Good place to buy cactus in Phoenix

michelle_s_phxaz(AZ)October 25, 2005

We are tired of the typical xeriscape that comes with every house in our neighborhood (Mexican Bird of Paradise, oleander, and lots and lots of lantana) and decided to go with a real southwestern landscape. We want cactus.

We know that saguaros are incredibly expensive, but we need to replace the sad, sad mesquite tree that didn't quite make it through monsoon season. I would like to find a reasonable place to purchase a saguaro or something comparable in height (HOA restrictions, you know!) and some accents like barrel cactus.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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sonotaps(Sunset Z13, Phx)

I'm not trying to give bad news or be mean but here it goes:

Saguaros are notoriously slow growers and the higher cost for good-sized specimens is a function of that. The cardon (pachycereus pringlei) from Baja/Sonora is a more massive plant but grows much faster if you wouldn't mind a substitute. Trichocereus/Echinopsis Terschekii has the cardon form (lower branching) but much smaller(from Argentina) and grows faster than our native saguaro. That is, if you are looking for a 'faster' substitute. Keep in mind these are cacti from arid areas and they aren't 'rocket' growers necessarily anyway.

I have a large cactus/succulent collection and have a good idea of what grows fast and what doesn't. More water in the summer helps to get faster growth rates on some cacti.

I know several nurseries with big specimens but you will pay dearly for them if you want our true local saguaro. I have several and they are slow to grow. Actually, larger specimens don't transplant all that well (AZ Sonora Desert Museum) which is something for you to consider. It may take several years for decline to show but it will.

Transplant article:

So, it you don't want to pony up big bucks, just plant a small one, enjoy it, and be patient or use a substitute. I can list some sources for big ones but 'reasonable' needs to be defined in $$. It wouldn't be unusal to spend a minimum $500-$2,500 for larger ones.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 12:27PM
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Thanks for the info. I knew that they grow very slowly and are expensive, what I am asking for is a nursery in Phoenix that sells them and other cactus.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 5:28PM
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birdlady_in_mesa(z9 AZ)

Michelle - if you go over to the Arizona Forum, look on our FAQ page- there is quite a listing of places that sell cacti and other succulents. Depending on where you are, I personally recommend Shady Way Nursery in West Apache Jct, and Arizona Cactus Sales on AZ Ave in Chandler. Both of these have great selections and are extremely reasonable in regards to price and very helpful with advice.



Here is a link that might be useful: AZ Forum

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 5:08PM
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Didn't even know there was an Arizona forum! Thanks so much Susie. We have been to the one on AZ Ave, we will try the one in AJ.



    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 11:04AM
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sonotaps(Sunset Z13, Phx)

Oops. OK.

Try Desert Aura (I think that is the name) nursery for SPECIMEN-size plants at Cave Creek and Beardsley Roads (south of Beardsley on the east side of the road).

AZ Cactus Sales has a good selection but kind of expensive, I thought for what you get. Shady Way is a good nursery with 'different' kind of things (which I like). Baker's nursery has some decent cacti too.

If you are ever in Tucson, Bach's is fantastic (immense selection to get some ideas), and so is Plants for the Southwest in Tucson for 'off the beaten path stuff'.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 10:24AM
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Was wondering if anyone knew of a place to sell saguaros

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 2:42PM
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I may be what all of you have been hoping to find. Hello, I am Mark G. Cooper, landowner of 160 acres, with 100s possibly 1000s of Arizona Native Plants. I have been, through Craig's list selling the Saguaros, Ocotillos, Cluster Barrels, Barrels, Cottonwood Trees and other of the various desert native plants on my property. I beat all commercial and most cactus broker price per foot and if you help me, help you, I will harvest, deliver them and we together plant in your yard. Now, I have Saguaros from 1 to 30 feet, no arm babies, to mid size 5,6,7, footers to Armed, you name the height I have it. I even have twins, clusters of barrels and lots of green Ocotillos. What I tell all my consumer customers, if you are willing to save yourself about 33% over the broker or commercial retailer, then buying direct from me is the path. I am compliant with Arizona Department of Agriculture, tags, will be extra, state requirement.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 7:59PM
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This is going to sound biased, but I have found that Tucson has a lot more to offer than Phoenix when it comes to cactus nurseries. Bach's, Tanque Verde, Old Pueblo Cactus and B & B have tremendous selection and generally very good prices. Yes, large saguaros are going to cost you a small fortune, but nice 3 foot specimens can be had for around $200-$300 at most of the cactus joints in Tucson. Also, the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society usually has one or two rescue plant sales every year where you can pick up some fine plants (saguaros, barrels, ocotillos) at a good price. I believe their website has a calendar of events which shows when their next sale will be.

So if you're in the mood for a short drive, head south on I-10 to Tucson and check out some of the amazing nurseries in town. I think you'll be amazed.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 12:27PM
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