On a previous entry I wrote about the practice of gluing fake flowers on cacti . If you're not aware of it cacti and succulents growers glue straw flowers on cacti when they aren't blooming in order to increase sales of these plants. Those pink, green, red and blue flowers you see growing on cactus in the big box stores are indeed fake. The most common cactus that you'll encounter decorated with the the straw flowers is one that is referred to as "Fairy Castle Cactus."
One of the wholesale growers that participates in this practice is a company by the name of Altman Plants. This fall I noticed for the first time that Altman Plants was not only distributing cacti with those colorful fake flowers but they also had cacti and succulent plants decorated for Halloween. Some of the changes they made for the Halloween season make sense and are completely understandable even forgivable. For example, using these decorative cups instead of the usual plastic pots or even the miniature cardboard masks I saw on some of their plants. All of that I can understand but I can't go along the practice of gluing things on perfectly healthy plants.
It is a shame that Altman Plants has to resort to these tacky practices in order to get retail outlets like The Home Depot to buy more plants. Altman Plants is a perfectly respectable company and I'm a big fan of their "Cactus Collection" line available at The Home Depot. Because of them I'm able to buy some rare and interesting cacti that I wouldn't otherwise have a chance to buy locally in Chicago. But they really need to stop with these silly holiday decorations on their plants on top of ending the practice of gluing fake flowers on cacti.