Houseplants—Yup, Still Hot!
If you were worried that the houseplant craze might be cooling off, the recent Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE), January 18 to 20 in Tampa, Florida, should allay your fears. Booths like this one, Aroid Greenhouses of Southwest Ranches, Florida, were absolutely slammed with excited growers and buyers seeking the newest and coolest tropical plants for their customers. (By the way, Aroid’s display earned the Best Use of Large Space Award for their garden center-inspired setup.)
Initial attendance figures we got were 6,500 folks from 48 states and 44 countries in town to shop for goods and services from nearly 400 vendors. And 3,000 of those attendees were buyers—gratifying news for exhibitors.
GrowerTalks spoke with quite a few exhibitors near the end of Day 1 and Day 2 and 100% of them were smiling and enthusiastic about the crowds, the mood and the amount of business being conducted. We heard the term “cautiously optimistic” once or twice, but our guess was that the overall mood was a notch or two better than that. Growers who’d been holding off on placing orders were finally calling to book; some growers were already sold out of certain high-demand product lines; and expectations are that, if the weather breaks in our favor, there’s no reason Spring 2023 can’t be a very good one.
Yes, we’re back to talking about weather as the key to our success! Growers tell us that, despite economic, social and political issues, they believe consumer demand will be there for Spring ’23. And supporting that, we heard the same at the MANTS trade show in Baltimore the week before. GT