The topic sustainability played a big role in this year’s IPM. The spectrum of sustainable and climate change-suitable plants ranged from stress- and heat-resistant plants to environmentally friendly packaging solutions, to organic fertilizers and substrates. The promotion of biodiversity was also addressed by many exhibitors.
Good examples of heat-resistant plants are succulents for indoor and outdoor use.
Besides sustainability house plants received a great deal of attention. ULU. Feel Good! is the name of a new houseplant presented at the Cultivaris booth. ULU combines optical appeal with the ability to filter pollutants from the air. In the botanical sense, ULU is a breadfruit plant (Artocarpus altilis). While developing large fruits with gluten-free starch in their natural habitat, they are used in our living rooms for decoration and air pollution control.
The fair praises the novelty prices every year. Here are some examples from the long list of innovations:
Best green houseplant: Blechnum brasiliense ‘Copper Crisp’ (Cultivaris)
Best flowering house plant: Euphorbia pulcherrima ‘Christmas Mouse’ (Selecta)
Best spring bloomer: Primula hybride Belarina ‘Candy Frost’ (Kientzler)
Best tub plant: Vitex trifolia ‘Purpurea x Vitex angnus-astus ‘Flip Side’ (Bailey)
In recent years, digitalisation has determined or overlaid many topics at IPM. To our surprise, this topic was present and was discussed in the field of horticultural production, but much less than one or two years ago.
The online sales of plants continue to grow, but only make up for about 8 percent of all plant sales to end users. Many retailers have been able to combine stationary activities with online activities but have not yet found a good recipe for making significant sales of plants.
A possibility to combine the stationary activities with online activities is to show the availability of products in the stores. By doing so, the customers know if and where a product can be looked at and bought. Another possibility is to offer the option “click and collect”. Thereby consumers buy online but collect the purchase in a store.
While in 2018 the whole industry still whispered about the Amazon buyers at the IPM, nothing was heard from this side in 2019 either. We conclude that a "digital consolidation phase" has begun in the green sector.
Online applications are supporting hobby gardeners – no hype anymore.