Las Vegas Must-See: Cactus Joe’s

With our most recent foster kiddo moved out, I’m in real danger of becoming a crazy plant lady or a crazy bird lady. In order to satisfy my cravings for more plants to nurture, I’ve decided it’s time to add more succulents to my office. This week we ventured to Cactus Joe’s, our award-winning Best of Las Vegas nursery. So far I’m keeping my plant-buying urges in check and haven’t blown my whole budget on cute new plants from Cactus Joe’s. Luckily, whether or not you’re truly shopping for plants, there’s plenty of interesting merchandise to peruse while enjoying our comfortable desert temperatures and stunning mountain views. This nursery is just a quick drive from my house, and if you’re ever in town to visit Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Cactus Joe’s is one super-easy-drive down Blue Diamond Road from Red Rock! You’re even allowed to bring your favorite canine friends with you 🙂 Mine stayed at home while his stitches heal up, but there were plenty of other cute doggies visiting the nursery today.

So why am I not raving about other nurseries in the area, or what makes Cactus Joe’s special? People, this is an entire destination to kill a few hours of your afternoon! And in COVID times, you can totally social distance and enjoy the fresh outdoor air. Now that I think about it, I’ve probably only ever visited Cactus Joe’s during the pandemic. We’ve officially lived in Las Vegas for more pandemic months than regular months, so much for getting out there and making new friends…

Yes, just like a regular nursery, you’ll find a plethora of indoor and outdoor plants to buy and tend. But look at this koi pond! As you amble around the outdoor portion of the property, there’s a little pond store tucked away next to a koi pond with the peaceful sound of running water. If my hot tub had taken any longer to be manufactured and delivered, I probably would have given up and installed a koi pond in its place! There are all kinds of wild metal decorations outside too, from an army of ants to an entire stagecoach with horses. Oh, and these completely normal giraffes and dinosaurs and dragons that we saw on a visit last fall.

Seriously, just walking around and taking in all the unique sights and merchandise is plenty interesting. If you find you need a little time to relax and reflect, they’ve even crafted a stone-lined labyrinth for you to walk through and let all your stress melt away. Inspired by all the beautiful arrangements of potted succulents inside the greenhouse, I decided to start collecting and curating my own little potted garden of succulents and decorative elements. I wouldn’t consider myself to have a green thumb, or whatever a crafty thumb would be called, so we’ll see how sad and awkward my plants end up looking. We scoured the piles of colorful glass outside to find just the right additions to my future succulent arrangement. I haven’t found the ideal pot yet for planting, but dang my plants and glass pieces were already looking pretty cute together in my pretty metal shopping bucket below.

So far I’ve been able to keep my other cactus alive now for more than 14 years (I recall buying it sometime during undergrad??) so I have high hopes for my newest batch of spiny friends. I mean, I almost succeeded in killing my cactus when I left it out in the hot desert sun and gave it a nice sunburn, but it’s still alive and growing new spines every month! Hopefully I’m more successful with these plants than with the aquarium plants I keep killing off. Has anyone else been diving into houseplant horticulture to stay sane during the pandemic? Or have you found a favorite new staycation spot in your own town?

Until next time, happy adventuring everyone ❤

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