On Wednesday, I took a trip to OC Succulents' satellite store in Torrance, California to see what kind of selection the wholesale nursery had to offer. It's only about 15 miles and 30 minutes from my home but, if my photographic records reflect all my visits, I haven't been there since December 2018. In any case, I know for certain I haven't dropped in since the start of the COVID pandemic so I wasn't sure what to expect.
I was a little shocked when I walked into the tented area that houses the nursery's smaller succulents in two, four and six-inch pots.
|There was a LOT of empty space
|This photo, taken on a visit in July 2018 from approximately the same angle, shows what I'd expected to see
There were still a lot of plants but overall it was a smaller selection than I'd hoped to find.
|There seemed to be more plants in 6-inch pots ($9.95 apiece) than in 4-inch pots ($4.25 apiece)
|I didn't see prices on these larger pots of Echeveria agavoides ('Red Tip' I think) but I wouldn't buy them in that size anyway. I took the photo mainly as a reminder of just how large this particular Echeveria can get.
|There was a large variety of Sansevieria (now classified as Dracaena) in a range of sizes too
There were many more plants in larger pots outside. They were undoubtedly priced competitively but the tags still made me gulp and I prefer to establish plants in smaller sizes. (Whether I'll continue to hold onto that preference once I have large gaps left in my garden when various agaves bloom out, remains to be seen.)
|The largest plants were lined up along the the seller's back fence. I didn't check the prices on most of these but the 'Blue Glow' Agaves, all smaller than any of the specimens currently in my garden, were priced at $179.
|Agave geminiflora were going for $30, which I thought was pretty reasonable for plants this size
|I was attracted to this new-to-me Agave sebastiana with its light blue color but it's apparently a prolific pupper, which could be a negative
|Aloe cameronii has an attractive form, reminiscent of a sea creature. I have a small plant but adding one this size isn't entirely out of the question for $30.
|I didn't see a lot of Mangaves but they did have a few varieties. This one is 'Racing Stripes'. At $35, the price was on par with the Mangaves sold by my local botanic garden at its spring plant sale.
|I've always had mixed feelings about Pedilanthus bracteatus but they are attractive planted in groups, especially when in flower. They were going for $49.
In contrast to the selection of small succulents, the selection of houseplants was as extensive as ever.
|I think you could find every house plant you might covet in a range of sizes here
|Plenty of Peperomia
|A wide variety of Calathea
|I noticed a sign for Philodendron 'Birkin' ($12 for a 4-inch plant) but they were all gone
|I didn't see any price tags on the small mounted staghorn ferns and bromeliads but these did give me an idea for sprucing up my lath house
|There were even signs providing various kinds of guidance for newbie houseplant parents
I didn't buy any houseplants but I didn't go home empty-handed either.
I've tentatively decided to add more succulents to one habitually dry area in my back garden, already partially filled with succulents. That plan hasn't entirely come together yet but at least a portion of the plants purchased on this trip are targeted for placement in that area. Others will find homes in existing succulent beds as I fill in gaps. Given the current direction driven by climate change, I suspect my garden will contain a larger percentage of succulents each year for the foreseeable future.
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