The Shopping Mall for Rose Growers in Naivasha

Nini Farm is now an epicenter for rose breeders to show case their best varieties, its accessible, and convenient for every visitor.

By: THURSD. | 13-06-2024 | 5 min read
Cut Flowers Roses
Shopping Mall for Rose Growers

Situated on the southern shore of Lake Naivasha, Kenya, Nini Rose Farm is a prominent player in the region's flower industry, which is often dubbed the "capital of Kenya's blooming flower industry" due to its fertile volcanic soil and favorable climate conditions. Nini Rose Farm, part of the Herburg Group, boasts a sprawling 60 hectares of greenhouses dedicated to rose cultivation, making it a significant hub for rose breeding, growing, and exportation.

The Concept A "Shopping Mall" for Rose Growers

Nini Rose Farm recently hosted an innovative idea that brought together four rose breeders under one roof, creating what one of the breeders described as a "shopping mall" for rose growers. This unique setup allowed growers to explore a diverse range of rose varieties in one location, facilitating direct interactions with breeders and making informed decisions on the best varieties to invest in.



Leah Wahome, who is responsible for organizing this "shopping mall, " ensures guests are welcomed and shown around. Leah is the supervisor provided by Nini Farm and manages the breeders' four show houses: Delbard, Jan Spek Roses, United Selections, and Select Breeding. This means receiving visitors on their behalf, especially in their absence, and managing daily activities, including but not limited to; harvesting, humidifying the greenhouses, and general managing of their offices.

Leah Wahome reiterates that;

"My work is different every day. I manage 5 houses. 4 breeder houses and 1 trial house. Every day is different, it calls for a different approach, in terms of navigating challenges when they arise, and how to interact with different breeders. Their different approach to operations within their houses. Requires agility hence there is room for growth in every aspect of the job."


Leah Wahome smelling the roses at Delbard
Leah Wahome smelling the roses at Delbard


Everyday engagement with growers is an intriguing experience for Leah Wahome. She loves the process and the responsibility of managing and meeting the needs of each breeder's house while taking good care of their clients. Initially, she was a Showhouse supervisor for the breeder Dummen Orange. The new role is more dynamic for her and equally a great learning experience. Visiting Nini Farm soon? You will be amazed by her hospitality and professionalism during your visit to the four breeders.

The Breeders and Their Greenhouses at Nini

1. Delbard

Delbard, who is known by many for their beautiful roses such as the White O'Hara, is a third-generation rose breeder from France. In this greenhouse, many roses are showcased, and some space is used for budwood, and for some production. their roses with thematic names, including varieties named after notable Kenyan figures like Wangari Maathai. Their collection included Rose Makena, Rose Muthoni, and Rose Wangari Maathai, reflecting a blend of tradition and innovation. Arnaud Delbard emphasized their commitment to maintaining a family legacy while honoring significant cultural icons.


Arnaud Delbard with Rose Wangari Maathai
Arnaud Delbard with Rose Wangari Maathai



2. Jan Spek Roses

With over 130 years in the rose breeding industry, Jan Spek Roses presented varieties like Rose Musica, Rose Peaches, and Rose Mont Royal. Known for their timeless breeding methods, Jan Spek Roses continues to attract growers with their exquisite and colorful varieties that stand out in the market. You can read all about the visit of Rosemary Kimunya to the Jan Spek facilities in Naivasha here. An interesting read is where Erik Spek explains the art of rose breeding.


Erik Spek from Jan Spek Roses
Erik Spek from Jan Spek Roses


3. United Selections

United Selections highlights their premium rose varieties at their facilities as well. Rose Premium Class, which garnered significant interest for its exceptional qualities. Their breeding focus is on developing roses that perform well in the local conditions of Naivasha, ensuring sustainability and market relevance.

In addition to showcasing promising varieties for Naivasha altitudes and its surroundings. United Selections also uses this location for their R&D processes, aimed towards further testing of new codes and varieties in the pipeline. In the past, most of the growers from the Naivasha region had to travel to Nakuru to visit the breeder's showhouse. Now with a show house at Nini Farm, they can attend to their Naivasha clients easily, timely, and conveniently.


Rosemary Kimunya at the Shopping Mall for Rose Growers
Rosemary Kimunya at United Selections


4. Select Breeding

Select breeding, specializing in medium and large-flowered cut roses, showcased notable varieties such as Rose Blue Lagoon, Rose Firefox, and Rose Novastar. The standout, Rose Red Bentley, was particularly praised for its vibrant color and long vase life, making it a favorite among visitors.

The breeder is confident with the availability of more potential varieties, great location, and management of the showhouse offered by Nini Farm. They are confident in attending to their clients' needs, while continuously growing their business.


Leah Wahome at Select Breeding


The Tour Experience at Nini Farm

The visit to Nini Rose Farm, guided by Leah, provided a look at the operations and innovations within each breeder's greenhouse. The tour included a visit to the fertigation station, where advanced techniques in water recycling and hydroponics are employed to ensure sustainable practices. The cold storage facilities demonstrated the meticulous care taken in preparing roses for export, highlighting Nini's reach into global markets, including a recent breakthrough into the Australian market.


Nini Rose Farm


The visit to Nini Rose Farm not only showcased the latest in rose breeding but also underscored Naivasha's pivotal role in the global flower industry. By bringing together diverse breeders and facilitating direct interaction with growers, Nini Rose Farm exemplified how collaboration and innovation can drive the floral industry forward, making it a must-visit destination for anyone involved in or passionate about horticulture.

All breeders are planning for a joint open house during the Naivasha Hortifair ((NHFair) set for the 20th-21st of Septemeber 2024. Where all growers will be welcome to visit each breeder, to review and select rose varieties of their choice for trialing and commercial planning.


Shopping Mall of Roses


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