What it's like to be a succulent parent after failing as a houseplant parent

by Amber Miner

I've always loved plants. This is why I've been through a lot (A LOT!) of houseplants. A lot of plants, which unfortunately, almost all suffered and died under my watch. And then, instead of bringing me joy, they brought me guilt and shame.


I inevitably ended up feeling bad about my poor care for, or total lack of knowledge of how to care for, those once-so-beautiful houseplants. Can you relate? Do you understand how bad it feels to repeatedly kill plants you loved? 


This is why succulents brought me so much joy! Especially when I discovered they go far beyond the one kind of Aloe Vera plants my mom toted everywhere we moved when I was growing up.


How my succulent obession started


My succulent obsession started when we didn't have a lot of discretionary spending cash. But we did have a giant Crassula ovata bush in one corner of our yard. It must have been at least 50 years old. I really wanted some plants around the house.


I remembered my mom used to root spider plants by sticking them in water and waiting for new roots to grow.


Large Crassula ovata 'Jade Tree' in an oval terracotta clay pot

So I looked up succulents (I honestly didn't even know it was called 'Crassula ovata' at that time, but I did know it was a succulent plant). And I looked up if it was possible to get cut off pieces of them to grow new roots  - like the spider plants did for my mom.


And to my joy, not only is it possible, it's usually really easy to do. All I had to do was cut a few branches off the Crassula, let the cut ends dry and callous over, and then stick it in soil. You JUST put it in a new pot as if it was a plant with roots. And then DON'T water for awhile. Isn't that amazing?


What?!?! This was like a plant dream come true for me.


So that's exactly what I did. I went from zero plants around the house to at least five new little Jade trees. And sure enough, not watering them for a couple weeks led them to grow new roots and be happy.


And I really only needed to water once a week, and even if I was a few days late, they still forgave me and just got plump and happy again!


What?!?! This was such a plant dream come true for me.


In fact, the picture above isf one of those first 'new' plants we chopped from the giant bush and potted up. We still have this one and it even provides a lot of the freebie cuttings we ship with every order!


How much joy you get from being a succulent parent


Succulent plant, plant clippings, and pruners on a table.

It's hard for me to put into words just how happy this made me. Like, I really, really love plants and I finally found some I could keep happy and thriving. So, needless to say, that ignited my passion (ahem, addiction) and I wanted ALL the succulents in my life.


Not to mention, it was a plant dream come true for my husband too. Jason has always wanted to get into landscape design and loves, loves, loves bonsai trees and the zen experience of bonsai. So he loved our new little jade trees because they gave him the chance to engage in the art of bonsai.


How a succulent obsession led to a business


Which brings us back to the lack of discretionary spending. I wanted all the succulents, but didn't have the money to get a ton of new types. Which is when we found facebook groups and discovered we could share the joy of these amazing plants and sell them to people in the groups. I figured that if I could sell a few, I could get a few new ones for my own collection.


Here's a picture of our youngest child holding the first boxes of plant mail that we shipped out! This was around the end of 2016.


Boy holding USPS Priority shipping boxes, our first boxes of plant mail we shipped out.

From there, it ballooned into a full-time business and THIS is truly the plant dream come true for us.


Here's the very first plants that began our official nursery business. We didn't even have shelves for them yet. But we loved them all and we loved being succulent parents!

Succulent plants in pots lining the ground of the first nursery space for Zensability.


Can you relate? Have you found a passion for succulents? If you have always struggled with houseplant care, but love plants, and haven't discovered succulents yet - stop missing out. All you need is ONE to propagate into more. And even one will bring you so much joy.


Share your story of discovering succulents in the comments below. We would love, love, love to hear it!

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