When I'm at Home Depot, I always check the garden department. This usually leads to disappointment at this time of year, as outdoors there are few plants. Indoors there is usually a decent collection of houseplants though, along with some sad cactus displays.

Yesterday though, I saw something interesting. By "interesting" I mean "crazy".


Here's another view:

What could these possibly be?

Oh, they're Kosmik Kactus. That explains it. But what are they actually?

This is apparently Echeveria shaviana, a plant which I'm pretty certain doesn't grow in bright purple or orange colors like this. (They're very orange -- my phone camera didn't accurately portray how orange they are.)

The deep chocolate color is nice though, almost nice:

These have been watered with dyes I imagine. What else could it be?

What about these guys next to the Echeveria?

They look totally natural to me! What are they?

I love when I'm watching a nature program about the desert and see such a wide variety of cactus and other desert flora. The subdued but varied tones, so many shades of browns and reds and greys -- the masses of pink and aqua cactus are especially beautiful when viewed in their native surroundings!

I think I'd rather have an encounter with a Teddy bear cholla than have to look at these every day. (Okay, maybe not.)

Actually, this one doesn't look too bad:

I suppose that these have also been dyed in some way, as the display label (on the Kosmik Kactus sign from the previous image) says "new spines emerge as a glistening white or gleaming yellow". In other words, this plant won't look anything like this in time. You're essentially paying for a gimmick.

These are not really my thing, but I suppose if they get somebody interested in plants who was not previously a plant person, then maybe Kosmik doesn't necessarily mean "bad".

So what do you think: interesting, or just plain ugly?


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Renee  – (January 20, 2013 at 9:12 AM)  

Oh my. And I thought the 'cactus with fake lime green flower' was bad. Are the last couple spray painted?! Now I want to go see if they have these at my home depot, and rescue some...

sandy lawrence –   – (January 20, 2013 at 9:51 AM)  

I vote with Renee. This is right up there with hot gluing fake flowers on the poor things. Blue orchids; now this. I'm not sure this would help with heightening interest in gardening, even with children, after the color wears off. Like those doomed to neglect Easter egg dyed chicks!
I love the natural white lace look of the thimble cactus and it is winter hardy here in central TX. Now that I've seen some of your incredible macro photos of frost, they remind me of those, too. Naturally beautiful!

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (January 20, 2013 at 11:25 AM)  

WTF??? And I thought I'd seen it all. Anything to increase sales, I guess...

Anonymous –   – (January 20, 2013 at 4:48 PM)  

horrible !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

danger garden  – (January 20, 2013 at 5:50 PM)  

Horrible x10....reminds me of the time I was offered some painted semps free in exchange for a write on my blog...

Keity  – (January 21, 2013 at 4:28 AM)  

Happy to find your blog today!
Stunning photos! I thought you colored them by photoshop. They look weird but the chocolate one and the last one with orange prickles look cool.
I'll be your newest follower:)

Alan  – (January 21, 2013 at 7:09 AM)  

Renee: I happened to be near a second Home Depot yesterday so stopped in, and they had these too.

I'm glad everybody agrees: this is a bad idea.

Jason  – (January 21, 2013 at 11:07 AM)  

Ugly! Not sure if you are familiar with my proposal for a Federal Echinacea Cultivar Control Board, but perhaps we need to do the same thing for Echeveria?

outlawgardener  – (January 21, 2013 at 6:48 PM)  

I suppose that if one were to drop a tab of acid, these would look totally natural. Since I don't do that sort of thing, I'll have to go with awful.

Stupid Garden Plants  – (January 31, 2013 at 12:04 AM)  

This is a new low. I've seen dyed orchids but this is something else... Great on location plant reporting! Poor succulents :(

Kaveh Maguire  – (February 7, 2013 at 7:23 PM)  

The people who do this to plants should be flogged.

Unknown  – (July 2, 2013 at 4:21 PM)  

for f#%k sake!!!!
the only reason they make these is because people actually buy them!!.................................................................................................SO.... DONT BUY THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous –   – (May 19, 2014 at 12:49 PM)  

I love them!!! The crazy colors are sure to make people do a double take and want a closer look. I just found out that they were painted and not genetically enhanced, but what the heck I'm sure the plant will survive and it will be fun to look at in the mean while

Unknown  – (May 25, 2014 at 6:25 PM)  

Well Sandra, the dye is long lasting. If you'd acually saw one, you'd love it. B-sides, It's the exact same thing as they do when they graft cacti. They dye the scion first.

Rock rose  – (June 25, 2014 at 9:57 PM)  

I saw them yesterday. I was utterly horrified. Let's hope no one buys them. As bad as the fake flowers. I wish people could see the beauty of a real cactus flower.

Captain Mike  – (September 27, 2015 at 1:32 PM)  

Unfortunately I bought one from Home Depot & got home to find it was painted! I feel bad for the little cactus & don't want to just through out. Can I plant it & treat it as if it wasn't painted? Thanks ; )

Alan  – (September 28, 2015 at 8:02 AM)  

Captain: I think the paint should eventually wear off, or perhaps it is even water-based so could wash off? I'm not sure how the plants would photosynthesize if completely covered. Give it a try!

Anonymous –   – (January 27, 2016 at 5:40 PM)  

Found one of these at Lowes in summer '15, species name was "Kosmic Cactus" on the sales label....Spray painted red!! To date I have no idea what plant I have, but its a broad leaved succulent to say the least.

New growth from center = 3x it's original height, but 5 of 7 original spray painted "leaves" rotted off.
Go figure.

Anonymous –   – (September 24, 2016 at 3:22 PM)  

I just saw these at Home Depot painted them to catch your eye but fraulent claim can not believe a company would stoop to this level to sell something did not buy Home depot should pull product

Unknown  – (May 15, 2017 at 11:53 AM)  

I gently scratched most of the paint off with my finger nails and am easing it back into sunlight abd it seems to be doing fine.

Unknown  – (August 18, 2017 at 9:28 AM)  

If I lived somewhere cacti grew naturally, I'd hate it-sort of like seeing a fake white frosted christmas tree here in MN. My 9 year old loved the kosmik kactus, though, and we bought it to go in her room. She talks to it every day :)

JoyfullyJanet  – (April 8, 2020 at 8:40 PM)  

Like you, I can't resist admiring the home depot plant section. I was so disappointed with these plants, and all I did was look at the photos I took, I didn't buy anything. They look spray painted in MY photos.

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