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

Jan 19 2016

Rick’s Aloe and Butterfly Garden

The current population of monarch butterflies is a mere 4% of what it formerly was. These once ubiquitous butterflies are on the brink of extinction. Anyone with even a small garden, in any part of the US, can help reverse this sad trend. I knew that Rick Bjorklund’s garden in San Diego would delight me with its aloes,…
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Jan 6 2016

Succulents and Too Much Rain, A French Solution

Want to protect your succulents from too much rain? Here’s how the Jardin Zoologique Tropical in southeastern France keeps their succulents from becoming waterlogged during seasonal rainstorms. Corrugated fiberglass panels atop metal bars tent the plants so excess rain doesn’t soak the soil. The structures are tall enough to allow good air circulation, and the panels are translucent, enabling maximum sunlight to reach the plants. The…
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Dec 3 2015

Holiday Decorating with Succulents

Holiday decorating with succulents This time of year, the succulent elves bundle up, go into the garden, and transform it into a holiday wonderland. Should I reward them with cocoa, or considering their size, chocolate chips? When you’re not much bigger than a caterpillar, you take your life in your hands when you decorate a serrated succulent. But…
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Dec 3 2015

Make a Succulent Wreath, Step-By-Step

Make a Succulent Wreath, Step-by-Step UPDATE: SEE THE COMMENTS if you’re using small rooted succulents.  Succulent wreaths have been popular for decades. Follow these simple instructions to make a succulent wreath, and you’ll find out why. No soil needed! I recommend making a soil-less succulent wreath because soil is messy, heavy, dries out quickly, and—surprisingly—isn’t…
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Nov 20 2015

Succulent Wreath Tips and Ideas

Do you like the succulent wreath that my friend Denise made during a wreath party at my home? To create a similar one, you’ll need about 100 cuttings, a wire wreath form, 24-gauge florist’s wire, a chopstick, and a bag of sphagnum moss. The form, moss and wire are available at any craft store. Cuttings will root right…
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Nov 16 2015

No-Water Succulents for Southern California Gardens

  Certain readily available succulents not only get by on rainfall alone, they’ll grow in nutrient-poor soil and can handle searing sun and frost. No-water succulents for Southern California gardens that are native to the Southwest and Mexico include dasylirions, agaves, cacti and yuccas. They thrive from south of the border to the Bay Area and…
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Snail on Succulent

Oct 26 2015

Prepare Your Succulents for Rainstorms

During rainy weather, succulents, which come from arid climates, may rot. Stems or trunks turn squishy and collapse. It may be possible to take cuttings from healthy top growth and restart the plants—as I did after one rainy winter with aeoniums. Fortunately, the rest of my succulents came through fine, despite double normal rainfall. After…
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KPBS and NPR with Debra Lee Baldwin

Oct 8 2015

Debra Talks Succulents on KPBS News Radio

Debra’s interviews on KPBS radio news have been making the rounds on television and the Internet. Succulents are more popular than ever and—as Debra explains on-air—San Diego is taking the lead in championing their success.     Check out Debra’s YouTube channel and her three bestselling books for more expert info on succulents.    …
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Fenestraria aurantiaca (Diana Clark)

Oct 21 2014

Got a Pot? Elevate it!

Potted plants look better atop stands, says San Diego designer Diana Clark, who sometimes has them custom-made to enhance her succulent compositions. Diana created all the plant-pot pairings shown here. As you look at them, ask yourself: Does the stand matter? Would the composition look just as good without it? Chances are you’ll agree with Diana that…
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Jul 21 2014

Lophocereus schottii (Totem Pole Cactus)

Recently at his nursery in Fallbrook, CA, succulent expert Don Newcomer showed me a rare columnar, spineless cactus from Mexico: Lophocereus schottii (totem pole cactus). It can be chubby and lumpy, tall and skinny, or columnar and spiral-forming. Lophocereus (Pachycereus) schottii has spines. The monstrose form has club-shaped trunks with spineless protuberances. There are three monstrose varieties: fat (obesa),…
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