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Re: succulents/ nurseries

It is my experience that it is not necessarily the people with money that  
purchase the so called "rare" plants either on the internet or in  nurseries.  
Perhaps this is the case in cooler climates where many of the  plants that are 
considered "rare" are those that require greenhouses, heaters,  and a lot more 
equipment that can be costly to get maintain.  Here that is  not the case, so 
what would be considered rare in cooler climates are  not here, but often are 
landscape plants here.  From being a member of  various different plant 
societies, I've learned that people used to have to pay  several hundred dollars 
for a plant, because it wasn't as easy to  obtain a plant, and so they often 
only got a couple a year or so.  Often  they would have to wait for a world 
conference or such to obtain the plants  that they collected. Thus started the 
hybridizing craze to create a  new rare plant locally, and therefore more plants 
were  available. Today the options and availability are much greater, so the  
prices are not as high as they once were.  With so much  availability, 
hybridizing is no longer worth the effort, or as  profitable either.....since out of 
hundreds of plants only one or two  might prove to be a winner.  The hybridizer 
prefering to  make a large profit, in order to make the effort worthwhile, 
would  rather sell the hybrids to larger growers.  Seeing a potentially  top 
selling plant, the grower will pay the higher price.
  The plant collectors that I've known were and are not  necessarily the 
wealthy.....however, then and now, the true plant  collector  (not just the 
typical plant addict) specializes and is more  selective about their 
purchases.....their collections are  therefore  smaller, but perfect.  They don't purchase 
their plants from the  Internet for the most part, nor at nurseries.  I've found 
that a rare  plant today is not necessarily one that is new to the market, 
but one that  is difficult to cultivate,  and therefore hasn't saturated the  
market.  In shows, the plants that are difficult to cultivate will also be  the 
ones that get the most points for perfection.
 I can't speak for the rest of the country, but here at  least, the small 
nurseries are doing really well.  The box stores get  plants in from home office 
orders which are located in cooler climates, thus the  plants often are not 
those that will do well here.  Not only do  they carry the wrong plants, but 
they gear their "season" to that of cooler  climates....thus cutting out a large 
chunk of the business.   Although  the area managers have tried to get the 
home office buyers to understand  this, they do not seem to care, stating that 
they are not a nursery and as long  as they carry gardening items during the 
summer, that's all that  counts.   Therefore the bulk of the business goes to the 
local  nurseries that DO carry the plants that do well, and that do realize 
that we  have a year growing season.  We have plenty of local large growers 
(i.e.  Hines, Color Spot, etc.) that are more than happy to extend thier sales 
past the  box store "season" and sell to local nurseries for pretty much the 
same  price.  The small nurseries here do not necessarily carry the plants that a 
 true plant collector would purchase, but they do bring in the unusual and  
new that would definitely bring in those that are addicted to plants and are  
always on the search for something new and exciting to add to their 
overflowing,  but not perfectly grown collections.
zone 9
Texas Gulf Coast
In a message dated 8/13/2008 2:31:58 PM Central Daylight Time,  
dfranzma@pacbell.net writes:

however  the folks with money are quite
often the collectors who are willing to pay  a premium for fine plant material
from reputable growers.  For the  greater number of consumers who can't really
tell the difference between a  succulent and a woody shrub they shop at where
ever they can get the least  expensive material in the largest pot.  Since the
big box stores use  plants as a lost leader to bring in customers the smaller
growers are  really having a hard time.  Rare plants is one way they are 
to  stay in the business without selling their souls to Lowes and  Walmart.


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