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Required Reading: Success With Succulents

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Required Reading: Success With Succulents

December 8, 2017

I have to admit that any gardening book with the word “succulents” on the cover has my immediate attention because I am a long-time admirer and planter of these versatile and unique plants. But add the word “success” and my over-achieving self immediately starts reading.

Anyone who has ever grown cacti or succulents has invariably, unintentionally, and sadly (they are not cheap) brought death to one or more just because of these plants’ particular natures, but thankfully John Bagnasco and Bob Reidmuller bring us new insights in their new book, Success with Succulents: Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Cactuses and Other Succulents.

Here’s a closer look:

Photography by Rebecca Eichten.

 Success With Succulents is a gardener&#8\2\17;s one-step guide to the basic details of how to grow these plants in your garden and home.
Above: Success With Succulents is a gardener’s one-step guide to the basic details of how to grow these plants in your garden and home.

Succulents and cacti are still hitting high on the popularity chart and more varieties are appearing in nurseries, so it’s helpful to have a comprehensive understanding of all the aspects of these plants;  soil requirements, placement ideas, container guidelines, fertilizing, pruning, and propagating.

 The book profiles more than \100 plants, both well-known and more obscure types, and most succulents and cactus are fuss-free if you know what you are doing—and here is where the book comes in.
Above: The book profiles more than 100 plants, both well-known and more obscure types, and most succulents and cactus are fuss-free if you know what you are doing—and here is where the book comes in.

The authors—and guides—are John Bagnasco, president and co-host of the nationally syndicated Garden America Radio Show and president of Garden Tube, and Bob Reidmuller, who has spent more than 25 years working for Altman plants, the nation’s largest wholesale producer of cactus and succulents. These two plantsman combine their horticultural knowledge and experience in the field to bring the reader close-up plant images, hacks, and cultural uses in addition to the more straightforward information on care, pests, and the differences between cacti and succulents.

 One aspect of the book that I greatly appreciate are the images of well-established plants, giving the reader a more accurate understanding and appreciation of the ultimate size of some of these towering and humongous prickly specimens.
Above: One aspect of the book that I greatly appreciate are the images of well-established plants, giving the reader a more accurate understanding and appreciation of the ultimate size of some of these towering and humongous prickly specimens.

Many times have I looked fondly at a tiny little plant in a little nursery pot and disbelieved the label that says the height is 20 feet tall at maturity. Seeing is believing for sure, and the images help tell that true story.

A paperback copy of Success with Succulents is \$\16.37 from Amazon.
Above: A paperback copy of Success with Succulents is $16.37 from Amazon.
Success with Succulents is a thoughtful compendium for the beginner gardener just catching the popularity wave of succulents, but the book is also for the advanced gardener who is always looking to learn and grow more.

N.B.: For more help with growing succulents, see:

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