A huge upside to desert living is that desert plants are essentially free. Darn near everything either produces a million seeds, produces offshoots, or can just be cut up and replanted. Once any of your plants gets settled with a water source, you almost can’t stop them from taking over.
By some estimates, up to 75% of waste collected at the Phoenix Transfer Station is green waste. If you make a trip out there on the weekend, you see more garage clean-outs, but during the week, it’s almost all working guys dumping mostly green waste. Why that is not all mulched up for free/resale is beyond me. If I’m the City of Phoenix, I’m setting up mulching stations around town, reducing landfill waste and passing out mulch.
Given the sheer volume of desert plants getting trimmed and tossed out daily, it’s amazing to me that any nursery can sell these plants. They are essentially free. Granted, that would require a little more effort to hunt down a trimming of your desired plant and start growing it, so maybe $10-25 for a small potted cactus trimming is a more cost-effective use of one’s time. But where’s the fun in that?
Around The Kyatt Southwest we have, by Home Depot nursery math, thousands of dollars in plants. And it’s all from trimmings. We give away about half a dozen pencil cactus plans every season. We mulch up hundreds of pounds of aloe every season, and that all started from one free pot about 10 years ago. We mulch up hundreds of pounds of a variety of cactus, all of which came from other trimmings. We are now into a 3rd generation of agave and wondering if we should build a still and start producing tequila at some point.
We have, with the purchase of The Kyatt North, decided to scale back the nursery operations down south so be the the lookout for a bunch of free plants we’ll be looking to pass along.