Agave and aloe sale at Arid Lands mail order nursery

Piece of Eden, one my favorite gardening blogs, recently mentioned that Arid Lands Greenhouses in Tucson, AZ is having an agave and aloe sale through the end of September. All agave and aloe species listed in their online catalog are 20% off until the end of the month.

My previous mail order experience with Arid Lands had been great, so I headed right on over to their web site and picked out a few things I had to have. Some of you may not have heard of Arid Lands, but they’ve got to have the largest selection of succulents in the country, including many rare and ultra rare species you simply cannot find anywhere else. For example, their online catalog has 288 entries (species and hybrids) for agaves and 657 entries for aloes. That’s astounding!

This sale is to reduce their agave and aloe inventory to make the move into their new 3,000 sq. ft. greenhouse easier. They now have a total of 18,000 sq. ft. of heated and cooled greenhouse space. What’s even more impressive is the number of plants in those greenhouses: 90,000 plants for sale, and 10,000 stock plants for propagation. Wrap your mind around that as you count the plants in your own garden! Check out the What’s New page on their web site for more interesting tidbits.

My box from Arid Lands arrived yesterday, and as always, I was fairly giddy carrying it into the backyard. Our dog was just as excited!



I love those official certification notices. They make me feel like I received something really important.


At first glance all you can see is crumpled up newspaper and Styrofoam beads. But look closer…


…there’s something spiky emerging from the depths of the box!


The contents of the box seems meager at first


Six bare-rooted plants


And here they are potted up. Left to right: Aloe buhrii, Aloe hereroensis (2x)


Aloe alooides


Agave ocahui var. longifolia


Agave palmeri,dwarf form (Sonoita)


Here is the reason why the box was so big: I bought a 3-gallon Aloe marlothii.


It took up most of the space in the box


Who doesn’t love such spiky fierceness! Aloe marlothii isn’t a rare species by any measure, but it’s surprisingly difficult to find in Northern California, especially larger specimens. This nice-sized specimen already has the beginnings of a trunk. It was only $25, before the 20% discount, and the shipping for the entire order was only $12. Unfortunately, the larger size of Aloe marlothii is now sold out on their web site.

Aloe alooides, Agave ocahui var. longifolia and the dwarf form of Agave palmeri appealed to me based on their description in the Arid Lands online catalog. The other aloes, on the other hand, I bought based on mature specimens I’d seen earlier in the year on the campus of UC Davis. Knowing that they thrive locally was an added incentive.


Aloe buhrii in bloom at UC Davis, April 2014


Aloe hereroensis at UC Davis, February 2014


Aloe hereroensis at UC Davis, February 2014


Aloe marlothii at UC Davis, February 2014


Aloe marlothii at UC Davis, February 2014

As I mentioned earlier, the agave and aloe sale at Arid Lands will continue through the end of September, 2014. Check out their huge selection, not just of agaves and aloes but of every conceivable genus of succulents and caudiciforms.

P.S. I can’t believe I didn’t visit Arid Lands when I was in Tucson last December. Somehow they hadn’t been on my radar. I will correct this oversight on my next Arizona trip, hopefully later this year.


  1. A visit to Arid Lands will definitely be on my list for our next Tucson/Phoenix trip. Oh and speaking of trips we arrived home this evening from our California adventure. Great fun all around! All the agaves you gave me made it home just fine. Thank you so much!

    1. We should plan on meeting up in Arizona some day. It would be fun visiting gardens and nurseries together!

      Glad to hear you made it home safely, and that the agaves did too. Did you get any other plants on your trip?

    2. Why yes I did! I think I'll just cut right to the report and post about them on Monday.

  2. That last picture is awesome. What a nice haul.

  3. Wish we had something similar here especially as I've been buying lots of aloes recently. How exciting it must have been to receive that parcel of goodies! Great selection of plants and looking forward to seeing them all do well in your garden, especially the tree aloes :)

    1. Now the challenge is to find spots for everything. That is *always* a problem for me!

  4. You got some beautiful plants! The marlothii must have been heavy but it's in great shape. Now I regret not getting hereroensis also--those stripes are entrancing.

    1. I feel in love with Aloe hereroensis when I first saw it on the UC Davis campus. The striped leaves are beautiful, and the flowers are quite different from your typical aloe flowers.

  5. There's nothing quite so thrilling as getting a box full of plants delivered to your door!


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