Monday, November 13, 2023

Rancho Cacto!

When I first saw the Rancho Cacto name and logo on a plant label, I remember thinking: a new nursery?! Yay! Then of course I wondered, who are these people and where are they located!? The who is Molly Malecki, and the where is right here in Oregon, Aurora to be specific. 

I had the good fortune to visit their operation a few weeks ago with Nat of The Other Side Nursery

I was very impressed! I'd met Molly a couple of times before (most recently at The Other Plant Sale in September) but I hadn't really got a chance to talk plants with her—the lady knows her stuff!

And she has great plant taste, like this Stenocarpus sinuatus, aka the firewheel tree. I've never seen this plant available up here in Oregon (it's not hardy here).

Lots of rhipsalis and their near-kin.

This sighting had me very excited, Orthophytum magalhaesii: "A terrestrial saxicolous (growing on rock) bromeliad to 2 feet tall with thick stems holding attractive lanceolate leaves that are brown with scurfy silver hairs and white teeth along the margins. These stems are topped with attractive "flower heads" of green bracts that nearly hide the small white flowers in their interior." (source) I came home with two of the orthophytum, or actually five because one pot had a pair and one a trio.

 Here's another plant I rarely see for sale, Strobilanthes gossypina, such a beauty.

A blooming mangave, not sure which one.

And I neglected to get the name of this cutie...

If you're wondering if you can visit Ranco Cacto, the answer no—they're wholesale only. However if you follow their Instagram page then you'll know when they're out in the world selling their great plants direct.

Agave attenuata 'Kara's Stripes' (I think)

Agave bracteosa

Hmmm, I missed the name of a few of the plants, unfortunately.

This one I know, because one came home with me, Aloe hemmingii

Mangave 'Bad Hair Day' (I believe)

There were a few mixed plantings on display, Molly definitely has a designers eye for plant combinations.

I've never met a grevillea flower I didn't love.

The second greenhouse is home to smaller plants and a propagation area.

Euphorbia some something.

Greenovia aurea in the center there.

I really appreciated Molly's attention to labeling. While not every pot had a tag (this is a wholesale nursery after all), there was a representative group at the end of the table with appropriate labels.

The only issue here is that I wasn't remembering to snap a shot of the name, cause I was so busy looking at the plants. This might be Aeonium fiesta...

This agave was one of the few unlabeled. I managed to leave it behind (what exactly was I thinking?).

I did grab three of this cutie, Sinocrassula yunnanensis.

And this striking Eriosyce heinrichiana. 

Thanks Rancho Cacto for bringing these cool plants to the PNW!

—   —   —

To receive alerts of new danger garden posts by email, subscribe here. Please note; these are sent from a third party, you’ll want to click thru to read the post here on the blog to avoid their annoying ads. 

All material © 2009-2023 by Loree L Bohl. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. I actually said 'Ooooooh" out loud at the Eriosyce heinrichiana. What a cool selection. I do the same neglecting names when overwhelmed with so many cool things to look at.

    1. Isn't that Eriosyce heinrichiana insane? Naturally I looked for the one with the blackest spines.

  2. Wow, I am so jealous. So many cool and unusual plants and they all look incredibly healthy. Those Greenovia's are very cool. It's great that they label everything too. Here most plants are just brought in as a giant miscellaneous order with generic labels of succulent or cacti. Always wonder if it would take that much more effort to identify them.

    1. Identifying plants is so important! It makes me so angry when I see them just lumped together with a category name—and don't even get me started on when an agave is labeled as a cactus!

  3. Wow, this is my kind of nursery. You're so lucky, being able to visit AND buy!

    I had an Orthophytum magalhaesii and loved it. I foolishly left it outside in December and it promptly died. Definitely not hardy.

    P.S. Rancho Cacto is a great name!

    1. Isn't that name fantastic? My Orthophytum magalhaesii went right into the basement for the winter. Poor things are in prison until spring.

  4. So many wonderful plants I can't grow. Very jealous.

    1. Well to be fair neither can I, outdoors. My purchases are houseplants until they can vacation on the patio when spring rolls around.

  5. It's always wonderful to find a new plant nursery! I've added it to my IG feed. I have an Orthophytum gerkenii in my lath house I picked up at a plant sale at Sherman Gardens but I've never seen anything in the genus elsewhere.

    1. Orthophytum gerkenii is the one I first heard of and have been hunting for. Those stripes are so cool!

  6. Oooh! Yay! A new nursery devoted to cacti and succulents! I appreciate the wide variety of really cool plants that Molly offers - very, very exciting. But, OH NO! wholesale only! Sometimes I think wholesale nurseries only exist to torture plant people. I've seen so many cool, noteworthy plants in wholesale nurseries that never seem to be available at any of the local retail nurseries. Hopefully, Molly can be persuaded to have an open house occasionally or to join the Other Plant Sale (did she already and I missed it in September?!?!?!).

    1. Yes, Rancho Cacto had a huge booth at The Other Plant sale in September. Cross your fingers for the spring sale! In the mean time an open house sounds like a fun idea! (to me, who doesn't have to deal with the chaos...)

    2. Hey thanks Loree for the "new turn on"! I'm looking forward to connecting with Molly myself!

  7. Beautifully grown plants--always a delight to see that.

    Your hemmingii looks like mine--just different growing conditions. Mine HBG 135143 was from a Huntington sale--a product of seeds from a plant grown from seed collected in "1973 Daloldo (Daallo?) Hills Somalia" x seeds of a plant grown from seed collected in "1949 near Sheikh Pass, some 300 km W".

    I love the Huntington plant tags. A story in themselves. Probably when those seeds were collected there were no land mines... :(

    --hoov b


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!