Succulents are hardy plants that can store water for a long time. Therefore, the plants can grow and thrive in hostile areas. For this reason, the various succulent species are quite undemanding in terms of care and site conditions. The survivors do not belong to a single plant family or genus, rather a number of different species have developed worldwide. Some succulents grow hanging, others are profusely flowering.

1. Agave victoriae-reginae

Agaves are also known as century plants and can be identified by their strong leaves. The agave victoriae-reginae is also known as the royal agave and is well suited as a houseplant. Since many of the other agave species grow extremely large, they are not suitable for domestic living spaces. In contrast, the Agave victoriae-reginae grows quite slowly and manageably, only one or two new leaves are added each year.

  • Grows with a dense and hemispherical rosette
  • Forms dark green leaves that are 10 to 15 cm long
  • Foliage is almost triangular, adorned with white stripes
  • Leaf margins are smooth and fleshy
  • Blade tips are reinforced with a hard end spike
Tip: A plant substrate with a pH value of 6.0 to 7.2 is suitable for most types of succulents.

2. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera belongs to the grass tree family and is also called desert lily . The leafy succulent plant is valued globally as a medicinal plant. Especially with burns and skin problems, the juice of the aloe leaves has proven itself with its excellent healing effect. The tubular flowers with bright colors are very decorative. In addition, runners and side shoots of the succulent species spread just below the surface of the earth, which can be used for propagation.

  • Forms a trunk with a height of 35-55 cm
  • Leaves are about 30-60 cm long
  • Blue-green in color, leaves have teeth
  • Flowering, with yellow to orange hues
  • Needs full sun and a warm location
  • Not hardy, only keep indoors

3. Aeonium tabuliforme

The Aeonium includes different species, which can be identified thanks to their beautiful rosettes of fleshy and mostly spoon-shaped leaves. The Aeonium tabuliforme is also known as the table-shaped Aeonium because of its shape, as it grows with a very short and barely visible trunk. In their natural habitat, these species of leafy succulents unfold laterally in rock crevices.

  • Light green leaves covered with fine cilia
  • Leaves are stacked on top of each other like roof tiles
  • Insert the flat rosette at an angle into the plant substrate
  • Flowering, spike-shaped inflorescence up to 60 cm high
  • Pale yellow flowers emerge from the mature rosette
Note: Low-nutrient soil is particularly suitable as a plant substrate for succulents, mixed with some pumice, gravel, lava granules and quartz sand.

4. Echeveria gibbiflora

Echeveria gibbiflora is one of the succulent species that grow as a vigorous semi-shrub in bloom. The stocky trunk only branches very sparsely, but forms a dense and loose rosette at the top. In particularly sunny locations, the leaves turn a dull red thanks to the sun’s rays, but this allows the plants to be identified quickly.

  • Grows up to 30 cm high
  • Prefers warm and bright locations
  • Leaves are grey-green and 17 to 20 cm long
  • Foliage forms blister-like growths
  • Light red flowers appear in winter
  • Do not wet leaves with water, leads to stains and rot

5. Geldbaum

The money tree goes by the botanical name Crassula ovata and is known for its thick succulent leaves. Its annual growth is still quite strong in the first years of life, but it decreases more and more with age. Therefore, the plant has to be repotted often in the beginning. Although the money tree is flowering, it only develops its fine flowers after ten years.

  • Prefers sunny locations
  • Copes with partially shaded conditions
  • Can grow up to 50-100 cm tall
  • Fleshy and dark green leaves are oval and arched
  • Leaves sit directly on the branches without stalks
  • Inflorescences are white to pink in color

6. Hanging ragwort/pea plant

The hanging ragwort has the botanical name Senecio herreianus and is extremely hardy. The plant also forgives mistakes in care and feels comfortable in many locations. Short dry periods between the individual watering units promote the typical growth habit and determine the strong leaf coloring of these beautiful succulents. However, the plant substrate must never dry out completely, otherwise the plant will die quickly.

  • Needs lots of light and warmth
  • Forms thick leaves on tendrils 70 cm long
  • Foliage is gray-green with red stripes
  • Long and thin shoots grow hanging
  • Older plants occasionally bloom in summer
  • Flowers are white to orange

7. Houseleek

Houseleek has the botanical name Sempervivum and is also known as the rock rose. The succulent plant often grows where almost no other plants can survive. This genus of plants includes around 60 different species and belongs to the Succulent family. A dormant period must be observed in winter, with fewer watering units, cooler temperatures and, moreover, no fertilizer.

  • Extremely robust plant
  • Handles heat and cold with no problems
  • Can move outside in summer
  • Large variety of species and varieties to choose from
  • Water only little, tolerates drought
  • Rainwater is ideal for watering in summer

8. Flaming Katie

The thick-leafed plant bears the scientific name Kalanchoe blossfeldiana and is one of the very widespread species of succulents. Thanks to breeding in recent decades, a large variety of new colors has been added. However, the crop needs many long and dark nights to start the flowering phase. Therefore, brightly lit living rooms are not suitable as locations in winter when flowering is desired.

  • Prefers bright to full sun locations
  • Leaves are rich green with a dull sheen
  • Original flower color is red
  • New shades are beige, yellow, orange, pink, pink, violet and white
  • Reaches a maximum height of 30 to 40 cm
  • Trim the top tips regularly

9. Kenya Hyacinth

The evergreen Kenya Hyacinth has the botanical name Sansevieria parva. The plant belongs to the succulent species, which grow flowering and hanging at the same time. The growth is very slow, but stable. Bow hemp grows significantly less in dark and cool locations. Leaves can form dense clumps over time, the root balls of which may burst the planter. Therefore, regular repotting according to the growth progress is necessary.

  • Prefers full sun to half shade
  • Forms fleshy, matt-shiny and leathery leaves
  • Foliage is sword-shaped
  • Grows upright at first, then drooping
  • Leaves can reach a length of up to 45 cm
  • Small and white-pink flowers, rather inconspicuous

10. Ice Plants

In botany, ice plants are called Dorotheanthus and originally come from Africa. The annual summer flowers can also cope with the local weather conditions and can therefore be cultivated in the garden. In the garden bed, the plants form dense cushions, so sufficient space is important.

  • Height about 10 cm and width 30 cm
  • Flowering period from June to September
  • Rich variety of colors from yellow, orange, pink, violet to white
  • Does not like shade, prefers direct sunlight
  • Tolerates periods of drought, too much water leads to root rot
  • Water moderately only the surface of the substrate

11. whip cactus

The whip cactus has the botanical name Disocactus flagelliformis. The plant grows both hanging and flowering. The plant develops its beautiful flowers very early on the long shoots, which open during the day and close at night. Therefore, the whip cactus is very good as a traffic light plant in an elevated place. For example hanging from the ceiling on the balcony or terrace, but only in the warm months.

  • Needs a partially shaded to full sun location
  • Light green shoots can grow up to 3 m long and 1.5 cm thick
  • Provided with dense tufts of brownish thorns
  • Attractive flowers with pink and red hues
  • Water more during the main growing season

12. Schlumbergera

Schlumbergera is also called the Christmas cactus and comes from the Brazilian rainforest. The plant can spend the summer outdoors, otherwise keep these non-frost-hardy succulent species indoors. When only a few other plants are blooming during the winter months, the Christmas cactus is showing its beautiful blooms. With good care and the right site conditions, the plant can reach a considerable size.

  • Prefers a bright spot, but not in the sun
  • Growth height up to 45 cm and width about 30 cm
  • Grows shrubby and branched
  • Flowering time is from November to January
  • Flower color depends on the variety: yellow, white, pink or red
  • Water moderately but evenly

13. Spurge

The genus Spurge is called Euphorbia in botany and is characterized by a number of species and varieties, many of which are even hardy. The perennials are characterized by a very large variety, with different heights, leaf colors, flowering times and growth forms. Care is just as uncomplicated as with cacti. In concrete terms, the growths can be easily identified by the milky juice that emerges.

  • Robust and often hardy plants
  • A sunny and warm location in the garden is ideal
  • Scores with a long flowering period
  • Caution: milky juice is poisonous!

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