Wondering where to shop for the best succulents online? Start with either of these top growers:
For cold-climate, indoor (low-light) succulents and individual specimen plants: Mountain Crest Gardens.
For assortments of dry-climate, outdoor, and collectible succulents: Altman Plants.
There's quite a bit of overlap, which is fine; each provides quality.
So how did a Southern CA gal find out about a Northern CA succulent grower? The Wall Street Journal asked me to do an article on succulents for cold, northern climates. Matts Jopson of family-owned Mountain Crest Gardens was incredible to work with---helpful and knowledgeable---and has become an expert I rely on. Matts' commitment to excellence and attention to detail shine through every aspect of Mountain Crest Gardens.
I used nearly 50 MCG assorted Sempervivum heuffelii rosettes to make an 18-inch-tall succulent topiary tree for the holidays. All you need (in addition to a moss cone and floral pins) are the rosettes, so buy them bare root. After they're attached to the form, they'll root right into it.
MCG's "Ultimate Succulent Sampler Tray" has 50 different kinds in 2-inch nursery pots. You might use them to fill a gift basket, like the one I gave my daughter-in-law. Or just give her echeverias---they have really nice ones.
Be sure to 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 video, Make a Low-Light Succulent Dish Garden.
Most of the succulents I use for the design projects in my YouTube videos come from Altman Plants, the largest grower of cacti and succulents in the US. I don't buy from them wholesale or mail-order; rather, I go to their retail nursery 15 minutes from me, Oasis Water Efficient Gardens. (See my list of San Diego succulent resources.)
Although I do get a tiny commission from Amazon for orders that originate from links on my site, I've hesitated to recommend their succulents...until Altman became an Amazon vendor offering multi-succulent packs.
Succulents in 2.5-inch diameter nursery pots are your best deal; expect to pay double for bigger specimens in 3.5-inch pots. It depends on the plant, but the difference is typically six months to a year's growth.
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.
"Depending on availability, product mix may include a selection of Aeonium, Aloe, Crassula, Echeveria, Kalanchoe, and Sedum varieties."
Assorted Cacti Tray - 2.5" - 32 Pack
Also see the cactus section of Designing with Succulents, 2nd ed., pp. 192-201.
*If you're looking for solos or specific kinds not offered by MCG or Altman, order through a specialty nursery near you, shop at CSSA shows, Google the plant's name, and check succulent groups on Facebook. Succulents from Altman also are in the garden sections of big box stores and Altman's online shop.