Just who is the “Succulent Guy?”

Robin Stockwell has been growing succulents professionally since 1973, and through the years developed an expertise in their functional use. In his new book, Succulents: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Designing, and Growing 200 Easy Care Plants, Robin describes how a chance roadside encounter with the plants captivated him into growing and selling them, eventually leading to a wholesale production nursery. In the book, he says, “In order to get buyers’ attention, though, I needed to become a showman.” From the beginning, Robin has understood not only the superior functionality of succulents, but also the beauty—an attractive combination.


As a longtime surfer, when the waves were good Robin took advantage of succulent plants’ waterwise, low maintenance qualities, knowing they would not miss him as he dropped everything to chase waves.

As a showman, he has individually and collaboratively revolutionized vertical gardening with succulents, creating living pictures and mural systems for smaller installations and mounting huge exhibitions for the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show. The succulent Globe, the centerpiece of the 2012 show, took over a year of planning and included 30,000 plants. The Heart, displayed at the 2015 Northwest Flower & Garden show, was another vertical garden on a huge scale.

Robin has dedicated his life to encouraging the use of these plants and worked with plant professionals and the general public to better understand them. As an innovator, writer and speaker, he has inspired audiences in the joy of gardening with succulent plants.

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