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Book on Growing Hardy Succulent Plants

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Photo of Angelina stonecrop.

Photo of Angelina stonecrop.

David Beaulieu

The Bottom Line

Hardy Succulents, by Gwen Moore Kelaidis, will be an eye-opening read for the average gardener living in a northerly clime who has never given that much thought to succulents. Such gardeners will be surprised not only by the staggering diversity of hardy succulent plants, but also by the sheer number that can be grown in zone 5 or even lower. If this book doesn't convince you to experiment with growing hardy succulent plants, then you're probably just not interested in expanding your horticultural repertoire.
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  • Author of this book on hardy succulent plants evinces mastery of the art of design.
  • Engaging photos show the diversity of hardy succulent plants available.


  • Photos address design considerations more so than identification.


  • Last chapter deals with the nitty-gritty of growing hardy succulent plants: planting, propagation and care.
  • Useful appendix features reference maps, glossary and lists of places where you can see and/or buy hardy succulent plants.
  • Many of the photos show hardy succulent plants in context (e.g., with other perennials), helping readers with design choices.

Guide Review - Book on Growing Hardy Succulent Plants

There's something for just about everyone in this book on hardy succulent plants, whether you're looking for new color schemes to use in your yard or wish to incorporate a different plant texture into that tired old perennial bed.

The introductory chapter in Hardy Succulents is succeeded by five chapters that inform readers of design choices available with hardy succulent plants. These chapters organize hardy succulent plants around the following themes:

  1. The smallest succulents
  2. Growing hardy succulent plants in containers
  3. Succulents as ground covers
  4. Combining hardy succulent plants with other perennials
  5. The largest succulents

Design is the main thrust of each chapter. Descriptions are provided for all of the hardy succulent plants mentioned, but the page where a specimen is described doesn't always contain a photo of it, to facilitate identification. This leaves the reader wishing that more pictures could have been included -- perhaps an unreasonable request, since the book already runs 159 pages, almost every one of which bears a photo.

After the fun and games of the first six chapters, Kelaidis assumes she has you sufficiently hooked on succulents for you to undertake the more mundane reading of the final chapter, which deals with the planting, propagation and care of succulents. Such practical tips as how to handle cactus are offered. But if the book truly inspires you to try growing hardy succulent plants, don't overlook the appendix, which covers, among other things, the issue of where you can buy hardy succulent plants -- an important consideration, since most of these novel specimens aren't available just anywhere.

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Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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