Succulent ready for cuttings

Look at this Coppertone stonecrop (Sedum nussbaumerianum). How many plants do you see? The answer is eight. With succulents, cuttings = plants!

If anyone knows how to get great succulents at good prices, it’s me. Some important tips:

  • 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)!
  • 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 pleasantly surprised 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).
  • 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.
  • Succulents in 2.5-inch diameter nursery pots are your best deal; expect to pay double for bigger specimens in 3.5-inch pots. The difference is six months to a year’s growth.

Where and what are the best sources of succulents online?

For sempervivums, haworthias and other cold-climate or indoor succulents, the premier online source is Mountain Crest Gardens.

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.

The succulents in my YouTube videos and design projects mostly come from the largest grower of cacti and succulents in the US: Altman Plants. My top ten from Altman’s:

1. Flowering Succulent Collection – 2.5″ – 12 Pack

This is Altman’s larger of two echeveria assortments. Use it to make a Gift Basket of Echeverias. Be sure to see my article: All About Echeverias: Succulent Roses That Last.

2. Flowering Succulent Collection – 3.5″ – 6 Pack

For container gardening tips and ideas for echeverias, see my post: Perfect Succulent Art-Pot Pairings and my book, Succulent Container Gardens.

3. Kids Succulent Collection

Succulents are perfect for getting kids into gardening, and you have to love the names: kitten paws, Shreck’s ears, panda plant, ‘Chocolate Soldier’, cobweb houseleek and zebra plant. Enjoy my posts: Succulents + Kids = Great Summer Memories and LA’s Kids Day Features Succulents. 

4. Windowsill and Indoor Succulent Collection, 8 Pack, 2.5″

Haworthias and dwarf aloes prefer low-light conditions. Jade will tolerate them, but will lose red on its leaf tips. See my posts, How to Keep Succulents Happy Indoors and How to Grow Tender Succulents in Northerly Climates as well as my book, Succulents Simplified pp. 138-143 and the corresponding video Make a Low-Light Succulent Dish Garden.

5. Desk Buddy Succulent Collection – 2.5″ – 4 Pack

The description says, “product mix may contain Aloe ‘Minibelle’, Aloe nobilis, Aloe zanzibarica, Gasteria varieties, Haworthia fasciata (zebra plant), Rhipsalis capilliformis, Rhipsalis cassutha, or Rhipsalis salicornioides.” Rhipsalis (top right and lower left) makes a good filler, trailer and hanging-basket plant.

6. Texture Succulent Collection – 2.5″ – 4 Pack 

“Depending on availability, product mix may contain Echeveria ‘FO-42’, Gasteria sp., Haworthia fasciata (zebra plant), Kalanchoe beharensis ‘Fang’, and Kalanchoe tomentosa (panda plant).” Good with collectible pots. For design ideas, see my post: “Perfect Succulent Art-Pot Pairings.”

7. Assorted Succulent Tray – 2.5″ – 32 Pack

Use assorted succulent collections to make succulent bouquets, fill vintage and repurposed containers, for a succulent color wheel centerpiece, my online Stunning Succulent Arrangements class, and designs and projects in my books, Succulent Container Gardens and Succulents Simplifed.

8. Assorted Succulent Tray – 3.5″ – 18 Pack

“Depending on availability, product mix may include a selection of Aeonium, Aloe, Crassula, Echeveria, Kalanchoe, and Sedum varieties.”

9. Assorted Cacti Tray – 2.5″ – 32 Pack

This is the selection you want for Create a Cactus Curio Box.

10. Assorted Cacti Tray – 18 Pack, 3.5″