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Why Are Succulent Plants So Expensive

Succulents are great plants for beginners, as they are very forgiving, tolerant plants. Generally, common succulents are inexpensive. You can often find them in most plant collections because they are easy to care for and do not require attention. However, there are many kinds of succulents, and some can be pretty rare. What makes these succulents so expensive? Are they worth the price?

Several factors make a succulent costly, from scarcity to high demand to high maintenance cost. Depending on your collection and your experience with growing succulents, these rare plants could be a great addition to your succulent garden or a ‘thorn in your side.’

Now that you have a general idea about the factors that make a succulent expensive, let us go into more detail about why and what makes these special succulents worth the money.

What makes some succulents more expensive than others?

There are many kinds of succulents, some much rarer than others. Some succulents have a higher maintenance cost, while others require little to no preparation, effort, or knowledge. Even succulents contain certain medicinal properties, such as the aloe vera succulent. Certain succulents also have high aesthetic values.

Rare Succulents

When a succulent is extremely rare, it can become quite costly. Rare succulents can be very hard to come by in the United States because they are exotic to the States; therefore, they must be imported. This makes it easy for sellers to mark up their costs since they know it can be difficult to find rare succulents elsewhere.

Ordering rare succulents online can be pricey due to shipping and import costs. Certain endangered species succulents can cost one succulent plant from $50 to $1000.

High Maintenance Cost Succulents

Certain types of succulents take a long time to grow. These succulents cost more money and energy to raise, raising their selling prices.

The Sand Dollar cactus is a good example of a high maintenance cost succulent that is slow to grow. It is native to Texas and Mexico. It requires an exuberant amount of sun exposure. Although not the most expensive, this cactus can cost up to $60 for just one succulent plant.

The correlation between aesthetics and value

Succulents that are visually appealing and rare tend to cost more due to their highly sought-after appearance. Not only are these desirable plants beautiful, but they are hard to find, thus raising their value. Trending aesthetic succulents tend to be higher priced because they are sold more frequently.

Medicinal Succulents

There are species of succulents that offer specific phytonutrients. Yucca succulents are known for treating inflammation and arthritis. Aloe Vera is also used to heal inflammation. It is also included in drinks for people with digestive issues. There are also types of succulents that can treat eczema and heal wounds, such as burns and bee stings.

Locality vs. Supply and Demand

In the United States, there are certain states where a specific type of succulent may be more or less expensive than if you bought it in a domestic area where they are raised, such as Texas or closer to the Mexican border. 

For example, certain species of succulents are grown in Texas and Mexico. The cost in those areas may be lower because species are more accessible. Rather, if you are trying to buy a rarer succulent in a state like Ohio, they will most likely cost more due to shipping costs and availability.

Pros and cons of collecting rare succulents

Pros

  • Equity – When you invest in rare, high-demand succulents, it can potentially increase in value like any liquid investment. Certain species of succulents can pull great value in the right communities.
  • Aesthetic – There are very rare and beautiful species of succulents. They add a certain eye appeal when added to your collection. They can put you one leg up on other collectors in your community.
  • Maintenance – Certain succulent species are great for seasoned growers and beginners. They are easy to maintain and great to look at and enjoy.

Cons

  • Cost – Rare succulent breeds are typically quite expensive. This can turn a lot of hobbyists away. On the other hand, there are other great options of succulents that look beautiful and are inexpensive. 
  • Growth Rate – Certain succulents are rarer and more expensive than others due to their growth rate. Succulents grow year-round and very slowly, depending on the type. Unlike perennials with seasons of growing, they show more distinct growth spurts.
  • Rare succulent maintenance – Not all succulents are as forgiving, depending on the species. Unlike common species, there are certain varieties that you cannot leave alone for months at a time. Certain plants require a lot more sun and hotter habitats, making them more challenging to maintain.

Are expensive succulents worth the cost?

Price isn’t a problem for plant collectors looking to acquire the rarest, most valuable plants they can get their hands on. The cost is more of a personal decision for a hobbyist just looking to grow their collection. Collecting rare succulents can also be an investment for the right person. It all depends on your level of collection.

For the average middle class plant enthusiast, pricier succulents are likely not worth the cost. Some succulents can get into the thousands. If done with planning and in increments, even for a plant entrepreneur looking to invest, the cost is probably worth it.

Conclusion

Not all succulents are expensive. The most common species are quite affordable. They are a great beginner plant that does not require much maintenance because they require very little water and pruning. However, there are also species of succulents that are extremely rare and hard to acquire due to high demand, low supply, and the amount of time it takes to propagate them.