Cool Cacti

Maria Donato sheds light on the latest craze in succulents.
Succulents offer a no-fuss way to bring green indoors.

Born without a green thumb? You are fashionably in luck, because the latest trend in green things is one of the easiest plants to grow (and to give): cactus. It’s not a plant we’re accustomed to seeing in Minnesota, so curiosity abounds around its ease, visual detail and interesting textures.

“The younger generation really loves them,” says Maria Donato, owner of Donato’s Floral. “We have even added succulents in wedding bouquets and prom flowers!”

Bringing a cacti corsage to pick up a prom date will no doubt get some attention. These prickly ornamentals have moved beyond being a decorative houseplant, but the cactus gardens available now are still a beautiful mix of assorted succulents that draw visual interest and bragging rights. Donato’s gardens usually feature six assorted, easy-care cacti arranged among decorative rocks in a no-fuss clay pot (terra cotta) that lasts well beyond any special day.

“We put together a mix that looks like a little landscape garden of different, cool textures,” Donato says (from $73.95).

Cacti Know how

• Cacti like sunlight, so put your garden in a window with lots of midday and late-afternoon rays.
• Cacti have a built-in defense mechanism so they are good for households with pets.
• Cacti do well in a typical office environment as they only need to be watered about once a week—so consider a crafty garden as a gift for a co-worker.