I tried Succulent Studios' monthly plant subscription—here’s what happened
I'm a serial plant killer, but these succulents survived!
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When quarantine hit, I found myself trying a bunch of new things that I’d never considered before — baking bread, painting, embroidering, reading more than one book a year, and, ironically, taking care of plants.
Why, ironically? Well, I am the first to admit that I tend to be a plant killer. I’ve never been able to keep any plant alive. At the office, I pride myself on my beautiful succulent that sits on my desk in its cute little pot, but the truth is it has sat there since March without any water, because, well, it’s fake.
Before this year, I thought plants were just too much work for not enough payoff. Keeping a pet alive is worth it because you get snuggles and love while doing so, but what do you get from a plant? Air, maybe? Something pretty to look at? OK. But, really, for some of us it’s just another thing to stress out over.
Anyway, it all started because someone in a local Facebook group was giving away free spider plants. I can’t say no to anything free, so I snatched one up and decided to make him my child. Then, someone else offered up her lavender plant, which I grabbed and vowed to become a true plant parent.
Somewhere along the way, Instagram ads realized my new hobby and started advertising to me. I noticed Succulent Studios subscription service for only $10 per month and, without doing any research besides seeing they had over 100k followers, I subscribed.
What is Succulent Studios?
This subscription service is pretty simple — at just $10 per month, you get two 8-week-old mystery succulents mailed to your door in a neat little box. The plants come in “100% plastic-free packaging with biodegradable pots," but Succulent Studios sells pots for replanting.
You can cancel this subscription service any time, or change your frequency of delivery. You can also give a month to someone else, and your first month even comes with a $5 discount.
Succulent Studios grows its plants at its second-generation nursery in Fallbrook, California, and it plans each month's succulent mailings based on “seasonality and hardiness.”
During the two months that I tested the subscription service, I received a Mexican snowball (echeveria elegans) and a moon silver (pachyphytum oviferum) in July, and then a coppertone sedum (sedum nussbaumerianum) and a Gollum jade (crassula ovata) in August.
How did the plants arrive?
When my first box arrived, I was so excited. I’d heard that succulents are notoriously hard to kill, so I was optimistic that I couldn’t mess up that easily. When I opened the box, I was shocked. The moon silver was large and beautiful, but the Mexican snowball was beheaded! More than half its leaves must have been chopped off during transit and the ones that were still attached were already starting to shrivel. I was so disappointed.
Succulent Studios prides itself on its customer satisfaction, so I emailed the company right away explaining what had happened. The company immediately sent me a replacement box with two new succulents, and also gave me tips on how to propagate the leaves that had fallen off the original succulent, so that they too may turn into independent plants. (I’ve tried but the clippings have yet to do anything — and this is probably my fault.)
The replacement box I received was gorgeous, even though the moon silver was taller and leaner than the first one I received. The Mexican snowball was perfect, and it looked like what I think of when I picture the ideal succulent in my mind.
The August box arrived without incident, so the first month’s drama was likely not the norm — although a few users have complained of damaged plants. It is reassuring that Succulent Studios always sends a replacement box, no questions asked. My Gollum jade and coppertone sedum were beautiful and unique, visually a drastic change from the previous month’s succulents. The coppertone sedum had a little scar on one of its leaves but besides that, no issues to spot.
How to care for your succulent
Once you receive your package, place your succulent (with its 2-inch biodegradable pot and all) into a decorative container or pot of your choice, preferably one with drainage holes. Then, surround it with plenty soil, preferably soil specifically for succulents. You may not notice later on, but after a few months, the plant’s original biodegradable pot will have completely disintegrated!
For those who are not in the know — like me — every succulent is different and may need specific care. Your order comes with plant identification cards and care instructions to help you identify exactly what your plant’s needs are — how much sunlight does it need, how frequently should it be watered, etc.
As of this publishing, it’s several months later, and my succulents have all survived! Succulents really don’t require a lot of maintenance. I honestly wish they required more watering, because I want to take a more hands on approach. But, don't make the same mistake I did: I overwatered my beautiful Mexican snowball, and it shriveled up (cacti — go figure).
Pro tip: Pay attention to the care instruction cards!
Succulent Studios’ blog has a ton of articles on common succulent issues you may run into and how to handle them.
Is Succulent Studios worth it?
Overall, I’d say it was really nice having this succulent subscription, for the surprise aspect of not knowing what’s coming and the ease of delivery. I definitely do miss it now.
Personally, I would not resubscribe. At $10 per month, it’s a reasonable fee for two succulents, but add shipping at a flat rate of $6.50 to anywhere in the U.S. and the cost to you is really $16.50 per month. At two succulents per order, the cost breaks down to $8.25 per succulent, which is not the best deal in the world.
If you want to try your hand at caring for succulents, you’d be better off heading to The Home Depot and grabbing one (or a few!) that you can inspect before you buy. Most also have more budget-friendly price tags anyway.
It’s worth noting that if you sign up for their newsletter, you can get exclusive boxes from Succulent Studios like a special air plant box or cactus box — if you want to grow your collection and expand your plant parent journey.
If you like the idea of plants being delivered to your house, but don’t want to deal with the subscription aspect of it or want a larger variety, we love The Sill’s plant delivery service.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.