The Dutch tulip sector will break the two billion flower barrier this year for the first time, the Dutch flower bulb association (KAVB) says.
Last year bulb companies grew 1.9 billion blooms but strong export demand will push production even higher this year. Ten years ago, Dutch growers produced around one billion tulips.
Nine in 10 flowers are exported, with Germany by far the biggest export market, the KAVB told news agency ANP. Despite the Russian economic problems, tulips remain popular there because they are relatively cheap. However, the drop in sterling will force up prices in Britain.
Saturday is national tulip day, when the season for forced flowers starts. Most of the cut tulips sold in shops are grown in greenhouses.
They are first planted in sand boxes and stored in a refrigerated room. Then they are moved into greenhouses to speed up the blooming process. This means growers can ensure a supply of tulips over several months.
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