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Bulgarian Association of Ornamental Plants Nurseries


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Bulgarian Association of Ornamental Plants Nurseries (BAOPN) is a voluntary independent non-profit organization in the private benefit of its members – Bulgarian producers of ornamental plants.

The ASSOCIATION encourages and stimulates its members to a business initiative, innovation and modern green industries.

Goals and Mission:

• To support and encourage its members for developing an effective production of ornamental plants and of environmentally friendly production and keeping a clear environment.

• To work for an introduction of uniform rules, parameters, standards and quality in the manufacturing and marketing of products according to EU requirements

• To promote cooperation with similar organizations in the country and abroad for the free exchange of information, experience and business

• To work for the harmonization of Bulgarian legislation in the area of the production and marketing of ornamental plants.

• To lobby with the executive and legislative governmental authorities in order to protect the interests of the sector and the members of the Association.

• To unite and support the efforts of its members for the development of fair competition in a market economy.

• To achieve professional unity, interaction between the members of the Association.

• To promote new varieties of ornamental plants and modern manufacturing technologies



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Bulgaria is a southeastern European country, situated at the heart of the Balkan Peninsula. It covers a territory of 110 000 square kilometers. Its population is 7,5 million.

The average altitude of the its territory is 470 m

Bulgaria’s exceptionally diverse land relief pre-conditions 20 soil species and subspecies.





The natural vegetation of deciduous and coniferous forests covers 30% of the territory of the country

The agricultural lands cover about 50 % .

Bulgaria became аn official member of the European Union as of the first of the January, 2007.









The climate is humid/temperate continental and in the southern parts of the country, it is transient - Mediterranean. The average solar activity varies between (about) 2100 and 2500 hours. The average annual temperature is 10,5°C. In winter it is around 0 ° C, but interestingly, it varies from -38 ° C to 45 ° C. The lowest temperature (-38,3°C) was measured in 1947. The average wind speed is 1,2 m/s; western and northeastern winds predominate. The average annual rainfall is 450 mm.

Geographical characteristics set the conditions for a sixth, seventh and partly eighth zone of plant sustainability.



Production of ornamental trees, shrubs and perennials plants in Bulgari


The establishment of nursery production of ornamental trees and bush plants in Bulgaria is associated with the construction of parks and gardens to the Evsinograd-Varna residences. Vrana-Sofia city and public parks in (the cities) Sofia, Stara Zagora, Rousse, Varna, Plovdiv and others in end of the 19th century.

The first information which we have about production dates back to 1882. Up to the middle of the 20th century/ Well before the middle…, production used to be/is concentrated in only six places with a total area not more than/not surpassing 30 hectares. Later, a network of nurseries was launched.

Before the end of the 80s of the past century, the total nursery area reached 1.800 ha




Тhe end of eighties of the past century set the conditions for the construction of private farms. The first private family and nursery firm is "BOZHILOV" in Sofia. It was created in 1989.

The real development of the industry began with the liquidation of State farms and Bulgaria's transition into a market economy.

At the end of the twentieth century, there were about 20-30 private production bases in the country, but they were small with an area of up to 0.5 hectares. They were sustained exclusively on plant imports from the Netherlands and Hungary. Home production did not exceed 20 to 30%.



9There are no irrigation systems, modern technology, substrates and containers.

Thanks to import, the species diversity increased to 500 species. The same years saw the launching of plants in containers used for all seasons. The barely known or used up to that moment Perennials and alpine vegetation came onto the market.

With the beginning of the twenty-first century, the economic growth of the country along with the rapid rates of expansion in building lead to a sharp increase in the ornamental plant demand.

Ornamental plant producers reached a number of 40-50.

Home production reached (to) 50% of (the) vegetation on the market.

Аutomated irrigation systems were built, and some modern methods of feeding and cultivation were implemented.

Manure-soil mixtures were replaced by peat substrates.

Companies started equipment with machinery.



The high rates of construction on a national level dramatically increased demand and import, mainly of medium-and large-sized plants, from Holland, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Italy.

Along with import, species diversity and the number of occupied production areas increased/High rates of import also boosted species diversity and the number of occupied production areas.

Increased demand set apart Pavlikeni and its region as the center in the rose production.


11bFor the last five years, especially after Bulgaria’s accession to the EU, the industry has undergone vigorous development.

Companies of partially accumulated capital have started to invest in new, larger industrial areas, new equipment and modern technologies. They have started moving production in the province.

Foreign investors, mainly from the Netherlands, joined Bulgarian manufacturers to create new nurseries and companies, "Bulland Trade", "Evrogriyn" among others:


Now in Bulgaria the producers of woody -shrub vegetation and Perennials are:

-more than 10 companies with production areas above 10 hectares

-about 30 medium-size producers with production areas up to 10 hectares

-about 100 small-size producers with production areas up to 1 hectare

-about 100 with less than 1 hectare

Only 5-6 of these companies produce 90% of the seedlings alone.

About 20 - 30 companies produce up to 50 % of the seedlings they need.

The rest of the seedlings, medium and large-sized plants, is imported from Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary and Poland, and more recently, from Italy, France and even Turkey.



The development of the sector has defined several regions of production and has lead to the concentration of the companies in the country:

First region - Northern Bulgaria around Veliko Tarnovo (city)/ Veliko Turnovo /Northern Bulgaria/ - accounts for about 40% of total production;

Second region - around Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria - 15%

Third region - Pazardzhik-Plovdiv / Central Bulgaria / - 25%

Fourth region - Black Sea coast /Eastern Bulgaria/ - 10%;

The rest of the country accounts for about 10% of total production.




On our own calculations, for the past five years Bulgaria average sold on the market about two million woody-shrubs ornamental and perennials.

From them, about 500,000 are import, (of them) 300,000 (are) - mainly coniferous and grafts - are seedlings for production, and the other 200 000 are for direct sale.

The average market price for coniferous plant seeds (?) in our country is about 15 euros, for deciduous - 10, for climbing plants 5,and for perennials - 1 euro.


In Bulgaria, the average annual plant production, roses enxluded, is about two million seedlings, about 300,000 of which are seeds and about 1,700,000 are vegetative.

Of the species, vegetatively reproduced by grafts, production does not exceed 10,000 per year.

Conifers, produced vegetatively, are about 700,000 (pieces).


70% of the remaining million are deciduous and surface root plants that are sold bare root, especially Ligustrum оvalifolium.

Currently, home production of roses for the domestic market reaches 200,000 roses a year, and for export, the number is about 2,000,000.

Rose production is concentrated in five larger companies, some of which with/featuring foreign participation.

Currently, Bulgaria has/operates with 10 machines for extraction of root ball and 5 transplanting production lines of small capacity.

Fully automatic irrigation and fertilizing systems are 5.

With regard to average export figures, for the last five year (excluding roses) there has been an export of no more than 3 to 5 thousand woody shrub species, mainly to Greece, Turkey, and little to Macedonia.

The substrates are now up to 80% peat-based and 50% of them come from German companies - Brill, Stender, Teracult and others.

70% of containers are import from Germany, Italy and a fairly small amount, from Poland and Turkey.


Currently, the land for growing crops occupies about 2.000 hectares of/in the whole country. Now, because of the crisis, the grown vegetation is mainly medium – sized.






As a result of the crisis production and sales rates in 2010 and 2011 dropped by about 35%, and in 2012 another 10% drop is to be expected/anticipated.

The development of the sector can be traced with the help of the following diagrams:








Graph 1


The first graph shows the range expansion rate of species of plants, produced and offered in the country.

About 70% of these species have been incorporated into actual production.

Graph 2



The second graph shows the expansion rate of production areas in the recent years.

Graph 3



The third graph shows the year – by – year variation in the total production sold in the four groups of plants.



The fast development of the sector in the recent years has also led to negative consequences:

Natural disasters, along with unsupervised import, have led to the assimilation of some diseases and harmful substances, barely known before.

Unsupervised non – specialist production and do not the construction of dendrology and uterine collections by producers has led to loss of certain form traits? and varieties, and to the deformation or loss of others.

The lack of production and marketing standards has led to unfair competition, price undercutting, over - saturation of the market with one type of species and the absence of other types and forms.

The lack of licensing of companies is a prerequisite for offering poor quality production with no origin certificates, identification labels or documents.

The lack of communication and information exchange between manufacturers has made it impossible to provide plants for the major infrastructure projects, initiated in our country.

Statistics and planning are other weak points.

There is no forum, or an exhibition, where we could present our products and communicate with each other.

Last, but not least comes the poor legislation and the low state supervision as well as the lack of specialized education centers.

Despite the substantial number of European Funds and Programmes available, our industry remains shut to major sources of funding.

After an in – depth analysis of all these problems, an association of ornamental plant producers was formed on the 3rd of February, 2011.



The main goals of the Association are:

1.To support and encourage its members to develop effective home production of ornamental plants in compliance with the regulations for carrying out such activities in the country and in Europe.

2. To protect the rights and interests of its members before government bodies and other public organizations in the country and abroad.

3. To develop motivated proposals for legislation change, including the harmonization/concordance of Bulgarian legislation with the European Union’s directives in ornamental plant production and marketing

4. To defend/protect the interests of the sector and the members of the Association before the public government

5. To cordinate and support the efforts of its members for the development of fair competition in a market economy for an ecologically clean production and environmental protection.

6. To work for professional unity, solidarity and professional interaction/coordination between the members of the Association.

7. To popularize new ornamental plant varieties and modern technologies for production and to work towards the the introduction of uniform rules, parameters, standards and quality in manufacturing and production, in accordance with EU requirements

8. Improving the training of specialized staff for the sector on all levels.

9. Differentiating of the industry as long as the market would permit.

10. Organizing national and international forums, conferences, exhibitions, demonstrations and etc. together with other organizations/ in cooperation with… for production release and export.


The members of the association are twenty-five of the largest producers and traders in Bulgaria.

The production areas and quantities of our members are/cover about 70% of all production areas in the country.

The production facilities of our members are 80% of the entire industry.

The aggregate financial indicators of (the) our members are over 60% of those of the industry.

90% of the most modern technologies and equipment are owned by members of association.

All this places our association as a representative excerpt of the current situation sector in Bulgaria.