Strong cactus is houseplant of August 201628 July 2016
Nothing captures the feeling of mid-summer better than cacti: surrealistic, hot, withstands sweltering temperatures and entirely trendy in graphic styles. That is why this trendsetter has been chosen houseplant of the month of August 2016.
Photos: Flower Council Holland
No other plant is as decorative and surrealistic as the cactus. From a greyish-green base, a dazzling pink ball can grow out, and lovely flowers can appear between the spines. Mammilaria are flowering cacti, while Echino is spherical with lovely even ridges. Gymnocalycium appears to be constructed of green cones and has funnel-shaped flowers, while Opuntia grows in flat discs. And Cereus rises up like a column that can reach 10 m tall in the wild. The deviating shapes and volumes of this Houseplant of the Month wonderfully suit the current style trend of blurring traditional boundaries. One example of this is that at home, both indoors and outside, and at work, the environments blend into each other. Cacti suit that flexibility: they are ancient and modern, they grow well both indoors and outdoors, and they create calm and focus in a rapidly changing outside world.
The unusual external appearance of cacti looks best in contrast to smooth and functional materials like wood, injection-moulded plastic with a smooth surface and ceramics with a design or relief. The exotic shapes of cacti tend to suit the popular graphic black&white patterns of today, but also provide a counterbalance with their calmness and imperturbability. The cactus becomes the reset point in a room, bringing calm in an optical jumble. At the same time, their unusual shapes and proportions lend them a challenging and stimulating aspect, certainly when placed in a suitable pot.
Practically all varieties of cacti love light and prefer too little over too much water: a footbath is generally disastrous. Cacti have large root systems which they use to store moisture in their roots, leaves and stems and regulate their own nutrients. In general, they like it warm as well as bright. Watering them once a month is better than a little water every week: the root ball can be allowed to dry out. Add some cactus fertiliser in the summer months; in the winter the plant enjoys a rest. Give it less to no water then: in a survival response, the cactus turns to producing flowers (seeds).
A few facts
- In the wild cacti are found in Africa and Latin and South America, in cold mountain ranges as well as the tropical Caribbean.
- Although cacti are frequently associated with the desert, there are only a few that can withstand extreme drought. Most of them grow in regions with 5-50 cm of precipitation per year.
- The thorns form the ecosystem of the cactus. In nature they protect it from being damaged by animals, night frost and bright sun. They also provide a bit of cooling, absorb dew and drain away rain.
- For centuries, cacti have been a source of food, drink, medicines, tools and building materials.
- While there are about 1800 different varieties, they almost all fall into one of two main categories: opuntias or cactoids.
- Got a thorn in your skin? Large ones can be removed with tweezers; for fine ones, spread olive oil on your skin and rub them out.
- In Mexico the cactus is so commonplace that it appears on the national coat of arms, together with the snake and eagle. Altogether, they represent the Tenochtitlan legend.
- The largest cactus in the world is the saguaro, which can grow 1 m thick and 20 m tall, the dimensions of a sturdy tree.
Royal FloraHolland draws attention to the Houseplant of the Month campaign by creating product presentations at various locations. For example, every month the new Houseplant of the Month is displayed in the presentation area in Naaldwijk and at several auction rooms.
Florists and garden centres can download promotional material from the Flower Council Holland website, so they can bring this campaign to their own shop floor.
The campaign on the shop floor
Along with promotional material, Flower Council Holland provides florists and garden centre staff with background information and tips for caring for the product. This is helpful because consumers are becoming increasingly interested in the story behind the product.
Would you like to know more?
Look at the Flower Council Holland website. It contains an overview of all current and future campaigns.
More related news
- 08 July 2016
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