Stupid fake flower glued onto cactus

chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))September 4, 2012

So. I got myself another Cereus peruvianus monstrose cv. recently because the one I have isn't looking so happy (it's outside). This one I picked out specifically because it had one of those ridiculous straw flowers glued onto it. I was going to take a picture and post it here, because really?? A fake flower on a C. pervianus?? But that was during my "No, I have to refrain from going to the forum so I can focus on getting my schoolwork done" thing. I've already taken the flower off, because I just couldn't stand it any longer.

I did, however, write to the supplier to ask them why, in God's green earth, do they keep doing that? I got a response. I present to you the e-mail thread:

Dear [supplier],

I LOVE your cacti and succulents! I get them at Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, various mom-&pop places, just about everywhere. (I have a bit of a fetish for cacti and succulents.) I have to ask, though - why, oh why, do you glue those ridiculous straw flowers onto some of your cacti? I've seen them on cacti that don't even produce those types of flowers. More than that, regardless of the genus or species, gluing anything onto a plant is going to damage it - if not in the gluing process, then when the consumer recognizes that it's fake and tries to pull it off. Have you found that the fake flowers derive better sales? This year, I've been actively involved in an online forum for cacti and succulent lovers from around the world; we all agree, the fake flowers look ridiculous, and damage the plants. Would you possibly consider stopping this practice?

(Beyond this, as I said initially, I LOVE your cacti and succulents.)


Hi Jessica,

You hit the nail on the head! Our "big box" store customers require us to do it because the ones with the fake flowers sell 3 to 1 over the others. We don't like doing it either but the customer gets what the customer wants. I think that primarily the people who buy those are not "plant people" and don't know a potato from a petunia, but just want something cutsie and decorative. You're right, they look ridiculous compared to what they should be. I'm glad that we are also able to send into the stores "unflowered ones" also so they are available to real plant aficionados like yourself.


Just figured I'd share with everyone, since it seems to be a recurring topic of discussion. It's really too bad. But I've helped to show a few folks "the light," so to speak. When I point out that the flower is fake, and glued on, they invariably respond with surprise and disgust. So, little by little, consumers are becoming aware. :)


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perle_de_or(Zone 7)

I was just going to send a post asking how to remove them without damaging the plant. I got carried away the other day and bought several cacti and succulents to make dish gardens. The flower came off easily on one, but not on the others. Thanks for your posting.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 4:04PM
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chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

Perle: The flower came off of mine fairly easily, and with no damage to the plant. I was very, very careful, but I think most of it was just luck that it hadn't been glued some other way.

For a visual, I placed the flower back on the spot where it had been glued, and took a picture. It should show below.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 4:41PM
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Nice comment from the provider

I've even wasted time sending them comments that aim for the stars with the soil they use let alone a moon hit fake flower.

Best marketing tool for any big box store or mass produce company of the easy ticket items is they know that only one in three customers has realistic ideas and know what they're buying.

It's the remaining two unaware customers who dont care what they get for a frivolous dollar or two also the reason why the fake flower/ sub standard soil and potting/glued rocks wont end.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 4:46PM
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ctreeteac(Zone 8b; rain-spewing Oregon)

I think a lot of customers are appalled when informed the flower isn't real. I know those I've spoken to have been. Except for my 86-year-old grandmother who would rather have a "flower" there year-round to look at. Those are those who like plants and those who like plants as decorations.

I was fortunate in that the four cacti my mother bought from, what was it, Fred Meyer, a few years ago I was able to get the flower off with not much trouble and without creating damage. The straw flowers were glued in a miraculously pitiful way and could be removed easy. This summer they've bloomed with real flowers for the first time.

I love that monstrose form. Dang, why do we not have these forms around here at the big box stores.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 5:27PM
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chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

MrLike: OMG, I had all but forgotten about the glued rocks! I HATE it when they do that!

Teatree: I wish we got your weather down here. :P


    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 5:33PM
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Glufers, be they flower or top dressing, while not right there with THE WORST THINGS IN THE WORLD, are, as we know, quite horrendous in their own little fief. I'd like to sic the bunko squad on them, as there's no noting on the product that the flower on it isn't the actual flower. There ought to be a law...

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 5:39PM
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perle_de_or(Zone 7)

I have really gotten hooked on making the dish gardens. I really tugged at the red flower and it didn't budge. Here is a photo. I haven't tried the orange/gold flower yet. I thought I might wait and see if they naturally loosen a bit.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 5:45PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

It seems like most people only buy plants in flower regardless as to whether it is appropriate.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 10:16PM
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Yes, perhaps, but there's something to be said for inappropriate purchases.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 10:23PM
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They are actually dried Straw Flowers, (Helichrysum), which I hate also.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:02PM
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I found this along side nail polish remover at some podunk 5 & dime on the way to the beach. No light, no nothing, just pushed back on a shelf. There were 5 fake flowers stuck onto this poor plant! Thankfully they weren't attached with glue but with that sticky silicon stuff so they weren't too difficult to remove. The plant has done well and colored up nicely since it's been exposed to some light.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 7:59AM
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perle_de_or(Zone 7)

Great find Karyn. I love to rescue plants too.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 12:32PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Karyn, gorgeous plant do you/anyone know which one it is?


    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 12:40PM
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I believe it's Euphorbia lactea 'Rainbow Crest'. I also have a green/white variegated E. lactea "cristata". They are both grafted onto other euphorbias.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 2:55PM
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chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

Karyn: WOW, that's gorgeous! I love the cristata forms! Not much a fan of the whole grafting bit, but the cristatas are just glorious!

Perle: Ohhhhh, you have Baby Toes and Lola! *pout* Those are two that I lost this summer. The Baby Toes was a frustration, because this is the second time I've lost this species; but losing Lola just broke my heart.

And you have a Royal Flush, too! Something seems to be eating away at my Pleiospilos.

I'm very diligent at keeping water off of the leaves, so I don't know what's causing this. There's a little bit on the underside of one of the leaves on the other plant as well. And, believe it or not, the smaller plant is actually a 'Royal Flush.' It seems to have lost a lot of its color.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 12:33AM
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I bought a very large Peruvian cactus with the long hairy looking sides some people call them old man or old man with a beard....any way this company owes me a cactus it had about a half a tube of hot glue and when I tried to carefully take it off it was pulling to much of the fine "hair" so I had to cut it off thus leaving it with a hole and cause a rot. I am not happy with those flowers and if they get wet they stain some of the cacti...but back to my old man he is rotting and I am afraid it is not going to scab over I had him in the half sun for drying purposes but he's afraid to far gone. so the big box store without a stupid receipt will not accept it back it does not look like a cactus now. OK this company and I will be glad to tell who but only privately they owe me a 19.99 old man cactus.
Everyone be careful and do take them off if hey get wet they will stain some cactus truly and it is a dye and I do not think its good for the cactus.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 7:20PM
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