Last week part of our team headed to MANTS, the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show. MANTS, also known as “The Masterpiece of Trade Shows”, occurs every January and showcases the latest and greatest vendors and products in the horticulture industry. This year marked their 50th anniversary, and we are so excited that we got to go! Our main reason for going was to buy succulents and cacti for the store (our first real expansion into houseplants), but we found lots of neat ideas and products that we will keep in mind for the future!
Keep reading to see what we picked up, as well as some of the coolest products for 2020.
Roadtrippin’ to Baltimore
Beth , Lisa , and I (Katie) headed out bright and early Thursday morning on our way to Baltimore. The trade show ran Wednesday though Friday, but we didn’t want to be gone from the store for too long, so we missed out on the first day of the show. Luckily, we still had plenty of time to see everything we wanted!
This year, MANTS was held in Baltimore, Maryland at the Baltimore Convention Center. The lineup featured over 3,000 booths (a little over 300,000 square feet) all highlighting the greatest and latest plants, fertilizers, soils, equipment, plant accessories, home decor, and SO much more. Exhibitors and attendees came from far and wide, all throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia.
There was really a ton to see, and I could never cover everything in this post, but I’ve picked out some highlights to show you all!
Some of our favorites from the show…
plus many more that I just didn’t have time or forgot to take pictures of!
Down to business
Although, exploring the show is a must, we were there for business! Our top priority was buying a specific booth. We had our eyes set on the Branette Farms booth from before we even arrived. Branette Farms is a succulent and cacti grower out of Apopka, Florida. After many requests from customers and the team, we knew that we wanted to start carrying houseplants, so we decided to start small and begin carrying succulents, cacti, and air plants before we branched out into the giant-world of houseplants.
We were certainly not disappointed when we found the Branette Farms booth at the show! Everything looked just as we wanted! A great variety of unique succulents, cacti, and airplants, as well as cute arrangements in beautiful containers and even some big-boy cacti. It’s hard to not want to take them all straight to our personal homes. Each and every one is so cute and unique. Definitely something for everyone, both the beginner and seasoned plant collector!
A lil’ fun in the city!
We didn’t have a bunch of spare time, but we did have time to check out a local pub and amazing restaurant Thursday night! We went to Pickles Pub for a much-deserved pick-me-up after a long day of traveling and exploring the show. Happy hour and crab-stuffed pretzels for the win! Then, we headed over to SOBO Cafe for a delicious dinner with excellent service! Definitely would recommend if you ever find yourself in Baltimore.
Heading home with our new succulents and cacti
Friday afternoon, we packed our car to the brim with all our new plant babies neat and safe.
We all made it back in one piece (no damaged plants here)! Since Saturday morning, we’ve been working hard to get the new plants all tagged and inputted in our system. And we’re happy to say that you can come shop the new selection!
A few of the varieties of succulents and cacti we picked up…
- Haworthia (several varieties)
- Opuntia cactus
- Grafted cacti – Gymnocalycium mihanovichii
- Christmas cacti – Schlumbergera
- Tillandsia (air plants)
- Flap Jacks – Kalanchoe thyrsiflora
- Burro’s Tail – Sedum morganianum
- String of Dolphins – Dendrophorbium peregrinum (the scientific community still has problems classifying this plant, which is why you see different botanical names in different literature)
- String of Pearls – Senecio rowleyanus
- Madagascar Palm – Pachypodium lamerei
- Crown of Thorns – Euphorbia milii
and many, many more!
Stop in during our normal business hours to check out all the varieties! And always feel free call ahead of time if you’re looking for something specific!
Overall, MANTS 2020 was a wonderful experience. We loved meeting vendors, finding local growers, and seeing beautiful plants in the middle of winter! If you have the opportunity and love plants (or just want something new and fun to do), definitely make the effort to go to MANTS in the future! You certainly won’t regret it!
Katie Plummer , Jack Frost Director of Marketing and Communications