Updated Oct 28, 2022
Growing indoor succulents is the perfect way to add eye-catching, low-maintenance greenery to your home. They come in thousands of cultivars, each with unique features.
Succulent plants are native to desert regions with hot, dry days and cool nights, making them hardy in conditions other plants can’t tolerate. Their fleshy leaves are designed to store water efficiently in times of drought – i.e. when the homeowner forgets to water them. So, if you’re seeking a plant that “thrives on neglect,” succulents are your perfect match.
The following sections will cover 10 types of succulents that make excellent houseplants. We’ll discuss the care and conditions each plant needs to make your indoor garden a success.
Echeverias are perhaps the most common succulent plant in garden shops and nurseries. They produce the compact rosette shape many people imagine when they hear the word “succulent.” In addition to their lovely appearance, echeverias are popular because of their wide range of stunning cultivars. We like the ‘Perle Von Nurnberg’ echeveria, which develops a single green rosette that changes to pink or purple under direct sunlight.
Grow an echeveria indoors by placing it in a container of well-draining, coarse soil mix. Follow the soak and dry watering method, which involves giving the plant a deep drink every month, then allowing the soil to dry completely before watering again. Place the succulent in an area with ample sunlight – preferably a windowsill or window-side table – to help it grow strong.
Burro’s tails (Sedum morganianum) are succulents that produce long, trailing stems. These Mexico natives are perfect for indoor hanging baskets where their stems of plump blue-green leaves will cascade over the sides. Plus, they need ample sunlight and minimal foot traffic, so a window-side hanging planter is an ideal environment.
Burro’s tails need bright light, a shallow container, and a well-draining potting mix for the best results. Allow the soil to dry before applying more water to your burro’s tail. Feed the plant a gentle fertilizer twice in the spring to help it thrive. With these steps, the succulent’s fleshy leaves will soon be accompanied by lovely pink and red flowers.
Hen and chicks (Sempervivum tectorum) are popular indoor succulents prized for their fleshy, geometric leaves and spreading habit. The plant gets its nickname from its ability to produce many baby plants from one parent plant, similar to a mother hen and her baby chicks.
While hens and chicks are easy to grow in sunny outdoor conditions, they also make wonderful houseplants. Help your plant grow indoors by placing its container near a bright window that receives at least four hours of sunlight daily. We suggest keeping your hen and chicks plant in a wide, shallow container to give the plant room to spread. With sunshine, well-draining soil, and occasional watering, your succulent will produce numerous baby “chicks” in no time.
Jade plants (Crassula ovata) are popular indoor succulents with thick brown stems and fleshy, oval-shaped leaves. Depending on the jade plant variety you select, yours could grow leaves in green, blue, or red-tinged hues. During winter, the plants develop clusters of star-shaped blossoms. These resilient plants can reach up to 5 feet tall indoors, making them a wonderful piece of living home decor.
Jade plants are similar to other succulents regarding light, soil, and water needs. They prefer bright, filtered indoor light for at least four hours a day. During winter, keep your jade plant away from air drafts and ensure none of its foliage touches an icy-cold windowpane. Provide the plant with regular watering throughout the spring and summer growing seasons, keeping the soil lightly moist. Also, let the soil dry between waterings.
Panda plants (Kalanchoe tomentosa) are one of the best indoor plants for your home. They’re as low-maintenance as they are adorable, making them an excellent choice for beginner succulent gardeners. Panda plants get their name from their fuzzy foliage dotted with black specks. They aren’t cold-hardy, so houseplant life suits them well – especially in cooler climates.
Indoor panda plants like bright, indirect light and a well-drained potting mix. Only water the plant about once a month or so when its soil has dried thoroughly. Outdoors, these plants can grow over 20 inches tall in the right conditions. The size of your indoor panda plant will depend on its container. Give the plant a little more growing room to watch it sprout taller.
Aloe plants (Aloe vera) are the ingredient behind many soothing skin products, and they’re also one of the most popular succulents to grow indoors. If you don’t plan to use your aloe plant for medicinal purposes, you can select one of the species’ more ornamental varieties. One variety called ‘Lace Aloe’ grows plump, dark green leaves with raised white speckles. The leaves can grow up to 6 inches long, making this plant an eye-catching specimen.
Indoor aloe plants are what the University of New Hampshire Extension describes as “hard to kill.” Provide your aloe plant with consistent yet infrequent watering, a location with bright, direct sun, and a well-draining soil mix. Ensure your aloe’s container has good drainage holes to allow excess water to escape the pot. Empty the drainage tray ASAP to prevent the plant from bottom feeding and developing root rot.
Snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata) are agave succulents treasured for their resilience and unique appearance. These plants, nicknamed “mother-in-law’s tongue,” are excellent indoor plants for beginner gardeners. With little care, they’ll produce dark green, spear-like leaves that appear to shoot straight from the soil.
Unlike many other succulents, snake plants are tolerant of low-light conditions, making them ideal for dim apartments or offices. However, snake plants will produce the best results in bright rooms and containers full of well-draining succulent potting mix. Otherwise, give them a deep drink of water every month and provide fertilizer in the growing season for maximized growth. A healthy snake plant will eventually produce “pups” or offshoots which you can divide and repot for even more plants.
Zebra plants (Haworthia fasciata) are South African succulents closely related to the aloe family. They form stiff rosettes of dark green leaves marked with small white dots. Some zebra plant varieties have gray, brown, or red leaves with unique markings. One variety called ‘Little Zebra’ is a miniature variety perfect for your apartment or office windowsill.
Zebra plants are native to the subtropical regions of South Africa, so they’re adapted to fast-draining soils. Mimic this growing condition for your indoor zebra plant by keeping it in a container full of equal parts coarse sand and potting mix. Set the plant in a spot with full sun to help its leaves produce the boldest colors.
Crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii) is a flowering succulent native to Madagascar. These plants produce a shrub-like structure of green, oval leaves with lovely reddish pink blossoms. Many crown of thorns varieties grow well in compact containers, making them excellent houseplants for small living spaces.
Crown of thorns plants are hardy in various conditions, though they prefer bright, direct sunlight and moderate temperatures. If your home doesn’t have adequate lighting, consider a crown of thorns variety adapted to low-light conditions. Otherwise, you can supplement the plant’s light needs with an LED grow light, like this one from Amazon. Better lighting will help the plant produce healthier, more numerous blooms during the growing season.
String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) is a unique trailing succulent distinguishable by its round, beady leaves. This South African species is great for indoor hanging baskets that allow its long “strings” to spill freely over the edges. You can explore this plant’s many cultivars to find one that fits your home design. One string of pearls variety, ‘Variegated String of Pearls,’ has light green leaves marked with interesting white swirls.
Like other succulents, string of pearls requires infrequent watering and well-draining soil for the best results. These plants don’t develop deep root systems, so a wide, shallow container is suited to support their groundcover habit. Place your plant by a window with bright light exposure to help it produce inch after inch of precious pearls.
We hope you enjoy adding one or many of these lovely plants to your indoor succulent garden. Most succulents need similar growing conditions and care routines, but some are oddballs. Make sure you read up on each plant’s needs to set it up for long-term success. If you’re ready to grow your succulent collection without a trip to the plant nursery, read our guide to propagating a succulent from leaves.
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