20 notable plants and products spotted at TPIE 2019
Senecio peregrinus or 'String of Dolphin' succulent from Branette Farms received a lot of buzz at the 2019 TPIE Show.
Michelle Simakis

20 notable plants and products spotted at TPIE 2019

Cool Product Award winners, other noteworthy plants we found and more highlights from the 2019 Tropical Plant International Expo.

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January 28, 2019
Edited by Michelle Simakis

As many growers and garden center retailers can attest, houseplants and tropicals are having a moment, and that excitement was apparent at the 2019 Tropical Plant International Expo.

"There is electricity in the air, and it’s an optimistic show," says Jared Hughes, owner of Groovy Plants Ranch based in Ohio. "People are excited.”

TPIE, which featured 400 exhibitors and 6,488 attendees, took place Jan. 16 - Jan. 18 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Theresa Riley, owner of Rockledge Gardens in Rockledge, Fla., served on the TPIE committee for several years, and said the 2019 show was a standout. 

"I really think this year is one of the best I remember in a very long time! Lots of positive vibes and buzz," she says. 

The Garden Center Group echoed this sentiment, noting that 2019 TPIE was one of the best-attended by independent garden centers that comprise the group. 

"We had the largest number ever of Group Centers in attendance at TPIE this year. And, as a result, we had a record number helping to find great products to present the Cool Product Awards," Danny Summers, managing director of the Garden Center Group, noted in a press release. "We have over 30 judges (a new record), and they nominated over 70 products in their search results. And, we awarded 15 companies awards for their 'cool products.'"

Here are 20 plants and products honored at TPIE 2019 by the Cool Product Award judges, with notes from the Garden Center Group, and other noteworthy items the GIE Media Horticulture Group spotted while walking the show floor: 

1. Begonia maculata, Costa Farms

Michelle Simakis

2.  'String of Dolphin' Succulent, Branette FarmsCool Product Award winner 
Senecio peregrinus is actually a hybrid between Senecio rowleyanus (string of pearls succulents) and Senecio articulatus (the hot dog cactus). Its nickname was inspired by the fact that its little leaves look like dolphins leaping out from the water. 

Michelle Simakis

3. Brunfelsia americana 'Lady of the Night,' Butler's Foliage Cool Product Award winner
Clusters of 2-inch white flowers that are held on long slender tubes release their heady perfume at night, but a curious nose may find fragrance almost any time of day. George Butler III says the difficult-to-describe fragrance is like a "spicy gardenia." 

Michelle Simakis 

4. Cordyline 'Singapore Twist,' exhibited by Butler's Foliage and Cordyline 'Singapore' shown by Excelsa Gardens 
Two companies pointed to this plant as one of their favorites that also received attention from attendees at the show. The plant pictured below is from Butler's Foliage. 

Michelle Simakis

5. Medusa Flower, Greendale NurseryCool Product Award winner
Strophanthus preussii, produces a wild and unusual floral display that arrives from late spring to fall on this shrubby climbing vine. Clusters of cream-colored flowers bedecked with long, curly streamers and a rust-tinted throat. 

Danny Summers

6. Hollywood Hibiscus 'Rico Suave,' Ramco Farm, Cool Product Award winner
Introducing another "character" in J. Berry Nursery's Hollywood Hibiscus Series, this ultra bright gold-orange ruffled petals leads to a deep burgundy center. A constant bloomer with full body of deep green foliage. 

Michelle Simakis

7. Indiaka Cyclamen, Northland Floral, Cool Product Award winner 
This new bicolor cyclamen is available in four color combinations: Magenta, Bright Purple, Rose, and Salmon.

Danny Summers

8. Magnolia or Olive Tree Housewarming Gift & Keepsake (two sizes), The Magnolia Company, Cool Product Award winner
Each unique gift package contains a tree, along with its own set of care instructions, personalized gift card and engraved ornament. Available with magnolia and olive varieties.

Michelle Simakis

 9. Aechmea 'America,' Bullis Bromeliads 
Attendees crowded around this plant exhibited by Bullis Bromeliads at TPIE 2019.


Michelle Simakis

10. Sun Parasol Garden Crimson and Kawaii White Peppermint planter, Suntory Flowers
Sun Parasol Garden Crimson paired well with Kawaii White Peppermint in a planter at the Suntory booth. Suntory also pomoted its new compact, mite-resistant Mandevilla, Sun Parasol Mitebuster Red.

Michelle Simakis

11. UpStyle Pot Covers,  A-ROO, Cool Product Award winner
This year they added even more styles and colors to this ultra light weight cover line. Available sizes: 4 inch, 4.5 inch, 6 inch and 6.5 inch.

Danny Summers

12. Folding Wooden Plant Stand, Avery Imports, Cool Product Award winner
This cleverly-designed plant stand is three panels wide, hinged. Each panel features 6 planter slots (18 total). Slots include a waterproof liner.

 

Danny Summers

13.  Adenium obesum 'Desert Rose,' Bill Moore & Co, Cool Product Award winner

This special double plus variegated bloom on this drought-tolerant succulent is available bare-root. 

Danny Summers

14. European Cypress Gift Bag, Coastal NurseryCool Product Award winner
This new kit is ideal for Christmas gifts for hostesses, teachers, parents and more. This product is grab-and-go for the consumer, arriving to the retailer as a complete package from decorative ornaments and lights, down to the gift tag and bow. Alternate combination is available for Easter as well. 

Michelle Simakis

15. Illuminated Terrarium, Flori-Design, Cool Product Award Winner 
Every year The Garden Center Group expects Gail Cash to reveal new creatives in her planted combinations. This year she offers a new terrariums with battery powered LED lighting.

 Michelle Simakis

16. New collections from LiveTrends, Cool Product Award winner
A host of new plant-container combinations were revealed with a JOY theme. Their message said, "We deliver JOY, by fusing nature, fashion, and art through unique living design." Our favorites were these planters with messages of love, as part of their 2019 collection. 

Michelle Simakis

17. BirdPlanterPolar Business Solutions, Cool Product Award winner

Designed by Don Murray and Shibu Varughese, this fun new alternative to the hanging basket. Available in two bright colors, the kit has bird body, beak, and tail feathers plus hanging chain. The combination of bright fun look and sturdy design was a real hit with the retail judges. 

Michelle Simakis

18. Kokodama Collection and Rack, Sun BulbCool Product Award winner
This year they have added even more combinations in Kokodama hanging planters and created two sizes of hanging displays for the retailer making this an easy YES to add to your tropicals department. A variety of plant types are available along with several sizes of Kokodama planters.

Michelle Simakis

19.  Quicups, Temkin InternationalCool Product Award winner
The introduction of Quicups offers retailers creative options for brightening up small plant containers in multiple of materials. All feature a plastic liner. Styles are available with or without the raised rear tab allowing for both upright and cascading plant types. Custom printing of patterns is also available.

 

Danny Summers

20. Naturals black and white collection, daVinci Pots
These patterns are some of the most popular in the daVinci line and speak to trends that trend analyst Christine Boland outlined in her opening keynote at TPIE

Michelle Simakis

Stay tuned for more coverage of TPIE. The 2020 show is scheduled for Jan. 22-24, 2020.