Rijswijk (ZH.)0
Roerdalen18
Roermond10
De Ronde Venen0
Roosendaal131
Rotterdam0
Rozendaal0
Rucphen61
Schagen2628
Scherpenzeel0
Schiedam0
Schiermonnikoog0
Schinnen0
Schouwen-Duiveland24
Simpelveld0
Sint Anthonis177
Sint-Michielsgestel29
Sittard-Geleen0
Sliedrecht0
Slochteren10
Sluis14
Smallingerland0
Soest0
Someren29
Son en Breugel10
Stadskanaal10
Staphorst10
Stede Broec625
Steenbergen40
Steenwijkerland10
Stein (L.)0
Stichtse Vecht0
Strijen0
S�dwest-Frysl�n35
Terneuzen25
Terschelling0
Texel390
Teylingen369
Tholen49
Tiel0
Tilburg0
Tubbergen17
Twenterand94
Tynaarlo0
Tytsjerksteradiel0
Uden18
Uitgeest0
Uithoorn10
Urk10
Utrecht (gemeente)0
Utrechtse Heuvelrug0
Vaals0
Valkenburg aan de Geul0
Valkenswaard0
Veendam0
Veenendaal0
Veere10
Veldhoven0
Velsen0
Venlo10
Venray315
Vianen0
Vlaardingen0
Vlagtwedde72
Vlieland0
Vlissingen10
Voerendaal0
Voorschoten0
Voorst10
Vught0
Waalre0
Waalwijk0
Waddinxveen0
Wageningen0
Wassenaar0
Waterland0
Weert120
Weesp0
Werkendam0
West Maas en Waal0
Westerveld323
Westervoort0
Westland11
Weststellingwerf137
Westvoorne0
Wierden31
Wijchen0
Wijdemeren0
Wijk bij Duurstede0
Winsum0
Winterswijk54
Woensdrecht29
Woerden0
De Wolden40
Wormerland10
Woudenberg10
Woudrichem10
Zaanstad0
Zaltbommel10
Zandvoort0
Zederik0
Zeewolde429
Zeist0
Zevenaar0
Zoetermeer0
Zoeterwoude0
Zuidhorn0
Zuidplas0
Zundert38
Zutphen0
Zwartewaterland0
Zwijndrecht0
Zwolle0

Bulb cultivation blooming across the country

The province of Noord-Holland accounts for the lion’s share of flower bulb cultivation: 50 percent of the total bulb growing area (over 13 thousand ha). With an area of 3,300 ha, the municipality of Hollands Kroon tops the list with 3,300 ha of flower fields, followed by the municipalities of Noordoostpolder and Schagen with nearly 2,700 and over 2,600 ha respectively.

However, bulb cultivation is extending across the country and has grown substantially in the province of Drenthe, for example, where the growing area has nearly quadrupled to 1,900 ha since 2000. This makes Drenthe the fourth largest province in terms of flower bulb cultivation after Flevoland and Zuid-Holland. Most flower bulbs in Drenthe are grown in the municipality of Midden-Drenthe with 1,200 ha of flower fields.