Oakland Succulents

Hello! I purchased a few succulents there about a month ago. They were doing great but when I went to check if they needed watering yesterday (they did) I noticed two had brown edges and the aloe was spotty. I think this just means the two just need more water but can’t remember if the aloe was always spotted. I attached a photo of each. Am I correct?

They’re all outside on our east-facing deck and get full sun until mid-late afternoon. Is that too much? We’re in Oakland so cool evenings and mornings but warm afternoons usually.



The 2 Aeoniums look fine – a little browning on the leaves could be from being moved to your location – i.e. similar to transplant shock, but it looks minimal so nothing to worry about. Also, Aeoniums are winter growers so they will tend to lose leaves throughout the summer until about October anyway, and then the rosettes will start to grow big and full again through our winter rains.

The Aloe looks like it got some sunburn when it got moved. Even though you are very close to us in Oakland sometimes a change in sun/heat/location can cause some stress. That is what the spotting is. It looks like the spots are healed over, so as long as they don’t get worse over time eventually you will see new leaves grow from the center and the old leaves will get replaced – succulents do lose bottom leaves regularly.

You might want to pro-actively spray the Aloe with organic Neem Oil (in the evening out of full sun) just in case there’s any fungal infection from the spotting.
You can also bring any of the plants or all of them in to the store and we can take a closer look in person. Let me know if anything changes either way!


An Agave Grows in Berkeley


Agave americana

Alcatraz Ave., near the Berkeley/Oakland border.

Looks like they left just enough space for this monster to grow full size before it impedes on the sidewalk and stabs a young bicyclist riding by.

Cactus Lights


Stacy sends along a nicely decorated Cleistocactus straussii with all the trimmings. From Oakland!

Agave Ready to Dig Up

Want to dig up a giant Agave in Oakland? Let us know!

I’ve been doing some research online and came across your shop. I live in Oakland, will be relandscaping the yard in the coming months, and have a giant agave plant that we’ll be getting rid of. The main plant is 5′ tall and ~8′ across, and there are at least a half-dozen smaller plants right around it.

photo 1-1

It seems like a shame to destroy the plant, but they also seem quite difficult to move – so I’ve just started emailing to see where I might find a gardener or nursery that would be interested. I have no idea whether an agave of this size is even desirable or whether my best bet is just to get rid of it. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I’ve attached a couple photos of the plant.


Oakland Aloe

I Can Stop Tomorrow‘s Mark has a spectacular curly leafed aloe coming into bloom.

Aloe vanbalenii!

Click the link!¬†Apparently there’s been some tsuris between this Aloe and the A. Hercules behind. Read the whole story to find out about it.

And while Mark uses Oakland hipster terms like “super jel” I use old Yiddish words like “tsuris” so there’s that.

Oakland Cactus


Grand Ave., Oakland
Saguaro cactus in bloom

Nice technique!

Oakland Cactus

Chabot Rd., Oakland

Cereus peruvianus as a large cactus street tree.

June 2023

US Constitution


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