How Kordes Rosen Gets the Best Result With Its Roses in Africa

An interview with Christian Meuschke from Kreative Roses, your Sub-Saharan Africa representative for Kordes Roses.

By: THURSD. | 11-03-2024 | 7 min read
Interviews Roses
Kordes Interview Christian Meuschke header on Thursd

If you get a chance to pick up some knowledge from the fine fleur of your industry it would be a wasted chance not to pay close attention. So, when the likes of Christian Meuschke from Kreative Roses — the East African agent from worldwide renowned breeder Kordes Rosen — takes the stage, then we all prick up our ears.

And Christian has news for us. The East African branch of Kordes, Kreative Roses, presents Rose Albatros, the elegant premium white rose that is grown by more and more growers in the Kenyan highlands.

Kordes Rosen and Kreative Roses

Christian Meuschke is the Regional Liaison Cultivar Manager from a company called Kreative Roses Ltd., the agent of Kordes Rosen in East Africa. With his passion for innovation, the best selection, and improvement, he is your guide on roses in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Christian's job title might sound a bit formal, but he's basically the rose whisperer for Kordes Rosen in this vibrant region, ensuring every bloom is a masterpiece. He is a team member entrusted with the testing and selection of Kordes so that all can make a good assessment of whether these varieties are actually suitable for growers in his region.


Kordes Albatros Christian Meuschke quote


Christian Meuschke Kreative Roses and Thomas Fransen
Christian Meuschke from Kreative Rosen with Kreative Roses (on the right) with Thomas Fransen, the Farm manager of Albatros grower Timaflor


What does Christian love most about his job?


"My job is about testing and introducing varieties to growers that are most suited to their microclimates and target markets. It's the interaction with these growers and their staff, it's the selection and the development of new varieties in these diverse micro-climates. That's what I enjoy the most."

The basis of this all is German-based industry leader W. Kordes' Söhne, one of the most renowned and innovative breeders of cut roses, garden roses, and pot roses. A network of agents and license holders in over thirty countries ensures its worldwide distribution and presence of roses around the globe.

Kordes garden roses can be found in private gardens, public parks, and other green spaces, making Kordes roses a well-known brand for professionals and consumers throughout the floral industry.

Christian adds:

"The first selection of all our cut roses takes place in the greenhouse, with very low energy input, in our German HQ in Sparrieshoop. After about two years of breeding and selection, the positively selected varieties are sent to the most important growing regions for further testing under the regional climate conditions.

The main cultivation areas are in the highlands around the equator in East Africa and South America. These highlands lie between 1,600 and 3,400 meters above sea level. Cultivation at this altitude allows the roses to develop the most beautiful colours with good characteristics for consumers.

Of course, there is also a market for locally grown roses, such as in the Netherlands, and Kordes also develops varieties for this type of market. This type of product is very different from those from the equatorial region, as they can be transported in water and the harvesting stage is more open."

Christian is all about the bloom and the beauty of his role, cherishing the day-to-day interactions with growers, the thrill of selecting new varieties, and the challenge of developing roses that thrive across the diverse micro-climates of Africa. It's a job that takes passion, patience, and a keen eye for detail, matching each rose variety to its perfect environmental dance partner. And when you say Africa, you say Kreative Roses Ltd.



Kordes Roses East Africa

Kreative Roses is the Kenyan chapter of this floral saga, where the Kordes legacy continues to flourish. With the Kenyan highlands providing the ideal canvas, its agent Kreative Roses has embraced the challenge of introducing new varieties to the market, fostering innovation and sustainability in the process. It's a testament to the commitment of Kordes Rosen to excellence and a reflection of the changing dynamics in the global flower industry.


"In the 1980s and 90s the new frontier of rose growing was established in Kenya and Kordes Rosen was at the forefront with its commanding variety assortment. The rapid expansion enabled by the climate, production cost, and the ability to supply all year round brought a diversity of products and more competition to the industry.

In the early stages, Propagators were the agents for breeders, making plants and the contact point for growers. In 1999 Kordes Roses East Africa was registered as a satellite company in Kenya to meet the needs of the growers in direct relationships.

The next development came in 2006 when Kordes Rosen started its own farm, Kreative Roses, a Kenyan registered company, its name is an anagram of 'Kordes Roses East Africa' + tive'. Kreative was established to enable the introduction of novelties into the marketplace through Dutch auctions. The development of the rose-growing business sped up the evolution of the flower business not only from Kenya to East Africa to Sub-Saharan Africa but also changed the landscape in Europe in regard to growers."


Christian Meuschke and Thomas Fransen


Rose Albatros

Now that it's clear where many of these beautiful roses come from, the stage is set for one of the latest stars from Kreative Roses: Rose Albatros. This isn't just another white rose. It's a testament to the art and science of rose breeding and the collaboration of the breeder Kordes and its agent Kreative Roses.


"There is a growing demand for premium white roses in various markets. Rose Albatros is a premium white that is grown in Kenyan high-altitude farms. Actually, it's a rich cream/white flower with dark foliage that turns into beautiful white as it unfurls in a vase. It is elegant in form with classic petal formation, and its beauty radiates as it opens in the vase.
Albatros was bred to be an improvement for Athena. In the selection phase it was noted that Albatros had a larger and whiter bud, a classic and elegant form, it was taller and a good grower.

Rose Albatros had a slow start in the introduction until a vase was displayed at the Dutch handling agent Fresco Flowers during one of their open days. The charming white flowers immediately caught the attention of the audience and after a relatively quick trial, the variant was subsequently introduced into the market through the Dutch auctions.

It was initially an exclusive variety for three years at Timaflor, that did exceptionally well during the introduction phase of the variety. Since then more Kenyan high-altitude growers have stepped into growing Albatros."


Kordes Rose Albatros bouquet in vase
Rose Albatros


Seeing is believing. Albatros shows off in any design but also looks enchanting as a mono bunch. The elegance of Rose Albatros is unmatched, making it a sought-after variety for florists and consumers alike. With a head size between 5 and 7 centimeters and a stem length from 50 to 80 centimeters, this flower is a dream for any floral designer. Its beauty features are undeniable, from its elegant form to its classic petal formation, making it a must-have for florists and consumers looking to add a touch of sophistication to their bouquets or decor. Whether it's for a wedding, a formal event, or simply to brighten up a space, Albatros is a year-round favorite that never goes out of style.

The renewed attention Albatros is receiving is well-deserved. As a premium white rose grown in the idyllic conditions of Kenyan farms, it represents the pinnacle of floral elegance. Its introduction not only highlights the importance of diversity in supply but also underscores the growing demand for quality white roses in various markets.


Rose Albatros


Appreciate the Beauty of Nature

The story of Kordes Rosen and its East African agency Kreative Roses is more than just a tale of breeding and beauty. It's a narrative that intertwines the passion of generations, the challenges of innovation, testing, selection of only the best, and the joy that flowers can bring into our lives. Whether you're a seasoned florist, a rose enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the finer things in life, their latest success story Rose Albatros invites you to take a moment to appreciate the beauty that nature has to offer.


Kreative Roses company entrance



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