This time of year, Home Depot can reveal some succulent and cactus treasures and other times, they'll shock you with horrible gimmicks like these below.
Behold The Kosmik cactus! A.K.A. Cacti that have been spray painted or dyed neon colors to fool the unsuspecting buyer! What a load of crap! I feel so bad for these little guys!
These "Kosmik" colors include like neon pink, aqua, neon yelow and electric blue. If you see these in person, look closely at the spines, you'll see the color has adhered to the white spines and has also saturated the green skin beneath. The tag even mentions that "new spines emerge as a glistening white or gleaming yellow" which clearly tells you that this color was merely spray painted on top.
It's horrible to think that they sprayed these little guys with chemicals. In this photo, it looks like some people bought them and check out the little balls of color left behind. It gives you an idea of how unnatural this collection is. Don't buy them and don't encourage this trick! So, what does a normal "thimble cactus" actually look like?
Like this. WHITE spines and if you treat them nice, they'll even have darling, little delicate flowers! While cactus are definitely exotic looking plants, these neon colors just don't exist in real life.
And while I'm on the subject, Home Depot is also known to sell cacti with glued on flowers. It looks like this:
The colors on the flower seem about right seem right. It even looks like what a cactus flower would do. At first, if you're not knowledgeable about cacti, you might think it's real (and hey, I've bought some before!) But on closer inspection. It's just a dyed, dry flower that has been HOT GLUED to the plant! After a while, the cactus will grow and the flower will fall off leaving you with an ugly glob of hard glue stuck between the spines. It will be unsightly and impossible to remove. Your poor plant will live with this glob for years. :(
What do cacti flowers ACTUALLY look like?
Cactus flowers emerge from a tubular stem that can be either green or the color of the petals. The flower itself can come in variety of shades and usually has a VERY silky feel to the touch. (Not dry and brittle like the fake flowers.)
So, if you see a flower at Home Depot on your cactus, look carefully at the base. You can usually see the glue!
Don't pay extra for a gimmick. Don't encourage this foul business trick!