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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.
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.
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.
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!
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'.
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.
10 reasons to love cactus plants and succulents
- It's fair to say that every prickly friend is different from the next.
- Depending on the variety, they don't 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!
- They are good air-filtering plants and tend to absorb bacteria and toxins.
- Many of them burst into flower rather unexpectedly if they are happy.
- Some are so tiny that they can occupy pots that look as if they should be in a dolls' house.
- Others are so huge that they just can't be ignored.
- Some are edible because they contain essential nutrients and vitamins.
- They are so long-lasting that most people can enjoy success.
- If you like to go with what's trending, you'll want some cacti and succulents.
- They are protected from most form of attack and generally unappealing to nibble by passing children and animals.