How to Refresh a Succulent Garden

Ratty succulent garden (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

Hi Debra, I’m in charge of getting my kids’ school succulent garden back to its beautiful self. The aeoniums are super leggy and the fire torches look terrible. When and what should we cut, replant or add? — Tiffany in San Marcos

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25 Succulent Mistakes and Solutions

Barrel cactus fell over (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

My what-not-to-do’s are simple to avoid, but not necessarily easy to remedy. A smart succulent owner learns what can be expensive to fix, might cause prized plants to look dreadful, and could even kill them.

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Should You Use Weed Barrier Fabric?

Weed fabric in cactus garden (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

No doubt you’ve seen black fabric laid over bare soil with holes cut out for plants. But how important is it to use weed barrier fabric, really? What are the do’s and don’ts?

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My Easy, Inexpensive In-Ground Compost Method

Horticulturist's compost pile (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

No bins needed! My inexpensive, in-ground compost pile is efficient, rewarding and more fun (and easier) than recycling dripping bags of garbage. The new CA law that requires recycling of kitchen scraps makes sense, but is messy and inconvenient. Here’s all you need for a method that’s worked for me for decades.

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Refresh Your Echeveria Garden

Echeveria garden in pots (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

Eighteen months after I planted it, my multipot echeveria garden was looking ratty. Over time, as new leaves formed from the centers of echeverias, lower leaves dried and clung to ever-lengthening stems. Bloom spikes I’d left intact for hummingbirds were several feet long and untidy. Watch me rejuvenate it in my new video: Refresh Your Echeveria Garden (6:31).

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How to Repot a Stuck Spiny Succulent

Roots growing out bottom of pot (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

In a new YouTube video, I’d planned to show you how to repot a spiny succulent. For my overgrown corn-cob euphorbia, I picked an art pot in the perfect size, color and pattern. But (yikes!) the spiky succulent was firmly stuck in its old pot.

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Don’t Let a Heat Wave Ruin Your Succulents

Sun and aloes (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

You have two options for protecting your succulents from heat waves that follow cool weather:
1. Move them. Of course this is only possible if they’re in pots. But don’t forget to do it! When sudden heat and sun hit, succulents that haven’t had time to acclimate may sunburn. There’s no reversing the resulting brown or beige patches. 

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Succulent Garden Maintenance: Tasks

Succulent garden tasks

Do these succulent garden maintenance tasks seasonally to keep your succulent garden healthy and looking good: Trim damaged or excessive growth
Prune succulents to show the beauty of the plants and keep them tidy. Use cuttings to

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Pick the Perfect Succulent for Your Pot

Pairing succulents with a teal pot (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

If you have a special pot that needs pairing with the perfect succulent, take the pot with you to the nursery or have it nearby when you’re shopping online. Plant-pot pairings are a lot like picking throw pillows for your sofa or a

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