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Top picks from TPIE

Sep 12, 2023

The Garden Center Group had its largest-ever group of garden retailers as judges at TPIE this year, all helping to find great products to present the Cool Product Awards. The group awarded 14 companies awards for 15 products at the Florida show. Check out the winners and get some ideas for your own merchandise. See the full list of winners at

1. Dieffenbachia ‘Crocodile’ from Aroid Greenhouses is a unique form of Dieffenbachia that catches attention with its unique appearance in an upright stature, like that of palm. It has strong, variegated color and wonderfully smooth leaves on the front side, but the backs of the leaves help name the selection with its "scales" on the center ridge, along the underside of the leaf, which is reptilian in texture.

2. Custom grow tags and creative plant labels are produced in Holland by Elburg-Smit and were presented in North America by Qualitree. Judges were impressed with the eye-catching messaging and designs of these plant tags, offering a silent sales approach for the plants.

3. Organic Liquid Plant Food from Flourish Plant is a 100% organic liquid concentrate plant food that comes in an eye-dropper bottle. The company also offers small packs for first-time users and a limited-time gift pack of Flourish Concentrate, along with a glass, 8-oz. Flourish dilution vessel.

4. Hendriks Greenhouses is known for its tropicals, but its creative team has produced a number of plant sleeves, wraps and tags to speak to the customer. The marketing tools’ messages focus on happiness. For example, one says, “This plant will boost your mood,” while several others borrow from the classic “Little Black Dress” to say “Little Green Plant.”

5. Judges were drawn to this bright combination of multi-colored Bougainvillea in hanging baskets from O.F. Nelson & Family Nursery. During the awards presentation, a representative said they wanted to create something different, and the plants could help brighten any landscape or patio.

6. Alocasia Frydek Variegata from R&D Nurseries is a highly variegated form of Alocasia. While the specimen seen here is a juvenile, a fully grown plant features wonderful color variations throughout its large leaves.

7. According to Rosy Soil, its Organic Peatless Potting Soil is the first made from captured CO2 that is peat-, coco- and synthetic-free. The soil includes 30% biochar derived from pine wood that reduces soil density, increases soil aeration and features mycorrhizae.

8. Potting soil, components and toppers from Sol Soils feature a hand-mixed product with the ingredients to produce fast-draining soils that help protect against root rot — the No. 1 killer of indoor plants. They coined the phrase “gritty” mix, a coarse growing medium made up largely of inorganic materials that closely mimic the natural environment of plants like aroids, tropicals, cacti, succulents or bonsai.

9. United Nursery is now offering Ecopots, which are made in Belgium and are super lightweight but extremely strong. They feature neutral colors and come in a variety of both sizes and shapes. They have drain hole plugs to work inside or out. Ecopots are produced with 80% recycled plastic along with recycled natural stone, which gives the pots their unique look.

10. Russell’s Bromeliads showed its macramé hangers in a multi-level display. Each is a single hanger, but when hung together they create a way for the consumer to have more on display (and buy more plants)!

Check out more from this issue and find you next story to read.

1. Dieffenbachia ‘Crocodile’2.Custom grow tagscreative plant labels3.Organic Liquid Plant Food4.plant sleeveswrapstags5.multi-colored Bougainvillea in hanging baskets6.Alocasia Frydek Variegata7.Organic Peatless Potting Soil8.Potting soilcomponentstoppers9.Ecopots10.macramé hangers