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TPIE 2020 Wrap Up: Plants, People and Prosperity

The 2020 Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE) took place this year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from January 22-24. TPIE offers attendees the opportunity to see the latest horticultural trends, plant varieties and speak directly to hundreds of exhibitors on the showroom floor.

The TPIE showroom has hundreds of exhibitors sharing their quality products and latest plant varieties. Photo credit: FNGLA

The UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (MREC) attends to show our support to the horticulture industry and Apopka-based plant nurseries and businesses. We also have the opportunity to share UF/IFAS horticulture research updates, talk about Extension resources available and what undergraduate and graduate opportunities are at MREC in the Central Florida area.

Maxwell Luthy speaks at the TPIE 2020 opening session entitled Key Trends 2020: Plants, People and Prosperity. Photo credit: FNGLA

The opening session entitled Key Trends 2020: Plants, People and Prosperity was presented by Maxwell Luthy, director of trends & insights for Trendwatching. Luthy highlighted where the horticulture industry will go in the new year and how can growers anticipate consumer demands.

Demands such as access to green spaces, plants in the workplace, how to appeal to the aging population, personalized experiences for buyers and how to gain both physical and mental benefits from houseplants.

Luthy noted that millennials are buying a lot of houseplants but older age groups, 55 years old and up, should not be ignored as many garden as a hobby or decorate their home and landscape with plants.

TPIE attendees get to walk the showroom floor and map out what booths to visit with their show directory. Photo credit: FNGLA

Exhibitors at the industry event included growers, suppliers of plant products, consumer products like fertilizer and growing media, containers and planting equipment. Plants on site range from cacti, succulents, foliage and edible plants in different colors, shapes and sizes.

Here is an example of a special lobby exhibit that highlights how plants are being used to fight burnout and foster positive wellbeing. This exhibit was sponsored by LiveTrends. Photo credit: FNGLA

TPIE is an annual industry show hosted by the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA). FNGLA showcases exceptional exhibitors with booth and new ‘cool product’ awards. In addition to awards, education programs are scheduled throughout the event such as workshops about interiorscapes, floral design, shipping and how to connect with consumers.

An example of awards presented at TPIE include the Most Unusual Plant Specimen. The winner this year was the Thai Dye Croton from ForemostCo, Inc. Photo credit: FNGLA

This year, a panel discussion entitled What’s Causing Houseplant Fever? focused on what are driving houseplant sales, what a ‘plant swap’ is and how Instagram is building an aesthetic centered around green space.

Regardless if you are a professional in the horticulture industry, a hobbyist or a student studying in a horticulture-related field, be sure to check out future TPIE events. In 2021, TPIE will be hosted in Tampa, Florida.