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 Garden Center Group awarded 14 companies awards for 15 products. Check out the winners and get some ideas for your own merchandise. All products are listed by company in alphabetical order.
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. The ceramic succulents wall art collection from Chive could easily be called art pieces but at first glance you wonder… are they real with just a super leaf shine on them? But a closer look reveals it is collections of beautiful ceramic succulents and flowers. Offered in several sizes and sold both individually or in gift sets, it is a very unique gift it for garden centers.
3. Vriesea 8322 Bromeliad, a new selection from Deroose Plants has a very unique marbling in its leaves. The color combination is not a form of variegation but is marbling and it is very stable. The new plant is not yet named, and the company is hosting a naming challenge for suggestions. The winner of the selected entry will receive a gift plant! Send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “Vriesea 8322” to enter.
4. Custom grow tags are unique and creative plant labels produced in Holland by Elburg-Smit and 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.”
7. 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.
8. Proven Winners’ Leafjoy H2O Mini Hydroponic Garden from The Plant Company features a new collection that has a small-rooted tropical plant nettled in a corked glass vase. The tagline on display was “Bring Nature Indoors.” Watch for several other new similar offerings coming soon.
9. 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.
10. Alocasia Jacklyn (also known as Alocasia Tandurusa) from R&D Nurseries features deep green coloration that contrasts with the blackish veins, and the overall leaf texture is rough and shiny.
11. 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 and increases soil aeration and features mycorrhizae.
12. Russell’s Bromeliads showed its macramé hangers in a multi-level display. Each is a single hanger, but when hung together it creates a way for the consumer to have more on display (and buy more plants)!
13. There are a lot of screen rooms across the country and most have a mid-rail construction. Cristina Tortolini wanted to create an easy way to enjoy plants, so she launched Screenplanter. The planters, designed for screen room railings, come in 2-, 4- and 6-foot lengths and custom and corner units. They install without tools and feature easy clips that help support and hold the planter. Planters lift off with Velcro and feature drain holes in the back.
14. 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.
15. 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.
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