Last updated on January 21st, 2020
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Succulents are taking over all manner of gardens, or indoors and out. Succulents thrive in dry climates like Central America and Africa where there is very little humidity. They do so successfully by storing water in their leaves, which enables them to withstand the countless hours in direct sunlight without a great deal of water.
They are well known for being low maintenance and for living quite a long time which makes them perfect for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of free time to dedicate towards the cultivation of an exquisite garden or who is at work all day and unable to check on plant regularly. They add structure and vibrancy to any area. That said there are still some varieties that prefer an indoor location and others that do better in an outdoor location. You can find a shape, style, and colour to fit your home or garden with ease.
Indoor succulents are best grown at room temperature with direct sunlight, so they do well when placed near a window in an area that is very dry with little humidity. Outdoor succulents can be grown directly in the garden or containers, and they do require a bit more direct sunlight compared to indoor varieties. The most important thing when growing outdoor varieties is to give them adequate sunlight.
Below are twenty succulents with pictures for indoor or outdoors:
1. Burro’s Tail (sedum morganianum)
Known as the donkey tail plant, this is one of the easiest to propagate and maintain which is why many people keep it as a house plant. The plant grows up to 12 centimetres tall and takes on the shape of a tail, hence the nickname.
2. Crown of Thorns (euphorbia milii)
For a dry indoor room, you can put this succulent near a window as long as the window gets between three and four hours of sunlight. This is a very tolerant plant in terms of water requirements. If you miss a few waterings here or there, don’t worry, it will do just fine as long as you don’t let the soil dry out completely.
3. Flaming Katy (kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
If you have a warm indoor area, this is a beautiful plant to grow. It prefers high temperatures and is very sensitive to cold, so you want to keep it in the house. It does best in clay pots, and if it’s given between 8 and 10 hours of sunlight, it will produce buds and flowers that come in a variety of colours ranging from dark red to gold all the way to White.
4. Jade Plant (crassula ovata)
The jade plant grows similarly to a bonsai, with a thick trunk and smaller branches that give it the appearance of a miniature tree. It is actually a succulent, but it has dark green leaves that grow in the shape of an oval and eventually develop a red tip.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is heavily regarded for its medical benefits, so it’s handy to have around the house the next time you get a sunburn. You can, of course, use it for decorative purposes indoors. The leaves have a grey-green colour with spots of whites, and you can easily break off a leaf and apply the gel inside to help treat scrapes and burns.
6. Panda Plant (kalanchoe tomentosa)
One of the more interesting indoor succulents, the panda plant has very fuzzy leaves that are marked by brownish-red edges, hence the name. It is very small with a soft texture and does well in hanging planters indoors.
7. Pincushion Cactus (mammillaria crinita)
This succulent is called the pincushion because it has lots of pointy spikes. It has two black features that stick out. It won’t grow very large, but it does have vibrant, colourful flowers that make any indoor space a tiny Oasis.
8. Roseum (sedum spurium)
This is a very low growing succulent that doesn’t get more than 15 centimetres tall on average. It grows very quickly in containers and functions best if you put it in a windowsill. During the summer it will develop clusters of small star-shaped flowers that are pink in colour and add a beautiful burst of texture and colour to your indoor area. It prefers full sun and partial shade which is why a windowsill is best.
9. Snake Plant (sansevieria trifasciata)
Snake plant is native to Africa and is one of the easiest succulents to have in your home. You can neglect it for extended amounts of time, and it will still look brand new. It offers variegated leaves with multiple shades of green, and taller is almost all indoor conditions including very little water and low light. This is one of the plants that NASA suggests for improving air quality in your home.
10. Zebra Plant (haworthia fasciata)
This is a beautiful house plant that doesn’t require much in terms of care. The leaves produce white variegated stripes, and they stick out from all directions, which is why it’s called a zebra plant. It can grow quite small, no more than 12 or 15 centimetres tall and wide. This plant has very shallow roots which is why it does better in small pots indoors. For about one week a year, you will get bright, yellow flowers.
11. Hens-and-Chicks (sempervivum tectorum)
As a sempervivum, this plant will grow for quite some time. It propagates quickly and produces lots of offsprings which is why it’s called the hen and chick variety because the main plant is the hen and the chicks are all the offshoots. You can find an array of colours to fit whatever your garden is, and with proper care, you can enjoy beautiful red flowers that create the shape of a crown when they bloom. The succulent typically lives for only three years, but it propagates so quickly from the same plant that it seems to live forever.
12. Stonecrop (sedum spp.)
This succulent comes in a range of colours, including pink, blue, silver, and bright green. You can get a creeping Sedum or a tall Sedum. The tall Sedum produces long stems that can grow up to one ball. They also produce clusters of colourful flowers. The creeping Sedum is better for outdoor spaces like Rock Garden or along the roof as it will grow outward.
13. Whale’s Tongue Agave (agave ovatifolia)
Grown in the Mexican mountains at high elevation, it gets its name because the leaves are broad and flat and resemble that of a whale’s tongue. These plants can grow up to a meter and a half wide and tall. Given that they are so large they do best when grown outside.
14. Ball Cactus (parodia magnifica)
If you want something with a unique shape, the ball cactus looks like a hot air balloon. It produces small clusters of flowers that are yellow, and it has a beautiful desert vibe to any Garden. It can grow directly in the ground or containers.
15. Plush Plant (echeveria pulvinata)
This plant is beautiful, a native of southern Mexico with fine white hairs that truly glow in the sunlight giving it a silvery aesthetic. The blooms are orange and yellow and take on the same colours like a sunset. This plant is perfect for garden that has partial shade because it has a preference for partial shade, unlike most succulents. It also does well when placed in containers or grown directly in the ground.
16. Dudleya (Echeveria spp.)
These plants create rosettes, so the leaves take on a circular arrangement. When well-cared-for, they can live for over 100 years. They grow naturally on hills so that their leaves don’t get any water, so, no matter where you grow them, be sure to avoid getting the leaves wet when you water.
17. Pig’s Ear (cotyledon orbiculata)
This plant gets its name because of the thick, oval leaves which are adorned with red along the edges. The flowers grow yellow and red at the end of summer at the beginning of autumn. They can reach over a meter in height when at full maturity, which makes them better suited for outdoor areas, especially rock gardens or succulent beds. They don’t need a lot of water, but they do take up a lot of space, so be sure to accommodate.
18. Zwartkop (aeonium arboreum)
This plant is sometimes called the black rose because the rosette leaves take on a dark burgundy hue. Come winter this plant will give you stunning yellow flowers that offer unexpected contrast to the otherwise dark foliage and bland winter weather. This one grows best outdoors because it does prefer full sun and if you grow more than one, be sure to grow them in clusters.
19. Sunburst (aeonium davidbramwellii)
The leaves grow with a yellow colour and a copper pinwheel circle around the middle, which is what gives them their name. The leaves are variegated with white, yellow, and green, so it is considered a tri-coloured plant. As a hybrid, it’s one of the more popular succulents with rosettes that produce stunning white flowers in summer. This one does grow quite significant, especially in seaside areas.
20. Torch Plant (aloe aristata)
Called the torch plant, this succulent has leaves that start off in a shade of light green and in the sun turn darker. They produce bright orange blossoms, and the combination of leaves and flowers look similar to a torch. When properly cared for this plant can grow 3 meters or higher and 20 centimetres wide, so they do offer a stunning display for ample space.
Now you know the best option for indoor and outdoor succulents. Find something that works best for your space, your colour preference, and your style.