SCIENCES

The Gardener’s Guide to Succulents: A Handbook of Over 125 Exquisite Varieties of Succulents and Cacti

Tuttle. Mar. 2020. 96p. ISBN 9780804851060. $16.99. GARDENING
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The ability to retain water and flourish in dry climates makes succulents and cacti a popular choice with home gardeners. In this beautifully illustrated guide, Japanese horticulturalist Matsuyama’s first to be published in English, more than 125 varieties of the plants are covered. Succulents are arranged by plant features, such as plump leaves or rosette formation. Another section looks at cacti arranged in categories by nicknames or its appealing “charms” (which might feel too whimsical or even confusing for some readers). A final chapter offers tips on planting and creating arrangements.
VERDICT Matsuyama offers gardeners plenty of bang for their buck, including strong visuals and the basics of growing and propagating popular succulents and cacti. Novice horticulturists, however, might gravitate toward Ken Shelf and Rachel Weill’s Essential Succulents, which covers fewer plants but offers a bit more hand-holding when it comes to getting started..

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