Today I got an email from Bob Reidmuller, who is the Resident Horticulturist at Altman Plants, responding to my original email in regards to the fake flowers glued on cacti. In that email I asked if the fake flowers were glued onto cacti in part because of retailer demand, here's what he said;
"We actually have some of our own with straw flowers again at the request of the big box store that wanted them. When they actually outsell the ones without the fake flowers 2 to 1 it is not good business to refuse a major retailer's request."
I also asked if he or the company had ever gotten any funny/unusual emails about the fake flowers on cacti.
"I have had more than several emails from people who want to order some more of that specific cactus because it has been in bloom continuously for 2 years and is still going! What is also funny about those flowers too is because of their own inherent nature, many of them will "close" if they get wet or damp, and "open" again when they dry out. No wonder some of the non-plant people might be mislead."
Since I had Bob's attention I decided to ask if they'd be decorating any of the C&S in a Christmas theme like in the photos provided by NaSuki.
"Nope - no Christmas Santa thank God! The only thing this year is the "Santa Fe Christmas Tree" which is an 8' pot with an Opuntia falcata dolled up with fake tree lights and or decorations and a holiday tag. It's actually pretty cute, and a good sized plant. Nothing done to the plant to muck it up."
The photo above is of the "Santa Fe Christmas Tree" that will be available at select Home Depot and Lowe's stores-I don't think it looks bad at all. If anything I would have used larger fake tree lights so they were more in scale but at least they aren't gluing fake beards or Santa hats on plants for the Christmas shoppers.