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Meet Jeff Moore and Learn about Agaves

Meet Jeff Moore, owner of a small retail succulent nursery, Solana Succulents, in Solana Beach, CA – about 20 miles north of San Diego.  Jeff has written 5 books on agaves and succulents and has amassed an incredible collection of unique varieties.

What’s my gardening style?

I ‘garden’ in Southern California, blissfully unaware of what zone number I live in. Everything grows here. I put ‘garden’ in quotes, because in the succulent world we don’t really garden. We just dig holes and stick plants in, creating living sculpture displays. There is very little gardening to do in the traditional sense – pruning, dead-heading, etc… We just thin things out or add plants occasionally, pull a few weeds, water when needed. With succulents, most of us also have container plant collections as well.

A beautifully decaying post-bloom Agave horrida.

What is there to love about agaves?

I get a kick out of the architectural beauty of agaves. They look fantastic both in profile and up close, when you examine their spination, leaf imprinting, and array of colors. I’ve written 5 books about agaves and succulents: Under the Spell of Succulents, Aloes and Agaves, Soft Succulents, Spiny Succulents, and Agaves – Species, Cultivars and Hybrids, all available on my website.

Agave montana with a touch of extra cool leaf imprinting.

How did my love for agaves start?

I became involved by having a slow awakening to the world of succulent plants. I started to notice huge Dragon Trees in the local landscapes, then saw a display at the local county fair of a bonsai succulent display, then started buying small container succulents, then my patio filled up, my wife realized I had a problem, but by then it was too late and I’ve been down the rabbit hole ever since. A lot more rabbit holes have been explored over subsequent years.

A view inside Solana Succulents.

What’s my favorite plant collecting experience?

Well, we don’t take anything out of nature anymore, but I had a fantastic time visiting the remote home of Dudleya pachyphytum on Cedros Island, Baja CA. Just collected images on my camera. The poachers had been there before us and sadly collected too many of this rare plant.

Thanks so much for sharing, Jeff!

You can find out more about Jeff, his books, and plants for sale at his website, and his Instagram @solanasucculents.


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