TPIE 2023 Cool Product Awards Announced

Jan 23, 2023
TPIE 2023 Cool Product Awards Announced

The Garden Center Group recently released the recipients of its Cool Product Awards given at The Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE), which took place
Jan. 18-20 in Tampa, Florida. A total of 67 plants or products were nominated this year, according to Danny Summers, and 15 awards were handed out to 14 companies awards for “Cool Products.”

Here’s a quick review and links for more details on products awarded:

Dieffenbachia ‘Crocodile’

Dieffenbachia ‘Crocodile’ Aroid Greenhouses

Aroid Greenhouses
Paula and Melody Amezquita
[email protected]

This form of dieffenbachia catches your attention with unique appearance in an upright stature, similar to that of palm. It’s has strong variegated color and has wonderful smooth leaves on the front side but it’s the backs of the leaves that help name the selection with its “Scales” on the center ridge along the underside of the leaf that are reptilian in texture.

Ceramic Succulents Wall Art

Ceramic Succulents Wall Art Chive

Sarah Digout
[email protected]

This collection 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 little 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 unique gift item for garden centers. During our visit, Sarah told us their ceramic floral collection is a top seller at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle, indicative of the quality of these gift collections.

Vriesea 8322 Bromeliad

Vriesea 8322 Bromeliad Deroose Plants, Inc.

Deroose Plants Inc.
Paul Deroose
[email protected]

This new selection of bromeliad has a unique marbling in its leaves. During the presentation Paul said the color combination is not a form of variegation but is marbling and it very stable. The new plant is not yet named — and they have a naming challenge asking for suggestions. The person providing the winning selected name will receive a gift plant! Send suggestions to the email above and be sure to mark the subject line: “Vriesea 8322” naming contest.

Custom Grow Tags

Custom Grow tags Elburg-Smit - Qualitree

Elburg-Smit – Qualitree
Herman Dunnink
[email protected]

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

Organic Liquid Plant Food

Organic Plant Food Flourish Plant

Flourish Plant
Lila Sullivan
[email protected]

This new liquid concentrate plant food is 100% organic and comes in an eye-dropper bottle. They also offer small same packs for first time users and also a limited-time gift pack that has the Flourish Concentrate along with a glass 8oz Flourish Dilution Vessel.

Plant Sleeves and Self Marketing with Plants

Plant Sleeves and Self Marketing with Plants Hendriks Greenhouses

Hendriks Greenhouses
Andrew Hendriks

Hendriks Greenhouses is known for quality tropicals but now, their creative team has produced a number of plant sleeves, wraps and tags to speak to the customer. The messages focus on happiness. One says “This plant will boost your mood” while several others borrow from Bloomingdale’s “Little Black Dress” to say “Little Green Plant, or Big Plant Plant.” Overall, our judges loved this new addition to Hendricks’ plant offerings.

Multi-Color Combo of Bougainvillea in Hanging Baskets

Multi-Color Combo of Bougainvillea O.F. Nelson & Family Nursery, Inc.

O.F. Nelson & Family Nursery Inc.
Annee Nelson
[email protected]

It was easy to see why our judges were drawn to this bright combination of bougainvillea in a hanging basket. During the presentation, Annee said they wanted to create something really different and could help brighten any landscape or patio.

Leafjoy H2O Mini Hydroponic Garden

Leafjoy H2O Mini Hydroponic Garden Proven Winners – The Plant Co.

Proven Winners – The Plant Co.
Ben Wright
[email protected]

While The Plant Co. has been making waves as being a tropical plant producer in the Mid-Atlantic region, they are also doing do with their creative packaging and tags. This new collection has a small rooted tropical plant nettled in a corked glass vase and on the display the tagline “Bring Nature Indoors.” Watch for several other new similar offerings coming soon.

Alocasia ‘Frydek Variegata’

Alocasia Frydek Variegata R & D Nurseries Inc.

R&D Nurseries Inc.
Robert & Natalie Roe
[email protected]

This highly variegated form of alocasia is a show-stopper. While the specimen on display as a juvenile plant details of a fully grown example holds its wonderful color variations throughout its large leaves.

Alocasia ‘Jacklyn’

Alocasia Jacklyn R & D Nurseries Inc.

R&D Nurseries Inc.
Robert & Natalie Roe
[email protected]

This form of alocasia has deep green coloration in contrast to the blackish veins, and overall leaf texture is rough and shinny. Some sources also refer to alocasia ‘Jacklyn’ as alocasia ‘Tandurusa’ but the Jacklyn name reported comes from the person who first found it in Indonesia.

Organic Peatless Potting Soil

Organic Peatless Potting Soil Rosy Soil

Rosy Soil
Chad Massura
[email protected]

Rosy Soil says it’s the first pitting soils made from captured CO2 that is peat-, coco- and synthetic-free. Rosy’s says it includes 30% biochar derived from pine wood to reduce soil density and increases soil aeration and features Mycorrhizae.

Macramé Hanging Tillandsia

Macramé Hanging Tillandsia Russell’s Bromeliads

Russell’s Bromeliads
Tricia Hall
[email protected]

Russell’s has long been known for quality Tillandsias and they continue to also provide creative accessories to help display these unique plants. This year they showed their Macramé hangers in a multi-level display. Each are single hangers but when hung together it creates a way for the consumer to have more on display (buy more plants)!

Planters for Screen Room Railings

Planters for Screen Room Railings Screenplanter LLC

Screenplanter LLC
Cristina Tortolini
[email protected]

There are a lot of screenrooms across much of the country and most have a mid rail construction. Cristina Tortolini wanted to create an easy way to enjoy plants so she designed Screenplanter. It comes in 2, 4 and 6 foot lengths as well as custom. It installs with no tools, features easy clips that help support and hold planter. Planters lift off with Velcro and feature drain holes in the back. There’s also a corner unit.

Potting Soil, Components and Toppers

Sol Soils

Sol Soils
John Porter and Travis Theim
[email protected]

Sol Soils offers a hand-mixed product with the best ingredients to produce fast draining soils that help protect against root rot, the number one 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 that many popular plants like aroids, tropicals, cacti, succulents, or bonsai come from.


EcoPots United Nursery LLC

United Nursery LLC
Mauro Uriza
[email protected]

United Nursery has a reputation for quality tropicals but now they are also offering EcoPots to match. EcoPots 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 a drain hole plug to work inside or out. Ecopots are produced with 80% recycled plastic along with recycled natural stone it gives the pots their unique look.

The TPIE Cool Product Awards is a collaboration between TPIE, Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) and The Garden Center Group. The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) is a vibrant network of professionals who work in unison to shape the future of Florida’s nursery and landscape industry. For more information on TPIE or FNGLA, visit:

The Garden Center Group is a business group that provides solutions to operational issues facing independent garden retailers. Unlike a buying group that boosts your purchasing power on products that you sell, we focus on business solutions designed to help you increase sales, improve operations and retain more profit. By consolidating garden centers who agree to work together towards a common goal, the group is able to provide a network of professionals and business services most centers would not be able to afford on their own. For more information visit: