Book review: Success with Succulents by John Bagnasco and Bob Reidmuller.

I have a feeling it’s rather hard to stick to just one when you’re considering growing cacti and succulents indoors…you might start off that way but then two years in, you stand in your living room and realize you have 300 of them (and 26 cuttings in various stages sitting on the kitchen counter) and you. want. more.  They’re just so easily collectible…all those beautiful and curious textures and shapes and exotic blooms, how can you possibly resist?  (Note to my hubby: this is my way of easing you into the grand concept of our future decor).  Unfortunately, if you’re me, you’ve already killed two cacti in unfortunate watering mishaps, and you’re not sure if you should brave dipping that toe in again.  The answer is yes, yes, I should.

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John Bagnasco and Bob Reidmuller’s new book Success with Succulents: Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Cactuses and other Succulents (2017, Cool Springs Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group) is comprehensive, yet easily accessible – the ideal title for both novice and experienced growers of these marvelous plants.  Not just restricted to houseplants, the book covers outdoor varieties as well, and offers tips for winterizing tender plants indoors if your climate isn’t favourable.  The first part of the book focuses on practical advice for selecting, planting, care, and propagation, including troubleshooting for pests and diseases. The rest of this fantastic resource is devoted to over 100 profiles of cacti and succulents, with gorgeous photographs and detailed descriptions that will help you identify mystery plants or serve you well as you wander the nurseries hunting for that special one.

Or six or twenty or….  😉

Do you grow cacti or succulents?  Which ones are your favourites?  (If you have  links to any of your blog posts about them or photos, please feel free to share!).   


*The Quarto Group generously provided me with a review copy of Success with Succulents. As always, my opinions and thoughts are my own.


  1. I’ve grown more and more fond of succulents as the drought in California marched on. Now I’m quite the fan. They do better outdoors when I can grow them in the ground, though I do have some in pots that are doing well. They want very little water, so at times I worry that I’m not giving them enough. It’s actually more likely I think for a novice to overwater them. As for cacti, I’m far too clumsy to have them around. I would be spending all my spare time pulling out the needles from my hands and clothes. Happy growing, Sheryl.

    • Succulents are such a great choice for your xeriscaping garden design, they would work beautifully for you there! Your comments about cacti made me grin – I’ve been known to “wear” the needles from time to time, as well…. New (painful) fashion statement, maybe?

      • I’m beyond the years of painful fashion I’m afraid (good riddance to pantyhose and high heals), but I have been known to leave the house with leaves attached the my jacket. Ah, the life of a gardener!

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