Do you love succulents but don’t know where to start? This site, as well as my three books, are dedicated to helping you grow and enjoy a wide variety of “plants that drink responsibly” in landscapes, gardens, containers and design projects. Most succulents, being native to low-rainfall regions, survive dry spells by living off water stored in fleshy leaves and stems. Although cacti and agaves (which are from the Americas) have numerous devotees, smooth-leaved succulents (mainly from South Africa, the Canary Islands and Madagascar) are by far the most popular. In my own garden, I grow dozens of different kinds of succulents and other low-water ornamental plants. Some (especially cacti) even are no-water because they get by on rainfall alone.

Which of my books is best for you?

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Succulents Simplified

“The growing interest in succulents on the part of the gardening public can be attributed primarily to one person: Debra Lee Baldwin.”

– Australian nurseryman and author Attila Kaptitany, in his address to the biennial convention of the Cactus & Succulent Society of America.



Upcoming Events

I often organize and conduct workshops on designing with succulents, host tours of my own garden and give presentations to both public and private audiences. Click on the following photo to learn more and access registration information for upcoming events!

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Why Succulents? Click the Categories to Find Out!
  • Waterwise
  • Simple
  • Attractive
  • Pleasing
WATERWISE: The current drought in the state of California is at nothing short of an emergency level. Most succulents have very low water needs– some needing no water at all. An additional benefit, especially considering just how dry the general landscape of arid regions in California have become, many succulents are fire-resistant and fire-retardant.

SIMPLE: Succulents are simple to cultivate, propagate, acquire, and maintain. One of my favorite concepts in working with succulents is that of benign neglect— often times the best strategy to keep your succulents looking beautiful is to remember to forget about tending to them. Overwatering is one of the easiest ways to prematurely end the life of your succulents!
ATTRACTIVE: The leaves and stems of succulents come in colors from the entire spectrum of the color wheel. They range in size from ground covers to trees and many have beautiful, geometric shapes. These attributes allow both garden enthusiasts and landscape design professionals to create dynamic, compelling and attractive arrangements in all shapes and sizes.
PLEASING: Unlike typical woody landscape plants, succulents are attractive year-round and produce flowers that last a great deal of time. Whether you have an acre lot in the Southwestern United States or a tiny, 2nd story apartment in New York City, there is both a cultivar and a design application that will work for you. From massive plants like the seven- foot tall agave americana planted oh-so-firmly in my home garden to a haworthia fasciata nestled in a votive candle holder on a windowsill, there is a succulent for everyone!
My goal is to share the beauty of waterwise, easy-care succulents in gardens, containers and landscapes via blog posts, newsletters, public speaking and workshops, photos, videos, merchandise, and social media. I am happy to help champion the growing love of succulents.
Debra Lee Baldwin- Garden Photojournalist