by Susan Harris
Ever heard of TPIE, the Tropical Plant Industry Expo? Yeah, me, neither. But Charles Kemberling, houseplant manager in our Davidsonville store, wouldn’t miss the annual winter trade show in sunny Ft. Lauderdale for the world – and not just because of the sun. Charles says it’s THE place to discover great plant introductions and others that are hard to find. Like these beauties that he shows off with pride.
First, have you ever seen leaves like these on bromeliads? Never, right? Charles says these attention-getters are hard to find, so he snapped up as many as he could to bring back.
Next, a ‘Mini Me’ pineapple (Ananas) in an attractive ceramic vase. It’ll stay nice and small as the pineapple itself changes to golden and orange. Very cool! Charles recommends it as a hospitality gift.
Above, these Crotons like bright light and soil on the dry side, so they’re easy to grow. But their biggest attraction is of course those curls! Really, what a crazy-looking plant! Charles says that customers loooove this new introduction, and I just bet they do.
Now I’m a fan of succulents of all types, so this Kalanchoe is my favorite of the bunch – for the bold variegation in their big, fat leaves. With bright light and not much watering, they’ll grow to 1-2 feet tall by 2-3 feet wide. Wow – I want to see one of these full-grown.
Charles wasn’t the only Homesteader taking in the sights at the Tropical Plant Show, though. Charles had two shopping companions on the trip – Homestead prez Don Riddle, and annuals manager Kerry Kelly, who’ll be showing us her selections soon. So, more goodies to come!