The Succulent Manual

Welcome to The Succulent Manual: A Guide to Care and Repair for all Climates

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The Succulent Manual is also available as a full color paperback and an eBook if you want to have a handy offline version (as a separate purchase).  Both will be the perfect companions to your succulent collection, whether you’re just starting out with them or ready to advance your knowledge.

The Succulent Manual explores topics on succulents’ care requirements, their various propagation techniques, troubleshooting problems, regional advice, overwintering, grow lights, identification methods, and more.

How to use
Photo: These 'rewind' and 'scroll to top' navigation buttons help you get around more quickly

Navigation: There are a few ways to navigate The Succulent Manual. Use the ‘rewind’ and ‘scroll to top’ icons on the left side of the page to help you get around more quickly. If you click on a link that lands on the same page, a rewind icon will appear. Clicking it will take you back to the previous location on the page. The ‘scroll to top’ icon will automatically take you back to the beginning of each chapter.

Table of Contents: The sidebar displays the full contents throughout the pages of The Succulent Manual. On mobile, clicking the last entry ‘Table of Contents’ will scroll the screen down to the sidebar.

At the top of each chapter, you find interactive links to the sections included.

Chapters and their sections are internally linked throughout the manual to make it easier to refer to relevant information. Videos and other external resources will open in a new tab.

Images: Most of the images are linked to a larger version and captioned with informative descriptions, so be sure to give them a read.

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Preface to The Succulent Manual

Millions of people around the world have found themselves oddly in love with succulents. This attraction tends to start with learning to care for one plant and grows to fill a window sill, then a shelf, and eventually the floor or dining table until we buy more shelves. Does this sound familiar to you? Can you still count your succulents on one hand or does your collection take up all the sunny real estate in and around your home? No matter how many succulents we already have, there’s always room for just one more, right?

Photo: Cereus pervianus with friends
Photo: Cereus pervianus with friends

Maybe you don’t have many succulents yet, if any. You worry you lack the green thumb or the climate to keep them alive. Or maybe you’ve lost confidence after watching them die under your care in the past, and out of mercy for any future victims, you stick to cut flowers because they’re already dying when you bring them home.

I say give this book a read, then give succulents a chance, or another chance. With a bit of insight in how to better understand their needs, you too can experience the joy of keeping these plants. A lot of them. I’m literally up to my neck and surrounded by what some may call ‘too-many-succulents.’ This is a phrase you’ll just need to learn to shrug off because the only folks who utter this nonsense typically don’t have any succulents. The solution is to give them a plant or two and wait. Before long, they’ll realize they also love them and how silly they were to ever think one could have too many.

The chapters in The Succulent Manual contain detailed sections on the most important topics:

Chapter 1— Basic Tips: First, you’ll learn about the basic care tips and growing cycles so you have a solid understanding of how to keep succulents alive and happy. This is vital to being able to troubleshoot any problems you may run into along the way.

Chapter 1 Featured Image

Chapter 2—Make More Sucs: There are many varieties of succulents that can provide a lifetime supply of plants for you and others from just one plant! You’ll learn about propagation by leaves, division, cuttings, and seeds.

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Chapter 3—Succulent SOS: Stretched plants, leaf-drop, pests…the ‘Symptoms’ section will help you identify problems with your succulents, while the following section ‘Take Action’ provides solutions and repair tips.

Ch 3 Featured image

Chapter 4—Regional Tips: Your climate and location have a major influence on the obstacles you may run into. This chapter covers the various regional and seasonal challenges along with detailed sections on grow lights and overwintering your succulents.

The Succulent Manual also includes chapters on identification tips, building a garden bed for in-ground succulents, tasks like cleaning your succulents and drilling drainage holes in containers, a buying guide for plants and supplies, and other useful advice.

There’s something admirable about a succulent’s ability to thrive without our interference and to bounce back from certain death despite our ignorance. It makes us feel like we’re doing something right, though it’s usually just the plant’s tenacious nature to survive kicking in.

But wait. We must be doing something right if a succulent is strong enough to keep growing, right? Right! A little bit of wisdom goes a long way in the garden and that’s what The Succulent Manual is all about. These insights will help you learn what your succulents are telling you, whether it’s:

‘Stop watering me!’
‘I need more sun!’
‘That’s too much sun!’
‘I’ve got BUGS!’

Or even…

‘You’re doing great—I’m perfectly happy!’

There is a very special reward waiting for us in our pots and gardens. It’s a contentment not found in many places, a quiet appreciation of our relationship with nature and our influences on each other. For some people, it’s as good for the soul as therapy or church. And the satisfaction of seeing a good amount of dirt under our fingernails can’t be bought.

Cut Flowers Die, Succulents Multiply—
Andrea Afra, Sucs for You