Lophophora cristata, a distinguished mutant plant with

 a history of more than 100 years, with hundreds of colorful hybrids, is a blast from the past, she says.

Cheng, 43, decided to conduct research on succulent plants and c

ultivation after she graduated from the Beijing University of Agriculture in 1998.

But she set herself the goal of becoming a professional gardener much earlier-when she was in high school.

Cheng was one of the first batch of people who started to explore the splendor of succule

nt plants, but she didn’t expect the small pots would become a craze for millions of Chinese.

It was not until 2011 that the succulents industry in China started to boom, aided by cyber publicity.

A long-distance athlete since primary high school, Cheng has alway

s been dedicated to things she loves, such as replacing soils and pruning messy bran

ches in the garden. And despite being allergic to pollen, she did not give up on this career.

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