How does your succulent garden grow? Whether you cultivate a pretty little dish garden, a rustic log planter overflowing with succulents, or a trio of concrete planters with large fleshy-leafed specimens, succulents have never been more trendy than now. The wide range of succulent colors, textures, and forms provide gardeners with myriad ways to update fairy gardens, living wreaths, and vertical planters.
Here are nine popular succulent varieties to add to any bright window for a low-maintenance houseplant.
While succulents are generally considered desert plants that like dry conditions and bright sunlight, that's not true of all species. Some succulents are rain-forest plants that need more moisture and humidity, and some do not do well in direct sunlight.
01 of 09
Fishbone Cactus (Epiphyllum anguliger)
Anyone who has observed the trailing rickrack patterned leaves of the Epiphyllum anguliger plant will find beauty in the foliage alone, but the fantastic orchid-like flowers that sometimes appear are the icing on the cake. Unlike some succulents, the fishbone cactus appreciates a humid environment. However, the plants get by on partial sunlight or filtered light. The trailing habit of the fishbone cactus makes it ideal for hanging baskets or a sturdy container on a pedestal.
- Light: Bright indoor light; enjoys a bit of direct sunlight
- Water: Weekly; this plant is native to rainy environments.
- Color Varieties: Light- to medium-green foliage; white to pale yellow flowers
02 of 09
Propeller Plant (Crassula perfoliata)
The large, overlapping leaves of Crassula perfoliata are a striking feature of this 2-foot tall native of South Africa. If you give your propeller plant an outdoor vacation in bright sunlight in the summer, you might coax the plant into producing its long-lasting bright red flower clusters, which resemble those of the penta plant. Sharp drainage is essential for this succulent, which can suffer from fungus in damp conditions.
- Light: Bright light, with some morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal.
- Water: Water only when soil has dried out completely; reduce watering in winter.
- Color Varieties: Gray-green foliage; may bloom with bright red flower clusters
03 of 09
The Gasteria genus features low-growing, stemless succulents that make wonderful additions to a dish container grouping, as they are slow-growing. Try "Little Warty," which gains its "so-ugly-it's-cute" character from bumpy growths on its leaves. Ox tongue plants like a half-day of sun and weekly watering, so long as you don't let moisture accumulate between the leaves.
- Light: Half-day of full sun
- Water: Weekly
- Color Varieties: Green, speckled foliage; red or pink flowers
04 of 09
Haworthiopsis attenuata, formerly known as Haworthia attenuata, is the kind of succulent whose bark is worse than its bite, as the plant has a spiky look but no thorns or sharp spines to threaten an inquisitive touch. The white tubercles that give the plant its name distinguish them from similar-looking aloe plants. Zebra plants grow in low clumps with rosettes of leaves 3 to 5 inches long. It looks striking in small containers tucked in with light green reindeer lichen, or in mini glass hanging terrariums. Reduce watering during the semi-dormant winter state.
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- Light: 4 to 6 hours of bright filtered light daily; will tolerate shadier conditions
- Water: Every 7 to 10 days during the summer; every 10 to 14 days in winter
- Color Varieties: Medium green foliage; some varieties are variegated with yellow and green
05 of 09
Unlike many succulent houseplants, the Aeonium arboreum does not like hot weather, and may go dormant if temperatures rise above the 80s. This makes the pinwheel desert rose a suitable houseplant, as it thrives the same 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit that people enjoy. Plants have a rapid growth rate and can reach 3 feet in height. If the plant gets too leggy and a stem breaks off, you can replant it, as roots form along the stems. Use regular potting soil for these succulents, as they need some moisture for their shallow root systems.
- Light: Bright indirect light
- Water: Water these plants whenever top inch of soil has dried out; excessive water will cause root rot.
- Color Varieties: Bright green rosettes of leaves
06 of 09
Moonstones (Pachyphytum overferum)
If not for the charming name alone, you should give moonstones a spot among your succulent collection for their otherworldly bluish-green globular leaves. As Pachyphytum overferum has adapted so well to extremely dry conditions by storing water in its leaves, you should water sparingly, twice a month in the summer resting period, and once a week in the active growth time of winter. These Mexican plants tolerate a wide temperature range, from freezing to triple digits.
- Light: Prefers as much direct sun as possible
- Water: Water deeply when soil dries out completely.
- Color Varieties: Pale bluish-green foliage; some varieties are nearly white
07 of 09
Also known as the necklace vine, Crassula perforata is a relative of the common jade plant, and is just as easy to grow. Eighteen-inch plants grow in a sprawling fashion and look good at the edge of a mixed dish garden. String of buttons plants tolerate some shade, but like at least a half day of bright sun in a south or east-facing window. Plants are vigorous and easy to propagate through division.
- Light: Prefers 4 to 6 hours of bright light daily
- Water: Water when top inch of soil feels dry; water less often in winter.
- Color Varieties: Light bluish-green leaves with pink or reddish edges
08 of 09
Baby Toes (Frithia pulchra)
The petite plants of Frithia pulchra deserve a spot on the windowsill where observers can get a close look at their unusual tubular leaves. Baby toes plants need some attention given to their watering needs: they like regular irrigation, yet the soil needs to drain very freely to avoid rot problems. Give the plants all the sunshine you can to encourage the daisy-like blooms to appear in summer.
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- Light: Enjoys the brightest location possible, even full sun
- Water: Water weekly in summer; in winter, water only when soil has dried out entirely.
- Color Varieties: Pale green leaves
09 of 09
Gardeners who like their landscape sedums should try this one just for indoor hanging baskets. Sedum morganianum produces many trailing stems packed with pudgy leaves. A strong light source, weekly watering, and good drainage will help stems reach their two-foot potential.
- Light: Prefers full sun
- Water: Water weekly during spring and summer; in winter, water monthly.
- Color Varieties: Pale to medium-green leaves