Trending News:
Development of a Long Term International Marketing Strategy (LTIS) for the Floriculture Industry       Province Awards $772,500 to Flowers Canada (Ontario) Inc. To Promote Local Plants and Flowers       Ontario boosting "locally grown" promotion       Provincial floriculture gets marketing boost       Provincial floriculture gets marketing boost 0       Growing Ontario's Floriculture Industry       Nov. 21 – OMAFRA Connects       Pourquoi ne pas venir en Chine explorer de nouvelles possibilités ? | Le Lézard       Global Fungicides Market 2014-2018       Vineland hosting major poinsettia open house       Harper Government Supports Canada`s Horticulture Sector       Harper Government Supports Canada's Horticulture Sector       Le gouvernement Harper investit dans le secteur horticole du Canada | Le Lézard       CAHRC research identifies worker roles and skills needed on farms       Visual TruView from Fluke Networks Helps FloraHolland Auction Billions of Flowers and Plants Annually       Workshop on ‘Grooming Engineers as Entrepreneurs’       Attending The Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo: Reason 2 – Marketing And Business Management       Vibrant colours coming this spring       OMAFRA Connects – October 2014       CFL stars promote Never Alone rose at Expo       Moet Hennessy Bets on Bubbly in China With Sparkling Winery       Moet debuts made-in-China bubbly       French brand Moet starts selling sparkling wine in China, from its new locally grown grapes       French brand Moet starts selling sparkling wine in China, from its new locally grown grapes       Moet bets on bubbly in China with sparkling winery       Vineland in the spotlight       Agrochemicals Market: Global Industry Analysis and Forecast to 2020 by Persistence Market Research       Expo highlights the business of Holidayscaping       Are you marketing flowers ‘Grown Near You?’       Greenhouse Sanitation Is The First Step In Managing Pests And Pathogens       Thirty-five years of growing       Column: Bright ideas for bulb combinations       Canadian rocker Kim Mitchell coming to the fair       Global Horticulture (2014 -2018) – Pink and Healthy       Global Horticulture (2014 -2018) - Pink and Healthy       Craft fair celebrates 40th annual event       Wells Fargo Plans for Growth in $16-Billion Horticulture Industry       Navan Fair blessed with perfect weather, large crowds       Buckeye State’s Agriculture In A Nutshell       VIP tour of International Horticultural Expo       Highlights: Census Of Agriculture, A Closer Look.       Highlights Of The 2012 Census Of Agriculture: A Closer Look At Farm Size       Registration for the 15th Anniversary Edition of Garden & Floral Expo Opens August 1       Global Micronutrients Market is Expected to Reach USD 7.59 Billion in 2020: Transparency Market Research       Agricultural trade appears unaffected by BC carbon tax: new study       B.C. Farmers Unharmed by Carbon Tax: Study       Maryland: America In Miniature       WinterGreen Research LED Grow Light Market Shares, Strategies, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2014-2020       Two major announcements during Cultivate '14       Two major announcements during Cultivate14       Ready to roll       Massachusetts Agriculture Defies National Trends       Syngenta is this year’s CGC Signature Sponsor       Missed Grower Day this year? View the videos       Flowers Canada Position on Pollinators       Global Markets for Biopesticides       Fundraising drive(s) for floriculture research       Pesticide in Home Depot plants linked to honey bee deaths       Major threat of poinsettia       A new home for fine wine?       Fungicides Market by Type (Benzimidazoles, Dithiocarbamates, Phenylamides, Chloronitriles, Strobilurins, Triazoles,), by CROP Type (Cereals & Grains, Oilseeds & Pulses, Fruits & Vegetables), & by Geography - Global Trends & Forecasts to 2019       Fundraising drive(s) for floriculture research       Turning Skyscrapers Into Centers For Crop Production       Turning Skyscrapers Into Centers for Crop Production       The Marilyn Denis Show | AtHome | Home Décor All Grown Up       Global Road Transport Refrigeration Equipment Industry       I.C. Flower       Design Matters : Chosen Theme for Landscape Ontario's Garden & Floral 15th Anniversary       International Floriculture Expo 2014 Hosts 113+ High Volume Buyers       TMT Resources to Pursue Opportunities in the Indoor Grow Industry       Pan Global, Corp. Commences Design Phase for Planned Hydroponic Greenhouse in Northern India       Poinsettias, impatiens in Grower Day spotlight       Have you registered yet for Wednesday's Grower Day?       Profiling the latest in greenhouse robotics       Kathy Hession of Roundy's Supermarkets Recipient of 2014 Flower Naming Honor, "Gerbera Kathy"       Greenhouse Canada Grower Day only a week away       Ian Prosser Named 2014 Iron Designer at 7th Annual Iron Designer Competition       International Floriculture Expo Hosts More Than 200 Exhibitors for the 2014 Event       Are your plants barely surviving or really thriving?       Reviewing options if no patience with impatiens?       International Floriculture Expo Exhibitors to Offer a Variety of Show Specials at the 2014 Event       New executive at Investment Agriculture Foundation       Covering the growing base       Growing interest in Grower Day trade show       Landscape Alberta names new executive director       7th Annual Iron Designer Competition to Feature Award Winning Floral Designers       International Floriculture Expo to Co-locate With United Fresh in 2015 and 2016 in Chicago       Grower Day topic will help make sense of your dollars       Profit-building sessions at Grower Day on June 18       Michigan growers again hosting Plant Tour       Don’t delay: register today for Grower Day       Grower Day returns to Brantford       Programs and Services Innovative Risk Management Program a First for Ontario's Greenhouse Flower Growers       Grower Day returns to Brantford on June 18       Des floraisons colombiennes magnifiques exposées à Vancouver       Greenhouse Canada Grower Day 2014 coming soon       AG Notes       Gerbera: mottling and necrotic spotting (e-GRO Alert)       GreenTech visitors can check latest veg varieties       Chairwoman Stabenow Conducts Hearing to Examine USDA’s Ongoing Implementation of 2014 Farm Bill      

Westbrook Greenhouses Ltd

Westbrook is a large, diversified, vertically integrated floral company based in the Niagara region of Ontario.  A family business since 1959, the Westbrook group of companies currently services 3 major areas in the floral industry: as 1.2 million square foot greenhouse potted plant grower; as a greenhouse designer and manufacturer; and finally, as a wholesale distributor, importer and exporter of fresh floral products and related hard goods.

In the potted plant business, Westbrook is best known for its expertise in roses and Mums.  In 2006, the company expanded its production to include potted orchids in a specially designed greenhouse space in Grimsby. 

Orchids are a notoriously difficult and time consuming crop to force but market research shows a healthy demand for the plant.  “An orchid of this size costs about the same as a nice cut flower bouquet but the perceived value of the orchid is higher,” says Westbrook General Manager/Owner P.J. Vermeer.  The blooms on this plant will last up to three months and with a little effort it will bloom again after a period of dormancy.”

“We are finally beginning to see some results from our initial investment over 2 years ago,” says Westbrook CEO Rej Picard, holding an especially lush sample of a double spiked Phalaenopsis orchid.  “We are fine-tuning the varieties that best suit our Ontario greenhouse growing conditions as well as reflect seasonal color trends but the Phalaenopsis is a proven winner. “

Orchids also really lend themselves to beautiful containers and Westbrook’s role as a floral wholesaler ensures the company a rich source of value added upgrades for their products.

Westbrook supplies orchids to florists and grocery stores in Canadian and US markets, 52 weeks of the year, with production spikes during the key holiday periods like Christmas and Mother’s Day.

One of the keys to growing orchids successfully depends on the quality of the breeding stock.  Westbrook purchases rooted young plants grown to the sixth month stage from a lab in Germany. 

“The starter plants come to us in sterilized, sealed, 500 ml plastic containers, where they have been growing in a medium that supplies the plants with all its growing needs,” explains Rej Picard.  “The tiny plants are removed from the plastic container then planted individually in trays of another growing medium. At Westbrook, the orchid’s life begins when we remove the cultivars from their mini-greenhouses or incubators and prepare them for a larger existence in our greenhouses,” adds Westbrook Grower Manager Dave Bergshoeff. holding a young orchid plant at X weeks  or approximately X of its  70 week growing cycle. And that existence is more complicated than most people realize.

“People think of orchids as heat loving, tropical plants but there is actually a period in the commercial growing cycle, about 18 to 20 weeks, where we air condition rather than heat.  It is also the time when the plants get the most light.  But our moveable benching systems means that once the plants are on a bench they are on the same bench until processed for market, reducing labor costs substantially,” adds Rej, holding an orchid at week X of its 70 week growing cycle.  Benches are moved throughout the greenhouses as the plants develop.

Westbrook’s experience as a commercial greenhouse designer and manufacturer has  enabled the company to employ the necessary technical innovations in orchid growing to control variable costs such as labor and heating/cooling, helping their products remain competitive in the marketplace.

“The labor intensive part of producing this crop is the grading and staking,” explains Dave  Bergshoeff.  holding a market ready single spike, staked orchid.  “Orchids must be graded at every step of the growing process for size, height, color and bud count and also for customers.  Florists prefer the orchids with less open flowers whereas supermarkets want more color showing for visual impact in the store.”

It takes approximately 2 years to reach a market size flowering orchid - 6 months in the lab in Germany and another 18 months in the greenhouses of Ontario.

Orchids are popular because of their elegance and low maintenance.  The long lasting flowers show perfectly for up to three months  and the plant can bloom as often as twice a year.

In terms of care, keep orchids evenly moist, not soggy.  To test, stick a newly sharpened pencil into the medium about 1-inch deep and twist a few times.  If the wood comes out damp, water is not needed.  If dry, water with tepid water, preferably in the A.M.  Misting or humid environments are recommended for winter.

Orchids can tolerate a variety of light locations - anything from filtered sun to partial shade.

For more information on Westbrook’s potted orchid program, contact Dave Bergshoeff at dave@westbrookfloral.com and visit the website at  www.westbrookfloral.com

Our Contact Information

Phone: (905) 945-9611

Fax: (905) 945-7550

Our Location

Westbrook Greenhouses Ltd is located at Hunter Rd, Grimsby, ON L3M, Canada.

Back to Directory »

Upcoming Event

2014 Poinsettia Open House

This years 2014 Poinsettia Cultivar Open House is Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 1:00 - 4:30 p.m. at Research Greenhouses Vineland Research…

View All »

Latest Grower News

Rhapsody Label Expanded

Flowers Canada is pleased to announce that Rhapsody is now registered for the suppression of powdery mildew diseases (Oidium…

View All »

Our Sponsors