October 2010

Founding of the company Alpha Orchids (pot plants Cambria)

(Image: AK48 Milmiltonia Sunset Hybrid)


Different orchids are tested to control flowering and flowering time. The first mother plants are included in the breeding stock

(Image: AK192 Promenaea Hybrid)


The first crosses are carried out & the first seed pods are sown in different laboratories

(Image: the first breeding result from 2012; A17 Burrageara, flowering seedlings)


The first seedlings are back in the nursery; selection has seriously begun

(Image: AK183 Odontocidium Hybrid)


Collaboration with other orchid gardeners results in the selection of the first AK-mericlones

(Image: AK25 Zygopetalum Hybrid)


The first AK-mericlones are back in the nursery

(Image: AK7 Odontocidium Hybrid)


Alpha Orchids becomes Alpha Orchids Breeding

Rutger Kloppenberg starts a Master of Science program in Plant Breeding at WUR, Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands

(Image: A201 Zygopetalum seedlings)


The first completely home-grown Alpha mericlone (AK79) was planted in the nursery

(Image: AK57 Propetalum Hybrid)


Over 400 seed pods have been provided to the laboratories so far; we have arrived at Meristem AK330

(Image: AK255 Vuylstekeara Hybrid)


The first varieties are propagated for mass production

(Image: AK115 Burrageara Hybrid)


New genera are continually added to the breeding program, this time Cattleya & Miltoniopsis

(Image: AK905 Cattleya Hybrid)


the first Miltoniopsis seedlings are selected

(Image: AK693 Miltoniopsis Hybrid)


several Cymbidium seedlings & selections are potted this year. I, Rutger Kloppenberg, passed the Msc in Plant Breeding

(Image: AK367 Cymbidium Hybrid)


many new Epidendrum radicans hybrids are tested

(Image: AK359 Epidendrum radicans Hybrid)


Zygopetalum from the 3rd generation breeding are flowering after a controlled flower induction treatment

(Image: AK554 Zygopetalum Hybrid)

About me -extended version-

During my studies Agribusiness & Management at Larenstein Agricultural College in The Netherlands, I spent a lot of time abroad for placements and studies, all part of this Bachelor. A placement in Germany at the company Orchideen Holm, resulted in my first job as a representative of the firm. After 5 years working there, I felt it was time to start up a business of my own, Alpha Orchids.

October 2010 Alpha Orchids was started nearby Nijmegen in The Netherlands, where a small greenhouse department of 500m² was rented. Assisted by my parents, the company first focussed at the production of pot plant Orchids. One of the aims was to find out how certain varieties could be forced to flower in a controlled manner. I succeeded in this for Promenaea hybrids and the Milmiltonia Sunset, which resulted in 2 commercial interesting varieties, today still produced by some of my clients in Europe.

I acquired various “Cambria” varieties from different orchid producers. Once in flower I made a few crossings at the start of 2012, at first, just for fun. Surprisingly, some succeeded and the joy of it made me cross breed (a lot) more. I started collecting more mother stock material and I created a vision of a whole new range of orchids for the future. Nevertheless, many crossings did not succeed, my curiosity forced me to find out what the reason for failure was. I dug deeper until I finally decided to start a distance learning, Master of Science in Plant Breeding, at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in The Netherlands. By that time, the first seedling lots were coming back from the laboratories; selection had seriously begun.

Over the years it seemed to be more lucrative for a small company like mine, to produce young plants instead of pot plants, this is why the core business shifted to young plant production. Finally in 2016, due to my expanding family and start of the Msc Plant Breeding, I decided to cease all commercial production and to focus only on breeding of orchids from temperate climate regions. Alpha Orchids became Alpha Orchids Breeding.

Over the years a wide range of exotic orchid varieties have been developed in Zygopetalinae, Oncidiinae, Cymbidieae, Epidendroidae, Laeliinae, Dendrobieae and more!

The number of crossings has exceeded 7.000 and the number of test mericlones for commercial production is at AK860 and counting. Many varieties are in commercial production, most of them protected by breeders‘ rights. The total market share of Alpha Orchids in Europe, has developed up to an estimated share of over 20% within the genera mentioned before. In Zygopetalinae and Oncidiinae there is no company worldwide, that can match the number and diversity of varieties that are available at Alpha Orchids Breeding.

My aim is to continue develop better varieties in a wide range of Orchid genera. A vital component to make my varieties succesful, is my research in a climate cell, where growth is studied and experiments are conducted in how to control flowering. With success, several protocols have been developed for flower control in Promenaea, Miltonia, Dendrobium kingianum, Zygopetalum and Epidendrum radicans. For a crop like Zygopetalum, it instantly makes the product commercially viable and therefore much more interesting for growers, worldwide. Ask me for more details or explanation of the experiments.

Please have a look at the varieties at this website and see if there are any of your interest.


Rutger Kloppenberg

Founder & Breeder