Let’s go shopping at Bach’s Greenhouse Cactus Nursery

In my previous post I showed you my haul from my Arizona trip earlier in the month. Some of the plants came from Bach’s Greenhouse Cactus Nursery in Tucson, one of my favorite nurseries anywhere and a mandatory stop on any visit to Tucson.

Bach’s is large, very large. It sits on 11 acres northeast of downtown, and the property encompass everything from production and retail greenhouses, outdoor sales areas, saguaro growing grounds, and extensive plantings you can explore at your own pace. As you can imagine, Bach’s has a large selection of plants, although many of the smaller plants are unlabeled.

The turnoff to the nursery from N Thornydale Road

The weather was beautiful when I was there on December 9. I spent a leisurely couple of hours poking around all over. Since I took so many photos, I’ll do a two-parter: This installment covers the sales areas, and the next one will be about the wonderful plants on the nursery grounds.

Retail parking area

Bach’s has a large selection of pots, especially talavera, but I was much more focused on the plants

Electric cart delivering new plants to the retail sales area

What a selection Tucson area homeowners have!

Most greenhouses are for production only; this one has a mix of retail plants and propagation areas

I would have bought a Ferocactus histrix if I didn’t already have one

Uebelmannia pectinifera can be hard to find, but Bach’s had plenty at a great price

Twin saguaros branching from the same base—that’s something I’d never seen. In hindsight, I should have gotten one, just for novelty’s sake...

Totem pole cactus (monstrose form of Lophocereus schottii) is one of the most popular cacti for landscaping in Arizona. Nurseries like Bach’s churn them out by the thousands to meet demand.

Great selection of Ferocactus, all kinds of species, including uncommon ones...

...like Ferocactus robustus...

...and the red-spined form of Ferocactus chrysacanthus (although why anybody would prefer that over the regular golden-spined form beats me)

Hundreds of assorted cacti in 1-gallon pots for $16, mostly unlabeled

Cereus forbesii f. spiralis

Pedilanthus macrocarpus with monstrose growth. I love the steely blue color of the stems.

Some of the production greenhouses (off limits) and lots more cacti for sale

Assorted cacti in 2-gallon pots for $35

Such a wealth to choose from

Ferocactus gracilis (left) and Echinocereus engelmanni (right)

Echinocereus engelmanni

More cacti with some agaves for good measure

Opuntia phaeacantha

Argentine toothpick cactus (Stetsonia coryne)

Beautifully backlit Echinocereus

Larger plants, too

And of course plenty of golden barrels (Echinocactus grusonii), easily the most popular landscaping cactus in the western US

I don’t know how many thousands of potted cacti there are at Bach’s...

...but they’re never going to run out

Opuntia santa-rita in a 15-gallon pot

The saguaro growing grounds are full of saguaros ranging from 3 feet to 6 feet in height, maybe even taller. I suppose any of these are for sale and will be dug for you after you’ve made your choice.

I bet Bach’s does brisk business in the days leading up to Christmas. Who wouldn’t love a cactus or succulent as a gift?

Check back in a couple of days for part 2, the display gardens.


© Gerhard Bock, 2022. All rights reserved. To receive all new posts by email, please subscribe here.


  1. Wow a plethora of riches. There were some gorgeous specimens in your photos including an A. victoriae and the Santa Rita Opuntia. Hard to make only a few choices. I would find it hard to buy any of those gorgeous unnamed plants as I always want to know what it is. Trying hard to take Jeff Moore's advice to not get caught up in names and just enjoy the plant. Best of the season to you and your family.

    1. I try not to get hung up on names, but it's my nature to want to know what things are, LOL. Happy holidays!

  2. Do you remember how much the Cereus forbesii f. spiralis were going for? I'd love one of those. Also—can you imagine actually digging one of those saguaro? They're so close together!

    1. I'd love to see them dig a saguaro. There's no room for power equipment!

  3. ‘Toothpick cactus’ - gee you’d have to be game to use the spikes for that purpose! Looks like a fun place to ‘poke around’ - no pun intended!

    I’ve really enjoyed reading all your posts this year Gerhard. I appreciate how much effort you go to in including good IDs, and the range of plant related things you get up to - and then share with us- is inspiring. Thank you and hope you and your family have a safe and happy Christmas 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. It means the world.

      P.S. I love the name "toothpick cactus," too.

  4. I don't think I've ever seen so many cactus for sale in one place. Merry Christmas, Gerhard!

    1. I agree! It's a cactus wonderland. I'd love to have an acre in Tucson to landscape...

  5. I would have been tempted to get one of the Uebelmannia pectinifera (even if I don't grow spiky plants): it remind me of sea urchins. I had the same thought as Danger... how on earth could they get in there, safely, to 'release' a single saguaro...

    1. I was soooo tempted to get another Uebelmanni pectinifera although I already have two. It's such a cool cactus!

  6. This post makes me want to go shopping at Bach's.


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