With houseplants and succulents become increasingly popular for city dwellers and suburbanites alike, choosing the right options and ensuring the proper care for your space can be daunting. Cassidy Tuttle, of Succulents and Sunshine, has devoted the last few years to ensuring you have the right resources, sharing everything from the proper care techniques to some of her favorite options and how to successfully propagate. She was kind enough to spend some time with us, sharing more about how she creates the best resource for all things succulents. We hope you enjoy!
Thank you Cassidy for spending some time with us. Tell us about the the story behind Succulents and Sunshine?
I had seen succulents in magazines for a while and thought they looked cool, but didn’t know much about them. In the middle of a very gray winter in Utah I ended up buying my first three. I couldn’t find the information I was looking for about how to care for them and propagate them, so I began experimenting. I am a professional photographer, so naturally I began photographing everything I did, and the Succulents and Sunshine blog was born. I love all things business and began studying how to build a following, wrote an ebook (now several), and just kept experimenting and sharing what I was doing with others. The blog has always been part research and part personal experience. I love helping people learn how to make succulents work for them, even in less-than-ideal climates, like my original indoor space in Utah.
What a great story. When it comes to creating the best content for your readers, how do you get your creative juices flowing?
I love looking at art. Sometimes just browsing Instagram will do the trick. I’ve found that things not related to succulents generally give me the best ideas. Reading a good business/self-help type book will also get me excited. I love learning, so I find a lot of creativity as I study new topics.
Amazing. What does a typical morning look like for you?
I generally get up around 6 so I have some quiet time to myself. I do scripture study, journaling, mediation and sometimes a little yoga. The rest of my family gets up around 7. The kids get dressed and ready for school and then we all eat breakfast together. We finish getting things ready for school and my husband drops them off at school and I begin working.
That is such a great routine! Now that you have been working with succulents for some time, what are some of your favorites and what are some of the best options for beginners?
My favorite succulent changes by the day :), but one that has consistently been a favorite is Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’. It has beautiful colors that constantly change.
One of the best succulents for new growers is “Zebra Plant”, Haworthiopsis fasciata. It is pretty forgiving both of neglect and too much “love” (aka… water). I also recommend the traditional Jade plant as well. I usually recommend people avoid Echeveria varieties as they are really sensitive to over watering and don’t do well indoors.
Those are really great options. When it comes to ensuring that succulents are healthy, what are some of your genius hacks?
It’s important to make sure you’re paying attention to the signs your succulent is giving you. It will indicate whether it needs more or less water. We have a free cheat sheet to help with this. Keeping a look out for those is the best way to keep it healthy! And erring on the side of too little water is always a safe bet. I also suggest making sure you are choosing succulents that will grow well in the area you have them. A succulent that needs full outside sun, like Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’ isn’t going to do well indoors unless you have a bright grow light. But “Zebra Plant” will be very happy inside.
Perfect. What have you seen as the biggest mistake we make, when caring for succulents?
Most people don’t know how to properly water succulents, which leads to an untimely death. Sometimes people will water too frequently, or just lightly spray them instead of soaking the soil. Succulents need to be in a well-draining soil, ideally in a pot with a drainage hole. Water deeply whenever the soil is completely dry.
It’s amazing how this one simple thing makes all the difference. You mentioned you scroll through Instagram for inspiration. What accounts are you currently obsessed with?
I am obsessed with Hammerly Ceramics on Instagram!
They have some really great pieces. Finally, what is your favorite place to shop for succulents?
Mountain Crest Gardens is my go-to source for succulents. They are very high quality and have a huge selection, including succulents that can survive outside in snowy winter climates.
They are definitely a great resource with amazing selection! Thank you again Cassidy for spending some time with us.
Please visit Succulents and Sunshine for more amazing tips on growing succulents.