Big things come in small packages
You don’t have to be big to be impressive. Maurice’s bonsai collection is living proof of that! Maurice has been a passionate bonsai grower for more than 20 years. His love for all kinds of plants has turned into a long lasting hobby.
So tell us, what is your goal for growing plants?
I always want to grow more and more bonsai! That’s why I sow seeds of multiple tree species every year. I’ve had this passion for over 20 years, so when you visit my place you’ll see loads of “almost” mature bonsai. There’s also a large variety of other trees in different growth phases. Growing plants that are not so common kickstarts my enthusiasm every single time!
I can tell you’re very passionate about this. What are you growing right now?
I like to grow trees that are not that ordinary. Satsuki Azalea’s for example. I also grow deciduous and pines. Every year there are new species to be found! How I get them? Well, I either pick them up from the ground or trade them with people for other seeds. Sometimes I buy seeds online. The seeds are germinating on my windowsill or in a big greenhouse. As soon as they start to grow bigger, I plant them in bigger pots. Here they stay for about two years, before they are moved to a vegetable garden. There’s trees for days there!
My collection consists of about 30 sorts of bonsai and the same amount of Satsuki Azalea’s. The sizes of the bonsai differ from smaller than 20 cm until bonsai I can’t even lift by myself!
Cool! I would love to see this garden sometime. How many plants are you growing and what do you do with them?
Besides all of my rare bonsai there are over 150 plants growing in full ground and about the same amount of smaller ones that are still in pots. Most of my cultivation I sell to other plant lovers. For example; out of the ten Japanese crabs I grow, I only get to keep one. The profit I make out of this, I invest in my bonsai collection again.
Sounds like a plan! What is your biggest challenge while cultivating?
The thing with bonsai is, that you need pretty much experience to succeed. The smallest difference can have a big impact on the survival of seedlings. A certain angle or spot with just a little too much sun could ruin it all. Shaping and maintaining are also two very important factors. Shaping, pruning and blooming are only possible if you have a healthy bonsai. Subtrates, growing spots and nutrition are things that require my constant attention.
Where did you first learn about Plagron? And for how long have you been using our products?
Some years ago, I was searching the internet for nutrition that didn’t have to come from the far East. Always good to get your products as close by home as possible! That’s my opinion at least.. That’s when I stumbled upon Plagron!
In February I start watering my pines and Satsuki Azalea’s with Alga Grow and Fish Force. I keep doing this until my pines start budding and my Azalea’s start blooming. Then, I start using Alga Bloom on my Azalea’s. From June my deciduous trees also get Alga Grow. If you start fertilising too soon, your plants will shoot straight up and the bonsai will become unmanageable.
From February until October all my plants get Pure Zym whenever there’s long periods of dry weather. The seedlings that are in pots get Start Up about once or twice a week during grow season. I soak my seeds in Seedbooster before seeding and I spray Vita Race on my bonsai about once a month during grow season. Of course, I adjust the frequency and amount according to the weather whenever needed!
So we’re definitely dealing with a Plagron fan here! Now which of our products would you still like to try?
Right now, I am pretty satisfied with the results I’m getting already. All the products I use seem to exactly do as they say. But if I had to choose products to add to my range, it would definitely be Green Sensation and Sugar Royal! During autumn it can be a good idea to give some more phosphorus and potassium to your plants.
What can we expect if we visit you again in the future?
Well I always aim to go next level with my bonsai! By selling more of what I grow, and then investing the yield in my own bonsai again. Hopefully I can show them to you then in nicer pots and in even better health. And I hope for many beautiful flowers for my Satsuki Azalea of course!
We sincerely hope that too! Do you have one unique, most expensive or weird plant that you would NEVER sell?
Yes, I have this one pine that is my absolute favourite. Years ago I went to the Ardennes to search for particular plants. I got permission to dig out some plants from a stone quarry. When I arrived back home, I found out one exceptional plant had gone missing… BUMMER! Exactly one month later, I was back in the same spot. I get out of my car and nearly step on this exceptional plant that I had accidentally left the last time. It had been sitting here, waiting for me, for a complete month!! I wrapped it up quickly but carefully and ever since it has been shining in its pot. It has greatly evolved over the years and is growing even more beautiful season by season.