50 Popular Types of Succulents (With Pictures)

If you’ve ever wanted a plant that accepted, or even thrived, under the least possible care, then a succulent might just be the plant for you!

Defined by their thick leaves used to retain moisture in their leaves, these hardy plants handle being forgotten during a vacation perfectly.

Even more-so, some are so adapted to low moisture that they do best if you leave them alone for months at a time.

In this article, we’ll cover 50 popular types of succulents and their unique characteristics!

Suggested: If you’re having problems identifying your succulent, check out our houseplant identification tool!

Agave sp.


These Mexican succulents grow large leaves with sharp points, and some varieties are grown to produce syrups for sweetener and tequila.

These plants grow into massive rosettes up to 10 feet wide! Most gardeners will enjoy growing them for their soft foliage. In cold-hardy varieties, the foliage is blue-green while the warmer species have gray-green leaves.

They will rarely produce blooms as they will not bloom until they are fully mature – a stage that may take up to 40 years to occur. Once they do, they produce flowers that are bell-shaped and come in light, cream and yellow shades. Unfortunately, agave plants are monocarpic and will pass on once they bloom, so many gardeners avoid encouraging flowers.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Equally viable, depending on the variety and your climate.
  • Recommended zone: Many are best suited to zones 8 and up, but some are hardy down to zone 5!
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: Bright, sometimes full light.
  • Soil: Sandy, well-draining soils are best.
  • Water: Water more frequently until established, then allow to dry slightly before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Avoid fertilizing as it can encourage blooms.

Aloe vera

Aloe Vera Plant

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without this ubiquitous plant! This Arabian plant grows wild in many tropical climates, and surprises many to find it isn’t only not a desert cactus, but not a cactus at all. The Aloe vera is a succulent from the lily family!

While many people are happy to grow this plant simply for its charming spotted and thorny leaves, it is also grown for medicinal purposes. If you have a burn, simply take a leaf, cut it open, and squeeze out the gel to apply to your burn. For this purpose alone, many keepers find it is handy to have this plant in their home in case of emergency (although a regular first aid kit should still be your first priority).

For over 6,000 years, humanity has reveled in this plant’s incredible healing and antioxidant abilities!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Usually indoors, but this plant can grow quite large and be a beautiful garden plant.
  • Recommended zones: Zones 10-11, where it will not go above 80°F or below 55°F.
  • Care difficulty: Easy. One of the most popular succulent types!
  • Light: Bright, indirect light. Does not do well in direct sun.
  • Soil: Gritty, well-draining soil.
  • Water: Wait for top 1-2 inches of soil to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Not necessary.

Ball Cactus (Parodia magnifica)

Parodia magnifica

If you’ve always enjoyed a more classic look for a cactus, round and large with bundles of spines, the Brazil-native Parodia magnifica would be perfect.

It is known best for its round, ball shape that can grow in clumps up to easily a couple feet tall. Though it starts as just one specimen, only about a half foot tall but up to a foot wide, a happy plant will eventually grow into mounding clumps!

During the warm season, the ball cactus can bloom in intervals. These blooms are yellow, silky, and sometimes in groups of three.

One thing to keep in mind is that the ball cactus will do best with a cool winter season.

 This is a wonderful companion to a cactus collection and will fit well into cactus gardens and pots.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Often grown outdoors due to its lighting needs.
  • Zone recommendation: Hardy to about zone 9b, not frost-hardy and should be overwintered indoors in cooler climates.
  • Care difficulty: Advanced (as far as succulents go)
  • Light: Full sun or bright light.
  • Soil: Well-draining soil.
  • Water: During growing season, water more frequently, but do not let soil get soggy or stay moist.
  • Fertilizer: About once every two months during growing season with succulent fertilizer.

Bunny Ear Cactus (Opuntia microdasys)

Opuntia microdasys

This cactus doesn’t have leaves or stems. Instead, its pods grow out in large, oval groups that resemble a bunny’s ears! Its other nicknames, the Polka Dot Cactus or Angel Wings, stem from its aureoles forming fluffy white tufts across the its pads! Of course, you should take care no matter how fluffy a specimen you find, these tufts can still prick your fingers.

This Mexican succulent can start as adorable-sized cuttings, but it can grow large enough to justify keeping it outside. Kept outside, it can grow up to 6 feet wide! Since it’s from the desert, it should only be kept outside if you live in a warmer climate. Never fear, this cactus can stay small enough to live indoors if you can find a bright window! However, it will not flower without dropping to 45-55°F during the winter.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Most often indoors.
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to Zone 9.
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: Bright light during summer, partial shade during winter.
  • Soil: Use sandy, well-draining soil.
  • Water: Sporadically during summer, no water during the winter.
  • Fertilizer: Monthly, stop one month before winter.

Burro’s Tail or Burrito (Sedum morganianum)

Sedum morganianum

In addition to its silly names, this succulent variety has a lot going for it!

As a sedum, it can boast easy care and soft, fleshy leaves.

The Burro’s Tail also has a habit of producing long, trailing stems up to 4 feet long! This makes it a wonderful container plant and produces a full, overflowing container. If you have been wishing for a hanging succulent pot to keep outdoors, this plant and will make a great addition to your space.

If you have pets who have a habit of batting about trailing plants, this succulent is non-toxic to animals and humans, so knocking off a few leaves shouldn’t cause concern. These leaves can also be collected for propagation.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Does either well, as long as light needs are met.
  • Zone recommendations: Hardy to zone 10.
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: Bright light, from full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil:  Well-draining cactus mix.
  • Water: Allow soil to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Only once a year during spring at 50% strength.

Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides)

Macro shot of Pilea peperomioides

This small, sweet plant sporting bright green pancake or coin shaped leaves can brighten any room! From shady rocks in the Yunan and Sichuan Provinces of China, the Chinese Money Plant wasn’t well known by botanists and classified until the 1980’s. Until then, thanks to its ease of care and propagation, gardeners simply passed it around via cuttings.

Lately, it’s experienced a boom in popularity and can sometimes be a difficult plant to find. However, it is very easy to propagate by repotting a cutting. A Norwegian missionary began the plant’s journey by sharing cuttings with others after a trip to China. Some areas have a lot of difficulty finding this plant in nurseries while it is passed from gardener to gardener with ease.

This terrarium-friendly succulent is often passed on as a lucky plant or a friendship plant.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Almost always indoors.
  • Care difficulty: Very easy.
  • Light: Bright, indirect light. Some plants enjoy light shade.
  • Soil: Well-draining soil in a pot with drainage holes.
  • Water: Allow to mostly dry out between each watering, but do not allow to dry out completely.
  • Fertilizer: Monthly.

Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera sp.)


With fewer than 10 species in the genus, Schlumbergera is a genus of tropical cacti from Brazil. Many of these grow on trees or rocks, resulting in their trailing and long-stemmed nature. Hanging from a basket and well cared for, these stems may reach up to 3 feet in length.

Christmas Cactus have earned their holiday-based nicknames from their tendency to bloom near the holidays. While each bloom may only last a few days, the plant will continue to bloom for weeks, making it quite the holiday treat. Even more of a treat, some happy plants have been known to produce extra blooming cycles!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Almost always indoors.
  • Recommended zone: About zone 10. This plant will not tolerate any frost.
  • Care difficulty: Easy!
  • Light: Bright light, at least four hours of indirect light.
  • Soil: Well-draining, sandy soil.
  • Water: Allow to dry slightly but not completely before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Monthly with watering, at half strength.

Cobweb Houseleek (Sempervivum arachnoideum)

Sempervivum arachnoideum

If you wished your garden succulents took on a creepier or fluffier appearance, maybe it’s time to look at the Cobweb Houseleek. Forming rosettes that are sometimes colored at the tips, these plants also produce fine hairs that resemble cobwebs!

These are hardy, cold-tolerant plants that can nestle into many gardens across many climates and ask for little care other than well-draining soil.

Since Sempervivum is a monocarpic genus, these plants will die once they produce their pink flowers. However, if they are in a garden or the seeds are collected and replanted, they will produce many more with their blooms!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: This genus, as a whole, is best kept outdoors. Some keepers have success with a very sunny windowsill.
  • Recommended zones: Hardy from zone 5, to zone 8.
  • Care difficulty: Very easy!
  • Light: Full sun is best, can tolerate partial shade.
  • Soil: Prefers sandy, well-draining soil.
  • Water: Allow to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Not necessary.

Crinkle Leaf Plant (Adromischus cristatus)

Adromischus cristatus

This South African succulent earns its nickname from the crinkled edges of its leaves. These plump leaves grow in a long rosette resembling the long half of a farfalle pasta – or, to some, a slice of key lime pie – up to about a foot tall and up to two feet wide. These leaves also come with a dusting of small hairs providing a lightly floured appearance. Unlike pasta or key lime pie, these leaves should not be ingested as they are toxic.

Since these plants stay small, they are happy to fit in wherever you have about one to two feet of space. Great spots include windowsills (even in the office!), rock or succulent gardens.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Either! Will do well outdoors but is not cold hardy.
  • Zone recommendation: Hardy to zone 9, grown as an annual or overwintered indoors in other climates.
  • Care difficulty: Easy!
  • Light: Full sun or bright light to partial shade.
  • Soil: Well-draining succulent mix.
  • Water: Allow soil to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: With each watering in damp substrate during the growing season. Skip during the dormant season.

Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum tactorum)

Sempervivum tactorum

Another sempervivum going by “hens and chicks,” this plant grows to about 4 inches by 4 inches in a rosette shape. In the summer, it will send out horizontal stems that form its “chicks” as well as stalks up to 12 inches tall that will set seed.

This is a monocarpic species, so it will die once it does flower. However, it will leave many children to fill the space. Because of its propensity to spread and stay short, this is a fantastic ground cover choice!

This plant is well regarded for being an unusual and excellent garden plant as well as, in the past, being used to cover leaks and hold tiles on roofing. In times of need, it has also been used for salad since its leaves are edible!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Most often grown as an outdoor feature but does well in a sunny window.
  • Zone recommendation: Cold hardy, best grown between zones 3 and 8.
  • Care difficulty: Very easy!
  • Light: Full sun is best, can tolerate some shade.
  • Soil: Poor, well-draining soil.
  • Water: Allow soil to dry between watering. If outside, only during drought.
  • Fertilizer: At 25% once mature monthly during the growing season or a slow-release fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season.

Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii)

Euphorbia milii (crown of thorns)

Associated with the crown of thorns worn by Christ, this plant is native to Madagascar and has been moving around the world for thousands of years! With many thorns on its succulent branches, it is believed that Christ’s crown was made using this plant.

Crown of Thorns is a shrub that can grow to a whopping 6 feet tall and produce tiny, round flowers that are actually bracts in a variety of bright colors. It can grow up to 3 feet long and, in the wild, scrambles over other plants. In a garden or at home, it produces long branches that are colorful and showy with leaves that are interesting and sometimes colorful!

Please note that this is a poisonous plant and should not be ingested! Wear gloves when working with this plant.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Usually indoor but can be taken outdoors for summer.
  • Recommended zones: Hardy to zone 9-12.
  • Care difficulty: Advanced.
  • Light: Full sun, at least four hours per day.
  • Soil: Sandy, well-draining soil.
  • Water: Allow first inch of soil to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Do not fertilize after repotting. After a year, fertilize moist soil every other watering.

Devil’s Backbone (Bryophyllum Sp.)

Devil’s Backbone

Much like its nickname “Mother of Thousands,” this Madagascar plant has a thousand nicknames as well. Even once you include all of its nicknames, it can also fall under the Kalanchoe genus as well as Bryphyllum. When included as a Kalanchoe, this plant goes by K. daigremontiana. Confused? Don’t be!

Most any nursery will know what you mean if you’re looking for this plant because it has a very distinct trait.

The Mother of Thousands produces tiny plantlets along the edges of its leaves, and, in time, the mother plant passes away and drops these baby plants into the soil to propagate! In warm enough climates, this can mean keeping the plant outside makes it invasive. However, this is easily resolved by keeping it in a container.

Do keep in mind, if you have pets that might eat plants, this plant is toxic.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Almost always indoors, but can be kept outdoors.
  • Recommended zones: Hardy to zone 9-11.
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: Bright, indirect sun. Does not handle full sun.
  • Soil: Cactus mix or well-draining soil.
  • Water: Wait for first two inches of soil to dry, then soak completely and drain.
  • Fertilizer: Half strength or cactus fertilizer once every few months.

String of Dolphins (Senecio peregrinus)

String of dolphin plant Senecio peregrinus

Thought to be a cross between Sencio rowleyanus (string of pearls) and Senecio articulates (hot dog plant), this succulent has taken everyone’s heart by storm. It is known for resembling the image of a dolphin on necklaces (and it’s trailing to boot) with its leaves. Every leaf has the body of a dolphin and its fins, as if you caught it jumping mid-air. If you love dolphins, this plant is absolutely perfect.

Growing to about 6 inches tall and trailing to 10 inches wide, these are great for a smaller pot with a bit of height. They should fit on nearly any table or the right windowsill!

If you’d like to gift someone a Dolphin Necklace, simply take a leaf, allow it to callous over, and plant it in soil. It will sprout a new plant!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Normally kept indoors.
  • Zone recommendation: Hardy to zone 9.
  • Care difficulty: Intermediate.
  • Light: Bright, indirect light.
  • Soil: Well-draining succulent mix.
  • Water: Allow to dry before watering. This plant likes more water than most succulents.
  • Fertilizer: Can be fertilized once a year in the spring. Too much fertilizer will cause leaves to lose their shape.

Dwarf Jade Plant (Portulacaria afra)

Portulacaria afra dwarf jade plant

Coming from South Africa, the Dwarf Jade Plant is more of a small bush or soft-wooded small tree. It can grow to 15 feet tall!

Despite its resemblance to the jade plant, it isn’t part of the same family, and it is much hardier. The Dwarf Jade Plant is also more loosely branched, and its deep red branches taper more than the Jade.

There are many types of Portulacaria that can attract attention, and even many of the afra species. ‘Foliis variegatus’ is a variegated afra whose yellow colorings contrast their beautiful red branches. ‘Limpopo’ sports large leaves. ‘Prostrata’ isn’t quite as tall and is more suited as a ground cover.

A non-toxic plant with a sour flavor, it is also eaten in its native habitat as an ingredient of soups and salads.

Jade plants are also easy to prune, making them an excellent choice for gardeners who would love to keep an easy, small tree!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: These plants are lauded as great choices for indoor bonsai as well as outdoor xeriscaping!
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to Zone 10.
  • Care difficulty: Easy!
  • Light: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil: Well-draining soil.
  • Water: Allow to dry out or lower leaves to begin shriveling before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Monthly during the growing season.

Easter Lily Cactus (Echinopsis eyriesii)

Echinopsis eyriesii

These spiny columnar succulents hail from Mexico and South America and are true cacti that love heat and grow in clumps. They are especially grown for their display of flowers and will produce flowers best during a warm summer! Once it has hit its stride, these cacti will produce flowers frequently throughout the season.

The Easter Lily Cactus is often hybridized and their funnel-shaped blooms come in a stunning array of colors and sizes. This huge variety makes it a popular choice!

When happy, these cacti are also known for producing many new shoots off of their stems that can easily propagate into a new plant to spread the joy. They can grow to a foot tall and nearly as wide with their blooms slightly smaller.

These plants make wonderful additions to rock gardens.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Mostly indoors but should be brought outdoors in the summer to bloom.
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to zone 9.
  • Care difficulty: Very easy!
  • Light: Full sun.
  • Soil: Gritty, well-draining soil.
  • Water: Allow to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Fertilize with watering during growing season.

Elephant’s Foot Plant (Dioscorea elephantipes)

Dioscorea elephantipes

This is an odd and interesting South African succulent that makes a fabulous conversation piece as well as something to admire for its incredibly long lifespan (up to 70 years!). While the plant itself is a vine, it produces a tuber that grows almost entirely above ground. This tuber may grow slowly, but it can eventually become 3 feet tall and 10 feet wide!

In its native habitat, it is a favorite snack of elephants! In this habitat, these tubers can grow into an incredible 20-foot-tall mass!  Thankfully, since they can grow quite wide as well, they do stay much smaller indoors, where they can be potted in a shallow pan.

This succulent has also earned the nickname “Turtle Shell” due to the diamond pattern over the tuber.

Once it passes through its dormant period, marked by the vine dying back, it can produce tiny, clustered pink flowers.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Almost always a houseplant.
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to zone 10.
  • Care difficulty: Intermediate.
  • Light: Full to partial sun.
  • Soil: Very porous or well-draining soil.
  • Water: Soil should begin to dry before being watered.
  • Fertilizer: At 25% strength with every watering.

False Agave (Manfreda Undulata)

Not just a false Agave, this plant is sometimes contentious in that some feel it should be considered an Agave. Much like the Agave, Manfreda Undulata has long, thin leaves that are mottled and earn it the nickname “chocolate chip.” These leaves have a crinkled appearance at the edges and can reach up to 2 feet long, while the whole plant stays fairly short at about 4 inches tall. Other than needing a good deal of light, this is a much more compact alternative to Agave with beautiful foliage.

When False Agave blooms, it will send a stalk up to eight feet tall with deep, burgundy blooms that are striking and interesting in appearance. Unlike a true Agave, the Manfreda can bloom continuously without causing the plant any harm. Manfreda and Agave have been hybridized into “Mangave,” which are producing hybrids that aren’t always monocarpic and take on the Manfreda’s ability to bloom without dying!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Either, often kept outdoors.
  • Recommended Zone: Does best in zones 7-10.
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: Full sun.
  • Soil: Well-draining, sandy soil.
  • Water: Allow to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: At half-strength at each watering during growing season.

Flowering Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldana)

Kalanchoe blossfeldana
Sabina Bajracharya, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For plant keepers and gardeners in warm climates who want an easy care plant that loves to bloom, Flowering Kalanchoe is the answer!

This Kalanchoe celebrity has become standard even in grocery stores. With ruffled-edged leaves, these succulents host clustered, colorful blooms that can last for moths at a time. Once it finishes blooming, it can be convinced to do so again by imitating a winter cycle with a 14-hour lightless spell. Without a period of rest, these plants can struggle to bloom again, but a little patience can result in more blooms!

In climates similar to its native habitat of Madagascar, the Flowering Kalanchoe can happily bloom year-round!

In addition to K. blossfeldana, the Kalanchoe genus carries several species including trailing species, such as Kalanchoe uniflora. Once you have caring for one type of Kalanchoe down, many growers find they can keep any plant from the Kalanchoe genus!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Almost always a houseplant, but warm-climate growers are delighted with consistent blooms outdoors.
  • Recommended zone: Best in Zone 9-11.
  • Care difficulty: Easy to Intermediate.
  • Light: Bright light. East facing window in summer, South-facing in the winter.
  • Soil: Well-draining potting soil and cactus mix.
  • Water: Allow to dry before watering again.
  • Fertilizer: Not necessary. Some keepers add compost and worm casings in the spring.

The Hindu Rope or Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)

Hoya carnosa

If you like succulents that don’t look like succulents, the Hoya is a great choice! This plant is a uniquely-shaped draping vine that produces a show of delightful pink, star-shaped blooms. It is still an exciting and hardy plant that thrives with a little neglect even if it does not look like it!

One downfall of this plant is that it is susceptible to mealy bugs, a notoriously difficult pest to get rid of. However, mealy bugs do best with plants that are weak to begin with and there are successful treatments for mealy bugs. A healthy plant will have fewer pests to deal with in general.

This tropical succulent is native to Eastern Asia and Australia and is known for cleaning air indoors.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Both! Most often kept indoors.
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to 10.
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: As much as possible without burning the plant. South-facing windows are good.
  • Soil: Well-draining soil.
  • Water: Wait for soil to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Monthly during spring and summer, at half strength.
  • Frequently inspect for pests.

Horse’s Teeth (Hawthoria truncate)

Haworthia truncata
Eria Wei, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

These odd succulents, native to the Little Karoo semi-desert region in Africa, are more than their interesting shape. Their leaves have truncate tips, meaning they are transparent at the top and look as if they’ve been recently cut. Beneath this translucent, flat top are lightning shaped patterns.

Since Hawthoria truncata easily hybridizes with other Hawthoria, these patterns can become extremely interesting and unique. Some growers even produce variegated leaves, with yellow stripes over them.

These plants, growing in fanned rectangles, are adapted to severe drought. Their extremely hard leaves grow deeply buried in soil, and their translucent tipped leaves allow enough sunlight into their leaves to photosynthesize. This allows them to handle extremely harsh conditions, and, as a result, are a very hardy succulent species with few demands.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Almost always indoors.
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to zone 11.
  • Care difficulty: Intermediate.
  • Light: Bright.
  • Soil: Gritty, sandy soil that will dry quickly. Does not handle dampness.
  • Water: Wait for soil to dry between watering, water less frequently during mid-summer and winter.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal. One quarter strength during active growth. Otherwise, repotting should be enough.
  • Check frequently for pests.

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

These common South African plants are enjoyed for their ease of care, though they may be more intensive and less drought tolerant than many other succulents. They require a little more attention to their moisture level than their drought-hardy friends, so if you can’t stand seeing dry soil, the Jade Plant is a fun choice!

While normally sold quite small, the Jade Plant can certainly grow into a small, indoor tree at 5 feet tall! In time, its stems can develop a darker, thicker skin that resembles a tree trunk. It makes an interesting tree with numerous fat leaves on its branches!                

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Best grown indoors, though some gardeners have luck outdoors.
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to zones 10-11.
  • Care difficulty: Intermediate.
  • Light: Full sun, as much as possible without burning the leaves, at least four hours per day.
  • Soil: Well-draining potting mix.
  • Water: Keep moist during growing season, allow to dry slightly during dormant period.
  • Fertilizer: At 25-50% strength once every 3-4 months. Do not fertilize dry soil.

Jelly Bean or Pork and Beans (Sedum rubrotinctum)

Sedum rubrotinctum

Looking for a plant as cute as its name? Cute as a jelly bean, like the paw pads on a dog or cat? Sedum rubrotinctum, like most Sedums, is an easy-care plant with plump, fleshy tubular leaves. In the summer, with enough sun exposure, the leaves turn a bronze-red color. Its coloration and shape are strongly reminiscent of a bowl of jelly beans or, well, pork and beans.

With its well-earned nicknames and maximum height of about 8 inches, this plant can pack a lot of joy into a small container and would fit in great with succulent gardens and terrariums!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Generally kept indoors, but it can do well outdoors during warm temperatures and brought inside or as an annual.
  • Zone recommendation: Hardy to zone 10.
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: Full sun. Does well in very hot, dry areas of the garden.
  • Soil: Fast-draining soil with minimal potting soil.
  • Water: Allow to dry completely, sometimes with extended periods, before watering.
  • Fertilizer: At 25-50% strength once a month or less during growing season. Not typically necessary.

Kitten Ears or Furry Kittens (Cyanotis somaliensis)

Cyanotis somaliensis

If you love fuzzy-leaved plants, then the Kitten Ear will definitely appeal to you! With tightly bunched leaves covered in fuzz, tactile gardeners rejoice in this little succulent.

When receiving enough light, its leaves overgrow its stems and should be entirely fluffy ear-shaped leaves that creep and trail. The Kitten Ears will stay fairly small and can make a great terrarium inhabitant, but it will also do well hanging and in a pot!

This plant can produce blooms. They are tiny, purple, and last for about a day. Coming from East Africa, this succulent will prefer warmer, brighter conditions.

If you want a fuller, bushier plant, Kitten Ears responds well to trimming!

  • Indoor our Outdoor: Almost always a houseplant, but warm climates enjoy it as a garden feature.
  • Recommended zone: Zone 10-11.
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: Bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Soil: Potting soil, will do well with some sand added.
  • Water: When first inch of soil becomes dry.
  • Fertilizer: Once a month between spring and fall.

Living Stone Plant (Lithops sp.)

Lithops cactus

These “stones” are highly drought tolerant succulents coming from Southern Africa composed of just two leaves in an inverted cone shape at first. True to their namesake, they are mimicking rocks to camouflage themselves, so they are less likely to be eaten during periods of drought. They can handle such severe drought that some species are able to survive with just the humidity from some mist or fog.

Living Stone Plants go through a defined growth phase throughout the year. In the summer, they are dormant and require little water. In the fall, they begin to grow and can produce a spicy-scented flower once it is at least three years old. Once winter sets in, the plant can divide and produce more plants out of the original set of leaves, leaving the old set to shrivel completely. These new sets of two leaves are new plants attached to the same root system! These plants can grow indefinitely like this.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor is best to control watering frequency.
  • Care difficulty: Intermediate.
  • Light: Full sun, can tolerate partial shade.
  • Soil: Gritty, well-draining soil.
  • Water: Rarely, and not during winter growing.
  • Fertilizer: Unnecessary.

Mexican Firecracker (Echeveria setosa)

Mexican Firecracker

Another choice for tactile gardeners, this Mexican-born succulent has potentially hundred of thick leaves covered in soft, fuzzy hairs! The Firecracker Echeveria grows rosettes of leaves on tall stems. With enough sunlight, the leaves will develop painted red tips. It can produce flowers on long stalks that are yellow with red tips.

This Echeveria is easily propagated by placing a leaf in moist soil and keeping it in a warm, well-lit area until it sprouts a new plant.

This succulent is especially prized for its easy care and being an excellent option for rock gardens. In warmer climates, this succulent is even kept on rooftop gardens!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Usually a houseplant but makes a good annual or garden plant in warm climates.
  • Recommended zone: Zone 9-12.
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: Bright, south facing window or indirect light in the garden.
  • Soil: Cactus mix.
  • Water: Allow to dry out before watering. Water more frequently in extreme heat outdoors.
  • Fertilizer: Not necessary. Excess fertilizer can cause burn or excessive growth.

Mistletoe Cactus (Rhipsalis sp.)

Mistletoe Cactus (Rhipsalis sp.)

This awkward epiphyte likes to defy the rules of a succulent a little. Once mistaken for being a member of the parasitic Cassytha, it was soon found to be a true cactus. It features countless indeterminate branches with small hairs at nubs. It produces numerous pale yellow to white blooms.

Found hanging from tree crotches in the understoreys of Central and northern areas of South America as well as the Caribbean. This is the most widely known and distributed epiphytic succulent, making it an interesting plant to keep! Being an epiphyte, this plant will make a great mounted piece as well as a beautiful hanging basket.

The Mistletoe Cactus can grow to a whopping, fluffy 10 feet at its happiest, but most people find it stays perfectly in control in a basket!

  • Outdoor or Indoor: Mostly kept as an indoor hanging plant.
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to zones 9-10.
  • Care difficulty: Easy to intermediate.
  • Light: Morning sun, full shade during afternoon.
  • Soil: None mounted. Otherwise, potting mix or cactus mix.
  • Water: Frequently during spring and summer, suspend in winter.
  • Fertilizer: Rarely necessary. Once a month during growing season.
  • Use a humidity tray to increase ambient humidity.

Moonstones Plant (Pachyphytum oviferum)

Pachyphytum oviferum

Easily found for good reason, this common succulent is a fantastic choice for beginners and experienced succulent keepers alike. Its leaves are chubby and plump, mostly round in a rosette pattern, and come in beautiful colors. It is known for developing pinkish hues over green and sometimes gray-ish leaves. In some conditions, its leaves may become fully pink.

It grows to just 6 inches tall and about 12 inches wide and can, in time, spread with offsets. Its small size and slow-growing habits make it a fantastic fit for small pots, succulent gardens, and awkward spots in a warm-climate garden. If you aren’t in a warm climate and want to keep this plant outdoors, it will do very well in an outdoor pot as well! This plant will do a fantastic job of filling out a pot.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Does both very well!
  • Zone recommendation: Hardy to zone 9. In cooler climates, overwinter indoors or grow as an annual.
  • Care difficulty: Easy!
  • Light: Full to partial sun, or bright light indoors.
  • Soil: Well-draining soil.
  • Water: Allow to dry before watering again.
  • Fertilizer: Once a month during the growing season.

Mother of Pearl or Ghost Plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense)

Graptopetalum paraguayense

These stunning succulents grow rosettes up to 4 inches wide on trailing stems up to 3 feet long. These are fabulous as both hanging baskets as well as very tall planters! In the spring, this plant will produce bunches of small, yellow blooms.

Likely from the Chihuhuan area of the Rocky Mountain, despite its name “paraguayense,” this plant loves the sun. While it will handle the shade and still produce beautiful grays and silvers, purples, and blues, it shines the most in full sun.

In full sun, the Ghost Plant produces hues of yellows, pinks that are sometimes nearly red. It will also produce a powdery coating that gives it a dusty look. Keep it away from rainfall to protect the powder from washing away.

If you have been wishing for a hanging basket or vertical planter as easy as it is beautiful, this would be a perfect choice for you!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Best grown outdoors and can be overwintered indoors.
  • Zone recommendation: Cold hardy to zone 9. In colder zones, overwinter indoors or grow as an annual.
  • Care difficulty: Very easy!
  • Light: Full sun outdoors. Bright light indoors.
  • Soil: Well-draining succulent mix.
  • Water: Allow to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Once in early spring.

Old Man Cactus (Cephalocereus Senilis)

Old Man Cactus Cephalocereus Senilis

Named for its shaggy, unkempt appearance, this is a great choice for a tactile gardener. Rather than being grown for its blooms, which are not produced until an elderly 10 to 20 years old, it is enjoyed for its hair produced by modified spines. In its native habitat in Mexico, these hairs are grown to protect the plant from intense heat and wind, so the more sun it gets, the hairier it is.

If your home could use more bundles of soft, white hair, the Old Man Cactus will be happy to spend its life indoors in a pot. When it does, eventually, get around to blooming, it can set tiny, striped pink blooms. In the wild, it can even produce tiny fruits about an inch in diameter.

  • Outdoor or Indoor: Mostly kept indoors.
  • Recommended zones: Hardy in zones 9b-11.
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: Full sun to encourage hair growth.
  • Soil: Sandy or gritty, well-draining mix.
  • Water: Wait for soil to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Only in early spring, best with slow-release fertilizers.

Orchid Cactus (Disocactus ackermannii)

Once named Epiphyllym and now heavily hybridized, these plants confuse growers with their new genus name, Disocactus. These are epiphytic succulents, originating in some parts of Mexico. At home, they are happy to overflow and hang from a basket!

These plants are favored for producing sizeable, gorgeous, long lasting flowers in a choice of bright colors and even shapes. These flowers are known to stick around for a length of time left undisturbed and in a draft-free area.

The orchid cactus is also easy to propagate from cuttings, which will need to be taken to encourage fuller growth.

If you’ve always admired orchids, but never quite been able to keep one alive, consider the Orchid Cactus, with its ease of care and stunning blooms!

  • Outdoor or Indoor: Best kept indoors.
  • Care difficulty: Intermediate.
  • Light: Indirect light or shade.
  • Soil: Loose, well-draining soil.
  • Water: Allow top of soil to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Half strength once a month during growing season.

Ox Tongue (Gasteria spp.)

ox tounge succulent

Potentially related to the Aloe family and believed by some to be a kind of natural hybrid, these attractive succulents are known for their long, tongue-shapes leaves, some of them striped but some of them even, fittingly, bumpy.

These are slow-growing plants that do will do well on a table. If you’ve always wondered what to put in those charming shallow pots, these are a perfect candidate with their shallow roots.

If you’re not sure which species to look for, Gasteria verrucosa is the most common example of this species with its white warts along the leaves. While some Gasteria stay as small as 1 inch, G. verrucose can grow leaves up to a sprawling 3 feet long!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Does best indoors.
  • Zone recommendation: Hardy to zone 9. If planted outside, protect the leaves from getting wet and accumulating water.
  • Care difficulty: Intermediate.
  • Light: Bright, indirect light. Does not tolerate full or direct sun.
  • Soil: Gritty, well-draining soil.
  • Water: Allow to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Slow-release fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season.

Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)

Panda Plant - Kalanchoe tomentosa

If you’d like a plant that makes you say, “aww!” or you’re a tactile gardener, the Panda Plant is a fantastic choice! This plant doesn’t demand too much sun or care and can grow to nearly 3 feet tall. It is a shrub with very soft, fuzzy leaves that are tipped chocolate brown to panda black around the edges.

These are hardy, easy to grow and care for plants that are just as much at home in the garden as they are indoors. Of course, being native to Madagascar, the Panda Plant isn’t able to handle frost well, so keep it in a container wherever you decide to keep it.

This is another easy-to-keep and easy-to-propagate species that can propagate by leaf cuttings!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Does both well!
  • Zone recommendations: Hardy to zone 9b. Keep as an annual or overwinter indoors in cold climates.
  • Care difficult: Easy!
  • Light: Bright, indirect light indoors. Cool morning sun to partial shade outdoors.
  • Soil: Well-draining, sandy succulent mix.
  • Water: Allow soil to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Once a month at 25-50% only during the growing season.

Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli)

Euphorbia tirucalli

Not a true cactus, this succulent is native to Africa throughout the continent and possibly India. The Pencil cactus is actually a tree, growing up to 30 feet tall in its natural habitat! In gardens and pots, it stays closer to about 8 feet. It is a unique succulent tree with thin, pencil shaped branches and stems that may turn red with enough light.

A conversation starter, Euphorbias produce a milky toxic latex that is difficult to remove and can be fatal, burn your skin, or even cause blindness when it touches the eyes. With caution exercised, not only is this plant still favored by many plant keepers, it is actually prized and studied for practical purposes.

Its latex can be converted to gasoline and has been considered for producing gasoline on normally unusable land. It is also, in many cultures, used as a traditional medicine for everything from a toothache to cancer.

If you would enjoy a highly drought tolerant tree or a conversation starter, take a look at the pencil cactus!

  • Outdoor or Indoor: Normally kept indoors, but some gardeners in warm climates keep it outdoors.
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to zone 9-11.
  • Care difficulty: Intermediate to advanced.
  • Light: Bright light, potentially full sun.
  • Soil: Well-draining, sandy soil.
  • Water: Allow soil to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Minimal. Once in the spring.

Peruvian Grape Ivy (Cissus rotundifolia)

This exciting vine, native to East Africa, is not only part of the grape vine family, it’s a succulent! It is especially attractive if you’d like a vine with tendrils.

It will rarely flower indoors, as it flowers after first rains in its native habitat. When it does bloom, it produces small red berries that are edible!

This succulent is a determinate vine that can grow to a massive 15 feet long and up to 12 feet wide! It won’t usually grow this large at home. However, it can be a vigorous grower and require trimming to keep it a reasonable size. Unless, of course, you’re looking for a vine that will take over a space.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Usually indoors.
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to Zone 10.
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: Bright light to partial sun.
  • Soil: Well-draining soil.
  • Water: Err on the side of dry. Soil can be kept moist during growing season.
  • Fertilizer: Not necessary. Can be fertilized at half strength throughout growing season for faster growth.

Pickle Plant (Kleinia stapeliiformis)

Kleinia stapeliiformis
Dinkum, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This South African succulent, unlike a cucumber, will not make pickles. However, it does resemble long, thin cucumber pickles! It forms long, standing stems up to 10 inches long and nearly an inch thick with thin stems that form interesting patterns along the plant.

These plants can also fill out a pot by producing new shots along the ground that grow into more of these single-stem plants. If you would like more of these plants in addition to the runners, this plant can also be propagated by cuttings and grown from seed!

When the Pickle Plant blooms, it produces bulbs filled with innumerable tiny colorful blooms.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Best grown indoors.
  • Care difficulty: Intermediate.
  • Light: Partial shade with an additional 3 hours of direct sunlight.
  • Soil: Well-draining, sandy soil mix.
  • Water: Wait for soil to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: At half strength or with full strength cactus fertilizer once every one to two months.

Pincushion cactus (Mammillaria crinita)

Mammillaria crinita

This genus is large, but many commonly sold species are simply referred to as “Mammillaria” and have the same range of care. While some can be more demanding, the commonly found and sold varieties are very easy to care for!

These succulents are named after their small, round shape with spines that look like a full pincushion! While some Mammmillaria can reach up to a foot in height, most of them such as the crinita top out closer to around 3 inches tall and wide. With their small size and simple care, these are a perfect candidate for succulent terrariums, a small windowsill, or a simple spot on a table.

If grown inside, give this plant a cool period over the winter with suspended water to experience their beloved blooms! Since they send blooms from near the base of their spines, they are favored for producing a halo effect!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Does best with both!
  • Zone recommendation: Hardy to zone 9.
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: Bright light, no more than four hours of full sun.
  • Soil: Fast-draining cactus mix.
  • Water: Allow to dry before watering again.
  • Fertilizer: Not necessary with fresh soil with compost. Otherwise, once a month at 25-50% strength once a month during growing season.

Rattail Cactus (Aporocactus flagelliformis)

Rattail Cactus (Aporocactus flagelliformis)

This interesting basket-grown cactus is actually an epiphyte or lithophyte in the wild. It natively grows along rocks and up trees in Central and Southern America. This plant grows long strands of round, tail-shaped stems that grow up to 3 ft long. This is another desert species that is known for its hardiness and ease of care.

These stems are covered in tiny spines that can prick your fingers if not carefully handled, but they can give the cactus a soft, fuzzy appearance. Over time, this cactus can produce bright pink flowers on its stems.

While the Rattail Cactus can be propagated by seeds, it can be propagated by simply taking a cutting of a stem and placing it in organic soil.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Either, but more often kept indoors.
  • Recommended zone: Hardy outdoors to Zone 10a.
  • Care difficulty: Intermediate.
  • Light: Bright light year-round.
  • Soil: Use a sandy, well-draining soil.
  • Water: Enough to keep soil moist, not soggy. Water less frequently during winter.
  • Fertilizer: Half-strength once every two weeks during spring and summer.

Red Pagoda or Shark Tooth (Crassula capitella)

Crassula capitella

This exciting succulent, native to South Africa, has interesting, origami stacked leaves on a stem that begins erect. Over time, the leaves continue to grow and become spiral shaped. Once they are long enough, they will begin to trail and flow over baskets and pots, making this a fantastic hanging plant!

In the summer, they will produce charming, tiny white flowers on stalks. At the end of the year, they may drop leaves from the ends of their stems that can be collected to propagate into new plants.

Best of all, the more light these plants receive, the more stunning red hues they develop on their leaves! These plants may be most red at the end of winter when they receive a significant amount of light during the day followed by longer bouts of night.

These plants are enjoyed for their ease of care and lack of fussiness!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Both! Favoring warm temperatures, this is normally an indoor plant.
  • Recommended zone: Zone 9-12.
  • Care difficulty: Very easy.
  • Light: Bright light.
  • Soil: Gritty cactus soil. Can candle clay soils.
  • Water: Allow soil to dry before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Up to once a month during growing season.

Rex Begonia Vine (Cissus javana, also discolor)

Cissus javana

Named for its leaf patterns and coloration bearing a striking resemblance to the Rex Begonia, this vine is not a begonia. It is a tropical succulent native to East Asia, preferring warmer and more humid conditions.

The Rex Begonia Vine is a climbing vine that can grow to 10 feet long in its native habitat, though it will usually stick to about 3 to 6 feet indoors. Its tendrils will happily climb a trellis or fill out a totem pole support, but in a pot, it will gladly overgrow the sides and create a lush hanging plant. In warm, humid climates, some gardeners have found success simply planting it in their garden and seeing it overtake any nearby structures or trees!

Its heart shaped leaves and contrasting colors are stunning and add interest to anything it accompanies!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Either! Makes a wonderful indoor hanging basket!
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to Zone 10-11, this vine is often kept as an annual or overwintered inside. Choose a container you can easily bring inside if you choose to overwinter.
  • Care difficulty: Easy indoors, intermediate outdoors.
  • Light: Bright, indirect light. Does not like shade.
  • Soil: Well-drained soil.
  • Water: Keep soil moist but not soggy.
  • Fertilizer: Once every two weeks.

Ruby Glow Peperomia (Peperomia graveolens)

Ruby Glow Peperomia

This is a unique-looking plant with V-shaped leaves that are burgundy on the underside and a deep green on top. The green on top allows it to photosynthesize properly. From Ecuador, these plants are a little more in favor of shade and moist conditions than your average succulent.

In time, it will send out a lime-green rat tail stalk which is what produces its species namesake: Its flowers. “Graveolens” means “strong smelling” or “bad smell.” If you get very close to the flowers, you’ll catch a whiff of their rough smell!

These plants are a wonderful addition to a table or succulent garden, growing only up to 10 inches tall and 24 inches wide!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Does best indoors in most situations.
  • Zone recommendation: Hardy to zone 9.
  • Care difficulty: Intermediate.
  • Light: Partial sun to partial shade. A northern or east-facing window will do.
  • Soil: Well-draining soil.
  • Water: Allow to dry before watering. If plant is wilting, reduce watering.
  • Fertilizer: Every other week during growing season at 25-50% strength.

Snake Plant (Sensevieria Trifasciata)

Sansevieria cylindrical

If you’ve always been hoping for a plant you can keep in an office, the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is the perfect choice! Not only does this tropical African succulent thrive in office conditions, it can actually clean the air as well! It is one of a few select plants that uses the crassulacean acid metabolism to produce oxygen. Best of all, if your whole office happens to go on vacation, it may not even notice.

The Sensevieria genus also produces fibers that could be broken down and used for bowstrings as well, earning its “bowstring” nickname!

As a creeping plant, it grows by sending up individual leaves that could grow up to 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide in optimal conditions. In most indoor conditions, it tops out closer to 3 feet tall.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Almost always indoor, especially an office plant.
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to zone 9.
  • Care difficulty: Very easy!
  • Light: Bright light to shade.
  • Soil: Well-draining soil.
  • Water: Allow to dry slightly before watering.
  • Fertilizer: At half strength during growing season. Do not fertilize during dormancy.

Starfish Cacti (Stapelia gigantica)

Stapelia gigantica

This cactus isn’t just easy to care for, it is invasive when introduced to the right climates, arid and semi-arid. If you’re looking for something really unusual and unique, but also easy to care for, Stapelia, from South Africa, might just have your answer.

Stapelia sp. feature spineless succulents growing tall fuzzy stems in clumps. For the gigantica, these stems are up to 1.2 inches thick.

The Starfish Cacti is prized for its ability to produce a carrion flower. Its flowers are very large and star shaped and produces an upsetting odor after a few days. These carrion flowers are believed to be smelly in order to attract flies. Some keepers use these blooms to collect some pests within their home. If it’s too much and conditions outside are agreeable, some people simply move it outside and admire the blooms from a distance.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Usually an indoor plant, unless the blooms are too fragrant.
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to Zones 9-11.
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: Full to partial sun, morning light is best.
  • Soil: Well-draining soil.
  • Water: Keep soil moist, not soggy.
  • Fertilizer: At half strength in early spring.

Stonecrop (Sedum sp.)


If you’re an outdoor gardener in a cold climate, or a gardener tired of fussy plants, or you have rocky soil that doesn’t support many plants… Sedum is a dream come true! This varied succulent is almost always very hardy, very easily propagated, and comes in a list of options!

Sedum can be short at about 3” (sedum acre), a little taller at about 4-8” (sedum kamtschaticum), or taller and bushier at 12-18” (sedum spectabile). This genus is truly a boon to gardeners, especially those in cold and dry climates.

Sedum Angelina and acre, stalk-shaped ground covers, are known especially in these gardens as being as easy as placing a cutting in the soil and watching it take over.

If you are a gardener who wishes they could have on easy plant, sedum is a great choice!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Mostly outdoor, but small species do well in containers.
  • Recommended zone: Zones 4-9, this genus is quite cold hardy.
  • Care difficulty: Very easy.
  • Light: Full to partial sun.
  • Soil: Well-draining soils. Does well in sandy soil.
  • Water: Wait for first two inches of soil to dry before watering. Do not overwater.
  • Fertilizer: At most, at the beginning of spring. In rich soil, once every other year.

String of Hearts or Rosary Vine (Ceropegia woodii)

Ceropegia Woodii - string of hearts

This is another vine that doesn’t look like a typical succulent! With thinner leaves and long, trailing stems with pink colorful leaves, this one is easily missed as being a succulent. However, it is still a hardy plant that thrives best with neglect!

The Rosary Vine is native to Southern Africa where it is an evergreen climber that crops up among existing vegetation. This vine, in most homes, does best as a hanging pot. However, it can also do well on a trellis as well!

This String of Hearts will produce flowers that resemble a modified pitcher plant that trap pollinating flies until the flower withers and coats the fly with pollen. As a member of the milkweed family, these blooms will produce horn-shaped pods once pollinated!

This fast-growing plant is an excellent choice if you’re hoping for a trailing plant with a thick mat of interesting leaves!

  • Indoor or Outdoor:  Usually indoors.
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to Zone 10.
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: Bright, sometimes direct, light.
  • Soil: Sandy, well-draining soil.
  • Water: Keep somewhat moist during growing seasons, allow to dry before watering during winter. Err on the side of dry.
  • Fertilizer: Monthly at half strength during growing season.

String of Pearls (Senecio Rowleyanus)

Senecio rowleyanus

String of Pearls is known for producing luxurious locks of tiny, ball-shaped leaves that overflow its containers and will happily trail up to about 3 feet long if you allow it. Since this plant isn’t likely to spread out width-wise, some keepers find it easier to create volume by trimming the strings and placing them in the pot, so they can produce more roots and grow more strings! Of course, this means this plant can also be propagated by cuttings this way as well.

In its native habitat in southwest Africa, this plant grows in dry, shady areas by creeping along the ground and forming mats. It thrives with dry spells by storing water in its round leaves.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Both, but mostly an indoor hanging basket.
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to zone 9.
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: As bright as possible, even direct if it is not constant and hot enough to burn the plant.
  • Soil: Use sandy, well-draining soil.
  • Water: Allow soil to dry before watering, can survive long periods of drought.
  • Fertilizer: At half strength every other week during its growing period.

String of Buttons (Crassula perforata)

Crassula perforata String of Buttons

This sweet, little succulent produces long stems with leaves alternating in pairs of two. It is a sprawling bush that only reaches about 18 inches at its full size. While its stems trail a little and it has the “string of” name like other trailing succulents, it won’t become a hanging basket. Instead, it’ll lend its charm to a smaller planter!

Thanks to its smaller size, it will make a great table companion that won’t outgrow your furniture. It will also fit in well with a succulent terrarium. Pair this with other small succulents for a stunning succulent garden!

This is a fun, easy to find succulent that won’t add too much work to your current routine, whether its your first succulent or your hundredth.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Usually found indoors. Be wary of frost outdoors.
  • Zone recommendation: Hardy to zone 9.
  • Care difficulty: Easy.
  • Light: Partial sun to partial shade. Indoors, a southern-facing window.
  • Soil: Well-draining soil.
  • Water: Allow to dry before watering again.
  • Fertilizer: Up to 25% strength during early growing season.

Tree Houseleek (Aeonium arboreum)

Aeonium arboreum

Native to the Canary Islands and East Africa, the Tree Houseleek is isn’t quite as hardy as the Cobweb Houseleek. It thrives in warm weather where it produces charming pyramid-shaped yellow blooms.

Even without blooms, the Tree Houseleek is a very interesting and beautiful plant! Leaves grow in pristine rosettes atop tall stems, resembling trees. ‘Zwartkop’ is one of the most common varieties for this purpose, since its leaves are a striking shade of purple-black. Best of all, this tall and interesting foliage makes a fantastic inhabitant for rock gardens. Otherwise, it will make a perfect “star of the show” in its own pot!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Almost always indoor.
  • Recommended zone: Hardy to zone 9.
  • Care difficulty: Easy!
  • Light: Full sun.
  • Soil: Well-draining, sandy soil.
  • Water: Water frequently but allow soil to dry slightly between watering.
  • Fertilizer: Fertilize once in the spring when potted, not necessary when planted outdoors.

Two-Row Stonecrop (Sedum spurium)

Two-Row Stonecrop (Sedum spurium)

If you’ve got a spot with very poor, well-draining soil that’s always dry and in a hot, sunny spot, and… well… nothing will live there, try Sedum spurium. This is fantastic example of the Sedum genus’s incredible hardiness! Cold hardy, heat-loving, and drought-tolerant, this plant can find a home in the worst spot in your garden and make it beautiful.

Sedum spurium comes in a variety of colors, from simple Sedum spurium, to ‘Dragon’s Blood’ with dark red colors and ‘Red Carpet’ with velvety pink-red hues. It can add a touch of color in any garden. S. spurium will grow in a mat up to 6 inches tall with a spread of nearly 2 feet.

If you don’t have a spot that quite matches this description, you can still enjoy this succulent!  This ground cover will do well in pots as long as it gets enough sunlight.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Mostly kept outdoors, needs heat and sun.
  • Zone recommendations: Does best in zones 4-8, some have success even in zone 3.
  • Care difficulty: Very easy!
  • Light: Full sun.
  • Soil: Well-draining soil.
  • Water: Allow soil to dry thoroughly before watering.
  • Fertilizer: Generally, not necessary. If fertilized, only once or twice during the growing season.

Wax Ivy or Natal Ivy (Senecio macroglossus)

Senecio macroglossus

Another succulent with a deceptive name, this southern African plant isn’t at all related to ivy plants. However, it does bear a great resemblance! Its small, triangle shaped leaves on wiry stems could be a close relative of the ivy, except that they are succulents with thick, waxy leaves. The variegated wax ivy is especially colorful with its bright yellow leaves.

Wax ivy makes a beautiful hanging basket and is happy to overflow the basket up to 10 feet long! The plump plants make a stunning display wherever they happen to thrive! Once experiencing its native winter habitat, it is likely to bloom and produce cream-colored, daisy-like flowers along its stems.

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Almost always indoors, rarely outdoors.
  • Recommended Zone: Hardy to zone 9, does best closer to zone 11.
  • Care difficulty: Easy!
  • Light: Bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Soil: Loamy, well-draining potting mix
  • Water: Allow soil to dry out slightly between watering.
  • Fertilizer: Not necessary. At most, half strength once a year.

Zebra Plant (Haworthiopsis, formerly Haworthia, attenuata)

Haworthiopsis attenuata

Often misnamed and sold as Haworthia fasciata, this tiny succulent is a fantastic beginner plant!

The Zebra plant is nicknamed for its vertical, white stripes growing from the base of its leaves all the way to its tips. It only grows up to 5 inches wide and just 8 inches tall, making it a perfect small space companion that you won’t need to assign the living room corner to! It’s non-toxic and follows basic succulent care that anyone can get the hang of.

If you’ve been thinking about making the jump into keeping succulents, but you’re not sure you want to keep a giant or something otherwise difficult, the Zebra Plant can offer its small size, ease of care, and sweet charms to your home! If you already do well with keeping succulents, then caring for the Zebra Plant will be intuitive and simple!

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Almost always indoor.
  • Zone recommendation: Hardy to zone 10.
  • Care difficulty: Very easy!
  • Light: Bright, indirect light. South, East, or West facing windows are all great options.
  • Soil: Well-draining cactus soil.
  • Water: Allow soil to dry before watering again.
  • Fertilizer: At 25-50% strength during growing season, none during fall and winter.

About The Author

Teri Tracy

Hi, I'm Teri! I am a plant collector and former botanist who's spent years learning about and caring for plants from all over the world. I'm passionate about biodiversity and rainforest preservation, and I love to study newly discovered plants in my free time. 

3 thoughts on “50 Popular Types of Succulents (With Pictures)”

  1. Your photo of the parodia magnifica the plant to the left of it is the plant I’m looking for the name too. Can you please help me out with the name?


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