Cacti and succulents are unusual plants that come in an astounding variety of forms. The size of these plants that are tolerant to drought might range from extremely little to absolutely huge. Some have spikes, some don’t. Additionally, they can be found in each and every color in the rainbow. Nevertheless, despite the incredible diversity that exists, there are some plants that have notably peculiar appearances.
Here are ten of the most peculiar-looking succulents and cacti that you can choose from if you’re sick of having the same succulents as your neighbor or if you just want to start a conversation about plants.
Espostoa melanostele ‘Peruvian Old Lady Cactus’
As you might expect, this woolly cactus is endemic to Peru and may grow up to seven feet tall in the wild. When housed in a pot, the cactus shrinks to around 10 inches in size. The Peruvian Old Lady Cactus may appear cuddly, but its distinctive wool conceals deadly spines.
The Peruvian Old Lady Cactus grows nicely in pots, but it thrives when planted in the ground. It is not, however, a frost-hardy plant, so make sure you live in a frost-free region before planting your bizarre new cactus outside. As with most cacti, well-drained soil and enough of sunlight are required. Water should be used infrequently, especially during the cold months.
Kalanchoe rhombopilosa ‘Pies from Heaven’
Madagascar is home to this weird-looking succulent with an even more unusual name. The plant normally grows to be around 12 inches tall. The woolly leaves are silvery-green with brown mottling and about 1 inch long. The shrub produces tiny greenish-yellow blooms while in bloom.
Pies from Heaven prefer partial sun because direct sunlight might burn the leaves. Because this is not a cold-tolerant plant, you may need to bring it inside or protect it during cold weather. Kalanchoe rhombopilosa thrives on infrequent watering, so allow the soil to dry between waterings.
Cereus forbesii monstrose ‘Ming Thing’
This twisted cactus is a monstrous version of the South American species Cereus forbesii. Ming Thing is blue-green in hue and grows to be over 12 inches tall at maturity. The plant is almost sculptural, with fuzzy areoles and little black spines. It’s an excellent choice for container gardens or decorative displays.
Ming Thing loves bright interior lighting but can tolerate low lighting. Adequate drainage, as well as infrequent water, are required. Because this is a slow-growing cactus, don’t expect to repot it frequently.
Euphorbia mammillaris variegata ‘Indian Corn Cob’
Indian Corn Cob is a clustering cactus with a thick, ribbed stem that can reach 14 inches in height and 2.5 inches in diameter. It has a lot of tiny, club-shaped branches. The variegated cultivar is bright green and yellowish-white in hue, with pink tints on the stems. Euphorbia mammillaris produces tiny reddish-orange flowers between late winter and early summer.
Indian Corn Cob prefers full sun but will tolerate moderate shade. Root rot can be avoided by using containers and soil with appropriate drainage. Euphorbia mammillaris propagates easily from cuttings, but exercise caution while handling since the plant’s sap can be sensitive to the skin.
Crassula ‘Baby’s Necklace’
Myron Kimnach invented the hybrid known as Baby’s Necklace. It’s a hybrid between Crassula perforata and Crassula rupestris. It has small, puffy leaves that are arranged along the stems like beads on a necklace. The stems can grow up to 12 inches tall and are usually seen in clusters. Baby’s Necklace yields little white flowers from late spring to early summer.
Baby’s Necklace is a low-maintenance succulent that is suitable for both inexperienced and professional gardeners. Excess moisture, like with most succulents, must be avoided at all costs. The more sun this plant gets, the brighter its color will be. Propagation is simple and can be accomplished through leaves, stem cuttings, or offsets.
Echeveria ‘Mauna Loa’
This unusual Echeveria grows in a rosette, but its leaves are ruffled at the margins, unlike many other Echeveria varieties. The frilly leaves are pale green towards the stem and burgundy at the ends. The more sun this plant gets, the deeper the colors get.
Although Mauna Loa differs from other Echeveria in appearance, the care it takes is the same. Avoid overwatering and plant in well-drained soil. Mauna Loa can be easily grown from leaf cuttings.
Euphorbia obesa ‘Baseball Plant’
Look no farther than Euphorbia obesa for a simple but unusual-looking plant to add to your collection. This dome-shaped cactus is often grayish-green with bands of orange or purple that form a plaid-like pattern. It’s a little cactus that can grow to be eight inches tall and 3.5 inches wide. Euphorbia obesa blooms are small, greenish-yellow, and have a lovely aroma.
Baseball Plants prefer light shade, but if the plaid pattern fades, the plant requires more light. Adequate drainage, like with other cacti, is required to prevent root rot. Watering should be done sparingly, especially during the Baseball Plant’s winter dormancy.
Related: Can Succulents Get Sunburned?
Aloe vanbalenii ‘Crawling Octopus’ or ‘Van Balen’s Aloe’
Van Balen’s Aloe is distinguished by its brilliant red-orange leaves from other types of Aloe. The leaves begin as a vivid green and gradually turn orange and red as they are exposed to more sunlight. The deeper the color, the more stress the plant endures. The plant produces yellowish-orange flowers on a short inflorescence throughout the winter. Crawling Octopus can grow to be three feet tall and four feet wide when fully grown.
Aloe vanbalenii can withstand intense heat but not frigid temperatures. A small frost is acceptable, but if you anticipate freezing temperatures, bring the plant inside or shield it from the elements. Van Balen’s Aloe thrives in well-drained soil with lots of sunlight. Although it forms excellent ground cover in mild climates, its twisting octopus-like leaves also look fantastic in hanging containers.
Lithops ‘Living Stones’
These drought-loving tiny weirdos are native to South Africa and are known as Living Stones. At maturity, they typically measure less than three inches in height and diameter. They come in a variety of colors that resemble genuine stone tints. They produce remarkably enormous yellow or white flowers in the autumn.
Lithops can be difficult to care for, but with some good old-fashioned neglect, they’ll be fine.
Opuntia subulata cristata ‘Crested Eve’s Needle’
Crested Eve’s Needle is a peculiar crested Opuntia subulata cultivar. At maturity, it normally stands around 20 inches tall. The crested Opuntia subulata is normally much smaller than the conventional Opuntia subulata, which may grow up to 13 feet tall. Instead, this unusual plant grows by twisting and spreading out in a fan-like pattern.
Opuntia subulata enjoys full sun but may grow in moderate shade as well. It can withstand light frost but must be kept away from freezing temperatures. Excess moisture can cause root rot, therefore appropriate drainage is essential. It is not rare for the plant to develop a normal branch on occasion, which is known as a reversion. The reversion can be removed in order to retain the crested plant and propagate a regular Opuntia subulata.
If you’re sick of the same old succulents and cactus, why not try something new? Be prepared to discuss about your new and intriguing plants, whether you favor the woolly Peruvian Old Lady Cactus, the simplicity of the Baseball Plant, or the weird waves of Crested Eve’s Needle. These unusual succulents and cacti will undoubtedly draw notice wherever they are planted.