New on YouTube: How to Make Cactus Cupcakes

Cactus cupcakes video

You’ve seen cupcakes that look like cactus? Here are cacti that look like cupcakes! Why not serve both at a gathering of succulent-loving friends? In this video, I show how domino cacti (echinopsis) are easy to transform into party favors. Each fetching little cactus is nestled in a silicone cupcake wrapper and has a faceted “cherry” on top. Tan sand surrounding its base resembles cake. [See the Materials List, with links.] These adorable inedibles make a cameo appearance in my other new video, too: One Candle Holder, Three Succulent Displays.

Also on My YouTube Channel: Polite, Pretty, Non-Pupping Agaves

Best landscape succulents

The ideal agave, in addition to being low-water and low-maintenance, won’t get too large, has beautiful color or variegations, doesn’t produce a slew of offsets, is easy to garden around, and isn’t a view-blocker. Renowned agave expert Kelly Griffin presents six great agaves for gardens large and small, plus tips on agave care and cultivation. Also enjoy my companion videos, Agave guiengola, the Gentle Giant of Succulents, and Do’s and Don’ts of Growing Century Plants (Agave americana)

Debra Lee Baldwin at Succulent Gardens Nursery

Debra Lee Baldwin

Welcome! This site, as well as my three books on succulents, are dedicated to helping you grow and enjoy a wide variety of “plants that drink responsibly” in landscapes, gardens, containers and design projects. Jump right into information on succulents, check out the most frequently asked questions about succulents, or continue down the homepage. Enjoy, and thanks for visiting!


Which of my books is best for you?


Designing With Succulents by Debra Lee Baldwin

Designing With Succulents

“Baldwin hit the mark…Her easy to understand writing style is user friendly to the backyard gardener, yet the breadth of information is just as appealing to the expert. Baldwin should be commended for what might be the best succulent landscaping book written to date.” – Scripps Howard News Service

Succulent Container Gardens by Debra Lee Baldwin

Succulent Container Gardens

“…wows you with images and descriptions of creative designs and displays. Every aspect of cultivation from sun exposure to watering, repotting, soil choices, and selecting containers is presented in a writing style that is not only informative, but bubbles up from the page.” – Fine Gardening Magazine

Succulents Simplified by Debra Lee Baldwin

Succulents Simplified

“Whether you’re just starting out with succulents or looking to grow your collection, this book contains everything you need to know to grow them successfully — design ideas, seasonal care tips, quick projects, and a list of the top 100 easiest kinds, from bizarre to beautiful.” – Sunset Magazine

“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.

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Why succulents? It’s as easy as 1 – 2 – 3!


Succulent Plants are for Everyone

Succulents are for Everyone!


1. 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.


2. 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!


3. 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.


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 champion the growing love of succulents.
Debra Lee Baldwin- Garden Photojournalist and Author