Success With Succulents

Discover succulents with Debra Lee Baldwin, bestselling author of
Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens and Succulents Simplified

Welcome! I'm continually updating my site, now with 100+ pages on every aspect of succulents. Want a plant ID? Go to TYPES OF SUCCULENTS. Worried? Go to PESTS AND PROBLEMS. Want to grow the plants perfectly? Go to SUCCULENT CARE BASICS. Need garden maintenace? See REFERRALS. Looking for something specific? Check the MENU or use the SEARCH bar above. Feeling overwhelmed? Browse until you're better, or CONTACT me. Now relax and have fun. You've come to the right place. ~ Debra Lee Baldwin 

succulents in the ground

HOW-TO'S, TIPS & IDEAS

SUCCULENT DESIGN

Discover how to plan and design lovely, carefree succulent gardens in containers and in the ground. Also under Design you'll find firewise landscaping info, DIY gifts and projects, and holiday decorating ideas - all beautifully showcasing succulents.

succulent being watered

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

SUCCULENT CARE

Get expert advice on growing, caring for and propagating succulents. Find out how to water, fertilize, control pests and diseases, overwinter succulents, grow them indoors, and by season and region. Under Varieties, view hundreds of labeled photos of easy-care kinds. 

succulents in pots on a windowsill

LOCAL & NATIONAL

SUCCULENT RESOURCES

Wondering where to find and purchase top-quality succulents? Which tools, books and supplies you need? It's all here under Resources, along with nurseries, public gardens and destinations in America's finest succulent city (San Diego) and beyond.

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Debra's 7 best succulents

In this free PDF exclusively for subscribers to my "Celebrating the Joy of Succulents" newsletter, you'll learn the 7 best easy-care succulents that thrive in pots and landscapes. Whether you're new to growing succulents or an experienced succulent "parent", you'll love these 7 beautiful plants.

Succulent Updates and Articles

Apr 14 2016

Sixty Succulent Coloring Book Photos to Inspire You

Use these 60 succulent coloring book photos to inspire your own works of art. Why do artists love succulents? The plants’ shapes, colors and geometry make them living art forms. One of my hobbies is painting watercolors, and I use my photos of succulents as a starting point. Find out how I do it—it’s easier than…
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Apr 10 2016

Make a Succulent Mug Gift Bouquet

Make a succulent mug gift bouquet the next time you need a little something for a friend or hostess. This transcends the traditional flower-stand bouquet and has utility long afterwards. 
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Cactus backlit (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

Apr 8 2016

A Dozen Reasons I Love Cacti

Why do I love cacti? It's a natural progression: As we gain appreciation for the lines, textures and shapes of succulents, we arrive at those that exhibit elegant simplicity—never mind that they have spines (in fact, sometimes because they do). Here are a dozen reasons.
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New succulents for 2016

Mar 25 2016

New Succulents

New Succulent Plant Introductions Let’s say you’re in the nursery business and can crossbreed popular succulents so their offspring combine their parents’ most desirable traits. What would you aim for? That’s what I found out on a recent visit to Altman Plants, the largest grower of succulents in the US. I was there to photograph Altman’s spring succulent introductions—new beauties…
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Debra Lee Baldwin in her succulent garden

Mar 11 2016

Debra’s Own Garden

There’s a newer version of this page. (Under construction.)   My goal with my own garden is to create a three-dimensional art form that serves as a backdrop for videos, photo shoots and casual get-togethers. Whether in books, photos, videos or presentations—or with plants, rocks, and sweat—I’m invariably about entertaining and sharing in equal measure. It’s one way I…
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Mar 10 2016

Use Crushed-Rock Top Dressing to Enhance Your Succulent Designs

Do consider using crushed-rock top dressing to enhance your succulent designs. In the ground or in pots, your succulent compositions will look and perform better if bare soil doesn’t show. Top dressing lends a finished look, and plants benefit from the way it disperses water. In the open garden, soil exposed to sunlight is likely…
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Greenhouse for succulents in display garden

Mar 4 2016

Succulents at the Spring Home/Garden Show

I zipped around San Diego’s Spring Home/Garden show right before the judging, cell in hand. (When in a hurry, I use my phone to take photos in dim light instead of my fancy-schmancy Canon.) I was delighted with what I saw. No question I’m biased, but the display garden (above) showcasing plants from Desert Theater nursery, and designed by Steve McDearmon of…
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Mar 1 2016

Debra’s DIY Quick, Easy, Colorful Succulent Container Garden

To make my my quick, easy and colorful succulent container garden, you’ll need a 12-inch container, “cactus mix” potting soil, a piece of window screen to cover the hole (optional), one large echeveria (like ‘Afterglow’) to go in the center, several nursery pots of Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’ (or similar), and a fine-leaved sedum for tucking…
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Why are succulents so popular

Feb 17 2016

Why Grow Succulents?

There are numerous reasons why succulents have become so popular. Many more people are growing succulents nowadays because the plants… Are a good lawn alternative for regions with water shortages. Are fire-resistant plants for backcountry gardens prone to wildfire. Are easy to cultivate and propagate. Need minimal maintenance. Range in size from ground covers to trees. Have pleasing…
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How to Kill Succulents

Feb 17 2016

How Not To Kill Succulents

What IS it with New Yorkers? Whatever we’re cheerfully crazy about on the West Coast is dismissed by somber-clothed subway sprinters as idiotic. Or at least that’s the vibe I got from a reporter with New York Magazine, who disguised her weather envy with a lot of polite questions. Evidently what she really wanted was yet more reasons…
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Feb 12 2016

DIY Succulent Driftwood Designs

DIY Succulent Driftwood Designs When you make succulent driftwood designs, the plants resemble undersea flora, and the wood hints at something you’d see washed up on the beach. The two combine to make a special, almost fantasy-like composition that works well as a patio centerpiece or special gift for a friend. Driftwood pieces (from Sea…
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Feb 5 2016

Should You Let Your Flapjack Plants Bloom?

Should you let your flapjack plants (Kalanchoe luciae) bloom? I’m recommending no…but it’s not that cut-and-dried (no pun intended). Flapjack plant is a succulent that’s popular mainly because of the color of its leaves. (Shown above at Waterwise Botanicals nursery.) Like other succulents with overlapping leaves along a single stem, when Kalanchoe luciae blooms, the entire plant elongates. This is how…
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