12 Low-Maintenance Flowering Succulents

Plants That Combine High Drought-Tolerant With Beautiful Flowers

Russian stonecrop (Sedum kamtschaticum)
Russian stonecrop (Sedum kamtschaticum)

skymoon13 / Getty Images

Gardeners often choose succulents because once established, they are drought-tolerant and need little watering. But there’s another reason why they deserve a closer look: many succulent species and varieties are real eye-catchers.

Here is a list of succulents that stand out thanks to their attractive flowers. Some require a warm climate, others are cold-hardy and adaptable to a wide range of climates. (And unless otherwise noted, all of these succulents are perennials.)

  • 01 of 12

    Hens and chicks (Sempervivum tectorum)

    Hens and chicks (Sempervivum tectorum)
    Hens and chicks (Sempervivum tectorum)

    jonnysek / Getty Images

    This is a slowly spreading groundcover that can be grown even in poor soil. Rosettes die off after they bloom. 

    • Flower Color: Red and purple
    • Bloom Time: Summer
    • Native Area: Southern Europe
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3-8
    • Height: 8 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 02 of 12

    Stalked bulbine (Bulbine frutescens)

    Stalked bulbine (Bulbine frutescens)
    Stalked bulbine (Bulbine frutescens)

    Sundry Photography / Getty Images

    This plant stands out from the rest thanks to its long bloom period. It is fast-growing and spreads three to four feet. 

    • Flower Color: Yellow
    • Bloom Time: Spring to late summer
    • Native Area: South Africa
    • USDA Growing Zones: 8-11
    • Height: 2 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full to part sun
  • 03 of 12

    Hylotelephium

    Autumn Joy (Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’)
    Autumn Joy (Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’)

    Anastasiia Burlakova / Getty Images

    In the past, hylotelephium was included in the sedum genus. These three varieties are prized for their flowers: 

    October Daphne (Hylotelephium sieboldii, previsiously known as Sedum sieboldii)

    One of the succulents that also do well in light to moderate shade. Little water is not a problem—October Daphne is drought-tolerant but it needs well-drained soil. 

    • Flower Color: Yellow, orange, pink, purple, burgundy, white
    • Bloom Time: Spring
    • Native Area: Japan
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4-9
    • Height: 12 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

    Hylotelephium ‘Vera Jameson’ (previously known as Sedum ‘Vera Jameson’)

    This clump-forming sedum is especially suited for small spaces, containers, and rock gardens. The foliage turns from blue-green to deep burgundy as the season progresses. 

    • Flower Color: Pink
    • Bloom Time: Mid-summer to early fall
    • Native Area: n/a (hybrid)
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3-9
    • Height: 12 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun 

    Autumn Joy (Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’)

    This highly popular variety on the taller end of the spectrum is also one of the cold-hardiest succulents you can grow. The mauve flowers gradually deepen to a rose-red and then coppery-rust in the fall. 

    • Flower Color: Mauve
    • Bloom Time: Late summer to early fall
    • Native Area: Cultivar of Hylotelephium telephium, which is native to Eurasia
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3-9
    • Height: 2 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 04 of 12

    Shining pink rock purslane (Calandrinia spectabilis ‘Shining Pink’)

    Shining pink rock purslane (Calandrinia spectabilis ‘Shining Pink’)
    Shining pink rock purslane (Calandrinia spectabilis ‘Shining Pink’)

    Daderot / Wikimedia Commons / CC0 1.0

    A drought-resistant, deer-resistant groundcover with a long bloom period. 

    • Flower Color: Pink
    • Bloom Time: Spring through fall
    • Native Area: Chile
    • USDA Growing Zones: 9-11
    • Height: 12 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full to part sun
    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Painted lady (Echeveria derenbergii)

    Painted lady (Echeveria derenbergii)
    Painted lady (Echeveria derenbergii)

    Besjunior / Getty Images

    Its compact, clumping form make this succulent a good choice for containers and small spaces. 

    • Flower Color: Yellow and red
    • Bloom Time: Spring
    • Native Area: Mexico
    • USDA Growing Zones: 9-11
    • Height: 12 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full to part sun
  • 06 of 12

    Aloe

    Super Red® Aloe
    Super Red® Aloe

    cultivar413 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Of the numerous aloe species, these four are grown for their striking flowers: 

    Super Red® Aloe

    Most aloe need to mature before they bloom, which can take ten years or more. This variety with striking deep red flowers is an exception. 

    • Flower Color: Red
    • Bloom Time: Fall to winter
    • Native Area: n/a (hybrid)
    • USDA Growing Zones: 9-11
    • Height: 4 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun 

    Little gem aloe (Aloe rudikoppe)

    Also known as little red riding hood aloe, this is a low-growing aloe. Most aloe have a short bloom period, little gem aloe blooms on and off year-round. 

    • Flower Color: Yellow-orange
    • Bloom Time: Intermittent bloom all year
    • Native Area: n/a (hybrid)
    • USDA Growing Zones: 9-11
    • Height: 4 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full to par sun 

    Lace aloe (Aloe aristata)

    A low-growing, clump-forming aloe that spreads eight to ten inches. The shape of its flower spikes also gave it the name torch plant or bristletip aloe. 

    • Flower Color: Pink
    • Bloom Time: Summer
    • Native Area: South Africa
    • USDA Growing Zones: 7-10
    • Height: 8 inches
    • Sun exposure: Full to part sun

    Coral aloe (Aloe striata)

    What’s unusual about this plant is not only its bright flowers on tall, sturdy stalks but also the changing color of the foliage depending on sun exposure, ranging from a pink hue in full sun to bluish-green in the shade. 

    • Flower Color: Red
    • Bloom Time: Winter to spring
    • Native Area: South Africa
    • USDA Growing Zones: 9-11
    • Height: 18 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full to part sun
  • 07 of 12

    Blue chalk stick (Senecio serpens)

    Blue chalk stick (Senecio serpens)
    Blue chalk stick (Senecio serpens)

    Consultaplantas / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    Blue chalk stick is a unique-looking groundcover for warm climates that spreads two to three feet wide. 

    • Flower Color: White
    • Bloom Time: Summer through fall
    • Native Area: South Africa
    • USDA Growing Zones: 10-11
    • Height: 12 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 08 of 12

    Moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora)

    Moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora)
    Moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora)

    Ali Majdfar / Getty Images

    This is a rose in name only; the moss rose plant is a drought- and heat-tolerant annual succulent. It performs well as groundcover with a spread of 10 to 15 inches.

    It requires little care to thrive but one word of caution: just like the weed common purslane, its botanical relative, it can border on being invasive because it easily reseeds itself. 

    • Plant Type: Annual
    • Flower Color: Red, orange, yellow, white
    • Bloom Time: Early summer to fall
    • Native Area: Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay
    • USDA Growing Zones: 2-11
    • Height: 8 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Sedums

    Moss stonecrop (Sedum acre)
    Moss stonecrop (Sedum acre)

    Robert Pickett / Getty Images

    Sedum, also called stonecrop, is a very large genus with over 500 species. These are some of our favorite blooming varieties, listed in order of height:

    Broadleaf stonecrop (Sedum spathulifolium)

    A native to the West Coast, this plant is also adaptable to cooler climates. Broadleaf stonecrop tolerates not only dry but also nutrient-poor soil. 

    • Flower Color: Yellow
    • Bloom Time: Summer
    • Native Area: California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4-10
    • Height: 4 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

    Showy stonecrop (Sedum cauticola)

    This sedum forms compact mounds of bluish-green foliage. It tolerates poor soils but needs good drainage. 

    • Flower Color: Purple-lavender
    • Bloom Time: Late summer
    • Native Area: Japan
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5-9
    • Height: 4 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun

    Moss stonecrop (Sedum acre)

    Also known as biting stonecrop or gold moss stonecrop, this cold-hardy plant is drought- and salt-tolerant. It is best planted in rock gardens and other locations with little to no foot traffic. 

    • Flower Color: Yellow
    • Bloom Time: Summer
    • Native Area: Europe, Turkey, North Africa
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3-8
    • Height: 3 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun 

    Angelina stonecrop (Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’)

    This low-growing sedum spreads one to three feet. The golden color of the leaves intensifies with sun exposure. 

    • Flower Color: Yellow
    • Bloom Time: Summer
    • Native Area: Central and western Europe
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5-8
    • Height: 4 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun

    Russian stonecrop (Sedum kamtschaticum)

    A cold-hardy sedum that spreads 12 to 18 inches. A variegated cultivar is Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ (Orange stonecrop). 

    • Flower Color: Yellow
    • Bloom Time: Summer
    • Native Area: Siberia
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3-8
    • Height: 6 inches
    • Sun exposure: Full sun

    Caucasian stonecrop (Sedum spurium ‘Tricolor’)

    This low-growing cold-hardy sedum forms a dense mat. It does well in dry, poor soil but it’s a slow grower, eventually spreading 12 to 18 inches. 

    • Flower Color: Light pink
    • Bloom Time: Late spring to mid-summer
    • Native Area: Caucasus
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3-9
    • Height: 6 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun 

    Sedum erythrostictum ‘Frosty Morn’

    It’s the white edges of the leaves that gave this cultivar its name. It has an upright, compact growth habit, which makes it also suitable for container planting. 

    • Flower Color: White to pale pink
    • Bloom Time: Late summer to early fall
    • Native Area: Japan
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3-9
    • Height: 12 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun 

    Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’

    A sedum on the taller end of the spectrum with an upright or clumping growth habit. It is cold-hardy and drought-tolerant but requires well-drained soil. 

    • Flower Color: Pink
    • Bloom Time: Late summer
    • Native Area: n/a (hybrid)
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3-7
    • Height: 15 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 10 of 12

    Royal dewflower (Drosanthemum speciosum)

    Royal dewflower (Drosanthemum speciosum)
    Royal dewflower (Drosanthemum speciosum)

    vesilvio / Getty Images

    A fast-growing shrub-like succulent perfect for warm climates. The plant also has the nickname ‘municipal workers’ because the flowers promptly open at 9 a.m. and close around 5 p.m. 

    • Flower Color: Pink, purple, red
    • Bloom Time: Mid-spring to summer
    • Native Area: South Africa
    • USDA Growing Zones: 9-11
    • Height: 2 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 11 of 12

    Crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii)

    Crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii)
    Crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii)

    KruPichai / Getty Images

    When grown outdoors in warm climates, it blooms once a year, unlike the houseplant, which blooms intermittently during the year. Crown of thorns also grows taller outdoors than indoors. 

    • Flower Color: Red
    • Bloom Time: Winter and spring
    • Native Area: Madagascar
    • USDA Growing Zones: 9-11
    • Height: 3 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun

     

  • 12 of 12

    Hardy ice plant (Delosperma)

    Hardy ice plant (Delosperma cooperi)
    Hardy ice plant (Delosperma cooperi)

    Nataliia_Melnychuk / Getty Images

    This drought-tolerant groundcover is a fast grower, spreading to 24 inches and forming a dense mat. Two popular varieties are: 

    Wheels of Wonder® Fire wonder (Delosperma cooperi ‘Wowday2’)

    • Flower Color: Red and yellow
    • Bloom Time: Spring through fall
    • Native Area: n/a (hybrid)
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5-9
    • Height: 4 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun 

    Fire Spinner® ice plant (Delosperma ‘P001S’)

    • Flower Color: Orange, white, pink
    • Bloom Time: Late spring to summer
    • Native Area: n/a (hybrid)
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5-9
    • Height: 3 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full to part sun

With so many flowering succulents to choose from, you'll surely find your favorite.