Historical Background

When world peace was reestablished in 1945, two young Hollanders were finally able to realise a long cherished dream - to settle in South Africa and grow fine flower bulbs.

Floor Barnhoorn and Harry de Leeuw were self-made men. Both had left school at the age of 14 to earn their livings by selling bulbs for growers. Their 18 hour days finished with evening classes in English and bookkeeping. Keen, alert and full of drive, they brought their flower bulb expertise and newly acquired language and accounting skills to South Africa in 1946 and established the Company that is today known as Hadeco.

They first planted fast growing gladioli for cut flowers and corms - to generate some much needed cashflow, before branching out into other crops. The early days were not easy. The first bulb store was a secondhand army tent and staff sometimes had to wait patiently for their wages.

Floor looked after production and the nursery, while Harry travelled the country, towing an old caravan; gradually developing a market for flower bulbs, which were virtually unknown at the time.

From these humble beginnings, Hadeco has grown into one of the largest organisations of its kind in the world, without losing sight of the original partners' obsession with excellence, reliability of supply and genuine concern for customer satisfaction. These values are an integral part of Hadeco's culture.

Managed today by direct descendants of founder Floor Barnhoorn, Hadeco is an international leader in the breeding, raising, growing and worldwide distribution of flower bulbs, fresh cut flowers and laboratory- in- vitro produced plant material.


Traditionally a wholesale bulb grower, Hadeco began expanding its cut flower division in the mid 1970's and in 1980 a issue culture and meristem laboratory was established. In 1980 the Company began marketing the Hadeco name on its home-grown range, ranging from Tulips to Hippeastrums. Other, related products are also marketed.

To ensure optimal production, Hadeco grows its bulbs and flowers on seven farms situated at various altitudes. Climates range from subtropical to cool temperate and soil types from heavy red loams to light sand. Land under cultivation with extensive infrastructure in terms of roads, irrigation, housing, workshops and machinery. Forty highly skilled bulb experts, mainly Hollanders, supervise a permanent staff.

& Development

To ensure the highest standard in plant breeding, Hadeco produces virus-free mother stock in its laboratory using the Meristem tip culture tissue process. The healthy plants produced in this way are mass-produced through tissue culture.

Many plant species previously inhibited from cross breeding can now be successfully crossed by using the embryo culture method with prospects of creating exciting new hybrids.

At Hadeco we also undertake tissue culture multiplication under contract to outside plant breeders

Pride in offering the highest quality possible is central to the Hadeco philosophy and we look forward to continue introducing exciting new cultivars to our clients in the future.