Cacti and succulents - here's 10 reasons to follow the prickly trend.
Is spring all about outdoor flowers? There are tulips, Forsythia, Magnolia, wallflowers, bluebells and many more colourful beauties. These all herald the fresh new growing season and set the outdoors ablaze with bling. But in fact, indoor plants are equally amazing once you start to notice the detail. Spring is also the season for cactus and succulent flowering too. Many people love these weirdly wonderful house plants which now have a strong and increasing following. It is actually fascinating to tune into their highly distinctive appeal.
It's cactus flowering time! Look closely and you will be amazed.
Why do people love cacti?
These plants are iconic and they are rich with possibilities. People can easily ignore one lone cactus in a boring pot, but a collection of cacti and succulents in eye-catching pots can be stunning. Giant cacti are the most weird and wonderful, sculptural plants.
Cactus plants have the most amazing sculptural form, both in the wild and indoors!
The popularity of cactus plants has soared in popularity over the last couple of years. These strange plants are now a 'must-have' for certain types of interior design. Part of their rise to fame could be connected to an association with cartoon characters including Roadrunner and classic Westerns. They provide distinctive backdrops for desert scenes and they do possess a certain spirituality that suggests Native American connections. They are also viewed as plants on the extreme limits of life, representing hope in barren places where little else can survive.
The iconic shape of cactus plants are instantly recognisable.
Cacti have featured in many different designer label fashion trends and Italian luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana used large specimens during their presentations. Models wearing cactus prints were teamed with the real thing on set. One fashion collection was aptly named Prick, a name that has also been adopted by a dedicated cacti boutique in Dalston, near Hackney. Proprietor of the store, Gynelle Leon, is reputed to have huge admiration for cacti and succulents, loving their geometric forms and their ability to outlast her personal relationships!
A striking pose like no other - cacti are awesome!
Playing with words
In Australia the word cactus gained a negative connotation and became associated with death. The word is still used to describe something that has malfunctioned, or indeed, died. It stems from 1940s RAAF slang and refers to the prickly pear cactus which was brought to Australia during the first forays to the land in the late 1700s. The cactus became a pest because it spread so fast and eventually a caterpillar was introduced to eliminate the prickly plant. This biological control was successful, hence the word cactus was linked with the description finished or ruined.
Opuntia, or prickly pear, are loved by tortoises but not by the Australian natives!
Here's Herbie and Myrtle enjoying Opuntia fruit with gusto!
Where can you put a cactus?
Cacti are now featured in pictures, printed onto dresses, shirts, shoes and even on suits! There are earring-shaped cacti, watches and bags that look like cacti, vases and sculptures all with a cactus theme.
These cactus vases are very popular, but others would describe them as quirky! Click on the photo to see the item in more detail.
10 reasons to love cactus plants and succulents
Euphorbia polyacantha with its remarkable spring flowers.
This Echinopsis has tiny puff-ball flowers which look very striking. Click on the photo to find out more.
Its fair to say that every prickly friend is different from the next.
This Kalanchoe tomentosa is gorgeous when you examine its succulent foliage. Click on the image to see more detail.
Depending on the variety, they dont need to be watered very often. They are more like a sculpture than a living, changing plant and you can go on holiday without worrying!
This Echinocactus grusonii with its vibrant red spines, is eye-catching! Click on the photo for more details.
They are good air-filtering plants and tend to absorb bacteria and toxins.
This beautiful Echeveria rundelii has the most remarkable flowers.
Many of them burst into flower rather unexpectedly if they are happy.
Even tiny cactus plants can produce amazingly vibrant flowers.
Some are so tiny that they can occupy pots that look as if they should be in a dolls house.
The thorns on this giant Pachycereus pringlei need careful consideration!
Others are so huge that they just cant be ignored.
Opuntia, or prickly pear, is edible. The flat pads and the fruit are all tasty! Click on the photo to see more detail.
Some are edible because they contain essential nutrients and vitamins.
This Cereus jamacaru 'Spiralis' has a most curious spiral growing habit. Click on the photo for more information.
They are so long-lasting that most people can enjoy success.
There are many different types of Aeonium and all of them have great appeal. Click on the photo for more details.
If you like to go with whats trending, youll want some cacti and succulents.
Fancy a nibble? Nah.
They are protected from most form of attack and generally unappealing to nibble by passing children and animals.