Succulents are plants with large fleshy leaves that thrive in warm, dry climates. Although most succulent types have green leaves, some have red, blue, purple, pink, or orange leaves. Succulents are small, compact plants that make excellent houseplants and require minimal care.
Succulents are classified as belonging to around 60 different plant families. Aloe and agave from the order Asparagales and echeverias, as well as jade plants and kalanchoes from the order Saxifragales, are examples of well-known succulent genera.
It is critical not to mix together succulents and cacti. Although most cacti are classified as succulents, not all succulents are cacti.
This post will teach you about many of the most common succulents. Knowing how to recognize different succulent species will help you choose how to best care for them. You will also learn the common and botanical names of succulents to help you identify them.
How to Identify Types of Succulents?
Some succulents have fleshy leaves that form a rosette structure, giving the plant a spiky appearance. Other succulents feature leaves that are spiky, round, smooth, or strappy in shape. You may detect little ‘babies’ sprouting around the leaf edges of some succulents.
Some succulent species might be difficult to distinguish. Images of an echeveria and a sempervivum, for example, may appear quite similar. This is due to the fact that both of these succulent genera belong to the same order of fleshy-leaved plants.
Related: Why Succulents Turn Red?
Identification Guide for Succulent Types with Names and Images
Succulents and cactus come in a variety of varieties that may be grown both indoors and outdoors. This article includes a list of succulents and cacti with pictures and common names to assist you in identifying them.
Indoor Succulents Identification Guide
Most succulents thrive in hot, dry regions. This means some succulents grow outdoor. So, let’s take a look at some of the greatest succulent houseplants to add to your décor.
One of the most well-known succulents is aloe vera. Aloe vera is a fleshy green succulent plant known for its gel-filled leaves that have a soothing, healing effect. It is just one of over 500 aloe plant species in the genus Aloe.
The succulent leaves of aloe vera grow straight from the ground in a rosette-like configuration, rather than from a stem.
Summer is also a time when aloe vera plants bloom. The aloe plant has long spikes up to 3 ft. (90 cm) tall with yellow tubular blooms falling from the tips. Plant the aloe vera succulent in cactus potting soil or ordinary potting soil with additional perlite.
Aloe vera Identification: spiky succulent with immediately identifiable bluish-green thick fleshy stalks that contain a gel-like material. Along the pointed leaf margins, look for tooth-like jaggy spikes.
Lace aloe identification: The white lacy patterns on the green pointed leaves distinguish this aloe. The mushy leaves are also covered with white tiny, raised bumps on the succulent.
Identification of golden-toothed aloe: The golden-toothed aloe plant has distinct large triangular leaves with spiky borders.
Because of its long trailing stems, ‘Burro’s Tail’ is one of the best succulents for hanging baskets. This cool succulent, sometimes known as ‘Donkey’s tail,’ has numerous little blue-green plump leaves that give the plant the appearance of a tail. The gorgeous Burro’s Tail succulent’s long stems can grow up to 2 ft. (60 cm) long.
Burro’s Tail is a perennial succulent that blooms. During the summer, its small dainty pink or red flowers appear. This succulent species, like most succulents, requires full sunlight to maintain a good color on the leaves.
Burro’s tail is an easy succulent to identify because of its broad trailing stalks covered in small, mushy crescent-shaped leaves that grow in a spiral manner around the stem.
The Flaming Katy is a cool flowering succulent with lustrous dark green leaves and stunning fall blooms. This succulent variety’s flowers might be red, pink, orange, white, or yellow. Flaming Katy leaves are oval in form and have a serrated edge. When the plant matures, it forms an unusual cup shape.
Calandiva plant (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Calandiva’) is a lovely cultivar of Flaming Katy. The flowers of Flaming Katy and Calandiva plants can be distinguished: Calandiva has spectacular flowers with double petals like a rose, whilst Flaming Katy has single-petalled flowers.
Although these Kalanchoe succulents can be grown outside, they are quite sensitive to cold temperatures. Plant Kalanchoe in a succulent soil mix in a pot and enjoy their beauty indoors.
If you live in USDA zones 10 and 11, you can cultivate kalanchoe plants outside.
Succulent identification: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana has deep green leaves on short stalks. The leaves on this Kalanchoe plant are large and rounded, while the flowers are red, pink, orange, white, or yellow.
The Jade Plant, often known as the Money Tree plant or Money Plant, is an evergreen perennial succulent. Its broad, lustrous green leaves are oval or wedge-shaped, with delicate scarlet edging at the tips. The Jade plant is distinguished by its sturdy trunk and plethora of leafy stems. The leaves can grow to be as wide as 1.4″ (4 cm) and as long as 3.5″ (9 cm).
Indoors, cultivate your jade plant succulent in a room temperature of 65-75 °F (18-24 °C). Because jade plants have come to signify good luck in many cultures, this succulent is also known as the Lucky Plant.
USDA zones 10 and 11 are suitable for growing jade plants.
Succulent identification: The jade plant succulent is distinguished by its rounded, leathery leaves that acquire red flushing when exposed to direct sunlight. The tree-like succulent has thick woody stems and can produce star-shaped pinkish blooms in bunches.
The compact rosette shape of the fleshy leaves of echeveria succulents is frequently used to identify them. Echeveria is a large genus of blooming succulents in the Crassulaceae family.
Succulents in the echeveria genus are also among the most colorful. The ‘Plush plant’ (Echeveria pulvinata) features lime green leaves with pink borders, for example. Echeveria laui is a blue succulent, and other species have lovely pink succulent leaves.
Some echeveria varieties grow well outside in zones 9-11, but most people keep them indoors in containers as a low-maintenance houseplant.
Succulent identification: It has pointed leaves that grow in the shape of a rose. The shape of the echeveria leaf helps identify these small succulent plants—some are spherical, some are triangular, and still, others have long spoon-shaped mushy leaves.
Related: How Often do Succulents Need Sun?
The Plush plant is a succulent native to Mexico with ovate green leaves with pink tinges on the edges. The succulent leaves’ fine hairs give the plant a slightly fuzzy feel and appearance. When given adequate sunlight, the gorgeous leaf coloration develops, and it blooms with magnificent orange flowers.
The succulent plush plant is hardy in USDA zones 9-11.
Echeveria is a fuzzy succulent with silvery-green leaves coated in microscopic white hairs.
Red Velvet Plush Plant
A green and crimson fuzzy succulent with lance-shaped fleshy leaves and little orange blooms, the red velvet plush plant. The red velvet plush plant leaves grow alternately on erect stalks, unlike other Echeveria succulents. The succulent’s jade-green leaves have thick reddish-pink fuzzy borders, giving it an appealing appearance.
The heat-loving succulent thrives in hot, sunny conditions and can resist drought rather well.
Succulent identification: The pointy leaves of the red velvet plush plant succulent are typical of Echeveria plants. The brilliant red or pink borders on the broad leaves distinguish the plant from other Echeveria species.
It is some of the coolest succulents you can grow inside, according to many people. New leaves and flowers sprout from the spaces between the two leaves, causing them to split apart. The fat leaves have a rough texture and can be brown, gray, cream, or green in color. When growing in the wild, it might be difficult to distinguish lithops from stones.
These succulent flowers in the fall and produces white or yellow flowers.
Succulent identification: Lithops are little succulents that resemble pebbles or stones. When a new stem grows, the split stem of the pebble-like succulents divides. The ‘living stones,’ on the other hand, are difficult to categorize because they come in a variety of hues and shapes.
Bear’s Paw Succulent
Images of Cotyledon Ladismithiensis clearly show why it is called ‘Bear’s Paw.’. To clarify, the succulent leaves have teeth-like points with delicate red margins, suggesting paws.
When grown under the appropriate conditions indoors, the Bear’s Paw succulent can reach a height of 3.2 feet (1 m). The succulent’s thick fleshy leaves grow indiscriminately on the stems, giving them a bushy appearance.
Bear’s Paw succulent, like most indoor succulents, should be grown in a container that is only slightly larger than the root system. So, during the summer, deep watering once a week helps maintain the plant healthy.
Identification of the fuzzy succulent bear’s paw: The fuzzy succulent bear’s paw has cute furry spherical leaves that resemble a little bear’s foot. When exposed to direct sunshine, some bears’ paws develop dark purple or crimson tips.
String of Pearls
The string of Pearls is one of the most beautiful hanging succulents. This spreading succulent features green balls that look like pearls or peas linked to thin stems. This decorative succulent belongs to the Asteraceae family, which means it is more closely related to daisies than cactus.
This one-of-a-kind succulent blooms throughout the summer under the correct indoor conditions. The little white flowers are trumpet-shaped and classified as compound flowers, just as other asters.
The string of pearls is a lovely succulent that works well in hanging baskets.
String of pearls succulent grows well in USDA zones 9-12.
Succulent identification: The string of pearls has distinguishable round ball-like green leaves linked to dangling stems. The hanging succulent resembles green peas on dangling strings.
A succulent cactus is a pincushion cactus. This cactus is popular among many people because to its unusual hairy appearance.
This prickly succulent is endemic to Mexico and is one of roughly 250 cacti in the Mammillaria family. One of the benefits of including a pincushion cactus in your succulent garden is its low stature. It does not grow taller than 6″ (15 cm), and when it blooms, it produces brilliant pink flowers.
USDA zones 9-11 are suitable for pincushion cactus.
Identification of the Pincushion Cactus: The Pincushion Cactus is a fuzzy-looking green succulent with fine silvery-white hairs and light pink and white flowers.
The common name for Sansevieria trifasciata is snake plant,’ and it is a member of the Asparagaceae family. The long sword-like green leaves with a golden borders distinguish the Sansevieria species. This lovely plant is actually a rosette succulent. The leaves grow large, reaching up to 3 ft. (90 cm) in height, with some growing as tall as 6 ft. (2 m)!
One of the benefits of growing snake plant succulents indoors is that they thrive in adverse settings. This low-maintenance succulent may add a splash of green and yellow to your home’s décor.
This plant is also known as mother-in-tongue,’ law’s ‘St. George’s sword,’ and ‘viper’s browsing hemp.’
If you want a little succulent with a stunning appearance, the Haworthia fasciata “zebra plant” is an excellent choice. These unusual succulents are indigenous to South America.
The Zebra plant is a little succulent that grows to a height of approximately 4″ (10 cm). It has triangular dark green leaves with white streaks. Its broad fleshy leaves create a rosette. This is a flowering succulent with yellow flowers that bloom in late fall or early winter.
Zebra succulents are the ideal houseplant for small spaces.
Haworthiopsis fasciata “Zebra Plant” thrives in USDA zones 9 to 11.
Succulent identification: The zebra plant is a succulent with thick, prickly leaves. The raised white stripes and dots cover the thick cylindrical pointed leaves.
Hoya Kerrii (Lucky-Heart) Plant
The Hoya kerrii (sweetheart plant or lucky-heart plant) is an attractive succulent that is grown indoors. This succulent is also known as the love heart plant due to its heart-shaped leaves.
The darling succulent plant thrives in strong direct light and well-draining loose soil, with just infrequent watering. Keep these uncommon indoor plants at a temperature of 65°F to 80°F (18°C – 27°C) and medium humidity. During the growing season, fertilize up to four times per year.
Discover how to care for hoya kerrii (sweetheart plant / valentine hoya) and other lovely hoya kinds.
Hoya kerrii is hardy to USDA zone 11 in the winter.
Pig’s Ears gets its name from the thick spherical leaves of this Cotyledon succulent. The gray-green oval leaves have a noticeable red line running across their margins and can grow up to 5″ (13 cm) long.
The Cotyledon succulent plant can grow to be around 4 feet (1.3 meters) tall and looks beautiful in a succulent garden. When the Pig’s Ear succulent blooms, it is one of the most beautiful objects. Tall stalks bear a profusion of tiny orange bell-shaped blooms.
Succulent Pig’s Ears (Cotyledon) is hardy in USDA zones 9-11.
Identification of succulents: The pig’s ear succulent is distinguished by its dollar-shaped green leaves with red borders. Pig’s ear plant has clumps of pale green leaves that grow on woody stalks, giving it the appearance of a miniature succulent tree.
Succulents are often low-maintenance houseplants. Their intriguing shapes, textures, and colors look stunning in any setting. Succulents are commonly kept as little indoor plants, and you may easily care for a handful of them without any difficulty.
Most succulents require similar care to maintain their color and grow properly. Place your succulent in direct sunshine and rotate it every so often so that all sections of the plant receive sunlight.
Succulents should also be planted in well-drained soil to avoid root rot. Ordinary cactus potting soil is usually adequate for growing succulents at home. When the top 1″ (2.5 cm) of soil on your succulents is dry, water them. Pour in enough water until it drains out the drainage holes to ensure your succulents have enough water.
You should also use a moist cloth to wipe the dust off the foliage of indoor succulents. This promotes the development and keeps your succulent houseplants healthy indoors.