A small spark can start a great fire: when plant tissue culture turns into a passion

What started off as a hobby in his teenage years quickly turned into a true passion. Pieter Colpaert, R&D Manager at Microflor, talks about how he elevated plant tissue culture to a form of art.

Pieter’s life is filled with many roles: he is a father, bio engineer and plant breeder. But the recurring theme throughout his life is always plants and flowers. From growing and collecting cacti to breeding orchids. His story will appeal to anyone with a love for plants. 

How it started

“I had a keen interest in plants from a young age”, Pieter begins his story. “When I was fourteen, I was working on a school project that involved cacti. They really caught my interest so I decided to start my own collection. I owned a mix of many varieties and kept them all in my bedroom at home. That’s when I started experimenting: I carefully looked after my plants and repotted them when needed, and they were thriving. I was hooked! So the collection grew, and I soon started incorporating other types of plants. As time moved on, I discovered ways to breed different traits and varieties.”

“There was no turning back for me”, Pieter continues. “I knew I wanted a career in plants. After finishing secondary school, I went to Ghent University to get my degree in bio engineering. During those years, I was able to experiment with plants quite a lot.”

Microflor: delving deeper into plant breeding

In 2011, Pieter started working for Microflor, first as production manager in the tissue culture department, and then as head of the plant tissue culture lab. “Working for Microflor really allowed me to delve deeper into this passion of mine”, Pieter goes on. “Plant breeding does not feel like a job to me, it’s more like a mission. Each day, we work on new goals and objectives. What are the traits we should select? Which plant species should we combine? And most importantly: how can we make these orchids and other plants even more robust and beautiful? It’s an ongoing process and the results are fascinating, time and time again.”

Surrounded by a dedicated team

Pieter is surrounded by a team of ten people, each one equally as passionate about this line of work. “The entire team at Microflor is extremely dedicated”, he says. “Like me, they are always striving for the next level, which fits perfectly within Microflor’s philosophy. Our number one focus is breeding strong plants. We exclusively produce high-quality, vigorous varieties. The only way to achieve this is by pouring our hearts and souls into it.”

“Our number one focus is breeding strong plants. We exclusively produce high-quality, vigorous varieties.”

An open mind leads to innovation

Of course, the team does much more than meeting targets and objectives. “At Microflor, we are continually on the lookout for the unexpected. Something that appears small and insignificant at first can lead to a major breakthrough or some really interesting results, from a striking new colour to an entirely new variety.”

“By keeping our mind and eyes open all the time, the team at Microflor manages to generate a continuous flow of innovative products. This is great news for our customers as it allows them to choose from an extensive range of the very best flowers and plants”, Pieter concludes.

Contact us today for more info about Microflor’s passion for plant tissue culture.