A brief foray into the Florida tropics

Just what are the Americans up to now? To find out, we take a quick look at some of the indoor plants and products featured at the 2019 Tropical Plant International Expo held in Florida in January.


Over 6,000 people attended the 2019 Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE), hosted by the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA). Steve Foster from FosterPlants, an interior plantscaping firm in Florida, says: “All in all, I’d say that the buzz was very upbeat for the future of the North American interiorscape industry in 2019 and beyond, mostly in the realm of new and exciting planters, moss walls and green wall systems. There were some new and unusual varieties of sansevieria, and some nurseries are experimenting with new and exciting Dracaena marginata braids”.

1. The crowd at the 2019 Tropical Plant International Expo

TPIE New Plant and Product Showcase

In the TPIE New Plant and Product Showcase, there were many new plant varieties. Anthurium ‘Livium’, presented by Anthura, was awarded the “Most Unusual Single Plant Specimen”. Anthura claims that Livium is the first natural striped pot anthurium. Its red, veined spadix is simply quite stunning. Check it out.

2. Anthurium Livium from Anthura

Variegated foliage remains popular. Judges named Costa FarmsDracaena ‘White Aspen’ their “Favourite New Foliage Plant”. This dracaena’s creamy-white leaf margins certainly stand out and are likely to gain popularity amongst the social-media savvy set.

3. Dracaena White Aspen from Costa Farms


TPIE Cool Products Awards

Fifteen companies were recipients of the TPIE Cool Products Awards, including the following that may inspire interior plantscapers here in Australia.


Folding Wooden Plant Stand from Avery Imports

This cleverly-designed plant stand is three panels wide and hinged. Each panel features six planter slots (eighteen in total). Slots include a waterproof liner.

My note: As technology becomes part of our daily lives, people are seeking a return to a simpler way of expressing themselves. The Global Arts and Crafts movement is all about just that, with people seeking handmade goods and folksy crafts. This wooden plant stand fits in well with this aesthetic.

4. Folding wooden plant stand from Avery Imports

Living Gifts, e.g. European Cypress Gift Bag from Coastal Nursery

This new kit is the ultimate gift offering at Christmas for hostess gifts, teachers, parents and more. The gift that keeps giving, 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. Coastal Nursery also provides an Easter combination as well.

My note: Why not consider adding a living gift to your product line offerings? These may just go down well with your corporate clients looking for a gift with a little difference this year.

5. European Cypress Gift Bag from Coastal Nursery

Illuminated Terrarium from Flori Design-Inc

This new terrarium has battery-powered LED lighting.

My note: Small and quirky, this piece may light up your client’s reception desk or other tabletops.

6. Illuminated Terrarium from Flori Design-Inc


BirdPlanter from Original Bird Planter

This is a fun alternative to the hanging basket. The Original Bird Planter is available in two bright colours. The kit has a bird body, beak, and tail feathers plus hanging chain.

My note: Poptimism is a new design buzzword picking up on consumers’ desire to escape into a world of eternal youth, childlike innocence, optimism and unconcern. Why not introduce a cheeky bit of colour into your next design?

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Kokodama Collection and Rack from Sun Bulb

This year Sun Bulb added even more combinations in kokodama hanging planters and created two sizes of hanging displays for the retailer.

My note: Kokodamas are right on trend now. But how can you display them in a manner that is both visually pleasing in your client’s space, and easy for you to access and maintain? This rack may just help you out.

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Want to know more?

Nearly 400 companies exhibited an array of products and services including decorative containers, soils, care supplies and transportation at the 2019 TPIE.  Here I have only given you a small taste of what was on offer at this expo. If you are interested in knowing more about the plants and products that were on display, please do follow the links I have provided.

And now I must find a way to get to TPIE myself in 2020!


Gabrielle Stannus / Inwardout Studio

IPA Board Member

By | 2019-02-26T19:30:07+10:00 February 26th, 2019|