Green Touch Nursery, a SoCal nursery every succulent lover should know

A while ago I saw this YouTube video about Green Touch Nursery in the Long Beach area where Cactus Quest interviews owner Oscar Vegas. Ever since then, I've wanted to go. It turns out that my friend and blogging buddy Denise of A Growing Obsession was familiar with Green Touch, so she and I decided to meet up there on my recent trip to Southern California. 

Green Touch is an unpretentious succulent nursery where the focus is on the plants, not on lifestyle or home decor. In the Cactus Quest interview, owner Oscar Vargas talks about his love for the plants he grows and sells. This passion shows. He has transformed a power line easement near a busy freeway into the kind of place I love to visit: a wonderland of plants where you need to take your time to see what there is, where you have absolutely no idea what you might find next, and where exploration is definitely rewarded. 

Since starting Green Touch six years ago, Oscar has gone deep down the rabbit hole of succulent collecting. With his easygoing personality, he has established contacts all over Southern California, both with small backyard growers who sell him plants and with collectors who buy them. He also carries a good selection of sansevierias and some other houseplants because they're in high demand and bring in revenue that helps subsidize more uncommon succulents.

I arrived at Green Touch early and got right down to business. By the time Denise drove up, I'd already met Oscar and picked out two plants (Aloe karasbergensis and Agave titanota 'White Ice'). The next two hours whooshed by in a blur—a fair bit of catching up between Denise and me, lots of shop talk with Oscar, and a neverending soundtrack of oohing and aahing. I envy Denise: She lives only 20 minutes from Green Touch and can go there anytime she feels like it and hang out with Oscar!

Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire'

I won't lie, taking pictures took a backseat to everything else, but I did manage to snap some photos of the nursery and plants.

Flowering Agave desmetiana 'Variegated' in its end-time glory

Furcraea foetida 'Mediopicta'

Aloe vaombe

The perfect nursery vehicle!

Mangaves and manfredas

My favorite photo of the day: Kalanchoe luciae (left) and Echeveria 'Afterglow'

Ruffled echeverias and madly offsetting aeoniums

Dudleya brittonii, always so tempting

Aloe karasbergensis getting ready to flower. This one came home with me and is already in the ground.

Miniature euphorbia landscape in a wheelbarrow

Miniature euphorbia landscape in a wheelbarrow (up close)

Another wheelbarrow with a cactus landscape

A truly giant Echeveria hybrid

Butterflies like the nursery, too!

Cotyledon undulata

The darkest Mangave 'Lavender Lady' I've ever seen; they're being grown hard in full all-day sun

Aloe polyphylla

I believe that's Denise's hand!

Rosularia platyphylla, a sedum relative from Turkey, makes a great rockery plant

Shoebrush cactus (my name for it; I don't really know what it is)

Trichodiadema bulbosum

Agave horrida

Ferocactus latispinus

Aloidendron ramosissimum and a nice collection of rocks for staging

Soehrensia formosa

Dioscorea elephantipes

Crested Myrtillocactus geometrizans

Euphorbia lactea 'White Ghost' (left), Ficus petiolaris (right)

Euphorbia squarrosa

NFS table

Agave victoriae-reginae 'White Rhino'

Agave victoriae-reginae 'White Rhino' offset

Succulents are amazing. All this color just from the leaves!

One of the biggest Agave victoriae-reginae I've ever seen. It's not for sale; it will be displayed prominently at the nursery entrance. Oscar said he'll throw a party when it decides to flower.

Here's my plant haul from Green Touch:

Agave simplex[Link]
Agave titanota 'White Ice'[Link]
Aloe karasbergensis[Link]
Delosperma sphalmanthoides[Link]
Echeveria 'Red Ebony'
Euphorbia 'Briar Patch'[Link]
×Pachyveria 'Amethorum'
Rosularia platyphylla[Link]

Green Touch Nursery is located on 8842 Park St in Bellflower at the intersection of Lakewood Blvd and the Artesia Freeway (SR 91).

And finally, here is the video I mentioned earlier, a conversation between Oscar Vargas and Cactus Quest:

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  1. Thanks for the preview! I have a date set in early May to visit there with my friend Kay. I'm looking forward to it.

  2. What a place ! And it looks so tidy and organized. Lucky Denise to have this at her doorstep. And in Bellflower of all places.

    1. Green Touch is the kind of nursery I love discovering. It's all about plants, nothing pretentious.

  3. When I went back to try to get a photo of the sanseviera, I looked around for another Aloe karasbergensis but didn't see another. Oscar had brought back a few plants from the LA County CSSA show that Friday night too. So much fun watching you explore this nursery!

    1. I love the fact that Oscar brings in new plants all the time. That makes it such an exciting place to visit regularly!

      I was amazed by how quickly you scan what's available and then home in on the plants that catch your attention. I'm much more of a slow poke!

  4. A truly unlikely place for a nursery but what a way to 'green' an ugly area. So many cool plants. Could easily see you spending a couple of hours there. Looking at the photos of the echeverias and how large they can become I think I need to put mine into much larger pots. Great you got to meet up with Denise too.

    1. I love finding beauty in unexpected places. Denise also went to H & H Nursery ( in Lakewood just a few miles away. It, too, is on an easement under power lines. Great use of space for a nursery!

  5. WOW! Wish I could have joined you both... so many plants!

  6. You did a great job with the photos and socializing at the same time. I love all the plants but I love that orange butterfly too. I wonder if I could grow Mangave 'Lavender Lady' hard here in the Phoenix sun! I may just try it. Most of my Mangaves are in half-day sun only. Such colorful succulents that hate our heat here in Phoenix! But then everything is more colorful in CA: the plants and the butterfly!

  7. Looks like a place I need to visit. Thanks for the tour.


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