Spring Succulent Care (and News)

– Posted in: Succulents

My seasonal e-newsletter is different from what I post here on GGW (for the most part). I thought you might enjoy some excerpts from the latest.

Spring Succulent Care Checklist


Above: Aeonium cutting, showing leaf nodes that resemble potato eyes. From this meristem tissue, roots will grow.

Now is when most types of succulents awaken from dormancy, stretch their roots and send forth new leaves. [] To boost growth, feed potted succulents a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted 50% with water. [] Take cuttings from stem succulents to create new little plants. Each cutting needs a few leaves so it can photosynthesize. Roots will form where leaves were attached, so bury the stem’s “potato eyes.” [] When reintroducing succulents that have been overwintered indoors to the garden, protect them from burning by gradually increasing their daily exposure to sunlight. [] Watch for pests such as aphids and thrips on new growth and flower buds. At first sign of an infestation, spray the insects with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol diluted 50% with water. [] Repot plants that have outgrown their containers. Indicators include roots emerging from drain holes, a plant that looks overly large for its pot, and stems that are tangled and rangy. [] Evaluate each succulent for these essentials: half a day’s sun exposure (except for the few shade-lovers); good air circulation; fast-draining soil; and regular but not excessive water. Garden railway

The newsletter also lists my upcoming whistle stops (where I’ll be speaking). I hope to see you at one or more of them!

Tues., Wed. and Thurs., April 1-3, Epcot Center International Flower Festival, 200 Epcot Center Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL. Park admission required. Sat. and Sun., May 17-18, 2014, Eco-Xpo, Los Rios Park, Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano, Orange County, CA Sat., May 31 and Sunday June 1, Sunset Celebration Weekend Festival, 80 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA Friday-Sat., June 6-7, Succulent Celebration, Waterwise Botanicals nursery, 32183 Old Highway 395, Escondido, CA; (760) 728-2641. Free. Sat., June 28, Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd, St Louis, MO; (314) 577-5110. Pre-registration required. I’ll be signing all three of my books (including the new one, Succulents Simplified) at all events. If you enjoyed one of my presentations, I’d be grateful if you’d post a comment on the Great Garden Speakers website. Many thanks!

And, new how-to videos:


My YouTube channel (click for notifications) offers 50+ design-oriented, ad-free videos. These are the latest: Plant Stacked Crassulas in Stacked Pots (3:12) A Succulent Arrangement for Bright Shade, Featuring Sansevierias (3:59) Create a Succulent Color Wheel (3:40) Six Sure-Fire Succulents for Containers (3:20) Tips and Tools for Potting Succulents, with Gary Bartl (4:02)

If you’d like to subscribe (it’s free), advise your first and last name, and city or region, in the “comments” below. I’ll add you to the list!

My goal is to share the beauty of waterwise, easy-care succulents in gardens, containers and landscapes via blog postsnewsletterspublic speaking and workshopsphotosvideosmerchandise, and social media (Facebook and Pinterest). My books: Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardensand Succulents Simplified.  www.debraleebaldwin.com 
Debra Lee Baldwin
Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored the Timber Press bestsellers Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified. Debra is a regular contributor to Sunset and other publications, and her own half-acre garden near San Diego has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens. Debra specializes in showing how to use architectural, waterwise and easy-care succulents in a wide variety of appealing and creative applications. www.debraleebaldwin.com.
Debra Lee Baldwin
Debra Lee Baldwin

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8 Comments… add one

Leave a Comment

Marcia March 21, 2014, 5:11 am

New England
Marcia Chapman

Caryn Ludwig March 21, 2014, 9:55 am

The bug spray (rubbing alcohol and water) is something I haven’t used before…. It won’t ‘burn’ the leaves?? I’ve used Insectidal soap this past winter in my heated garden shed, as I live in Montana, and get thrips every winter with anything I bring inside. I make it myself using water and Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap, and that has worked well. How do you find the efficacy of the alcohol/water? Do you think it works better? Just thought I’d ask.


christine wheaton March 22, 2014, 8:44 am

sign me up for youtube succculent video notifications

Kim Smith March 23, 2014, 5:20 am

I like your info about succulents, since my collection is growing. I need to know how to care for them, and increase it. Have two of your books and will be getting the other. Thanks for spreading your knowledge.

Diana White March 24, 2014, 12:50 pm

I live in Grantsburg, Wisconsin which is in the northwest part of the state. I recently purchased Ms. Baldwin’s book – Succulent Container Gardens. I am in the process of finding the ingredients for the soil composition that has been recommended and have ordered three flats (!) of a number of small succulents from a wonderful nursery a couple of hours north from me in Cable, Wisconsin called Simply Succulents. These will be delivered the end of March -hope our “spring” weather here will rapidly change – was below zero this morning and we still have snow drifts of over 4 feet in our yard. Recently retired and hoping to expand my life long enjoyment of gardening and perhaps sell at local garden and art shows. Thank you for this opportunity. Diana

Barbara Messemore March 28, 2014, 11:07 pm

Sign me up please. I live in the Dallas TX area.

Marlene Frisbie April 8, 2014, 3:23 pm

Newsletter, please!

Woodstock, IL

Debra Lee Baldwin July 7, 2014, 2:14 am

Thank you all ~ I’ve added those who asked to the mailing list. I’ve heard good things about Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap as a surfectant to rid plants of thrips and other infestations. Incidentally, Dr. Bronner is from my home town of Escondido, CA, and was a friend of my father’s—well before the turn of the century.

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