Succulent plants have recently gained popularity as ornaments in indoor spaces such as living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms and offices. Alongside this, we could also find them in outdoor gardens.
If you love the greens but do not have the time to grow and maintain them or if you are a senior seeking easy gardening projects, succulents are go-to plants because they need only low-key maintenance, the right amount of sun and not so much water.
Uniquely, succulents are different from all other plants because their stems have the capacity to store water that is why these plants originally thrived in arid and humid environments. As such, the term succulent was inspired by the Latin word sucus which means juice sap.
Succulents become all the more interesting because they come in different variants. As a matter of fact, there are more than 500 succulent varieties according to Country Living. These types of succulents could be identified through the shape of their leaves, petals and even through stems and spikes. If you are interested in knowing the most common types of succulents, you are just in time for that treat.
In this article:
- Is Cactus a Type of Succulent?
- Are all succulents drought tolerant?
- Can you plant succulents in just rocks?
- What are the easiest succulents to grow?
- Are succulents safe for dogs?
- Are succulents poisonous?
- Types of Succulents
- 1- Acanthocereus
- 2- Adromischus
- 3- Aeonium
- 4- Agave
- 5- Aloe
- Aloe ‘Black Beauty’
- Aloe ‘Christmas Carol’
- Aloe ‘Crosby’s Prolific’
- Aloe ‘Doran Black’
- Aloe ‘Twilight Zone’
- Aloe brevifolia “Short-leaved Aloe”
- Aloe juvenna “Tiger Tooth Aloe”
- Aloe nobilis “Gold-Tooth Aloe”
- Aloe perfoliata “Mitre Aloe”
- Aloe plicatilis “Fan Aloe”
- Aloe polyphylla “Spiral Aloe”
- Aloe vera “Medicinal Aloe”
- Aristaloe aristata “Lace Aloe”
- Aloe saponaria ‘Soap Aloe’
- 6- Anacampseros
- 7- Cactus
- 8- Ceropegia
- 9- Cold Hardy
- 10. Corpuscularia
- 11. Cotyledon
- 12. Crassula
- Crassula ‘Springtime’
- Crassula ‘Tom Thumb’
- Crassula arborescens undulatifolia “Ripple Jade”
- Crassula capitella “Campfire Crassula”
- Crassula falcata “Propeller Plant”
- Crassula marginalis rubra variegata “Calico Kitten”
- Crassula marnieriana “Worm Plant”
- Crassula muscosa “Watch Chain”
- Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’
- Crassula ovata “Money Tree”
- Crassula perforata “String of Buttons”
- 13. Echeveria
- Echeveria ‘Afterglow’
- Echeveria ‘Etna’
- Echeveria ‘Lola’
- Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’
- Echeveria ‘Black Prince’
- Echeveria ‘Doris Taylor’
- Echeveria agavoides “Lipstick Echeveria”
- Echeveria harmsii “Plush Plant”
- Echeveria imbricata “Blue Rose”
- Echeveria purpusorum
- Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’
- Epithelantha micromeris “Button Cactus”
- 14. Euphorbia
- 15. Faucaria
- 16. Gasteraloe
- 17. Graptopetalum
- 18. Graptoveria
- 19. Gymnocalycium
- 20. Haworthia
- 21. Kalanchoe
- 22. Lithops
- 23. Mammillaria
- 24. Myrtillocactus
- 25. Opuntia
- 26. Oreocereus
- 27. Pachypodium
- 28. Pachyveria
- 29. Peperomia
- 30. Pleiospilos
- 31. Portulacaria
- 32. Rhipsalis
- 33. Sansevieria
- 34. Schlumbergera
- 35. Sedum
- 36. Senecio
- 37. Tradescantia
- Succulents for Northern Gardens
- Beautiful flowering succulents
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Do succulents like full sun or shade?
- Should I cut the flowers off my succulents?
- What are the rarest succulents?
- Are blue succulents real?
- Why is my purple succulent turning green?
- Do succulents like to be touched?
- Are black succulents real?
- How do I make my succulents colorful?
- Do succulents need lots of water?
- Should you mist succulents?
Is Cactus a Type of Succulent?
The first question that comes into mind is that, is the cactus a type of succulent? The answer is yes and it is because of two reasons. First, cactus is a succulent because it satisfies the first identifier for succulents which is their ability to store water.
Following this logic, all cacti are succulents. The second reason is dependent on what we call as areoles. With the areoles, it is also confirmed that not only are cactus succulents but specifically a subfamily of it. According to Leaf and Clay, areoles can only be seen among cacti but not in all succulents. Just for visuals, areoles are the small, round mounds where the spikes, flowers and leaves of the cacti grow.
What you need to remember here is that not all succulents have areoles and that if you find circular mounds in the plant, you must automatically know that those would be cacti.
Read also: 26+ Types of cactus and fun facts
Are all succulents drought tolerant?
Let us first set the parameter of what drought-tolerant means before we could answer this query. If by drought-tolerant we mean, succulents which do not need that much water at a regular scale then yes, all succulents are drought-tolerant.
As a matter of fact, succulents are divided between drought-hardy and winter-hardy succulents. Drought-hardy succulents are succulents which can store water in shorter watering intervals and those who are not very particular with the proper amount of sun and shade.
They can thrive where they are at. In the same manner, winter-hardy succulents can thrive in long days of winter drought and frost so they would be the best outdoor succulents that you can have.
Can you plant succulents in just rocks?
If by rocks you mean gravel, then the answer is yes. According to Hunker, some succulent varieties survive in rocky soils as long as it drains quickly. As a matter of fact, you can even grow then indoors using gravel soil as long as it can provide sufficient nutrients for the succulents to grow. Take for example the cactus, it does not only survive on gravel soil, it can also survive in highly rocky soils.
There is another way to answer this question though. You could plant succulents directly in pebbles as long as you put a considerable amount of soil as its base layer. You need a little bit of soil for the roots to grow. Remember, succulents are just like other plants too.
What are the easiest succulents to grow?
We have already established that succulents have the ultimate wow factor because they are easy to grow and that they do not need constant maintenance techniques. So if you are thinking of the easiest succulents to grow, here are some variants that you can consider.
- Aloe Vera
- The Jade Plant
- Panda plant
- Zebra plant
- Crown of thorns
According to Espoma, these six succulents are the easiest to grow because they are wired for both drought and winter with minimal need for water and demand only sufficient light from the sun.
Are succulents safe for dogs?
Some succulent varieties really have toxin components and that is why some varieties when not identified well could be a bit harmful for animals and pets, including dogs.
However, according to Mountain Crest Gardens, almost all succulents do not pose any harm to dogs although the toxins in some varieties may upset the digestive tract of dogs and other pets.
The best precaution here is to not let dogs sniff around succulents just in case. One thing is for sure though, succulents are safe to grow even when there are dogs and other pets around.
Are succulents poisonous?
Succulent HQ once and for all debunks the idea that succulents are poisonous and asserts that the majority of succulent varieties are ultimately safe and do not have poisonous components.
As a matter of fact, succulents date back from the pre-medieval era as they were used as key ingredients for medicines and were cited as plants that could give protection to ward off bad luck, disease and bad spirits.
Types of Succulents
We are now down to the meat and grit of this article. If succulents are that interesting, exciting, and easy to grow, what are the most common types of succulents available? Let us give you a rundown.
Acanthocereus tetragonus “Fairy Castle Cactus”
It is called as such because of its tall stems that are growing upwards unevenly resembling the towers of a castle. It is considered as one of the easiest cactus variants to take care of because it does not need regular watering and just needs full sun.
It is understandable though because it is endemic in arid to tropical regions like Midwest America, Latin America, Mexico, and the Carribean.
Adromischus cristatus “Crinkle-Leaf Plant”
As the name implies, this succulent can be identified through its triangular, rolled-salami like leaves with fine spikes. It is one of the easiest succulents to propagate with its thick stems. This succulent is endemic in South Africa.
Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’
This succulent is easy to identify because it has a unique oval-shaped flat leaves with scattered purple spots. It is both grown indoors and under full light and expect white flowers from it during summers. It will die with overwatering though.
It is considered as one of the most beautiful succulents to grow. It has intricate assemblage with its small rosettes and spoon-like leaves. The kiwi is already catchy even when not yet in bloom but will be more attractive in time when it gives you its gold, star-shaped flowers during the summer.
Learn more how to grow and care for Aeonium ‘Kiwi’
Like the kiwi, it also has well-choreographed rosettes but unlike the kiwi’s small rosettes, the sunburst has large ones with white and green leaves with copper red edges. They can grow up to 16 inches.
This succulent has one of the most catchy colors because of its dark red and lush green color that will completely turn to black when the sunlight touches it. Its stems grow in clumps which tend to make it look bushy. This is the reason why the Zwartkop is grown preferably outdoors.
Agave parryi truncata “Artichoke Agave”
The first thing you need to know about this succulent is that it is not advisable for indoor growing. It is striking with its blue to silver to gray leaves and artichoke-like built. It can tolerate any type of soil as long as it has good drainage. It has tiny yet tight rosettes, spiked leaves and copper red edges.
Agave victoriae-reginae “Queen Victoria Agave,” “Royal Agave”
It is called as such because of its prism-shaped leaves with small rosettes. Its leaves have white edges and blooms with white with scattered purple hues flowers. It is easy to propagate and the best time for you to do it is before it dies.
Agave Americana ‘Century Plant’
Century Plant (Agave Americana) is from the Agavaceae (Agave) family. It is a perennial evergreen. It has a rosette and 6 feet long and 10 inch wide “spine” leaves. The 3 to 4 inch yellowish green flower is on a 20 to 40 feet tall stalk. It requires well drained slightly acidic soil with full sun. It is drought resistant and can be propagated via seed or by offsets. USDA Hardiness Zone of 8b to 11.
Aloe ‘Black Beauty’
The black beauty may have been named as such because of its dark purple leaves. It is sometimes mistaken to the Gasteria because they both have bumpy leaves. It will bloom blue flowers in the spring and can be propagated easily when grown outdoors.
Aloe ‘Christmas Carol’
It thrives in full sun and partial shade and could grow up to 6 inches in height. It is not made for wintry climates and take note that it may have toxin components that are harmful for animals.
It is called the Christmas carol because it’s red and green color. Its color turns to crimson red when it is ‘stressed’ and will bloom red-pink colored flowers during Spring and Fall.
Aloe ‘Crosby’s Prolific’
It grows at a maximum of 6inches and is sensitive to overwatering. It is not made for the cold and may also be harmful for animals. It is known for its teeth and although green in color, it may turn to pink when happily stressed. It will also bloom during Spring and Fall.
Aloe ‘Doran Black’
It is advisable for those indoor growers out there as it needs partial sun and the typical water need of succulents. It can be grown through seeds and stem cuttings. It is considered as generally harmless for people and animals. It has white and green leaves formed In clumps.
Aloe ‘Twilight Zone’
It grows taller than the average succulent height at 12 inches. It is not winter-hardy and it is both advisable for indoor and outdoor growing as long the typical water need is met. It is an Aloe and Gasteria hybrid with orange flowers blooming in Spring.
Aloe brevifolia “Short-leaved Aloe”
It cannot be grown indoors and it can be harmful for humans and animals. It is usually propagated using seeds and is distinct with its white teeth scattered in the edges of thick leaves. It blooms in late spring with red-orange flowers.
Aloe juvenna “Tiger Tooth Aloe”
Its name tiger may probably due to its distinct white spots. It has thorny leaves that are formed in a rosette arrangement. When happily stressed, this succulent with green leaves will have reddish-brown.
It is not advisable for indoor growing though but at the same time, it is not winter-hardy too as it can only tolerate a maximum of -6 degrees C.
Aloe nobilis “Gold-Tooth Aloe”
It is called as such because of its distinct gold spines. But it is beautiful though, especially in the summer when it blooms red flowers.
Its green leaves will turn orange when it gets full sun and it is the favorite of hummingbirds and bees. It is not winter-hardy and it is grown both outdoors and indoors.
Aloe perfoliata “Mitre Aloe”
It has a blue-green color and clumps in the ground while it grows. It has a white and yellow teeth and spear-shaped leaves with bumps on the underside. It is also a favorite for hummingbirds and bloom red flowers during the summer. It can have toxin components though especially for animals.
Aloe plicatilis “Fan Aloe”
This succulent grows up to 8inches and has active growth in spring and fall. It has a deep gray stem and many fork-like branches. On each of the branch, fan-shaped leaves will grow. It will give you red flowers in spring. It is not winter-hardy.
Aloe polyphylla “Spiral Aloe”
Do not be mistaken by its beautiful spirals because they are actually sharp. The spirals are very random that is why it is considered as one of the most difficult succulents to grow. This succulent can grow up to 12inches and enters active growth in spring and fall. It may be toxic to pets and people so just be very careful.
Aloe vera “Medicinal Aloe”
This is the aloe of our childhood when scrapes and wounds would be treated in the play field with this magic succulent. It has a green color with scattered light spots. It also has hard spikes in its edges. When grown outdoors, it can grow to up to 24inches. It is not harmful to people but it can be toxic to animals.
Aristaloe aristata “Lace Aloe”
If you know the other succulent called Haworthia, their leaves kind of resemble each other. The only difference is that, this succulent has faster growth. It has dark green leaves with scattered white bumps with sharp spines at the top. Its pink flowers are also favorites of bees and hummingbirds.
Aloe saponaria ‘Soap Aloe’
Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria) is from the Liliaceae (Lily) family. It is a perennial evergreen that attracts hummingbirds and does well in a garden pot or container. It has a stemless rosette with offsets.
It will get 1.5 feet tall and the same in width with pale green lance like leaves 10 to 12 inches long. Flowers are tubular and red, orange, or yellow. Soap aloe prefers good drainage and full sun or partial shade. While leaf tips may wither the plant will be tolerant of drought conditions. Propagate via separating the offsets.USDA Hardiness Zone of 8b to 11.
It is considered as a dormant succulent because it grows slowly. It is most distinct with its dark green topped leaves with purple undersides. It usually grows in clumps and its green leaves will turn red when it experiences happy stress. It can grow to up to 24inches.
Anacampseros telephiastrum variegata ‘Sunrise’
It has a mild, relaxing color with its pink and green leaves forming into rosettes. It is one of those succulents which can grow in rocks so it could really make a great filler if you ever want to grow it outdoors. Its active growth happens in spring and fall and it can be propagated through cuttings. It may be harmful to people and animals though.
Cephalocereus senilis “Old Man Cactus”
It is called by many names like white Persian cat cactus, old man of mexico and bunny cactus. It is a tall, cylindrical plant with fine spines from top to bottom.
The spines may grow longer so they will look like the hair of old men. With proper care along with the right sun, soil and water portions, it is said that it may live for 200 years.
Disocactus flagelliformis “Rat-Tail Cactus”
It is one of the easiest cacti to cultivate but in trail form. It has thick stems but its weight will cause it to bend in the end that is why it can be hung in baskets or propagated in pots. It has purple-red flowers and sometimes even orange flowers when in full sun.
Ceropegia woodii variegata “String of Hearts”
It is also called the rosary vine because of its trailing multi-colored heart-shaped leaves of pink, green and cream with a purplish stem. It also grows tubers in its base. Its trailing leaves could grow to up to 36inches and actively grows in spring and fall.
9- Cold Hardy
Echeveria elegans “Mexican Snowball”
It is one of the most common and easily recognizable echeveria species. It has light-green rosettes and can survive indoors as long as it is positioned in a space where it can receive full sun. It is sometimes called hen or chicken but it should not be mistaken with the Sempervivum.
Sedum spurium ‘Tricolor’
It is also called as the Caucasian stonecrop which is winter-hardy. It is good to cover ground with its thick leaves with a defined green center and white linings and pink edges. It grows rosettes.
It is also a winter-hardy succulent with dark pink and green rosettes. It is good in covering ground.
It is notable for its large pink, rosettes with green and purple margins. It may take a lot of years before it blooms but when it does, it will bloom pink flowers.
It is one of those considered as rollers which grows sub-plants on top of the mother plant and then rolls away before it roots. It has red and green leaves with spikes.
Sempervivum ‘Pacific Devil’s Food’
It is also called hens and chicks with purple color during hot and cold seasons. It is winter-hardy and is good for outdoor gardens.
It is known for its green leaves and purple edges. It is good for beginners and it is winter-hardy.
Sempervivum arachnoideum ‘Cebenese’
It is known for its webbed rosettes and is winter-hardy. It has green leaves and pink edges and will produce a lot of chicks before it completely dies.
Sempervivum heuffelii ‘Irene’
It is also called Job’s beard or houseleek in deep red clumps with green edges and thick leaves in long drought periods.
Corpuscularia lehmannii “Ice Plant”
Although it is called ice plant, this succulent is not winter-hardy. It is easy to take care of though that is why it is advisable for beginners in indoor growing. It has blue-green leaves, hence the ice, which grow opposite one another as they attach to the stem. It has daisy-like flowers that bloom in spring.
Cotyledon tomentosa “Bear’s Paw”
It is called as such because it has thick and fuzzy leaves with as much as 10 teeth on their edges (which is like the paws of a bear). From green leaves, the plant can turn to deep red when stressed happily. It can grow to up to 12inches and it is not winter-hardy.
It is a complicated succulent because its stem could really grow tall but stalls when its rosettes grow. This is the reason why it is functional as spiller in rock gardens or as ornaments to be put in hanging baskets. It has attractive pink and red flowers which bloom in spring which attracts butterflies and bees.
Crassula ‘Tom Thumb’
This succulent grows fast with leaves shaped like triangles with bright green color that are stacked up on top of each other as they grow. This succulent is often found in wreath arrangements.
Crassula arborescens undulatifolia “Ripple Jade”
It is also called curly jade and is one of variants of the jade plant. It is notable for its wavy and thin leaves. Like the Tom Thumb, it is also a filler for rocky gardens and is used in succulent arrangements.
Crassula capitella “Campfire Crassula”
It has a green, propeller-shaped leaves that turns into bright red when it receives full sun or during the cooler weather. It is good for both indoor and outdoor growing and it is also a favorite of butterflies and bees. It can be harmful for pets and people though.
Crassula falcata “Propeller Plant”
It is also called the airplane plant with a propeller-like leaves but bigger ones in contrast with the campfire crassula. It is good for growing indoors but needs full sun. It is non-toxic and okay to grow in winter as long as indoors.
Crassula marginalis rubra variegata “Calico Kitten”
It is sometimes bright green and sometimes it is multi-colored. This happens when it receives full sun and the bright green becomes pink, deep pink and then cream. It is one of the most common succulents that are used in wedding bouquets. It is not winter-hardy and needs full sun.
Crassula marnieriana “Worm Plant”
It is also called by other names such as the jade necklace plant or the baby necklace. It has thick leaves that hang tightly with the stem and its leaves are deep red in color. The more it grows taller, the more that it will spill. This is why it is named as the worm plant. It will have star-shaped small, pink flowers in the winter.
Crassula muscosa “Watch Chain”
It is also called the princess pine with compact leaves clinging to the stem and will turn into a small bush as it goes on growing. It will bloom into small, yellow-green flowers in the spring and fall. Plus, it can be propagated through stem cuttings.
Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’
This succulent also comes by the name finger jade. It has tube-shaped leaves with red tips. It is good for indoor growing because it grows well even in containers. It can die of overwatering though. It is so easy to grow as it can be propagated through leaf and stem cuttings. It is not winter-hardy.
Crassula ovata “Money Tree”
It is also known as the classic jade and is one of the easiest succulents to recognize because of its distinct green oval leaves with red edges when it is stressed happily. It can easily be propagated but can be harmful for animals and plants.
Crassula perforata “String of Buttons”
It is also called as the necklace vine or the pagoda vine and is classified as a shrub succulent. It is better to grow it indoors than outdoors.
Its leaves are triangle-shaped growing opposite each other and in spiral form surrounding the stem that is why it looks stacked. Its leaves have gray-green leaves with a tinge of pink in the edges when it receives full sun. It will bloom dull yellow in the spring.
It is called as such because of its large bluish-white rosette with pink edges on the leaves. It will bloom with orange flowers during summer. It is not winter-hardy but it is deer resistant. It may grow tall at a maximum of 24inches and it is not harmful for pets and people.
It is somewhat odd-looking because of its somewhat wilted or damaged leaves but this is how the Etna typically grows. It has blue-purple leaves that look waxy and folds down in the summer making them look spear-shaped during that season. In the winter, the leaves become flat because it needs more sun.
It is a classic favorite because of its calming purple color and perfect-shaped rosettes. It becomes all the more beautiful when it starts blooming flowers in spring. Its flowers are bell-shaped yellow blooms. It is definitely not winter-hardy though.
Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’
It is one of the most accessible succulents to find and one of the most beautiful to be exact. It also has a purple color with deeper purples in the edge. It grows better in outdoor gardens. It has rosettes that grow up to 6inches and it could be propagated through cuttings and leaves.
Echeveria ‘Black Prince’
It has a very distinguishable green to brown rosettes. It can be grown both indoors and outdoors but its colors will dull out without full sun. It blooms during winter and fall with a deep red flower.
Echeveria ‘Doris Taylor’
It is also called wooly rose and is a hybrid echeveria. It has green leaves with white hair making it look wooly. When stressed happily, its leaf edges will turn into crimson red. It is perfect for beginner indoor growers and it is not toxic for animals and people.
Echeveria agavoides “Lipstick Echeveria”
It reaches its most attractive state when it is happily stressed. Its leaves are thick and triangle-shaped and its color is lime green with bold red edges that is why it is called as such. It is not winter-hardy and it is not harmful for animals and people.
Echeveria harmsii “Plush Plant”
Aside from its name, it is also called as the red echeveria because of its green and velvety silver leaves with pink edges. It is one of the favorites of indoor succulent collectors. In the summer, it will bloom bright orange flowers.
Echeveria imbricata “Blue Rose”
It is also considered as one of the most common echeverias with its flat but huge leaves with powder-blue color and pink edges. As soon as it reaches 2inches, it will start growing rosettes. It is not winter-hardy and it can be propagated through the leaves.
It is a dark-green succulent with scattered red spots. It is notable because the color of its leaves change depending on the amount of sunlight it gets. On full sun, it is dark green, but it can turn to red or brown if it does not receive full sun. It is generally slow-growing and does not really bloom that often. When it does, however, it will give a red-orange flowers.
Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’
This succulent is distinguishable with its long gray-green leaves which grow outward but curl backwards to its rosettes. It is quick-growing and very easy to propagate through leaves and cuttings. It typically blooms its orange-yellow flowers in the fall.
Epithelantha micromeris “Button Cactus”
It is also called as the ping-pong ball cactus because of its small, round shape and white-gray radial spines. The spines can grow very thick covering the surface. When this happens, only a small portion of green can be visible. It is not cold-hardy and it can grow to up to 12 inches in height and 36 inches in width.
Euphorbia cereiformis “Milk Barrel Cactus”
It looks like a column with green color and up to 15 ribs. It has spiky stalks in each of the ribs. Its flower is its literal crowning glory because it sits on top of the cactus like a crown when it blooms. Because it grows in clumps, it can be propagated through offsets. It can be harmful for people and pets, however.
Euphorbia lactea ‘Cristata’
The cristata is the product of two succulents that are grafted together and it is known by other names such as the coral cactus, crested euphorbia and crested elkhorn.
It has a coral-like top being the mutation of Euphorbia lacteal but was grafted onto the stock of another succulent. It may have silver to blue-gray color as it grows with pink edges when stressed happily. It is general tall at 36 inches.
Euphorbia polygona ‘Snowflake’
It is also column shaped but is white in color. It also has dark spikes and deep ribs that may grow straight or bent/wavy. During late spring and late summer, it will bloom dark purple flowers but it can be toxic for animals and humans.
Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’
It is also called fire sticks or red pencil tree because of its red, orange, yellow or pink stems. It is shrubby and grows well outdoors. However, you must know that it really has toxic components so it is advised that it should not be planted in common spaces at home or in gardens with heavy foot traffic.
Faucaria tigrina “Tiger Jaws”
It is known for its thick, triangular, green leaves with teeth in its edges. It got its name from its yellow flowers that only bloom during daytime in the fall and winter. It can only bloom however when it receives full sun. It is not advisable for indoor growing.
Fenestraria rhopalophylla “Baby Toes”
It is also called the window-leaf because instead of rosettes, it grows tubes and only the edges of its leaves would grow above where it is planted. It is a favorite indoor succulent with white or yellow flowers that only bloom during spring or fall.
Gasteraloe ‘Green Ice’
It is generally a slow-growing succulent with thick leaves. It is good for beginners and indoor gardeners because it is easy to maintain. Its leaves have gray spots and it will bloom red or green flowers during late spring.
Gasteria ‘Little Warty’
It is an adorable plant albeit the name and it grows well indoors. It has small bumps on its green leaves that look like warts, hence, the name. It is not winter-hardy and it can be toxic to animals and humans.
Graptopetalum paraguayense “Ghost Plant”
It is also called as the mother of pearl because of its perfectly-shaped trailing rosettes which is good for indoor hanging baskets. When it reaches full-bloom, it will have yellow-pink flowers or blue-gray color depending on the amount of sunlight it receives.
It is an Echeveria hybrid and it is distinguishable because its rosettes are shaped like roses. The tips of its leaves generally have blue-purple color but turns to pink when happily stressed. It is good in outdoor planting with its rosettes growing to up to 8 inches.
Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’
It has a calming effect because of its pink or purple color. The most amazing characteristic of the Fred Ives is that its leaves can turn into any of the colors of the rainbow depending on the climate or weather conditions. Its rosettes can grow largely to up to 24 inches and is not good for indoor growing.
Graptoveria ‘Silver Star’
It is also an Echeveria hybrid with silver-green leaves with red edges when stressed. In the spring, it may bloom into either pink or white ones. It can be propagated through leaves and offsets.
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii “Moon Cactus”
It is also called as the mutant cactus and is a hybrid of Gymnocalycium and Hylocereus. It got its name from its yellow and orange varieties and it can grow up to 12inches.
It is a slow-growing succulent with clumping, dark-green leaves with whitish ribbings. The leaves are colored pink or purple changing when it is too hot or too cold. Its long stems can grow tall and its leaves curved. It is not good for indoor growing.
It is also a slow-growing succulent with bright green leaves with scattered white spots. It is good for beginners and for indoor growers. It grows actively during spring and fall.
Haworthia fasciata — Zebra Plant
It is also called Zebra Haworthia which is very good for indoor succulent gardens. It has dark green leaves, thick and scattered horizontal stripes. It has rosettes which can grow to up to 8inches.
It is a small-growing and clumping with large leaves that narrows down to a certain point and then curves upwards. It has spiral leaves in columns with white bumps.
Haworthia retusa “Star Cactus”
It has triangle-shaped translucent leaves that bend back to form as rosettes. It has clumping offsets and shall bloom white flowers in spring and summer.
Kalanchoe beharensis ‘Fang’
The Fang is called by many names such as the stalactite plant, elephant’s ears kalanchoe, velvet leaf plant or felt bush. It is a tall variant with silver leaves with small tube like part like fangs. The edges of the leaves are gold in color and have a red-orange blooms during spring if it receives full sun.
Kalanchoe daigremontiana “Mother of Thousands”
It is also called the alligator plant and is good for beginners. It is so easy to grow and for some, it is even considered as a weed. Its leaves are like tiny bulbs and when they fall to the ground, they will surely grow new plants. That is why they are considered as mother of thousands.
It is like a large shrub with streaks of purple and maroon spots. When given full sun, it will have crimson red color and in the summer, it will bloom purple flowers.
Kalanchoe longiflora coccinea “Tugela Cliff-kalanchoe”
It has scalloped leaves growing out of thin stems. In the summer, it will bloom yellow flowers. It is endemic in the Tugela basin of South Africa.
Kalanchoe luciae “Flapjack”
Also known as the paddle plant because of its flat red leaves. It can easily be propagated using offsets. It can be toxic to animals.
Kalanchoe marnieriana “Marnier’s Kalanchoe”
Its color is blue-green with thin, circle leaves with a vertical stem. It has stacking leaves growing opposite each other and its leaf edges are red to pink when receives full sunlight. It may be harmful for pets and humans.
Kalanchoe pumila “Flower Dust Plant”
Like the aloe, it is known for its medicinal properties. It has light green spots with spikes in the outer edges of the leaves. It may be harmful for pets and people.
Lithops “Living stones”, “flowering stones”
It is also called as living stones or flowering stones because of its odd shape and colors. They are slow-growers with huge leaves. It dies with overwatering.
Mammillaria elongata “Lady Finger Cactus”
It is a good beginner succulent. It will grow with green or orange clusters depending on the amount of sunlight it gets. In the spring, it will bloom yellow and pink flowers.
Mammillaria gracilis fragilis “Thimble Cactus”
It is a small, circular green cactus with interweaving spikes. It is propagated easily and it will bloom cream flowers in late spring, fall and winter.
Mammillaria plumosa ‘Feather Cactus’
It got its name because it looks soft and fluffy too but actually, it has sharp spines in its body. These spikes or ‘feathers’ usually shade the cactus from too much sunlight.
Mammillaria rhodantha “Rainbow Pincushion”
It is a small, clumping cactus with magenta colored flowers that are longer than all other cacti flowers. Its spines are sharp though and it may wound pets and children.
Myrtillocactus geometrizans forma cristata “Dinosaur Back Plant”
It has blue-green crests with a candelabra form. It is also distinguishable waxy branches.
Opuntia microdasys albata “Bunny Ears”
It is also called as angel wings and is good for both outdoor and indoor growing, It has green pads covered with areoles making it look cottony.
Opuntia humifusa ‘Prickly Pear’
Prickly Pear (Opuntia humifusa) is from the Cactaceae (Cactus) family. It is a perennial evergreen. There are flat pads 2 to 6 inches long that spread wide on the plant, with 3 to 4 inch yellow flowers that appear in spring.
There are egg shaped fruits that are edible, tasting like watermelon. It prefers dry sandy soils, full sun, and can be propagated via seeds or pad rooting. USDA Hardiness Zone of 5 to 10.
Oreocereus celsianus “Old Man of the Andes”
It is a cylindrical-shaped cacti with fine spikes all over. Its spikes are yellow-orange, protruding around the cactus. It needs plenty of sun.
Orostachys iwarenge “Chinese Dunce Cap”
It is known for its cone-shaped rosettes that are lavender in color. It is easily propagated. It dies in the winter and comes to life again in spring.
Pachypodium lamerei “Madagascar Palm”
It is not palm-looking actually. It has silver stems and long, green leaves that will shed during winter to regrow during spring. It has toxic components.
Related: Types of palm trees
Pachyveria glauca ‘Little Jewel’
It is star-shaped with spiky rosette like jewels. It also has blue-gray leaves with red tips and peach colored flowers.
Peperomia graveolens “Ruby Glow”
It is a good filler because of its trailings. It is v-shaped with a red stem and when it blooms, it will have yellow-white flowers.
Pleiospilos nelii “Split Rock”
It is egg-shaped, split in the middle. New leaves grow in the split. It needs water in the winter and summer with orange flowers.
Portulacaria afra “Elephant Bush”
It is also called the elephant bush, elephant food or dwarf jade. It has woody stems which can really grow in trailings so it can be used in hanging baskets.
Rhipsalis cereuscula “Coral Cactus”
It is also called the mistletoe cactus which is good for indoor growing. It has bright green stems with spiky leaves with red tips. It has spikes, so be careful.
Rhipsalis ewaldiana “Mistletoe Cactus”
It is also called as the coral cactus.
Sansevieria trifasciata “Snake Plant”
It is also called as the mother-in-law plant and is perfect for indoor growing and for beginners, It has wide leaves growing upwards.
Schlumbergera truncata “Christmas Cactus”
It is also called as the thanksgiving cactus or holiday cactus. It blooms in between November and January with blooms of pink, red and white colors.
Sedum adolphii ‘Golden Glow’
It is also called the golden glow because of its small golden rosettes that are football-shaped. It will have white blossoms in spring.
It is a round succulent with blue-green leaves forming a rosette. It is good for hanging baskets.
Sedum morganianum ‘Burrito’
It is a trailing succulent with gray-green leaves. It is also easily propagated. It is expected to bloom in late spring and during the winter.
Sedum nussbaumerianum – Coppertone Sedum
It is a perennial with copper tones when it receives full sunlight. It is a good succulent cover in rock gardens.
Sedum pachyphyllum “Jelly Beans”
It has woody stems, with short, thick leaves. It has yellow flowers which bloom in the summer.
Sedum praealtum “Shrubby Stonecrop”
It looks like a shrub with green leaves like the ovate. It may grow tall and blooms yellow star-shaped flowers in spring.
Sedum rubrotinctum “Pork and Beans”
It is also called as jelly beans with bright green leaves and dark red tips when in full sunlight. Its stem is woody and its blooms are yellow during spring.
Sedum sieboldii “October Daphne”
It is a colorful sedum variant with light green leaves with pink edges. It grows tall and then spills and blooms star-shaped flowers of pink and white in the summer for hummingbirds and bees.
Senecio barbertonicus “Succulent Bush Senecio”
Its leaves are light green with stems branching out. It will bloom yellow flowers in the spring.
Senecio haworthii “Cocoon Plant”
It is also called as the wooly senecio with fuzzy front and cylindrical white leaves that look like cocoons. It also has woody stems that form little shrubs.
Senecio peregrinus “String of Dolphins”
It is also called as the dolphin necklace and is a rare kind. It has trails growing down to its stems and produces white blossoms in the fall.
Senecio radicans “String of Bananas”
Its leaves are banana-shaped and are rooted in the ground and not in hanging baskets. They are trailing succulents and are easily propagated.
Senecio rowleyanus “String of Pearls”
This is a trailing succulent that is very sensitive to overwatering, They are good for indoor growing and they are easily propagated.
Senecio serpens “Blue Chalksticks”
It is not winter-hardy and is suitable for indoor growing. It is green in color but will turn to purple when exposed to the sun. It produces white flowers in the spring.
Senecio vitalis “Blue Chalk Fingers”
It is a good filler for arrangements. It will bloom white flowers in the spring.
Tradescantia pallida ‘Purple Heart’
Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida) is from the Commelinaceae (Spiderwort) family. This perennial cactus is great for a beginner gardener. It is a groundcover plant with 1 inch wide leaves that are 3 to 5 inches long.
A deep purple color for its stems and underneath leaves; it has pale pink flowers that are around half an inch wide. It requires full sun and moist soil; it can do fine in dry soils and in times of drought. Propagate via cuttings in sandy soil. USDA Hardiness Zone of 8 to 11.
Succulents for Northern Gardens
Hardy succulents are perfect drought tolerant plants even in colder regions. Use these water saving perennials to add interest to the landscape.
Succulents make excellent container gardens and houseplants. They are also an indispensable addition to the landscape, even in colder regions. Northern gardeners may not have the variety their southern counterparts do, but there are still many succulents that are hardy to zone 3 (-40 to -30) and zone 4 (-30 to -20). Adding these hardy perennials to sunny, dry areas of the garden saves on watering and adds interest to the landscape.
Using Succulents in the Landscape
Hardy succulents are great plants for those areas of the garden that receive full sun and tend to be dry. Several varieties of sedum, sempervivum and jovibarba make excellent groundcover because of their dense growth habit. Other varieties of upright sedum and some yucca add color and texture to perennial gardens.
Most hardy succulents bloom in late summer to early fall, but for many, their foliage is the highlight. Foliage texture ranges from fine or spiky leaves to large, fleshy leaves and rosettes. Foliage color can be grey-green, yellow, burgundy and purple. For color and interest all season long, plant succulents with spring blooming bulbs and other drought tolerant perennials such as ornamental grasses, daylilies, coneflower, rudbeckia, yarrow and stachys.
Hardy Upright Succulents
Several varieties of sedum do well in northern gardens. Many have colorful foliage and interesting leaf texture. Sedum is an herbaceous perennial which means it dies back to the roots each year.
Plant sedum with spring blooming bulbs or perennials. This will avoid blank spots in the garden while the sedum is coming up. There are also varieties of yucca that are hardy to zone 4. Notable varieties of hardy upright succulents include:
- Yucca filamentosa ‘Variegata’
- Yucca filamentosa ‘Adams Needle’
- Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’
- Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’
- Sedum ‘Frosty Morn’
- Sedum ‘Garnet Brocade’
Succulent Groundcovers for Northern Gardens
Many hardy succulents make excellent groundcovers. With a spreading habit and low water needs, they are perfect for borders and rock gardens. Low growing sedums form mats of foliage which help smother weeds.
Varieties of sempervivum (hens and chicks) and jovibarba (rollers) have foliage that looks like rosettes and spread by off-spring plants. All of these come in a multitude of foliage texture and color. Notable varieties of succulent groundcovers include:
- Sempervivum Arachnoideum
- Sedum ‘Angelina’
- Sedum ‘Blue Spruce’
- Sedum ‘Dragon’s Blood’
- Sedum ‘Rosy Glow’
By adding these hardy succulents to the landscape, gardeners can create a low maintenance garden that is alive with color and texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do succulents like full sun or shade?
Just because they are considered as desert plans would not mean that they love the blasting sun all day. While they need full sun for four to six hours a day, they also need the shade for protection.
Some succulent species also love partial to full shade. Contrary to common beliefs, succulents thrive in semi desert areas where the environment is desert-like but moist and precipitation is ample.
Should I cut the flowers off my succulents?
Cutting off succulent flowers may be done (but not necessary) after its first blooming period. Carefully cut the bloom stalks after all the flowers have faded. After this, you can continue your regular care routine. The upside of cutting off flowers after the first bloom is a sure annual blooming.
What are the rarest succulents?
If you are wondering where to score the rarest succulents, you should start attending annual conventions for succulent growers. After conventions, bidding and selling happens which will be good for you if you are on the road to collecting rare succulents. Here are the rarest succulents you could find:
- Pelotilla de Chinamada (Monanthes wildpretii)
- Vahondrandra (Aloe helenae)
- Estevesia alex-bregae
- Giant Quiver Tree
- Discocactus subterraneo-proliferans
- Aichryson dumosum
- Rose pink cushion
- Sand dollar cactus
- Salao (Aeonium gorgoneum)
Are blue succulents real?
Interestingly, there are two answers to this. One, there really are fake blue succulents. Two, there exists real blue succulents. Fake blue succulents or fake succulents in general are more distinguishable when they are used as fillers for the same succulent variety.
Their leaves are lacy and more translucent. On the other hand, there are real blue succulents.
The most popular are: blue spruce (Sedum reflexum), blue glow (Agave attenuata x Agave ocahui) and blue chalksticks (Senecio serpens). Succulents also turn blue in color when they receive insufficient water and light.
Why is my purple succulent turning green?
There are three possible reasons as to why purple succulents are turning green. As a matter of fact, changing colors among succulents are generally due to these reasons. One would be insufficient drainage.
Another reason would be the change in temperature. Too much humidity or too much cold would turn them to green. Lack of sunlight will also have an impact on discoloration.
Do succulents like to be touched?
At a general level, no, succulents do not want to be touched. One, some species like echeveria and graptoverias do not like touching because they will lose their powdery coating which is their natural protection from the sun. As such, they will experience discoloration.
Some must not be touched at all because of their white, liquid film on their leaves. And of course, the spikes on spiky succulents are already enough indicators that they do not want to be touched.
Are black succulents real?
Yes, they are real. As a matter of fact, the succulent community has a collective name for them: goths. Here are some black succulents that you could check out.
- Echeveria black prince
- Sinocrassula yunnanensis
- Aeonium Arboreum Zwartkop
There are only a handful of them. Most are cultivars and some are hybrids. Interestingly, black succulents have become part of the official annual Halloween decorations.
How do I make my succulents colorful?
We people lose it when we are physically stressed but in the succulent world, physical stress makes them more colorful. Discoloration among succulents happen due to changes in temperature, watering and lighting.
If you want to see them change into other vibrant colors, a little tweak on these care requirements will allow you to change their colors. But just enough for some time of changing colors or visual display.
They cannot be done permanently as you will kill the succulents in the long haul. Scientifically, this is because it causes overproduction of carotenoid and anthocyanin which help them retain their color.
Do succulents need lots of water?
If we are talking about the proper volume of water a succulent requires, there is no specific figure for that. But, you do need to water them lots after 10-14 days (especially for indoor succulents) of no watering or if the soil turns too dry.
You would also need water intervention when the leaves turn rubbery, when the leaves turn wrinkled or when the edges start changing colors.
Should you mist succulents?
Misting should only be done for newly propagated succulents to help them establish roots. Misting mature succulents will likely kill them by causing rots. Succulents thrive in semi deserts with high aridity and humidity.
Misting them or using humidifiers around them will change the level of aridity and humidity causing root and stem rots. To keep them healthy with enough moist, check their care requirements and schedule sufficient watering every now and then.