Love plants, hate plant care? We have just the solution for you, and it also happens to be one of the hottest plant trends this summer: the humble cactus. This succulent’s hit the design world hard this season, and it’s no surprise why.
“Succulents (from the Latin word ‘succulentus’ for juice or sap) are defined by their moisture-storing capacity, and come from many botanical families,” explains Erin Marino of NYC-based plant shop The Sill. “Botanically speaking, the term succulent refers to any plant that has evolved adaptations to survive hot, arid environments.” Sounds like summer to us.
Below, check out every reason why you need a cactus in your home, stat—and why it just might be the smartest decor decision you make this year.
They’re relatively inexpensive.
While a gorgeous arrangement of flowers can be costly, a single cactus can be sold for as low as less than $10—making it ideal for the budget-conscious. “When it comes to plants, pricing is usually based on two factors: size and rarity,” says Marino. “How big is it, and how hard it is to find? When it comes to cacti in particular, they’re super slow growers, so smaller is more economic for customers and suppliers.”
Mini is in.
“Miniatures of anything are simply visually very hard to resist,” says Ka Ya of Brooklyn-based The Sprout. Instagram-worthy and won’t take up too much place in your big city apartment? Win-win.
You get several unique looks.
While it’s easy to think of cacti having just one green hue and some prickly thorns, “they can come in all shapes, colors, and sizes,” says Marino. “Some look almost unreal, alien-like—and if you’re an East Coast native, there’s that West Coast appeal: We’re so far removed from the sun and desert that cacti are really unique.” Some of our favorites include the prickly pear, the fiddle leaf fig-esque angel wings cactus, and the majestic saguaro cactus.
You can style them anywhere.
Thanks to the huge number of varieties available on the market today and their generally easy aesthetic, “Cacti also be easily arranged into very stylish constructions, which can be appreciated in every New Yorker’s home,” according to Ya.
Try hanging a trailing rat tail cactus in a stylish planter, place a couple mini cacti on your windowsill, or think of styling a massive Christmas cactus in a colorful container in the center of your living space. Or of course, you can also mix and match, as Ya suggests.
They’re very easy to care for.
Killing all your plants, and can’t bear to give in and buy some fake ones? We’re pretty sure you’ll have better luck with a cactus. “A cactus is very low-maintenance,” says Ya. “They only ask for a good amount of sunlight and a little water when their soil is pretty much dried out.” This means you can go weeks (and in the dormant season, maybe even months) without watering it.
“That’s really attractive to someone who wants plants, but doesn’t have a ton of free time to devote to them,” explains Marino. “One thing to note, though, is that cacti need a ton of natural sunlight. Don’t get a cactus unless you have a super sunny, dry spot to put it in: Think of their native habitat: a hot, sunny, dry desert.”
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