What started as a hobby in Bundaberg school teacher Lisa Sly’s backyard has now flourished into a successful small home-based business Succulent Plant Babies where Lisa grows and sells a variety of baby plants.
It was a decade ago when Lisa was given her first plant cuttings, which sparked a passion that she didn’t know she had, and she’s never looked back.
“I visited a friend, Kate, about 10 years ago who had a beautiful garden and she gave me a car boot full of garden cuttings and sent me home with some instructions,” Lisa said.
“That’s where my love of gardening started. I found it to be my peaceful place, my happy place … housework is overrated.
“With a very busy family life and working full-time as a teacher at Bundaberg State High school it started as a small hobby that I could do at home.
“I’m a home based business so my plants are spread around my yard. A customer friend called it ‘SuccuLAND’ when she last visited. A hobby gone viral I would probably say!”
Growing up on a farm in Tasmania, Lisa was around plants a lot, and said her mum always had a beautiful garden and this was part of her inspiration to take on being a green thumb.
Lisa said as a child she dreamt of being a hairdresser, a jockey or a florist.
“I became a hairdresser and then a vocational teacher,” Lisa said.
“I have always loved being artistic and creative.
“I had a dream to start my Succulent Babies business when I found such joy watching the succulents propagate and produce their own babies – it is amazing to watch them grow and produce little ones.”
What are succulents?
Succulent plants, or succulents, have some parts that are regularly thickened and fleshy, they usually retain water in arid climates or soil conditions, and can be propagated from cuttings.
“Succulents are my favourite because they are very hardy,” Lisa said.
“They say you can’t kill them unless you over-love them with too much water then their roots can rot.
“They are an excellent plant to start off with.”
As a high school teacher Lisa said her love for succulents had flowed into her teachings and she found it was helping her students gain new skills.
“My business spills into school activities to ensure students understand real world opportunity and community engagement,” Lisa said.
“Students have now made a succulent plant nursery and sell them for Mother’s and Father’s Day gifts.
“The job skills and engagement they gain from this is great to be a part of too.”
The Bundaberg mum is now encouraging others to fall in love with the tiny vibrant green plants and said she found the benefits from gardening amazing.
“Anyone wanting to start a little succulent garden I would say don’t be scared anyone can do it,” Lisa said.
“They are the easiest plants of all to keep alive. The less care the better they survive.
“Nature is amazing. It’s beautiful and nurturing.
“With all the stressors and mental health issues in our community this is certainly a way to get back to nature, ground yourself and escape from the hustle, it’s a very calming activity.
“I love sharing it like Kate did with me 10 years ago.”
Lisa said indoor plants had become more prevalent in Australia lately and that’s one reason why she sells packs of succulent cuttings not only locally, but is able to send them via post them around the country via her Facebook page.
“There are so many varieties it’s a lovely addition to any home or patio,” she said.
“Indoor plants are certainly very popular. I think it’s lovely to see us reverting back to nature. There is some good research about improved health and sleep with having plants indoors.
“You can contact me via my Succulent Plant Babies Australia Facebook page for any starter tips and hints. Happy planting!”
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