MANTS draws more than 11,000 horticulture professionals to Baltimore  800

Jan 17, 2024
MANTS draws more than 11,000 horticulture professionals to Baltimore

The 2024 Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) brought together over 11,200 attendees, including exhibitors, at the Baltimore Convention Center from Jan. 10-12.

A sold-out trade show floor featured 920 exhibitors spread across 1,532 booths showcasing plants, nursery stock, heavy- and light-duty equipment, and industry innovations. Drawing attendees and exhibitors from diverse geographical locations, MANTS attracted high-level decision makers, with over 82% of attendees identified as influencers or final decision makers.

“MANTS 2024 has been another amazing show for us,” said Ken Kuhajda, director of marketing, OHP. “Even after 40 years of exhibiting and sponsoring, we look forward to attending because it is the best place to start our year with the most optimistic, high-quality, industry decision-makers. This is a pure business show. We don’t compete with seminars and keynote speakers; we do business.”

Throughout the three-day show, MANTS provided opportunities for networking, ideas exchange, and showcasing new trends and products in horticulture.

Some notable retail exhibits included:

Proven Winners, Walters Gardens introduce Mangave collection


Proven Winners, Walters Gardens introduce Mangave collectionProven Winners and Walters Gardens announced they plan to launch ART & SOL mangave, a Modern Plant Collection this year.

The Manfreda x Agave hybrids are the result of extensive breeding at Walters Gardens. The top six varieties from this program are now included in the Proven Winners brand, with more introductions expected soon.

Hellebores are hot

Hellebores at Monrovia MANTS 2024

Katie Tamony, chief marketing officer and trend spotter at Monrovia says hellebores are No. 1 when it comes to social media posts. The plant breeder had several varieties of hellebore on display, as well as plants on their their new and trending for 2024 list.

High tech

_BloomCatch QR code system

A number of booths exhibited tech solutions for garden centers — from P.O.S. systems to programmable watering systems. BloomCatch founder Ray Magee was demonstrating his QR code system that accesses a proprietary database of information home gardeners can use to take care of their plants. (Coincidentally, the example sign I snapped a photo of was for a lenten rose.)

Fishing for natural solutions

Foop Fishing for natural solutions MANTS 2024  800

Home gardeners are increasingly looking for more natural and organic plant care products — especially for houseplants. Flourish Plant Food co-founders Lila Sullivan and Kate Ferguson were showing their plant food, made with organic corn steep (a byproduct of cornmeal production) and discarded fish waste from industrial fish farming. The plant food is produced in a closed-loop system, making it an extremely clean fertilizer.

Tod Jones’ company Foop pivoted from cannabis a couple years back to focus on organic plant care products. Made from fish waste, Foop improves the soil each time it is applied.

Retail-ready houseplants

The Plant Co.'s booth was stocked with houseplants — over 100 varietiess MANTS 2024  800The Plant Co.'s booth was stocked with houseplants — over 100 varietiess MANTS 2024  800

The Plant Co.’s booth was stocked with houseplants — over 100 varieties are now available from the company, said Ben Wright, national account manager. Retail-ready hanging baskets, beakers and bowls are among the top sellers, as well as the leafjoy H2O Minis contained in glass jars.