Succulents come in many shapes and sizes, and as generally low maintenance plants, they’re a favorite of gardeners around the world.
Some succulents are better adapted to be grown indoors; others do much better outdoors. The outdoorsy types will also have a better tolerance to low temperatures or even freezing temperatures.
Below, I’ve put together a list of the 20 most popular types of succulent plants with a short description of each.
Even though most succulents will require some level of daily direct sun exposure, many of the succulents in this list can also tolerate and grow in low light conditions.
1. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
This plant has the look of a miniature tree and makes for a good alternative to bonsai trees. It’s a succulent that thrives indoors provided that it gets a few hours of sunshine per day.
Jade plants are easy to grow, enjoy room temperature between 60 F and 75 F. Temperatures below 50 F are not tolerated, so when winter comes, make sure that the plant is guarded from cold drafts and kept away from cold windows.
If you’re lucky, you may even see your jade plant produce lovely, star-shaped white or pink blooms during winter.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera plants are not only attractive indoor succulents, but they’re also known for their medical and cosmetic benefits like treatings scrapes and burns.
The plant does best if it gets lots of light, but it will tolerate some light shade as well. My trick to growing aloe vera plants indoors is to find the brightest spot for it in my home.
I also keep it outside during the summer and take it back in only in the fall, when temperatures start to get close to 60 F.
3. Zebra Plant (Fasciated Haworthia)
The zebra plant is a small-growing succulent that features white or silvery bands on its fleshy green leaves. If you know how to make aloe vera plants happy, you’ll know how to grow fasciated haworthias as well.
Although these plants require bright light, they’re not keen on direct sun exposure, which makes them a perfect candidate for indoor growing.
Not tolerant of humidity or low temperatures, they like to be kept in well ventilated rooms and should be watered thoroughly but allow the soil to dry before the next watering.
4. Panda Plant
If you like succulents but you’re looking for something unique, the panda plant is certainly out of the ordinary in that it has fuzzy leaves that are reminiscent of the soft, fuzzy coat of pandas.
The tips of the leaves feature red-brownish markings, which makes this succulent stand out even more.
Panda plants can live indoors for a long time. Although it can flower if all its requirements are met, it rarely does when kept indoors.
Echeverias feature waxy, thick-leaved rosettes that are compact and stay low to the ground, unless they don’t get enough light, in which case they get leggy and elongated.
Less fuzzy than the panda plant, the Echeveria pulvinata variety also features white hairs that give the plant a shimmering look in the sun, earning them the plush plant name. More on this variety in the section dedicated to outdoor succulents.
Keeping echeverias outside during the summer, in direct sunlight will help the plant thrive. When kept indoors, place them in a bright spot, so that they don’t miss out on much needed sunlight.
6. Snake Plant
If you’re looking for a succulent that is easy to cultivate, tolerates low light conditions, and even a bit of neglect here and there, then the snake plant is a succulent that ticks off all these requirements.
It’s one of the hardiest indoor succulents you’ll find and remains fresh-looking and elegant even if you miss a few watering sessions.
It comes in different shades of green and features long, variegated leaves that confer the plant an air of elegance.
Snake plants are also known for their air purifying capabilities, so they’re great to have around in your home.
7. Graptoveria Opalina
Looking a lot like echeverias, the Graptoveria Opalina has more upright growing leaves that are plump and silvery with pink tones on the leaf margins.
It’s a flowering succulent that produces yellow flowers with orange centers, although you may not see it bloom indoors.
Full sun is best for the Graptoveria, but you can get away with partial sun too, so it’s adaptable to growing indoors.
8. Christmas Cactus
One of the most remarkable features of the Christmas cactus is its extreme blooming capacity that will produce stunning red, yellow, pink, white or purple flowers just in time for the winter holidays. The blooming stage will last for several weeks.
Moderate light with some direct sun is the perfect light combo for these succulents. An east-facing window will be best for the Christmas cactus.
As far as temperatures go, the Christmas cactus thrives in room temperature between 55 F and 65 F.
9. Sedum Praealtum (Shrubby Stonecrop)
The shrubby stonecrop succulent enjoys partial shade to partial sun, which allows for the plant to be grown even indoors. It’s not a cold hardy plant, and it should be guarded from sudden drops in temperatures or cold drafts.
This succulent grows to about 12 inches tall and 36 inches wide. It blooms in early spring producing start-shaped blossoms.
10. Succulent Bush Senecio
With light green, pointy leaves and bright yellow flowers, the succulent bush senecio can grow quite tall outdoors, reaching up to 6 feet.
It’s a drought-resistant plant that blooms in winter and grows mostly at high altitudes. It needs 4 to 6 hours of light every day, so make sure you find a spot with plenty of light for it.
If you can, do keep it outside during the summer, and take it inside during the winter as it’s not a cold hardy succulent that would survive the winter frost.
This concludes some of the most popular indoor succulent plants that are easy to maintain and aren’t very fussy about keeping requirements.
Requiring plenty of sunlight, growing several feet tall and some also being resistant to freezing, the following succulents can be mixed and matched to create elaborate succulent gardens.
Considering its sheer size (up to 5 feet tall and up to six feet wide), the agave plant is best grown outdoors, especially that the flowering spikes the agave plant produces can be up to 14 feet tall.
Agave plants have silvery green leaves that grow flat and wide. Because of their shape, the plant is also called ‘whale’s tongue’.
Agave is used in culinary settings as well to create the popular agave syrup or the even more popular tequila.
2. Ice Plant (Delosperma)
Besides being drought resistant and hardy plants, ice plants also add a splash of color to your garden. Depending on the variety, you can enjoy daisy-like yellow, purple, pink or white flowers.
Full sun is preferable for ice plants, but some light shade works too, although direct sun is the best you can offer it.
Although more cold tolerant than other succulents and making excellent year-round ground covering in USDA plant hardiness zones 5-9, the ice plant got its name more for its shimmering leaves and flowers that seem to be covered in ice, rather than its cold hardiness.
The Hens-and-Chicks or sempervivum tectorum is an evergreen succulent in the shape of rubbery rosettes. They’re very easy to propagate since they produce multiple plantlets. They’re not only drought resistant but also cold hardy.
Sempervivums come in hundreds of varieties, with distinctly colored leaves that range from bronze-tinged to bright green with hints of red or orange.
Full sun with some shade during the afternoon is the best for the hens-and-chicks succulent that doesn’t do well if exposed to too much moisture.
4. Stonecrop (Sedum)
Stonecrops come in many different color varieties, offering the choice of bright green, silver, pink or blue plants. Their flowers grow in colorful clusters, creating a visually striking cover in rock gardens.
When it comes to height, there are two sedum varieties, the tall sedum that can grow up to 3 feet tall and a creeping variety that stays close to the ground.
Full sun is best for this plant that is known to attract butterflies and birds to your garden.
Orostachys is a genus of succulents that includes many varieties that are mostly all low growing. In terms of colors you can find silvery green, bright green, and some varieties featuring green with red leaf margins.
Most varieties feature rosette-like shapes and waxy, fleshy leaves, but some varieties have pointy and cylindrical.
Poor soils are not a problem for these plants as long as the soil is well-draining. Some bright sun is needed but semi-shade works well for most varieties of the genus.
Saxifraga are cold hardy succulents notable for their fine-textured leaves and beautiful blooms that are available in a variety of colors. These succulents are mat-forming and are suited for rock gardens.
In terms of light requirements, full sun is only tolerated if their soil is rich and moist, otherwise they thrive in semi-shaded areas. Hot and dry conditions are not tolerated by most varieties.
The plant produces compact rosettes and fleshy leaves and look eerily similar to sempervivum plants. Despite their similar look and keeping requirements (both need dry and sunny locations), sempervivums and jovibarba plants are distinct plants.
The most striking difference is observed in the flowers they produce, jovibarba producing bell-shaped blooms, while sempervivum plants have star-shaped blooms.
The plantlets of jovibarba are blown away by winds and get rooted elsewhere, an ability that earned them the name ‘rollers’.
8. Plush Plant
An echeveria variety, the echeveria pulvinata, the plush plant has fine silvery hairs that are soft to the touch and shimmer when touched by sunlight.
Its red orange with yellow blooms attract pollinators and hummingbirds, so they’re not only beautiful succulents but useful too.
Plush plants enjoy full sun, but some cultivars can grow even in partial shade. They’re not suitable for areas with freezing temperatures seeing how they originate from Oaxaca, Mexico.
Members of the echeveria genus, the Dudleya succulents boast over 40 varieties. A few of these varieties are considered endangered.
Rosette-forming and hardy, these plants can live up to 100 years if they’re given a great spot in your garden.
They appreciate bright light, so find a sunny spot in your garden and plant them there. They require little water. When watering, avoid getting water on the leaves, and go for the soil instead.
Dudleyas should be kept in temperatures above 40 F, as they’re not tolerant to frost or freezing.
10. Pig’s Ear (Cotyledon Orbiculata)
With fleshy, oval leaves and red leaf margins, the pig’s ear succulent is great for growing in rock gardens, succulent beds, and hanging baskets.
Fully mature plants will stretch to 4 feet in height. Its blooms are yellow or red, and appear in late summer, early fall.
A sunny location is ideal for this succulent, but partial shade is also tolerated. This is a cold hardy succulent with little watering needs.
With burgundy, rosette-forming fleshy leaves, this outdoor succulent is also known as the ‘black rose’. Because full sun is needed for this succulent variety, it’s best to keep it in an outdoor garden.
In turn, you can enjoy some beautiful, yellow flowers that create a wonderful contrast with the dark leaves of the plant.
This isn’t a cold hardy succulent, so depending on the climate in your area, if temperatures are close to freezing, the plant needs to be moved inside.
If you’re a fan of succulents, you’ll find that this plant category is wide enough to accommodate all tastes and interests.
Some are blooming varieties, others boast intricate leaf systems, but all are an interesting addition to your plant collection.
Whether you’re looking for a succulent for indoors or outdoors, the succulents in this list can offer you ideas of succulents to help you get creative in your garden.