So how bored must a plant-lover be to want to get the latest in (artificial) color couture? Euro Cactus out of the Netherlands has come out with a wide array of colorful succulents. And in order to leave nothing to chance, they have been spray painting them to make sure people notice.
Alsip Nursery in St. John, IN. It was the novelty, obviously. What plant sports leaves of this color? And as a gardener who has picked out thousands of plants in her lifetime, why couldn't she find any sign of a tag that would tell her about the plant?
I'd been talking to Dan Biernacki of Ted's Greenhouse in Tinley Park, IL about succulents in general, and he mentioned the insurgence of fancifully-colored Echeverias and other plants that have been coming out of Europe. By the time I'd gotten home I'd forgotten about it, but the next day my friend showed me this Echeveria of a different color that she'd purchased.
Dan Biernacki said: "The company doing it
claims it is a 'special' paint, but in my youth I made many a delivery
to florists who had a plethora of "floral" paints that they sprayed
on open blooms to achieve various effects. I would gather that if you can spray
the delicate tissue of a rose, you could most certainly paint a succulent as
well. The paint does seem to remain adhered to the plant quite well but as the
cells elongate and the plant grows, the new growth will be the original color
of the leaf, usually some shade of green. Also, I have noticed that the growth
tends to be "soft" looking, perhaps due to the fact that with the
paint on the leaves, the plant cannot perform photosynthesis through the
So now we know how it was done and why the plant actually looks nearly natural as it grows out. But here's the thing that bothers me. Nowhere in the pot or on the plant does it tell the consumer that it has been artificially colored and that the new growth will come out green. It won't stay that color! And let's face it, the color is the reason it was purchased! If you look closely at the photo you can see overspray on the rim of the pot.
Weigh in on whether you think living plants should be spray painted in order to be noticed, and therefore purchased!