25 Common Types of Succulents & How to Identify Them

succulent plants

Succulent plants are really common kinds of houseplants because they are very low maintenance. Succulent plants are also very popular for outside decoration.

However, not many people know what kinds of succulents they’re taking care of. It’s best to know what your plants are so you can take the best care of them, and that means that you need to learn what kind of succulents you have. To help you out, here are some tips on how to identify the different types of succulent varieties and how to take care of them.

Aloe Plant Aloe Vera

Aloe plants are really good to keep in the house for medicinal purposes.

1. Aloe Plant (aka Aloe Vera)

Just about everyone knows what aloe is: it helps relieve the burn and itch that you get when you’re sunburnt. It’s an indoor plant that many people keep not only for its medicinal purposes but for its beauty as well. The leaves are very thick and have a gray-green color to them. It’s definitely one of the most common succulents that people have because they can use it for something other than decoration. 

2. Jade Plant (aka Crassula Ovata)

The jade plant is very popular when it comes to creating a succulent garden. The trunk of a jade plant is very thick, and the leaves look like ovals that are very thick. A jade plant needs full sun, occasional watering, and room temperature room. Most jade plants only have dark green leaves, but if a jade plant is cared for very well, it can bloom pink or white flowers in the center. 

3. Flaming Katy (aka Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana)

The flaming Katy hates cold weather, so it’s best to keep it a houseplant. It has a variety of looks like red, orange, and yellow flowers; it has very thick leaves. The plant needs a well-lit area, minimal watering, and a pot with holes in the bottom for good drainage. A clay pot will be the best kind of pot to store the plant in. It stores water for itself, so overwatering is very dangerous to the life of the plant. 

4. Panda Plant (aka Kalanchoe Tomentosa)

The panda plant has fleshy leaves that have little white hairs all over them, which makes them feel fuzzy. A panda plant likes room temperature areas, light watering, and bright lights. It’s native to Mexico, and it looks great in hanging baskets because it’s so soft to the touch. It got the nickname panda plant because the ends of the leaves develop brownish-red spots that resemble that of a panda. While this plant loves being in the sun, giving it too much sun can cause it to dry out. 

5. Pincushion Cactus (aka Mammillaria Crinita)

Pincushion cacti can grow white flowers and aren’t very hardy. To make sure that the flowers grow well in the warmer months, you should stop watering them in the winter to make sure they don’t freeze. Also, don’t let these cacti sit in water, and be sure to repot them during the warmer months as needed. They don’t have specific requirements when it comes to sun care. 

6. Hens and Chicks (aka Sempervivum Tectorum)

This plant is very good at spreading out and growing more on its own, which is why it’s called hens and chicks. They work really well in rock gardens because they need good drainage. Hens and chicks plants need full sun, especially to create more offspring. This succulent is drought-tolerant, so you shouldn’t water them unless the soil is completely dry. The plant should be kept in regulated temperatures of about 60 or 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 

7. Blue Rose (aka Echeveria Imbricata) 

This is one of the most common kinds of echeveria species. It got its name because the leaves grow in the shape of a rose and have a pale blue color to them. The blue rose isn’t cold hardy, and it barely grows to be half a foot tall. It needs full or partial sun, and you would need to water it like you would water any other succulent. It’s a very pretty succulent for those who love having roses but aren’t the best at taking care of flowers. 

8. Pig’s Ear (aka Cotyledon Orbiculata)

There are several different varieties of color for this succulent. The leaves grow in the shape of an oval, are covered in little white hairs, and sometimes have red edges. They are very good ice plants because they don’t freeze and die unless you water them during winter. They need a regular amount of water for a succulent, nitrogen-low fertilizer, and a good position in sunlight. Many people like this succulent because it produces different shades of bell-shaped flowers. 

9. Crown of Thorns (aka Euphorbia Milii)

The crown of thorns is an indoor succulent that doesn’t require very much attention. It has very pretty pink flowers on it that make it look much prettier than other succulents. It only needs about three or four hours of direct sunlight a day, so place it on a windowsill that gets regular sunlight. The crown of thorns doesn’t need a lot of water (it can go a day or two without any), but it still needs regular watering. You should only water it when the dirt is really dry. 

10. Sunburst Plant (aka Aeonium Davidbramwellii)

This succulent is the same as most of the other kinds; they store water in their leaves. This is the reason why most succulents don’t need to be watered that much. It has bright green leaves that have pinkish-red tips, and it grows white flowers in the summertime. Its sun-related needs range from full sunlight to partial shade. It’s not a cold-hardy plant, and it needs soil that drains well. 

11. Burro’s Tail (aka Sedum Morganianum)

Sometimes called the donkey’s tail, this indoor succulent is incredibly easy to care for and is popular for that reason. It can be an outdoor plant in tropical climates, but it needs to be kept indoors for non-tropical climates. This plant is called a drought-resistant plant, which means that it will rot if you overwater it; however, it does require more water than other common succulents. It thrives in partial shade, so be sure to keep it somewhere that doesn’t have harsh sunlight. 

Snake Plant Sansevieria Trifasciata

Snake plants are very common because of how much they stand out.

12. Snake Plant (aka Sansevieria Trifasciata)

Sometimes called the mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plants are incredibly tough. You can plant them outside or keep them inside as a houseplant; whichever way you plant them, make sure that you don’t water them too much or else the roots will rot. The plant can take either bright or dim sunlight, so it can go wherever you want to put it. However, they can dry out if they get too much sun. They can handle humid or dry air, and they don’t care what the temperature is. 

13. Sweetheart Hoya (aka Hoya Kerrii)

Also called Valentine’s Plant, this single-leaf plant needs a lot of sunlight because its leaves hold water. You should only water them when the soil feels dry so you don’t drown the plant; they should never have standing water in their pot. You should also keep the air slightly humid. The plant got its name because the leaves look like hearts; it’s a great gift for your partner if they don’t like getting flowers. 

14. Agave Azul (aka Agave Tequilana)

Despite azul meaning blue in Spanish, these plants tend to turn red after being exposed to sunlight. It develops green and purple flowers every summer, and it grows to be about six feet tall. This succulent prefers rocky or sandy soil, light watering, and any form of sun exposure.

When it comes to fertilizing this succulent, only give it a small amount of fertilizer in the spring of its first few years of life. Agave azul succulents can really spice up a rock garden and add character to your house. 

15. Torch Plant (aka Aloe Aristata)

Also referred to as lace aloe, this succulent looks a lot like a haworthia succulent. It’s very cold hardy, and it grows a lot faster than other aloes. It has dark green leaves that look as if they have white polka dots on them, and its leaves are very pointy at the top. It can sometimes grow pink flowers too! It doesn’t have specific watering needs, but it does need shade, or else it will rot. 

16. Zebra Plant (aka Haworthia Fasciata)

The zebra plant doesn’t take up a lot of space or require a lot of attention, which is something that makes it very popular among house plants. It should be placed in a smaller pot, and it works really great as a gift. The plant has white stripes running all over the thick leaves, which is what gave the plant its name. It shouldn’t be in view of the full sun, its soil needs to be moist consistently, and it needs to be kept in a humid area. 

17. Plush Plant (aka Echeveria Pulvinata)

The plush plant has small white hairs all over its leaves that make it look silver in the sunlight. It makes really pretty orangish-yellow flowers that some people say looks like a sunset. They need partial shade, sturdy containers, and normal watering schedules for succulents. This succulent is not cold hardy, and it needs to be repotted every summer. However, be sure that the soil is completely dry before repotting. 

18. Roseum (aka Sedum Spurium)

A roseum succulent got its name because of how much it resembles a rose, and it is a stonecrop. This succulent doesn’t require super great soil to survive, but it does need soil that has good drainage, which is why lots of people put roseums in rock gardens.

This plant is very drought-tolerant, so don’t worry if you forget to water it for a few months or so. Roseums can handle any form of sunlight, as long as they can at least some every day. This plant is cold-hardy, so it can be outside no matter what time of year it is. 

19. Whale’s Tongue Agave (aka Agave Ovatifolia)

The rosette of this succulent is round, and it dies after flowering. It can take any kind of sun exposure, it needs very little water, and it requires well-draining soil. These succulents are very big, so they work better outside instead of inside. They don’t need too much attention, so honestly, it’s best to leave them alone instead of caring for them a lot. It can also grow between two and five feet tall!

20. Zwartkop (aka Aeonium Arboreum)

This type of succulent has long, droopy leaves that are bright green near the base and turn a deep purple towards the end. It’s definitely not cold hardy and needs full sun exposure. In contrast to other succulents, the zwartkop needs more water on a more regular basis. This succulent is good to use in rock gardens or any other kind of garden because it provides a good contrast to brighter flowers that are generally found in gardens. 

21. Sticks on Fire (aka Euphorbia Tirucalli) 

This plant looks like actual sticks of fire with its stems ranging in color from red, orange, yellow, and light green. This succulent is very toxic to humans and animals, so it needs to be planted somewhere that is safe for everyone. It isn’t a cold-hardy succulent, so it won’t thrive very well in colder temperatures. It needs full sun and regular watering for a succulent. It’s a very interesting-looking plant, so it will really add to the style of your succulent garden. 

Barrel Cactus Echinocactus Grusonii

Barrel cacti are good for gardens because they contrast the flowers so much.

22. Barrel Cactus (aka Echinocactus Grusonii)

This cactus can grow up to 35 ribs on it that all have yellow or white spikes covering them. It takes no time at all to grow when it’s younger, but it takes some time to complete its cycle when it’s mature. Sometimes, mature cacti can grow yellow flowers in the springtime. They need full sun, regular water schedules, and room temperature to grow. It needs to be an outside plant because it can be toxic to animals and people. 

23. White Velvet (aka Tradescantia Sillamontana)

Also known as cobweb spiderwort, this is a groundcover plant from Mexico. It needs partial shade, but it won’t die if it has full sunlight exposure. Like most succulents, it needs a kind of soil that drains very well so it doesn’t spend too much time surrounded by water. These plants are happiest in containers, and you need to be careful of overwatering them. It has very good hardiness, so don’t worry about the weather too much.

24. Woolly Senecio (aka Senecio Haworthii)

Also called the cocoon plant, the leaves are white and fuzzy, which is why the plant is called the cocoon plant. It can be very toxic to animals, so make sure that you keep it as an inside plant on a shelf or desk. It needs full sun, regular watering, and normal temperatures to thrive. It’s not a cold-hardy plant, so don’t keep it away from the sun for very long. It’s a very interesting-looking succulent, so it will definitely strike up conversations. 

25. String of Pearls (aka Senecio Rowleyanus) 

This is the ultimate plant for a hanging basket because it looks exactly like a string of green pearls. It’s not a cold hardy plant, so it’s best for the plant to be kept inside. It only needs partial shade, and it doesn’t need near as much water as other common succulents. It can be toxic to both animals and humans, so a hanging basket is definitely the best option to keep it out of reach of pets and small children. 

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.