Learn about 31 Types of Succulents and Cacti you can grow in your garden or indoors in this informative post.
Types of Succulents
When it comes to the types of succulents, you can divide them by the most popular genera, some of the important ones are below:
Similarly, some of the most important cactus genera are below:
Instead of dividing the succulents on the basis of their genus, we’re dividing them according to their attributes. You’ll see various lists below showing the best Trailing succulents, Flowering succulents, Shade-loving succulents, Cacti, Colorful succulents, Mini succulents, and Edible succulents.
Trailing succulents are those who hang or trail from the baskets or containers. They are perfect for hanging baskets but will look equally well in the garden. Some of the best trailing succulents are listed below.
1. Burro’s Tail
Botanical Name: Sedum morganianum
It’s a good succulent for beginners as it’s easy to grow and care. Also known as donkey’s tail. The Blooms are in the beautiful shade of red or pink, whereas the leaves are chalky and greyish-green.
2. String of Hearts
Botanical Name: Ceropegia woodii
This evergreen semi-succulent trailing vine has heart-shaped leaves that are splashed with shades of blue, green, silver, and purple. They love to bask in the sun so place them nearby a window when growing indoors, in a hanging basket or any decorative pot. See more heart-shaped houseplants here.
3. Ruby Necklace
Botanical Name: Othonna Capensis
It’s a fast-growing succulent with unique bean-shaped foliage. The main attraction is its ruby red to purple stems. The daisy-like yellow flowers tower above the plant and create a fabulous show. They are perfect for rock gardens and as trailing succulents in containers.
4. String of Nickels
Botanical Name: Dischidia nummularia
The succulent leaves of this plant are identical to flat coins hanging through the strings. It’s a fascinating hanging basket plant that also looks well in tall indoor planters.
5. Monkey’s Tail Cactus
Botanical Name: Hildewintera colademononis
Looking for a succulent that would turn heads? Well, monkey’s tail is the one. Its long stems are engulfed with white hairy spines that trail down to a length of 2.5 m resembling the monkey’s tail.
More Trailing Succulents
- String of Bananas
- Trailing Jade
- String of Pearls
- Fishbone Cactus
- Lepidium cruciforme
- String of Beads
Check out our list of Best Trailing Succulents to learn about similar plants.
As succulents are such showy plants, most people don’t give a second thought to whether they are flowering or not. But they do flower and here are some of the well-known flowering succulents.
6. Crown of Thorns
Botanical Name: Euphorbia milii
This evergreen succulent is prized for its gray-green foliage and never-fading bright flowers. It can reach a height of three feet and won’t do well outdoors in colder regions. Expect the plant to bloom in springs until the end of the warm season. In warm climates, it blooms year-round. Learn how to grow it here!
Caveat: The sap of this succulent is mild to moderately toxic, handle with care. Be extra vigilant if you’re a pet owner, its thorns are sharp.
7. Rock Purslane
Botanical Name: Calandrinia spectabilis
The flowers grow on the top of two feet long stalks and tower above this shrubby perennial, which is just about eight inches tall. Eye-catchy magenta flowers resemble the poppy blooms in shape and last for a short time.
8. Christmas Cactus
Botanical Name: Schlumbergera x buckleyi
The fact that it blooms around the holiday season makes it a perfect addition for festive home decor. Also known as holiday cactus, the flowers range from purple, red, and pink. Learn how to care for Christmas cactus here.
Also Read: DIY Christmas Decor Ideas
9. Flowering Kalanchoe
Botanical Name: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana
With so many different colors such as red, pink, yellow, and orange, it becomes the best flowering succulent. The foliage doesn’t lag behind either; with waxy, dark green and ovate shape, it does steal the show. Flowers grow in clusters like pentas.
Botanical Name: Echeveria ‘Afterglow’
It produces attractive orange to red color flowers. The broad leaves have somewhat powdery texture and are arranged in the form of a rosette. The pinkish lavender leaves splashed with a pretty shade of delicate pink on the edges gives it a desirable look.
More Flowering Succulents
- Purple Ice Plant
- Peanut Cactus
- Desert Rose
Check out our list of Best Flowering Succulents to learn about similar plants.
Shade Tolerant Succulents
Shade tolerant succulents can grow in low light conditions without any difficulty. They’re ideal for indoor environment as well.
11. Snake Plant
Botanical Name: Sansevieria trifasciata
It’s not possible to talk about shade-tolerant succulents and not include snake plant in it. It’s the most forgiving plant out there and not only because of its ability to do well in low light but when it comes to watering–It thrives on neglect. Learn about these snake plant benefits as well.
12. Devil’s Backbone
Botanical Name: Euphorbia tithymaloides (Pedilanthus tithymaloides)
This large and lush succulent plant can tolerate shade easily. It can grow about 8 feet tall, a large houseplant for living rooms and offices. It is prized for its unique zig-zag patterned stems and variegated foliage.
Caveat: Since it’s a part of the notorious euphorbia genus, all parts are toxic.
13. Ponytail Palm
Botanical Name: Beaucarnea recurvata
Also known as elephant’s foot palm because of its thick trunk. It’s not exactly a palm but succulent. The long and thin leaves cascading downwards give this plant a unique and exotic look. Due to its slow-growing habit, you can keep it in a pot for years.
14. Fox Tail Agave
Botanical Name: Agave attenuata
It’s one of the landscapers’ most favorite agaves due to the uncommon inflorescences, or you can say the blooms that look like Foxtail, Lion’s tail, or Swan’s neck.
15. Panda Plant
Botanical Name: Kalanchoe tomentosa
Also known as pussy ear, it’s one the cutest succulents you can have in your collection. Children adore the fine white hairs (trichomes) that cover the entire leaves. Also, the edges are marked with reddish-brown spots.
More Shade Tolerant Succulents
- Jade Plant
- Kiwi Aeonium
- Spider Agave
Check out our list of Shade Loving Succulents to learn about similar plants.
All cacti are succulents, but all succulents are not cacti. The succulents that fall in the category of cacti have areoles from where spines, leaves, hairs, and flowers grow. Check out this list of some of the best cacti you can grow in pots.
16. Chin Cactus
Botanical Name: Gymnocalycium mihanovichii
It’s a miniature cactus that’s spherical but elongated which grows to around 4 cm in height and 6 cm in diameter. You’ll be fascinated by its colorful hues of dark green and bright pink. Flowers are silky and can be of green, yellowish-white, pink or white in color.
17. Rat Tail Cactus
Botanical Name: Disocactus flagelliformis
This plant can surely intrigue your guests because of the thick long stems that are rat tail’s look alike. The long hairy stems look excellent when trailing down from the hanging baskets. The magenta color flowers are also showy.
18. African Milk Tree Cactus
Botanical Name: Euphorbia trigona
This slow-growing cactus is not really a cactus but a succulent. It’s super easy to grow, even for beginners and reaches the height of 6 to 8 feet. It loves a full to part sun position, and all the other growing requirements are similar to other euphorbias.
19. Angel Wings Cactus
Botanical Name: Opuntia microdasys
It’s also popular with the name bunny ears cactus, you can understand why. The thick pads are clustered together, and one grows from the other, forming a shape like bunny ears. The flowers are pale yellow and appear in summer, which then turns into red to purple fruits.
20. Old Lady Cactus
Botanical Name: Mammillaria hahniana
The appearance of this cactus justifies its ludicrous name–White hairs covering the entire sphere-shaped cactus. Pink blossoms grow out from the top and look as if they are protruding from the head.
More Cacti Succulents
- Candelabra Cactus
- Golden Ball Cactus
- Peanut Cactus
- Hedgehog cactus
- Star Cactus
Succulents come in a variety of colors apart from vibrant green, which is a pretty standard color. Plus, you’ll be able to add these colors to your gardens without much fuss because of the low maintenance nature of succulents.
21. Purple Heart
Botanical Name: Tradescantia pallida
The tender stems are susceptible to breakage, so don’t keep it in areas where it’s open to constant brushing. As the name suggests, the lush foliage is striking purple and does well as a groundcover, edging plant and even in hanging baskets.
22. Blue Chalksticks
Botanical Name: Senecio serpens
Does the temperature remain above freezing outdoors in your region? Blue chalksticks present an excellent choice as a groundcover in such areas. You can also have them in a container as an ornamental plant. The stems are cylindrical in a finger-like shape with a powdery texture and bluish-green color.
23. Sticks on Fire
Botanical Name: Euphorbia tirucalli
24. Morning Light Echeveria
This hybrid echeveria variety has an appearance of the colors of the beautiful morning light–Pink to bluish Lavender, and the diameter of six inches.
More Colorful Succulents
- Black Beauty ‘Aeonium’
- Moon Cactus
- Dragon’s Blood
- Campfire Plant
Check out our list of Colorful Succulents to learn about similar plants.
These succulents don’t grow much big in size and usually do well in small containers. Some slow-growing succulents also come under mini succulents as they take a long time to reach their mature size.
25. Haworthia ‘Star Cactus’
Botanical Name: Haworthia retusa
The thick triangular leaves are arranged together as a star-shaped rosette that looks very pretty. It grows up to 4 inches tall with an attractive shade of light green variegated foliage. In late springs to summers, it bears white tubular flowers.
Botanical Name: Frailea mammifera
This one is a cute mini cactus with a somewhat spherical shape. The usual height is up to 1.2 inches and the diameter only 1 inch. The interesting fact about this succulent is its bright yellow flowers that bloom in hot weather are larger than the plant itself.
27. Zebra Cactus
Botanical Name: Haworthia fasciata and Haworthia attenuata (Both the species are known as Zebra cactus)
The horizontal white stripes on its leaves resemble the white stripes on zebra, hence the name zebra cactus. It’s a cute little plant that doesn’t grow above six inches tall. Due to its pocket size and tolerance to low light conditions, this succulent can be one of the best office desk plants.
28. Hens and Chicks
Botanical Name: Many Echeveria and Sempervivum are called Hens & Chicks
Hens and chicks are low growing small succulent plants. They got this name because the mother plant, the original rosette, which we call ‘hen‘ produces many tiny rosette offsets known as ‘chicks.’ Both the species grow beautiful rosettes that look like rubber roses.
More Mini Succulents
- Sedum ‘Multiceps’
- Aloe Descoingsii
- Sedum ‘Turquoise Tails’
- Gasteria ‘Little Warty’
Don’t be surprised; there are succulents that you can eat. These edible succulents have both the ornamental and culinary uses.
29. Dragon Fruit
Botanical Name: Hylocereus undatus
The exotic dragon fruit also goes by names pitahaya or strawberry pear. This cactus grows best outdoors in warm climates. Here’s everything you need to learn to grow a dragon fruit plant.
Botanical Name: Sedum
This forgiving succulent is very low maintenance. You can grow many sedum varieties in small pots, indoors. The not much-known fact about sedum genus is the leaves of almost all the species are edible and nontoxic, except the yellow flowering ones, which can’t be eaten raw. Read this helpful post to learn about edible sedum varieties.
31. Prickly Pear
Botanical Name: Opuntia ficus-indica
Prickly pear is an ornamental cactus, but unlike others, it bears juicy edible fruits. Also, the flowers are very showy and come in colors of white, yellow or orange color, depending on the species. You can learn how to grow it here.
More Edible Succulents
- Barrel Cactus
Check out our list of Eatable Succulents to learn about similar plants.