All I want for Christmas is a cactus!
A few days ago an article was published in the Daily Mail with a title very similar to the one above; other versions of it appear elsewhere on the web, some of them reading as if they have been through a machine translation process, which is strange, but you can read the original article here. The gist of it is that cacti, for long a neglected corner of the plant world, are now very much in vogue and that sales of prickly things have, as they punningly put it, spiked.
Now, such developments have not gone unnoticed here at Paddock Plants, as we became aware a couple of seasons back that it was back to the 1970s all over again and houseplants in general were making a big comeback. So since then we have been developing a small portfolio of indoor plants, particularly those of an interesting or downright odd nature, and we have found that they are very popular at the garden fairs and shows that we attend in the course of the season. At one event they made up 40% of our takings, which is a quite remarkable statistic, though the average was more in the 10 to 20% region. And the plant that generated the second highest figure in terms of revenue (though not in quantity) for us in 2018 was that strange plant Adenium Obesum aka the Desert Rose. As Rob has yet to write a page for it on our website, for now you can find out more about it here.
As for cacti proper, our bestselling plant this year was the ever-popular Echinocactus Grusonii or golden barrel cactus, some nice specimens of which you can see in the photo above (the greenhouse they are seen in used to be the domain of our middle son Russell who sustained a great interest in things prickly, so we have some history in that department.
The beauty of cacti and succulents is that they are, by and large, easy and undemanding to grow and can thrive on neglect, being the ultimate in low maintenance plants. So they are a good choice for busy people with little time to spend on maintaining their plants or for those who don’t stay too long in one place and want some green friends who can accompany them when they move on. We do find, as is reported elsewhere, that the most likely buyer of an indoor plant is someone for whom middle age is still on the horizon: indeed, some of the keenest cactusheads have yet to receive a two digit birthday card.
Our intention is to increase the range of cacti, succulents and other indoor plants that we offer, and 2019 should see quite a few new interesting specimens appearing in the greenhouse and the website, so keep an eye on our houseplant section, which you can find here.
Oh, and happy Christmas. We hope you get that cactus you are wishing for.
Rob and Joanna