Plants and I have a weird relationship. If it is an outdoor plant or is edible, I am going to kill it.If it is a flowering plant, I am most likely allergic to it. For this reason I have pretty much stayed out of the plant game. However, during quarantine I was tasked with keeping our ancient plant alive since my grandmother could no longer come over to care for it. This plant is a minimum of 15 years old and I was terrified I was going to kill it. I didn’t. I also had to take care of the aloe and polka dot plant and those stayed alive too. Needless to say, we are somehow up to 20+ plants which ends up being over 40 by the end of this blog post.
The hunt is on
After browsing Instagram for hours I have decided I NEED a sting of pearls plant or a sting of hearts. I am open to either option but I want a trailing plant. I start my search for places that sell succulents and discover Florida Cactus in Apopka. This is a 45 minute drive away but my daughter is succulent obsessed so we are going. Did I call to see if they have what I want? Of course not. It wouldn’t be an adventure if I knew I was going to be getting what I was looking for.
Um, maybe this is the right place?
As a mother-daughter duo we are huge scaredy cats. As we are approaching what Siri says is our destination, I am a little hesitant to get out of the car. The photos that you see online of Florida Cactus are all taken inside the greenhouses and the outside very much so looks like a commercial nursery. As in, it is not designed to be overly welcoming to the public. Despite that, we persist. We are already here. We follow the hand written signs to the office. This takes us a minute because there are large trucks blocking some of them but the staff is helpful and points us around the big trucks towards the office. Once inside, we are given the rundown on how things work, pricing, and so on.
Turns out, I love it here
As a general rule, I am not overly enamored with cacti or succulents. Yes, they are beautiful but I have a not so great track record with them. As in, I put them outside in a pot and forgot about them. They are still alive but I don’t take care of them at all. Despite that, I am in awe at the rows of succulents and cacti in the first greenhouse. My daughter is visibly bouncing up and down in excitement because this is her thing. There are a plethora of pastel hued plants, spiky little babes, and some with fuzzy leaves. For the most part, I have at least seen most of these varieties but some of them are totally foreign while others I have only seen online and never in a store.
No trailing plants for me
While I didn’t find the trailing plants I was looking for, we somehow ended up with 20 new succulents for our plant stands. Well, 19 succulents and a baby cactus that I had to use a pair of tongs to plant because I didn’t have thick enough gloves. Overall, highly successful trip! My daughter loved it, we bonded, we got plants, and now I know where to go to get more succulents that are healthy and not on their death bed like some of the ones in my local stores.