As we roll into spring, thoughts here in North Texas turn to planting as well as worries over baseball sized hail, tornadoes, and all matter of insect and bug many of which sting. Though the rains have been plentiful these last several months, drought is always a fear lurking just over the horizon. Cacti are always an answer to drought. Like cacti, though not thorny at all in many cases, are succulents. A solidly good resource on them is the new book from Tuttle Publishing, A Beginner’s Guide to Succulent Gardening: A Step-by Step Guide to Growing Beautiful & Long-Lasting Succulents by Taku Furuya.
The 100 page book is designed for the novice succulent gardener. It features twenty-one popular varieties with tons of information by way of color graphics of various types. Then there are the numerous pictures throughout the book showcasing various succulents and their possibilities.
After a little bit of general information including how to use the book, the book really gets going with opens with a section on “Spring/Fall Types” starting on page eight. In addition to the picture of the plants, there are several pages of information on how to pick a healthy one at the nursery, best soil, how to transplant from the store bought container, how to propagate (how to make more off that first plant), and various tips on growing them including a simple month by month chart. Along with pictures of the various versions of the particular type of succulent, there is clear and concise color coded information on when they flower, level of difficulty to grow, the origin of the plant, and more. Each section is setup the same way with a lot of information and plenty of pictures for the particular variety.
You may or may not know that cacti are a form of succulents. While you may think that Cacti always meant something with spikes or thorns, it does not always. In this case, most of the varieties depicted in these pages do not have spikes or thorns making them safe from children and pets. Obviously, you don’t want either one eating succulents, but you don’t have the thorn issue that you do with many cacti.
Though some do and if you have pets or children this is something to pay attention to so that one avoids injuries. The first selection in the Spring/Summer/Fall Types starting on Page 64 makes that very clear. “Moon Cactus” starts the section off and it should be a familiar one to anyone who spends time shopping towards Christmas as such items are always in the grocery stores. There is a lot of info including the fact that the native region for those is Japan. I now know my high school biology teacher was wrong about them and a certain test grade should be adjusted immediately. While many of the chosen varieties in the previous section did not have thorns or spikes, many in this section do and that may or may not be of concern depending on your personal environment.
Fall/Winter/Spring Types is the final section and starts on page 80. The very few listed here the more difficult ones to grow in the book. Nothing in this section is easy and all of them require significant amounts of care.
A Beginner’s Guide to Succulent Gardening: A Step-by Step Guide To Growing Beautiful & Long-Lasting Succulents by Taku Furuya closes with a couple of pages devoted to the growing fundamentals for all succulents, a glossary, and a short section how to combat diseases and pests.
This is a comprehensive book aimed at beginners that will also prove very helpful to experimental Gardner. Whether you want to grow just a couple inside the house or multiples ones outside in the yard, there are suggestions here for you. Something and quite possibly more than one will strike your fancy in the very good book, A Beginner’s Guide to Succulent Gardening: A Step-by Step Guide To Growing Beautiful & Long-Lasting Succulents by Taku Furuya.
A Beginner’s Guide to Succulent Gardening: A Step-by Step Guide to Growing Beautiful & Long-Lasting Succulents
Material supplied by Twyla Marr, Publicist, Tuttle Publishing with no expectation of a review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2019