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Five Minutes With Thrifty Succulents

This week we interviewed Mel from Victor Harbor, South Australia, who  gets creative with her succulents and colourful pots. She's willing to try anything new and is very resourceful. I asked her a few questions and here is her story.

First of all, you have an amazing gallery. Do you find many people stealing your pics and how do you deal with this issue?

Yes I do find a lot of my photos used without credit and it really annoys me.  I think it’s the lack of good manners that bothers me the most. I have blocked one account that had over 20 of my photos and was even answering comments like they were her own photos but generally now I move on and try not to let it get me down. I’m always delighted when someone asks and also tags/credits, it’s a lovely compliment.

Succulent platter
Source: Instagram


You are very creative with your posts. Where do you get the ideas?

Creativity. I love to try to come up with new ideas but I also get so much inspiration from accounts I follow here, there are so many amazing people doing wonderful things. Sometimes ideas come from simply walking through my garden or spying a particular plant or pot. Thrift stores are a wonderful source of different planters and ideas too. I love creating my photos almost as much as I love my plants so it’s great to mix two passions 

Water Propagation
Source: Instagram

How long have you been collecting succulents?

How long? I bought my first succulent, a sad little donkey tail, from a thrift store in late 2015. It was planted in clay soil and was screaming out to be rescued. I also bought a $2 teapot to plant it in and, with some encouragement from my daughter, @thriftysucculents was born. I have always loved plants but succulents were the first to love me back!

Handmade Pots
Source: Instagram


It gets pretty cold in South Australia. How do you protect your plants during winter?

I actually move all of my plants out into the open in winter so they can get as much light as possible. They seem to cope with the rain well and luckily we don’t get frosts too often as I live by the sea. Hail is my most feared thing and I have been known to stand out in it with an umbrella over my plants although that was when my collection was a lot smaller.

Plant Collection
Source: Instagram

What is your most prized plant?

My most prized plant? It’s not hard to tell that I love my PVN’s. Lola is also there but a little temperamental so I don’t get too attached. I have one Ebony that I adore and a lovely Lauii that I have managed not to touch so it’s looking fine. The list is too long!

Succulent Arrangement
Source: Instagram

What has been your biggest learning curve in gardening?

Biggest learning curve-not to take it personally when a gorgeous plant suddenly drops dead on me. And also that there is always something new to learn and I don’t think I’ll ever be an expert, and that’s ok!

Succulent Arrangement
Source: Instagram


Do you sell your succulent arrangements? If so, where can we buy them?

I don’t sell my plants very often but if I do it is usually custom arrangements I make from plants that aren’t part of my family! I like to give them away to new collectors that visit me, I love to be a part of their journey into the plant world. I do have some plans in the back of my mind to start up a little store but that is in the future. For now I just love growing my collection, from cuttings and leaf propagation, and am venturing into the rarer species. 

String of Pearls
Source: Instagram


Do you have any other social medias such as fb , or Etsy?

I have a Facebook page but I haven’t devoted much time to it (4 posts! ) I have also started an indoor plant IG page called @my_indoor_oasis as I love houseplants too but again, 4 posts! Not enough hours in the day and @thriftysucculents is my true love. Thank you so much for asking me to do this, it was lovely.

Source: Instagram

Thank you Mel for your time. Follow Mel on Instagram @thriftysucculents for her succulents and @my_indoor_oasis for her indoor plants.

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