The Best Companion Plants for Your Succulent Garden

The Perfect Plants for Drought-Tolerant Landscaping

succulents and kangaroo paws
Succulents with kangaroo paw flowers. Lisa Hallett Taylor

In many dry-climate regions, succulents are showing up everywhere: replacing thirsty lawns, in street medians, and in residential front and backyards. While landscaping solely with succulents and hardscape is possible and looks good, you might want to consider these companion plants, which highlight the form and color of succulents and have similar maintenance requirements.

  • 01 of 11

    African Daisy

    african daisies
    African daisies growing in a yard. To Nguyen/EyeEm/Getty Images

    Size: to 4 feet high; can trail several feet

    Natives to South Africa, these woody-based perennials have a mounding or trailing habit and produce lots of daisies over a long period in warmer or milder climates. Their flowers open in sunlight and close at dusk. While they are considered drought tolerant, good soil and regular watering help them look their best. Tip-pinching and deadheading helps

  • 02 of 11

    Artemisia 'Powis Castle'

    artemisia powis castle
    Manuel/Flickr/CC by 2.0

     Size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide

    Admired for its frilly, silver-grey-green foliage, Artemisia 'Powis Castle' is a woody perennial that looks striking planted near light green, purplish, or red succulents or drought-tolerant plants. Sometimes known as Wormwood or White Sage, Artemisia should be cut back in spring. For proper growth, don't cut into old wood below buds.

  • 03 of 11

    Blue Fescue

    blue fescue grass
    Closeup of blue fescue grass. Andrey Zharkikh/Flickr/Creative Commons

    Festuca glauca 
    Size: 1 foot high; 10 inches wide

    This European native thrives best in full sun and forms dense tufts of narrow blue-gray to silvery white narrow leaves or blades. Considered a small ornamental grass, fescue works well as an edging or ground cover. 'Elijah Blue' is one of the stronger types that can live for a long time.

  • 04 of 11

    Blue Mist Spirea

    blue mist spirea
    Patrick Standish/Flickr/CC by 2.0

    Caryopteris x clandonensis
    Size: 3 to 5 feet high, up to 3 feet wide

    A profuse bloomer in summer and fall, this shrub is a native to southern and eastern Asia and was introduced to the United States in the 1960s. Also known as bluebeard, spirea produces clusters of powder blue flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. It requires water but is drought tolerant once it's established.

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  • 05 of 11


    euphorbia spurge
    Beautiful lime green euphorbia plant. DEA / RANDOM/Getty Images

    E. rigida, E. cotinifolia (Caribbean copper plant)
    Size: E. rigida: 2 feet high; E. cotinifolia: 9 to 18 feet high

    Euphorbia includes about 2,000 genus. E. rigida is a native to the Mediterranean and has fleshy gray-green leaves. In early spring, domed chartreuse flower clusters form, eventually fading to pink. E. cotinifolia hails from tropical America and can be grown as a shrub or small tree. 'Atropurpurea' is the most popular form and has dark red leaves. All euphorbias produce a milky...MORE white sap that irritate the skin and can be toxic if ingested.

  • 06 of 11


    mulch with lavender
    Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote' (Hidcote lavender), lavender plants along the edge of a garden path. Peter Anderson/Getty Images

    Lavendula, various 
    Size: to 4 feet high; 6 feet wide

    With their gray, gray-green, and yellow-green leaves, lavenders look beautiful growing among succulents in a garden. These natives to the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, and Madeira are known for their aromatic scent and spikes of purple flowers.

  • 07 of 11


    pink grevillea
    Beautiful pink grevillea growing near a window. Billy Goodnick

    Size: to 12 feet tall; to 15 feet wide

    A native to Australia, this evergreen tree and shrub can get by with little or no water. A member of the protea family, grevillea is sensitive to high levels of phosphorous in the soil. Most have fine-textured foliage and long, slender, curved flowers.


  • 08 of 11

    Santa Barbara Daisy

    santa barbara daisies
    Santa Barbara daisies, aka Mexican daisies. Garden Photo World/Georgianna Lane/Getty Images

    Erigeron karvinskianus
    Size: 10 to 20 inches high; 3 feet wide

    Also known as Mexican daisy, this delicate, trailing perennial can be identified by its dainty white and pink flowers. In warm climates it blooms throughout the year, and looks good growing in rock gardens, along borders, and among succulents.

    Succulent Garden Design Ideas

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  • 09 of 11


    rock rose red
    Orange-red rock rose shrub. Josie Elias/Getty Images

    Size: to 12 feet high; 8 feet wide

    Yet another native to the Mediterranean, rockrose is an easy-to-grow shrub that produces lots of flowers from early spring to summer. Their silver, grayish, or soft green foliage blends well with succulents and adds a different texture to the landscape.

  • 10 of 11


    russian sage
    Russian sage against adobe wall. cstar55/Getty Images

    Salvia apiana: California white sage, bee sage
    Size: to 8 feet tall and wide

    A native to California and Baja, this coarse plant has aromatic, woolly silvery gray leaves. In spring, white and lavender flowers bloom on pinkish stems up to 2 feet long.

  • 11 of 11


    yarrow flowers
    mellow cat/Flickr/CC by 2.0

    Size: Up to 3 feet tall

    A perennially blooming herb that spreads underground by rhizomes, this drought-tolerant plant produces flowers in assorted colors: yellow, pinks, white, mixed pastels, red, and orange. Yarrow is not fussy about soil and can grow anywhere the sun shines, year after year.