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Trendspotting at Cultivate'19

Cultivate’19 came to an end yesterday. If you weren’t able to visit the show, what did you miss? Below, we will mention some trends that we came across in the areas of indoor and outdoor plants, packaging and automation.

Lidy and Menno van der Straten of Succulents Unlimited. This Dutch company was established in 2018 and supplies unrooted cuttings of succulents and green plants. The cuttings, produced in Kenya, are supplied all over the world.

Indoor plants
At the exhibition, one could not miss the succulents or green plants. For several years now, these plants have been popular indoor items, and the demand continues to grow. Many companies are adding them to their assortment and the ones who have them in their assortment keep on differentiating with new varieties. One of the reasons for the success of the succulent is the fact that it is easy to maintain, and this is something the Millennial generation is fond of.

At the Fleurizon booth, the many types of tropical plants and grasses were attracting the attention of many visitors. On the picture Pedro Roldan and Frank de Greef presenting the catalogue for 2020.

Outdoor plants
The trend of green plants also continues outdoors – mostly in the form of grasses or plants with variegated leaves – but the real hits seem to be the ones with flowers all over. The hydrangea, for example, is a very popular plant at the moment. Over the last years, it increased significantly in demand and according to many, this is due to the improved habits of the plant. In contrast to the past, breeders now have made it a better branching more compact plant with stronger stems, more flowers and available in more colors. Besides the traditional hydrangeas, more variants are entering the market, like double-flowered and dark-leaved varieties.

Jan ten Brinke of HBA and Ed Vermolen of Aldershot Greenhouses. This Canadian potted rose grower also grows a large variety of hydrangeas of the Hydrangea Breeders Association (HBA). The new introduction are the double-flowered hydrangeas.

The focus on sustainability was not nearly as much on sustainability alternatives as at the IPM Essen that took place in January in Germany, but suppliers are more and more showing them at their booths. Besides pots made out of recycled plastic (from consumer waste or plastic collected from the ocean) alternatives are also made out of coconut, fibre, bamboo and more. Sustainable alternatives do not seem to be top of mind for US growers yet, but suppliers feel that will change soon. “In some states, there is a ban on plastic straws. This raises the awareness of the consumers and eventually will reach other industries. However, one large grower needs to start or one large retailer needs to require it and then the rest will follow”, many say.

Team of Pöppelmann presenting their new products, including Pöppelmann blue. The plastics used for their plant pots in the “Recycling Blue” color come directly out of the recycling bin and return there as well. This allows for a closed raw material cycle.

Labor is scarce, and acquiring skilled labor is even harder. Therefore, the demand for automation solutions is increasing. Machines that do the potting, labeling and tagging, apps that detect pests, getting the right climate, you name it. For many horticultural problems solutions were offered.

Also LED lights were all over the show - although not as many as earlier this year at GreenTech, where it seemed to be a disco party every now and then. Amongst technical suppliers, accessibility of data found in the greenhouses is an important topic and many more launched solutions to provide better insight and mobile applications for their platforms.

The BioSafe team launched an application making it possible to control your irrigation system remote and on mobile devices.

Paul Jaeger and Daphne Brogdon with Micro Grow Systems, showing their MicroCool solutions and sharing insights on creating the best climate in various crops.

More on trends and developments in the US horticultural industry later in FloralDaily.