Looking for some of the most popular succulents to grow? You’ve come to the right place.
When most people think of succulents, they think of cacti. While the two are similar (both, for example, tend to be drought-tolerant) they are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the succulent family is large, home to dozens upon dozens of different plants that are suitable for beginner to advanced gardeners alike.
Representing nearly every color in the rainbow, succulents are easy to care for. If you live somewhere warm and are planning to grow them in your backyard then one of these DIY succulent projects might interest you. But succulents also make perfect houseplants, allowing even the northernmost growers to benefit from their long-lasting beauty.
Ready to get started? Here are 32 of the most popular succulents you can grow - and some reasons why you should get started today.
1. Zebra Plant
Out of all of the popular succulents on this list, the zebra plant is perhaps one of the most attractive. It has a spiky appearance but fortunately, is still safe to grow around pets and children because it doesn’t actually have any sharp spines or thorns that can prick you. It produces dense clumps of leaves that are up to five inches long and looks wonderful in a small container. Just water it once every week or so throughout the year.
2. White Velvet
White velvet, also known as the cobweb spiderwort, is a unique plant that has cobweb-like hairs all over its leaves.
3. Panda Plant
The panda plant may not look like the black and white spotted creature we all know and love, but it’s just as adorable. This plant is covered in fuzzy, brown, and green leaves.
4. Chalk Liveforever
This plant has an undeniably unusual name - but that’s no reason to not consider it for your succulent garden. It has leaves covered in a powdery, wax-like coating that makes the plant super difficult to kill. It will grow best in a rock garden, as it requires very little water to be healthy.
5. Burro’s Tail
Burro’s tail, also known as donkey tail, is a popular landscaping sedum that can even be grown in a hanging basket indoors. Sedum morganianum has long, trailing stems loaded with chunky leaves - the strands of leaves look, as you might expect, like a donkey’s tail. This popular succulent is easy to care for, just requiring a bit of water in the spring and summer (and only monthly watering during the winter).
6. Madagascar Ocotillo
The Madagascar Ocotillo is native to Madagascar. It has a menacing appearance with spines surrounding its symmetrical leaves - but don’t let it scare you. The spines are just there to protect it from hungry herbivores.
7. Variegated Elephant Bush
Sometimes called a rainbow bush, the variegated elephant bush is really more of a tree, often growing up to 20 feet tall! It’s a favorite treat for elephants, hence how this succulent got its name.
8. Black Prince
Black prince, a member of the echeveria family, is pretty easy to identify. In fact, that’s the case with most echeveria succulents, which have telltale rosette leaf patterns. This variety is a special standout with its dark, near-black leaves.
9. Sticks on Fire
Also known as the milk bush and the pencil cactus, sticks on fire is a member of the Euphorbia genus. It is beautiful to have around, but you’ll want to be mindful of where you plant it. That’s because it releases a toxic milk-like substance that will burn your skin when you touch it.
10. Hens and Chicks
Hens and chicks is one of the few succulents that can be grown in cooler climates. It consists of one main plant, the “hen,” along with offspring buds, the “chicks.” It’s a member of the sempervivum genus and related to other stonecrop plants.
11. Sweetheart Hoya
Sometimes referred to as the Valentine plant, the sweetheart hoya is the perfect plant to give to your honey on an anniversary or for Valentine’s Day - it has heart-shaped leaves! This succulent is easy to grow in a container, too.
12. Silver Shamrock
Also known as sorrel, silver shamrock is a perennial that produces gorgeous leaves (shaped like shamrocks) along with elegant pink flowers that will bloom through the winter months.
Butterwort, or Pinguicula moranensis, is a carnivorous succulent. It has sticky leaves that it will use to trap curious bugs - and then it eats them!
14. Pincushion Cactus
This cactus looks just like a pincushion, but that’s not what makes it so beautiful to behold. We love its elegant pink-purple flowers in particular! There are hundreds of varieties of this plant to choose from, too.
15. Agave Azul
All kinds of agave are succulents, but agave azul is one of the most gorgeous. This agave variety is the primary ingredient in tequila, too - its gorgeous grey-purple leaves are sure to astound any visitor to your garden even if that other bit of trivia does not.
16. Pincushion Peperomia
Pincushion peperomia is native to Peru and is perfect for growing in an office. It’s easy to care for and offers a beautiful, sedate aesthetic.
17. Snake Plant
Sometimes referred to as mother-in-law’s-tongue, this succulent has sharp, distinctive leaves that can be solid or variegated in color. It is one of the best succulents to grow if you are hoping to improve the air quality inside your home, too, since it can increase oxygen contents and filter out dirty air.
18. Ponytail Palm
The ponytail palm looks like a palm tree, but it’s actually a succulent - in fact, it’s not even related to the palm tree. This tree has a lovely bulbous trunk and draping, hair-like leaves.
Moonstones look just like a pile of pebbles and are just about as easy to care for as a pile of rocks, too. This plant has gorgeous blue-green leaves and is so drought-tolerant that it only needs to be watered about once every other week during the summer - far less during the winter. Plant it in direct sunlight for the best results.
20. Christmas Cactus
Can’t decide what to get that last person on your holiday gift list? Consider the Christmas cactus! This plant has claw-like leaves and asymmetrical flowers in gorgeous shades, typically in red. It’s easy to grow year-round but typically blooms right around the holidays.
21. Pinwheel Desert Rose
Unlike a vast majority of other succulent houseplants, pinwheel desert rose detests hot weather. In fact, this plant goes dormant when temperatures creep above the 80s. Because of this, it’s the perfect succulent to grow as a houseplant. It can easily grow to more than three feet tall and it is easy to grow from cuttings, too.
22. Common Glasswort
Common glasswort, also referred to as poor man’s asparagus or sea asparagus, is a succulent that you can actually eat. It does best in water and is particularly delicious when pickled and brined.
23. Ox Tongue
If you’ve ever spent time around an ox, you’ll find that this popular succulent is aptly named. Ox tongue is a low-growing, stemless succulent, it comes in multiple varieties, including “Little Warty.” It requires a few hours of sunlight each day and needs to be watered just one time per week.
24. Woolly Senecio
Just as fun to caress as it is to look at, woolly senecio, also referred to as the cocoon plant, is covered in delicate white hairs. It also produces gorgeous yellow flowers when grown in the proper conditions.
25. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera - the quintessential succulent. In fact, aloe is typically the first plant that comes to mind when you bring up succulents. With a wide variety of decorative and medicinal benefits, this fleshy succulent is a top choice for indoor and outdoor growing.
An elegant, understated succulent, jade is one of the most popular plants you can grow, especially indoors. This plant is remarkably easy to care for and hosts gorgeous white or pink flowers.
27. Propeller Plant
The propeller plant produces large overlapping leaves that look, as you might expect, like a propeller. Native to South Africa, this plant likes the heat and prefers bright light with a bit of shade in the afternoon. Excellent drainage is a must for this succulent, which is prone to root rot under extremely wet conditions.
28. Barrel Cactus
The barrel cactus looks, as you might expect, just like a little barrel. There are several types you can grow, including the mother-in-law’s cushion and the golden barrel cactus. These names are often used interchangeably to refer to the same plant.
29. Dolphin Succulent
There’s something truly unique about the dolphin succulent, a plant that grows leaves that look just like dolphins as they jump in and out of the water. Unfortunately, this plant can’t tolerate cold weather at all - just a little cold snap or a bit of frost will totally kill it. Therefore, it’s best to grow this plant indoors only.
30. Fishbone Cactus
The fishbone cactus is another top contender when it comes to the best succulents to grow. This one likes to be grown in a more humid environment, something that is uncommon among succulent plants. It requires just partial, filtered sunlight and has a gorgeous trailing pattern that makes it perfect for growing both indoors or outside in a hanging basket.
31. String of Buttons
Sometimes referred to as the necklace vine, the string of buttons plant is related to jade and is just as easy to grow. It produces gorgeous strands of succulent bead-like leaves (up to 18 inches in length) that sprawl and look wonderful when planted in a dish garden. You will just need to water when the top inch of soil appears dry.
32. Baby Toes
The name of this succulent might sound a little creepy, but Baby Toes is a popular option for indoor and outdoor growers alike. It requires regular irrigation but it’s important that you allow the soil to drain freely. Water once a week in the summer and enjoy the plants’ gorgeous tubular leaves (shaped, yes, like a child’s toes) and its gorgeous purple and white flowers.
Why You Should Grow Succulents
When it comes to growing beautiful houseplants, succulents make some of the best houseplants for a variety of essential reasons. For starters, they’re gorgeous to look at, with their vibrant colors having the ability to brighten a home in any climate. Many look like miniature sculptures!
Plus, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of growing plants indoors - improved air purification, humidity levels, and oxygenation - without all the hassle. Are you a forgetful waterer? Does your home have dry conditions? If so, succulents are the perfect choice. And, once you have your succulents and you'd like to make more, you can follow our guide to propagating them.
Succulents fit well in any home. Consider growing one of the 32 most popular succulents above to instantly beautify your living space - and with minimal effort to boot.