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Ten Predictions for the Succulent Decor Marketplace

April 13, 2018 ~ In May of 2016, I predicted that textiles and decorative items themed with succulents would soon be commonplace. Back then there were a few T-shirts, socks, pillows and posters, but not much from major retailers except fake succulents. (Gotta love the irony: Succulents already are the closest thing to plastic in the plant world.)  Now they’re everywhere: Pier One, TJ Maxx, Cost Plus World Market, Wayfair, Home Goods, JOANN and more.

Above: I’m holding a succulent shower curtain ($30) at Cost Plus World Market. In the foreground is a $200 faux opuntia (prickly pear).  

“Cactus Serving Bowl” from Pier One, $30

You Heard It Here First ~ Ten New Predictions for Succulent and Cactus Decor

In fabrics, dishes and other decorative items, rosette succulents such as echeverias have claimed a place forever in the palette of “florals” available to designers.

Early on, many retailers, hotels and restaurants went with mediocre, mass-produced prints of succulents. Those will be replaced with quality images that do the plants justice, along the lines of paintings by Dyana Hesson or Aaron Apsley (do follow them on Instagram).

Cactus as a design element is trending, popping up on pajamas, place mats, wallpaper and more. As awareness of the plants grows, cliche images of “cactus” as saguaros and prickly-pear will give way to numerous other varieties.

Pink flowers on a saguaro? In nature they’re creamy white. Let’s hope depictions of cacti and succulents become more accurate.

Stylized cacti, unlike their living counterparts, are always in bloom. But as designers and consumers recognize that the true beauty of cacti is in their spines and symmetry, the perceived need for flashy flowers will diminish.

Spherical and columnar euphorbias, easily confused with cacti, are riding the popularity wave along with them—for example, those euphorbias in the cactus curtain I’m holding above. (And what those avocado-like leaves are, I have no idea.)

“Cactus Pete” flannel fabric at JOANN, $3.49/yard. 

Expect to hear the word “cute” in the same breath as “cactus” as graphic designers give the plants personality. Rotund, “chubby” varieties will be stylized for greeting cards, gift bags, night lights, plush toys, bed linens and more.

Check-out lines, already long at seasonal Cactus & Succulent Society of America shows, will get even longer. Vendors will offer impulse-buy gifts and collectibles for newcomers—items of little interest to long-time members who are mainly plant collectors.

Shops specializing in all things cacti-and-succulent will spring up online, in flea markets and mall kiosks. If these sell live plants, they’ll be secondary to themed merchandise.

Potters, ceramicists, mosaic artists and metal sculptors will produce works designed to contain and showcase specific succulents, such as those that form Fibonacci spirals.

Kids will clamor for cactus collections, leading to garden tools for small hands, rubber-tipped tongs and tweezers, and bright-colored pot sleeves.

Retro, cactus-themed trinkets from Mexico and the desert Southwest will be highly sought-after, leading to an outpouring of new items inspired by old.

Above: “Fiesta Chihuahua Doormat” from Pier One, $17. 

Related Info…

Apr. 24, 2018 ~ If it seems that succulents are moving at warp speed in the world of gardens, nurseries and designers, they are…[Continue reading]

Earlier predictions:
“Succulent Art, Decor and Gift Items”
“Is Cactus the New Black?” and
“Seven Ways to Make Money with Succulents.”

Enjoy my post: “Did I Find the Perfect Succulent Pillow?”
Follow my quest and view photos of my redone entryway along with dog-model Lucky, who happens to resemble the pup above. (Yes, he’s really thatcute.)

Books by Debra Lee Baldwin
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Use Colored Sand for Succulent Bouquets

I like to display bouquets of succulent rosettes in clear glass containers filled with layers of sand. Practical as well as pretty, the sand lends color and interest, and serves as to anchor the stems so top-heavy rosettes don’t tumble out.

A jay appears interested in the spring succulent bouquet I made for the 2018 Super Succulent Celebration.

Succulent sand bouquets make quick and original hostess gifts. Moreover, recipients can remove rosettes from their faux stems and plant them, if they like.

The inspiration for my spring 2018 succulent sand bouquet (above) was an unusual blown glass vase I found at a thrift store. But any glass cylinder, bottle or jar will work.

I keep a palette of colored sand in glass jars on an open shelf so I can enjoy looking at them, even when not using them. Colored sand is available at craft stores and online
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This arrangement, which took about 15 minutes to make, is in a repurposed vinegar bottle.

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And this one was a holiday gift.

To make your own colored sand, obtain a bag of playground sand from any home improvement store, plus Rit dye in whatever colors you want (sold in supermarkets and online). The sand looks white but is actually pale gray, but that’s OK, because the resulting muted colors look fine with the plants. To color sand, pour the liquid dye into a pan no longer used for food, add sand to the level of the liquid, and bake until the liquid evaporates—300 degrees for an hour or so. Stir occasionally with a metal spatula or clean garden trowel. Let it cool outside, stirring every so often to expose moist sand and to break lumps. When cool, funnel the dry sand into glass jars and store the excess in ziplock bags labeled with whatever color or mix you used.

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When making a bouquet, select sand based on the colors of the rosettes (or vice versa).

I usually fill the container halfway with three colors, then turn it on its side and rotate it to make swirls, then add more sand so stems will be concealed. Try pushing a stiff wire or chopstick into the layers, along the inside of the glass, to create drizzly Vs.IMG_7288resized

 


Related Info ~

My book, Succulents Simplified, pp. 162-169, shows how to make a special occasion succulent bouquet.
Articles ~
12 Succulent Bouquets to Inspire You  When wired onto faux stems, succulent rosettes—despite having no roots, soil or water—make long-lasting floral bouquets… [Continue reading] 
DIY Succulent Bouquet  When I need a hostess gift, thank-you present, or an arrangement for a special friend, I create a bouquet of succulents. I start by selecting [Continue reading]
Videos ~
Stunning Succulent Arrangements, my online Craftsy class, includes How to Make a Succulent Bouquet. Use this link to take the entire class (all seven lessons) at 50% of the regular enrollment price—$20 instead of $40.

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SIGNED COPIES

A book plate creates a very special signed copy! Book plates are autographed and personalized, peel-and-stick labels that go inside a book’s cover. Mine have my publisher’s logo and my own artwork. Book plates are $2.50/each, payable to Sunwriter7@cox.net via PayPal. On the transaction page, where it says “Add a note,” type the recipient’s first name. Be sure to order signed and personalized book plates for yourself and for my other books too! Important: Include the address you want them mailed to. 

 Order the revised and updated 2nd edition of Designing with Succulents or another of my bestsellers ~
Books by Debra Lee Baldwin