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Excitement builds every January as the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association races toward the year’s kick-off premiere show — its Tropical Plant Industry Exposition. We anticipate a strong spring market for tropical and foliage plants. The tropical eye candy that fills the entire Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL, for TPIE attracts tropical and foliage plant buyers from throughout the United States and nearly 50 countries.

Taking place Jan. 23-25, this FNGLA marquee event is where the entire tropical plant industry comes together not just to soak up south Florida’s warm winter sunshine, but to discover exciting new plant varieties. The world truly comes to TPIE for its tropical and foliage plants and its connections.

BOLUSKY-OUTLOOK113-BEN-BOLUBen BoluskyOne of the strong hallmarks from this past year was consumers’ renewed fascination with many tried and true plant varieties. This follows right in line with the trend of what’s old is new. FNGLA expects this welcome, comfort-seeking trend to continue. Yet, since the market always showcases what’s new, FNGLA will hold its Floriculture Field Days & Performance Trials during Disney’s International Flower & Garden Festival May 14-15 at Epcot Center in Orlando, FL.

FNGLA has broadened our successful partnership with Walt Disney World by hosting industry field trials for the newest annuals, perennials and vegetative plants paired with our cutting-edge industry educational conference. Chances are the top-tested varieties will make their way to the floral arranging world.

In June, FNGLA welcomes a new president whose agenda will include facing the water challenges of our day. In a state blessed with average annual rainfall of 50 inches, the real challenge is water storage. Green roofs and living walls full of Florida plants continue to be showcased, yet you should also see the “wow” in the new, FNGLA-inspired plantings along Florida’s state highways that shout “Florida is open for business.”

This past year, the industry reset its table eyeing a hopeful recovery. The landscape market itself is picking up and FNGLA expects 2013 will be the strong. An emphasis of The Landscape Show in Orlando Sept. 19-21 will be on water-efficient plants, outdoor backyard rooms, wildlife-friendly plants and sturdy, majestic trees and palms.

FNGLA is excited America in Bloom will hold its national event with the Landscape Show. America in Bloom encourages the planting of colorful flowers, foliage plants, shrubs and trees to beautify communities nationwide. With Florida’s housing construction on the upswing, the blooming business is on the rebound.

It’s a refreshing change to hear positive outlooks from Florida’s growers. FNGLA anticipates 2013 will reflect this optimism as we welcome the shift from sluggish to sales.

Ben Bolusky is chief executive officer and executive vice president of the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association, targeting the needs of Florida’s environmental horticulture industry with an estimated $15.2 billion in sales annually. He can be reached at 407/295-7994 or at