In 1978, Arno van der Maarel started the Zijdeland nursery in De Lier. Here, he grew cut gerberas together with his father.
He married José in 1982, and the couple continued the business together. In 1990, they started growing Cymbidium orchids. As a result, the nursery quickly became too small, so in 1997 they moved to a larger one. With just under four hectares extra, a small cultivation of Anthuriums and pot Phalaenopsis was also added. The latter soon became the main crop. In 1999, the company was therefore renamed Maarel Orchids.
In 2006, the company bought a horticultural plot in Maasdijk to make room for automation. This new 7.5-hectare piece of land was put into production in 2008. In the following years, greenhouses were added and the current 9.5 hectares were created.
In 2019, the company said goodbye to the nursery on Zijtwende in De Lier after 22 years.
On January 1, 2020, Arno and José van der Maarel stepped down and commercial director René Vissers took over the overall management of Maarel Orchids.