About Debra Lee Baldwin

Widely known as the “Queen of Succulents,” Debra Lee Baldwin is the award-winning garden photojournalist who launched worldwide interest in succulents in 2007 with her first book, Designing with Succulents. Her proudest achievement is the book’s completely revised and updated second edition (2017). Debra’s other books are Succulent Container Gardens (2010) and Succulents Simplified (2013). All are bestsellers from Timber Press, the largest publisher of gardening books in the US.

Debra’s mission is to increase awareness and appreciation of “plants that drink responsibly” through her books, newsletter, articles, photos, videos, social media and more. A professional communicator for more than 25 years, she routinely discovers and shares cutting-edge ideas and interviews renowned experts. For the media and an ever-increasing fan base, Debra offers well-researched, visually appealing information intended to “entertain and enlighten in equal measure.” 

Debra and husband Jeff live in the foothills north of San Diego. She grew up in Southern California on an avocado ranch, speaks conversational Spanish, and at age 18 graduated magna cum laude from USIU with a degree in English Literature. Her hobbies include watercolor painting, thrifting, and creating ornamental feeders for birds that visit her garden.  

Related Info ~

This site’s TV, RADIO AND MEDIA page:
Excerpts and links to articles and interviews in which Debra is featured or quoted as an expert on succulents and their design uses. Book reviews, radio podcasts, TV news, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, KPBS, more.

Debra Lee Baldwin with her books


— Author of the Timber Press bestsellers Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens and Succulents Simplified.

— Magazine contributor to Sunset, Better Homes & Gardens, Garden Design and more.

— Succulent expert interviewed by the Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Bloomberg News, KPBS TV, Garden America Radio, Garden Design magazine, the Ringer and many more.

Social media (approx.): Facebook: 100,000 followers,  Instagram: 20,000 followers,  Pinterest 700,000 monthly viewers, newsletter 10,000 subscribers, YouTube views to date: over 4,000,000.

— Presenter at venues that include Epcot Center; the Cactus and Succulent Society of America convention; flower-and-garden shows in Philadelphia, Seattle and San Francisco; and botanical gardens, universities and horticultural groups nationwide.

— Profiled in Garden Design magazine as the publication’s Spring, 2016 “Ground Breaker.”

— Instructor at Craftsy, the leading online purveyor of how-to videos in the US. Debra’s popular 7-lesson class is “Stunning Succulent Arrangements.”


— Literary: Nineteen first-place awards from the Garden Writers Association of America, the Society of Professional Journalists and Authors, and the San Diego Press Club.

— Lifetime achievement: San Diego Horticultural Society “2017 Horticulturist of the Year.”


—  “Debra’s work has elevated succulents to rock-star status in Western gardens.” ~ Kathleen Brenzel, garden editor, Sunset magazine

— “Debra Lee Baldwin is the primary person responsible for the growing interest in succulents on the part of the gardening public.” ~ Australian nurseryman and author Attila Kapitany, in his address to the biennial convention of the Cactus & Succulent Society of America

“…Designing with Succulents spent 19 weeks as the bestselling gardening book on Amazon. From there, powered by the internet, succu-mania spread across the country.” ~ Gwyneth Kelly, columnist, The New Republic

— “Debra Lee Baldwin and her books have lit up the gardening world.”~ Ron Vanderhoff, nursery manager, Roger’s Gardens

— “Her passion and expertise are unsurpassed in the world of succulents. Debra demystifies these plants so you can grow, collect and create with confidence.” ~ Laura Eubanks, landscape designer, Design for Serenity.