Friday, November 13, 2015

The little shelf of horrors

Okay I admit it. I can't visit a big box store without walking through the plant department, you just never know what you might find. Unfortunately every one of these stores has a little shelf of horrors. It's usually tucked away in a very dark corner with bad air circulation, this one was no exception, let's have a look shall we...

Their 2.5" succulents now come with a snazzy paper wrap, nice for gift giving I suppose ... but those little collars block what little light there is from making it to the back rows.

The grafted cactus come complete with a plastic handle, that way you can hang them on the doorknob of a special friend's house, ring the doorbell and run away...leaving them to wonder who cared enough to give the very best.

Bottom shelf, mostly in the dark, we have the Aloe Vera plants. Or are those marijuana plants? I'm confused. Around Portland these days that green cross is the symbol of marijuana distributors.

Next to the questionable Aloe Vera we have the always hideous Kosmik Kaktus. How is this company still in business?

Who buys these things?

And even if they were worth buying they are on the bottom shelf with absolutely no light. What do you suppose their life expectancy is?

Ye gads...

The hot glue gun gang...

And this, the latest big box atrocity...

I was surprised to see the word Tillandsia used, not just "air plant".

Oh the possibilities!

Although perhaps there's no need to remove the poor plant from it's cardboard and elastic-band prison?

This one is already almost dead (brown leaves).

This one is being smashed.

But this one looks okay, not that it will 3 months from now though when it hasn't gotten any water.

But wait, there's more! Have you seen the latest abomination development in plant torture? Waxed Amaryllis bulbs: "There’s no better garden gift for the person who hates to garden!"...
photo via Terrain

Read all about them here (I did not see these at the big box, they seem to (at least for now) be more of a speciality item, available at fancy stores like Terrain).

And I suppose I should confess, I did buy one of those grafted things a couple of months ago, after falling for one at Pistil in Toronto. It's so crazy and wrong, that it's right. At least that's how I'm feeling now, we'll see how long I go on loving it.

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

54 comments:

  1. Ugly, ugly ugly. Hideous plant torture. The creators and marketers should go to the dungeon and the plants set free.

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    1. To the dungeon with them! I like that idea.

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  2. I just saw those Amaryllis bulbs on some on-line site (Gardenista?). I can't figure out how they would grow and put out roots. And I hate anything that has been wierdly dyed.

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    1. That's where I saw them too, and followed the link to other links and found myself more and more horrified. And no worried about the roots, there won't be any.

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  3. Omg you are a freaking me out! ;)
    This whole shelf is just awfully merchandised - bleck!
    Figures your make that grafted number look cute ;)
    I am imagining the extraordinarily large sci-fi and ufo loving community we have here in Oregon favors these multi colored cacti - I can see them now scattered about their dark, tattered, smelly living environs....
    Or perhaps one of the many grateful dead households - perched in one of those pop out window atrium contraptions above the kitchen sink - or maybe even on the smoking porch -

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    1. "pop out window atrium contraptions above the kitchen sink"....haha, those things give me the creeps.

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  4. In the uk we have painted heathers.....and the cactus with stuck on flowers......

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    1. Mmm, painted heathers. That sounds awful.

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  5. How is that I have not seen the Kosmik Kactus? Do they realize they're just one K away from being highly horribly wrong?

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    1. As in something thing like Kooky Kosmick Kactus? I'm surprised they didn't go there. And why haven't you seen them? Maybe you have the good sense to stay away from stores like those?

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  6. You know, I think they missed a marketing opportunity--I didn't see hanging holes on any of those packaged plants. Surely the tillandsias on cards and the little succulents could have been displayed for sale on peg racks! *shields head and face in anticipation of the beating to come...*

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    1. At least on peg racks they'd get more light!

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  7. That's a good price for Kosmiks -- thanks for the tip!

    (Joking of course. Probably one of your most aptly-named posts yet. Eek!)

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    1. In looking up the name online (to see if I could come up with the story behind why they think spray painting plants is a good idea) I came across your blog post on Kosmik. Looks like they're actually selling for 50 cents cheaper in your part of the world...

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  8. Thanks for the morning giggle! I always feel so sorry for those sun-loving plants at the big box stores stacked in near darkness. Someone take away the spray paint! If people didn't buy them, they'd stop appearing in stores so they must be someone's cup of tea. The amaryllis bulbs were new to me and are awful.

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    1. That's what I was thinking...somebody is buying them...who are these people?

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  9. I laughed so hard reading the title of this post--and then seeing the photos. I know, it's cruel, but some of these plant treatments are so completely over the top.

    Waxed amaryllis bulbs? That's a new one to me.

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  10. This décor merchandizing, not gardening. That the item happens to have been alive, or may have been a live at one point in time is irrelevant. These items are nothing more than cut flowers with roots and should be looked at as having the same general purpose and life span on a table or counter somewhere.

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    1. Indeed that's how those that buy them will see them. I'm looking at it from a "before" mindset. Someone needs to stick up for the plants before they're abused.

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  11. Waxed Amaryllis bulbs- you are not going to throw those in the compost pile after they bloom. how about making them into candles? or scoop the bulb out and plant a Kosmik Kactus in the shell? yeah, drainage would be an issue, but it is doomed an ugly plant death anyway, as is everything on this horticultural rack of hell.

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    1. You've got a great mind. Combine the wax and the Kactus, now there's a think of beauty!

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  12. To make you feel a little better, the cactus your yellow monstrosity is grafted on is the plant that produces dragon fruit. So when the yellow grafted part falls off finally, don't throw out the base. I've had dragon fruit plants bloom and fruit in 15 gallon containers. Just stake them up on a tree stake stuck in the pot to keep them from sprawling all over. Sue

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  13. I thought I'd seen it all, but those Kosmic Cactus are a new shiver in the annals of the bizarre. It shouldn't be allowed. You were so good to adopt a grafted cactus - that's one more off the little shelf of horrors!

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    1. For some reason your comment had me remembering this sighting: http://www.thedangergarden.com/2013/06/unexpected-succulent-and-unexpected.html

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  14. THANK YOU FOR HATING ON THE WAXED AMARYLLIS. I work at a nursery and it's hard enough to get people to understand that they are real plants that need real resources like light and *soil* to bloom well. I also haven't seen Terrain post any pictures of those waxed bulbs actually blooming. They are perpetuating awful inaccurate information as "trendy".

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    1. Ugh, I can only imagine the stories and misconceptions you have to endure.

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  15. Wow, I have no words for those Amaryllis. I had never seen them. The other things are common here too and don't understand why anyone would buy them.

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    1. Wow, not just in the U.S.? I thought we were the only ones with that kind of bad taste.

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  16. I would have been tempted to buy every one of the succulents in the french fry containers to set them free from their poster board prison. And carded Tillandsias ? At least they weren't in clamshell paks.

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    1. OMG...french fry containers, you called it!!!

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  17. I admit, I buy special, small succulents from big box stores. They are cheap and I happily use them for small containers since the lower cost allows me to make affordable, cool, small pots. My container business is focused on large containers, but with small, multi-plant pots... wholesalers can barely match the product I can occasionally get at a BB store when the plants arrive. The reality from my perspective is that plants are potted and sold, whether in a private nursery or BBstore. My preference is my adored local nurseries, but since I buy the most unusual plants I can find , I buy them when I see them. The BIG ? is... why does anyone think color dyed plants are okay???

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    1. I too have bought (and will continue t buy) small succulents off displays like this. You're right, the price can't be beat. I just steer clear of the abused plants so as not to send the wrong message to the buyer.

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  18. I have never seen those Kosmik Kaktus! And you'd think SoCal would be a perfect market for them (but maybe I don't spend enough time in the "right" kind of stores)...I did find an elaborate fake succulent arrangement at a reputable garden center just today, though - only $150.

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    1. Wow, $150? Just think of all the real succulents you could buy for that kind of money. Then again you'd have to take care of them...

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  19. Were those spray painted cactus (i)???!!!!????!!!!!

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  20. I've seen them at a big box here, and I hate them. Altman Plants should be ashamed. According to this vid, the paint isn't water-based, which makes the whole thing so much worse :~((( Such an ugly, stupid, harmful, awful idea.

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    1. I did find myself wondering about Altman. We've all heard that the Big Boxes don't pay for plants they don't sell. Is Altman regularly left holding the bag (so to speak) for plants that die because they get no light and are over-watered by staff?

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  21. Wow - never seen Kosmik Kaktus or waxed Amaryllis before. What's next...? And who the hell gets off on these poor things? I imagine someone must, or they wouldn't be selling them. Mystified...

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    1. I'm so happy you can say that (never seen them) that means there aren't any waxed Amaryllis at Drakes for the holiday season!

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  22. You didn't buy them, you adopted them!

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  23. Strange. Little shelf of horrors, indeed. The Kosmik Kaktuses made me a little sick to my stomache. I've seen similar displays around here, and yes, it's hard to believe those plants survive even a couple of days in those conditions.

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    1. It's crazy that the Kosmik Kaktus sales team was successful enough to get them placed in stores all across the country!

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  24. At a BB store near me, they had these paint your own succulent kits which were aimed at children. "teach your the the true meaning of exploitation by having them dump acrylic paint on a tiny, helpless, echeveria cutting. no water required" ( the kit actually said no water) eugh!

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  25. Yep...my recent visit to Home Depot yielded similar horrors. However, they did have full botanical names rather than "assorted succulents" and I scored a one gallon chocolate cosmo for $2.50.

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    1. True, the labels are getting better - and nice score!

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  26. If they're going to treat the plants as if they were inanimate, why not just make them inanimate out of wax/glass/plastic? I bet a lot of people wouldn't know the difference, and everyone (including the plants) would be happier.

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    1. Sounds more expensive...(she says, sarcastically)

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  27. The painted cacti are for the same customers as the head shops I would guess, but then we have those in Utah too and no head shops... This post was so funny, and I too despise the waxed amaryllis, which Jackson and Perkins sell as well...idiots!

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