They may be a bit dull and very difficult to wrap, but cacti have become a surprise
Sales of the low-maintenance plants have risen by more than 50 per cent at a national garden centre chain.
Most popular is the opuntia, better known as the prickly pear, followed by the succulents echeveria and haworthia, often called the zebra cactus.
Part of the reason for the success stems from their popularity on social media.
Cactidal wave: The low-maintenance plants have become a surprise Christmas hit this year (stock image)
Small cacti also make interesting and unobtrusive centrepieces for festive dinner tables (stock image)
About 2.1million people have posted pictures of the plants with the hashtag #cacti.
Wyevale Garden Centres, which noticed the surge in sales, said their popularity seems to be led by younger buyers who are less interested in traditional Christmas favourites such as the poinsettia and amaryllis.
Ciara Sheridan, of Wyevale Garden Centres, said: ‘We think our shoppers are charmed by how easy they are to keep alive.’
Small cacti also make interesting and unobtrusive centrepieces for festive dinner tables.