The history of planted aquariums, goes back to the beginning of the hobby, which began seriously in the early 1930’s. I managed to gather in my early years in the Hobby magazines, such as Water Life, the Aquarist and others. I remember well reading advertisements for Everglades Aquatic Nurseries. This nursery was founded by A Mr.Greenberg, who ran this company for years, and lived I understand to the age of 90 odd years. They offered a large selection of plants, and presumably many stores and hobbyists bought from them in those and subsequent years. The company still exists today in Florida, and supplies aquatic plants to the trade.However the really serious development of the highly planted aquarium, with a large variety of plants, along with their specialized individual requirements began in the Netherlands, a few years after the war. This development took place with a two or three leading plant growers and importers. Holland was especially well placed to create and be a pioneer in this kind of venture, for two major reasons. Firstly they had the connections from their former colony of what today is Indonesia, where a great many interesting aquatic plants come from. Secondly, the country is foremost in greenhouse cultivation of house plants and much else, so the progression to aquarium plants was natural and a good opportunity. As the production increased, they exported them all over Europe and further a ?eld. Naturalists who discovered new plants and made a specialty of same such as Arie de Graaf, also made their impression on the market, and Holland soon became the premier country for this trade. There are still large producers in Holland, although other developments have taken place from the early seventies onwards. The Hobbyists along with some of the Naturalists, and the Aquarium magazines promoted the keeping of highly planted tanks, and this became known as the Dutch system. However not everyone was able to successfully reproduce the beauty of these aquariums, this no doubt due to the lack of many critical inputs, which were discovered later on by other researchers. Suf?cient numbers did succeed however to keep the interest alive and even to enlarge it.In the early 70’s a Dane by the name of Holger Winderlov began what was at ?rst a small company in Ega Denmark. Holger brought a tremendous attention to detail, and scienti?c
method in rearing a very wide variety of plants (more than 150 species at last count). This company began exporting high quality plants worldwide, and continues to grow to this day. They raise and sell over 2 million plants a year and employ a staff of some 40 persons. This company with it’s excellent quality, made a pro- found impression on the hobby, and in?uenced many developments which were to follow.
Today many if not all of the plants cultivated by the company, begin life using the latest techniques of tis- sue culture, which brings a further re?nement to the quality, for which Holger Winderlov, and his company Tropica has become famous.