Crassula falcata variegated (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

If Rojas Nursery were a restaurant, it would deserve a Michelin star. 

Video Tour: Rojas Succulents

Recently I toured the nursery with Carlos Rojas as host and guide. In the video, he shows what he's especially proud of: fancy ruffled echeverias, unusual Aeonium species, and a greenhouse reserved for collector's specimens. (Visiting it is by appointment only.)

You'll also discover their watering formula for healthy, pest-free plants!

Family-owned Rojas Succulents and Cacti is on 1-1/2 acres in Fallbrook, CA, midway between Riverside and San Diego. Rojas does everything right. Their superb inventory ranges from succulents for gardens and pots to collectible rarities, and includes unusual variegates (succulents with streaked or multicolored leaves).

Why Rojas is Worthy

A trip to Rojas is worthwhile for reasonably priced, perfectly grown plants, including varieties you're not likely to find elsewhere. In a nutshell, the nursery...

  • Has experienced owners. Matriarch Rosalina Rojas has years in the nursery business, specifically growing succulents. To learn her remarkable story, scroll down.
  • Keeps getting better and better. They've added six greenhouses during the past seven months, for a total of eleven!
  • Is customer-oriented. The owners have a great attitude. "When people come, they go on a hunt for something they don't have," says Rosalina's son, co-owner Carlos Rojas. "That's what we're here for, to share our passion."
  • Sells mail-order. If you're unable to visit in person, you can shop online. Many of their finest collectible succulents are on Etsy.

The Backstory

This first appeared in 2014 as a post on Gardening Gone Wild. 

ROSALINA’S DREAM: A NURSERY OF HER OWN

Variegated Aloe nobilis (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

I photographed this Aloe nobilis ‘Variegata’ and the other succulents shown here at Roja’s Succulents

Once a renowned specialty nursery, Cooper’s Cactus and Succulents ceased to exist when John Cooper passed away. However, his plants live on, as does his kindness. According to former employee Rosalina Rojas, “John Cooper made it possible for me to have my own nursery."

Variegated graptopetalum (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

This variegated Graptopetalum pentandrum is one of Rosalina's introductions

“I’ve been in the US for 26 years, and I’m a citizen,” Rosalina says proudly. She originally is from Guanajuato, Mexico. “One of my sons is fighting for our country,” she added. Francisco is in the Special Forces. Her other son, Carlos, helps with the nursery. Carlos introduced himself to me at the Succulent Celebration at Waterwise Botanicals Nursery, and urged me to visit. I’d already heard good things about Rosalina and the quality of her plant material.

Crested aeonium (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

This crested, variegated aeonium is an example of the rare succulents Rojas specializes in

“It’s my passion and my living,” Rosalina told me, adding that having her own nursery made it possible for her to raise her sons as a single mom. Following in her mentor’s footsteps, Rosalina cultivates many beautiful, rare varieties. So, what treasures did I bring home? One was an unusual senecio with beadlike leaves.

Senecio with globular leaves (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

Senecio with globular leaves

And a variation of Kalanchoe luciae (paddle plant) with rolled leaves. Rosalina calls it the “taco kalanchoe.”

Rare kalanchoe (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

Rare Kalanchoe luciae with rolled, variegated leaves

When you’re in the area, do visit Rojas and mention that you heard about the nursery here. You also might want to consult my comprehensive list of San Diego Succulent Destinations. Incidentally, Rosalina wasn’t the only person Mr. Cooper helped. Others continue to cultivate plants he grew at his nursery---a great legacy!

Rojas Succulents and Cacti, 2005 E. Alvarado St., Fallbrook, CA 92028; 760/271-4962. Monday-Saturday 9 to 4. @rojassucculents on Facebook, Instagram and Etsy.

Note: No disclaimer needed! I wasn't paid to mention this nursery. ;+) Debra

Floral style succulent arrangement (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

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5 Comments

  1. Matthew Midgett on March 24, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    GREAT STORY. Great legacy; and an inspiring tribute to hard work, determination, and deserved success! Thanks for sharing.

    • Debra Lee Baldwin on March 24, 2021 at 12:58 pm

      Thanks, Matt! I agree.

      • Cathy Stierhoff on March 24, 2021 at 6:03 pm

        Heartwarming story. Thank you for sharing this video and the backstory. I wish there were something like this up here in the Bay Area!

        • Debra Lee Baldwin on March 24, 2021 at 6:11 pm

          Thanks, Cathy. Well, they’re not exactly the same, but the Bay Area does have Flora Grubb, the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Annie’s Annuals and Cactus Jungle!

          • Cathy Stierhoff on March 24, 2021 at 8:17 pm

            Yes, you are right….but not quite the same! Again, this is a wonderful video and write up. Oh and Rosa’s watering tip! Fantástico! Thank you!



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