Frequently Asked Questions



You are sold out of a plant which I want to purchase. When you will offer it again?

Most of the species we sell are very hard to obtain. Obviously, this is more true of the rare species. We take what we can get, when we can get it. We almost never know what we will be offered in the future and thus can make no predictions of what will be available in the future.

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I checked the postage on the box in which you sent my order and it is less than your 15% shipping and handling charge. Why is this?

The 15% shipping and handling charge covers much more than just the cost of the postage. It is a rather long process to prepare plants for shipping so that you will receive them with a minimum of problems. We have been asked why we don't just raise the price a bit and then make shipping and handling free. On the surface, this looks like a possible solution but creates an unfair price increase for people who buy at the nursery. This 15% charge is really rather low when compared to other companies which charge 20%-25%. In fact, the 15% charge is somewhat of an average. In the case of very large and heavy plants, it is often not enough, whereas in the case of small, very expensive plants it can be excessive. In instances where we think a 15% charge is overly excessive, we may adjust it downward.

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I found a supplier of a species at a lower price than what you are listing. Why is this?

Although we do sell some small seedlings, many of the plants we offer are much larger than those offered elsewhere by others. We specialize in large mature plants for collectors and rare plant enthusiasts. Not only are these plants much harder to get, the costs of acquiring them are very high. This is especially true for big and/or heavy plants. Everything we import is shipped in by air and the cost can be very high for this alone. In short, we do not usually sell what is sold by others but rather something much nicer.

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I have been told that it is not right to collect, grow or sell plants which are collected in nature. Why do you offer collected plants?

If done with some common sense, I see nothing wrong with the growing of collected plants. For further information on this topic, please see my article "Plant Collecting: Right or Wrong?" in the Articles of Interest section.

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Can I grow species I want to purchase outside where I live? How much cold can this species take? Will gophers eat it, etc.?

These are very common questions and not easy for me to answer. I grow plants in Southern California, in pots, and have no experience growing under different conditions. If you would like to offer any of your experiences to me I would be glad to pass them on to others. If you have any doubts regarding what to do with your plants, I strongly suggest that you grow them in pots and at a temperature that is comfortable for you. Many of the bulbs, succulents and caudiciform species have a distinct dormant period where they need no light and can be brought into the house or other warm area during these times if necessary.

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I am new at growing these kind of plants. Can you recommend something that is easy to take care of?

The following lists are in no way complete but only a representative sample from the species which were listed at the time I wrote them. If a species is not listed here, it does not necessarily mean that it is difficult to grow but only that I do not consider it among the very easiest to grow:

SUCCULENTS/CAUDICIFORMS In some cases, dormancy requirements must be met. This is usually only a matter of noticing when the plant starts to grow and then watering it. When it starts to go dormant, stop watering it. Agave, Aloe, Bombax, Bursera, Calibanus, Cacti (a very large group--most are easy), Cyphostemma, Dioscoria, Dracaena, Euphorbia (a very large genus--most are easy to grow), Fockea, Foquieria, Furcraea, Gasteria, Haworthia, Ibervillia, Ipomoea, Jatropha, Kedrostris, Moringa, Othonna, Pelargonium, Pterodiscus, Pyrenacantha, Raphionachme, Sarcocaulon (all, with possible exception of S. peniculinum), Stephania, Talinella, Tylecodon, Yucca.

BROMELIADS INCCLUDING TILLANDSIAS Most are easy as long as requirements listed below are met.

BULBS Most are very easy to grow as long as dormancy requirements are met. As with Succulents/Caudiciforms, this is usually only a matter of noticing when the plant starts to grow and then watering it. When it starts to go dormant, stop watering it.

CYCADS Most are very easy to grow although there are few exceptions. Some of the Australian Cycas species and the very tropical Zamia species (Panama and northern South America) can be difficult. One key to success is a well-drained soil mix. More complete information on this topic is presented in my book, Cycads: Their Cultivation and Propagation.

ORCHIDS All the species we carry are grown outside here and are quite easy to grow.

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How do I take care of these plants?

The following is a list of basic information what should prove useful to people who are not familiar with the plants we sell. In the end, there is no substitute for experience:

SUCCULENTS/CAUDICIFORMS. Water: Most of these species want to grow in the warmer months and go dormant when it is cool. There are a number of exceptions which come from the Western Cape area of South Africa and grow in the winter. Let your plants tell you when they want to grow. Keep them slightly moist until they start to grow; then you can water them more frequently. Don't try and force them into growth with heavy watering and fertilization. Temperature: If you know the temperatures where they grow in habitat you can use these as a guide. If you do not have this information, a good guide is to give your plants the same temperatures that make you feel comfortable. Light: In general, these plants like bright light. When you first get your plants, give them some shade until they get reestablished, and then gradually give them more light. Soil: Use a well-drained soil, such as a commercial cactus mix. Fertilizer: Use very little and not often. Don't use unless the plant is well established.

BULBS. Everything that has been said about Succulents/Caudiciforms above will apply to bulbs.

BROMELIADS INCLUDING TILLANDSIAS. Temperature -Usually between 90 and 40. Some of the more tropical species will want it warmer in the winter. There are also some alpine species which aren't happy above 80. Soil- Most, other than the truly terrestrial species want a well drained and open mix, just like many orchids. A good starting mix would be equal parts of bark, perlite and peat or coir. Most all tillandsias will grow very well when mounted although many grow fine in a pot also.

CYCADS. More information can be found in my book, Cycads: Their Cultivation and Propagation. Some guidelines follow: Water: Most all come from Summer Rainfall areas. Most species appreciate water all year around. Light: Bright light with the exception of the tropical rain forest species which like shade. Temperature: Most species come from tropical and subtropical areas. With the exception of the very tropical species, most can take temperatures at or slightly below freezing if it is not for too long. For best growth, however, higher winters lows are recommended. Soil: This is very important. Use a soil which is well drained. Fertilizer: Cycads are heavy feeders and appreciate frequent fertilization but only when they are actively growing.

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I am looking for plants which have nice flowers. Can you make some recommendations?

SUCCULENTS/CAUDICIFORMS. I concentrate on species that are attractive because of their shapes and sculptural qualities. These are attractive at any time. However, many have attractive flowers in addition to the above mentioned qualities. Adenium, Aloe (flowers are not large but are colorful and there are lots of them), Amorphothallus (flowers are not colorful but are large and interesting), Bombax, Brachystelma, Cacti (most all species), Cassia, Delonix, Harpagophytum Pterodicus, Sarcocaulon, Tylecodon cacalioides, Tylosema, Uncarina.

BULBS. Most bulbs have nice flowers but some are quite small. The species listed below have large colorful flowers or large clusters of smaller, colorful flowers: Ammocharis, Boophane, Brunsvigia, Clivia, Cryptostephanus, Cybistetes, Cyrtanthus, Daubenya, Eucharis, Gethyllis, Haemanthus, Lachenalia (small but often brilliant colors), Nerine, Radamanthus namaquensis, Scadoxus, Strumaria (small but attractive flowers).

CYCADS. Cycads do not have flowers. Their reproductive structures are contained in cones that are often large and attractive.

ORCHIDS. All are attractive and/or interesting, although not all are large.

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What do you mean when you describe a plant as a succulent bonsai?

Traditional bonsai plants are various species of trees that have been shaped over many years to look like a small version of an ancient weather-shaped tree. As beautiful as many of these are, they are not all that easy to take care of. One of the main problems is that of lack of water on hot days. Succulent bonsai are succulent plants which are either small succulent trees such as Bursera, Pachycormis, Sesamothamnus, etc. or various other species that lend themselves to staging in bonsai pots with ornamental rocks, etc. As the shaping has already been done by nature, these are more or less "instant" specimens. They have another great advantage in that they are usually much easier to take care of than traditional bonsai.


Do you ever sell seeds of any kind?

We never sell seeds.


What kind of guarantee do you provide?

Usually one side (you) is required to take all the risk and the other side (me) takes none of the risk. We want you to be perfectly confident when you order from us. If for any reason, you are dissatisfied with your order, you may return it within seven days of receipt for a full refund. The only catch is that you must first let me why you are doing this and have received a response from me. This is only so I will know why you are doing this and also so that I can possibly inform you of something you did not know regarding the growth ahbits of the plants you ordered.

Note Regarding Cold Weather Shipping: We ship plants during cold weather, insulating them with bubble wrap and have never had a problem using this method. We also offer 60 hour heat packs at no charge. We are happy to hold your paid order and ship when the weather improves. Please understand that we can take no responsibility for plant damage due to cold.

For international orders: All plants leave our nurseries in excellent condition. Please be aware that international shipments must go through your customs and agricultural departments, and we cannot control or prevent any delays or losses which might be caused once plants leave our country.

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Exotic Plants and Rare Plants. Vista, California. Guy Wrinkle Exotic Plants. 760 842 1979

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