My favorite recreational activities are gardening and shopping. (Perhaps you can relate?) Over the years I’ve acquired…well, let’s just say, more succulents than I want my husband to know about.
So, if anyone knows how to get great succulents at good prices, I do. A few secrets:

  • If you’re into collectible plants and one-of-a-kind, artist-designed pots, attend Cactus & Succulent Society Shows. Vendors offer succulents you won’t find elsewhere, and you’ll enjoy seeing how members display (“stage”) their own.
  • Big box garden centers nationwide sell succulents. Ask when shipments arrive and visit soon afterwards to get the healthiest plants. (Overwatering is a concern. I’ve come close to snatching hoses out of employees’ hands.)
  • If it’s been a while since you visited independently owned nurseries in your area, you may be delighted to discover succulent treasures not widely available.
  • Before buying, examine plants for signs of pest infestation (distorted growth), overwatering (soggy soil, squishy stems or leaves), sunburn (beige or brown patches), and pernicious weeds (like spurge and oxalis).
  • When ordering online, request expedited shipping. Succulents need air and sunlight, and you don’t want your babies sitting in a frigid warehouse or an oven on wheels.
  • If you’re looking for specific succulents, ask for them by their botanical names. Common names vary from nursery to nursery and region to region.
  • Overgrown or potbound succulents can be a bonanza. Those that branch, such as many crassulas and kalanchoes, start readily from cuttings; simply snip and start. Certain agaves, haworthias and cactus-like euphorbias may have produced so many offsets from their roots, their pots are misshapen (woo-hoo)!

Succulent ready for cuttings

Re the Coppertone stonecrop (Sedum nussbaumerianum) above, how many plants do you see? The answer is eight. If you said seven, you missed the rosette partially hidden by the main one. Yes, they’re cuttings, but with succulents, cuttings = plants!