Succulents are a pretty plant type that has very fleshy, thick leaves and grows in dry, warm conditions. All types of succulents store water in the stems, roots, or leaves, and most of them come in green hues. However, you can also find blue, red, pink, purple, or orange coloring. This is generally a very compact and small plant that makes a fantastic addition to your houseplant lineup if you’re someone who is busy and doesn’t have time to care for a maintenance-heavy species.
There are roughly 60 different plant families that have types of succulents, and two of the more well-known ones are the agave and aloe plants that come from the echeverias and Asparagales family. You have most likely heard about jade plants too, and they are a hardy type of succulent.
It’s important that you don’t confuse cacti and succulents. It gets very confusing because most cacti plants do have a succulent classification, but not all types of succulents fall into the cacti category.
We’re going to give you a quick rundown on how to identify types of succulents and then touch on 20 popular options you can use to inject a little life and texture into any well-lit room in your home.
The best way for you to identify types of succulents by the growth habit and the leaf shape. The fleshy leaves are what set them apart from other plants. Some species come with fleshy leaves that grow in a very tight rosette shape, and this lends a spiky look to the plant. You can also find types of succulents with smooth, oval, or strappy-shaped leaves, and some produce tiny baby plants right along the edges of the leaves that you can use for propagation.
When you look at some succulent species, you may have a hard time telling them apart. For example, if you were to look at pictures of sempervivum and echeveria, you’d notice they look very similar. This is due to the fact that both succulents fall into the fleshy-leaved plant order.
The following are 20 types of succulents you can add to your home, and the pictures will give you a good idea of what to expect with them.
1. Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)
Aloe Vera is one of the best-known types of succulents available, and it’s a very green, fleshy plant that is characterized by the leaves that have a gel filling. It also has a healing, soothing nature, and the Aloe Vera plant is one of over 500 aloe plant types in the Aloe genus. This is a tropical type of succulent that you can identify by the thick, long leaves with slightly jagged edges. It doesn’t come with a stem, but the fleshy leaves will grow straight from the ground in a rosette-formation.
During the summertime, aloe vera plants will produce flowers. You can see long spikes that can get up to three feet tall, and they’ll produce tubular, yellow flowers that droop from the ends of the stalks. You can put aloe vera in cactus or succulent potting soil, and they also do decently in traditional potting soil if you amend it with perlite. You can grow it outside in zones 10 and 11, and it can survive in a protected area outdoors in zone 9.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – This is a spiky type of succulent that you can identify very easily by the greenish-blue stems that are very thick and fleshy. They also have a gel-like substance inside the leaves. Look for jagged tooth-like spikes along the leaf margins.
2. Bear’s Paw Succulent (Cotyledon Ladismithiensis)
The decorative look of this type of succulent makes it very popular, and you get a fuzzy appearance. The succulent comes covered with very tiny hairs, and the tips of the leaves have teeth-like growth with very delicate red edges to make the leaf look very close to a bear paw. This is where it gets the name. It can get up to 3.2 feet tall at full maturity when you grow it under the correct conditions, and it has a bushy appearance due to the fleshy, thick leaves that grow haphazardly on the plant’s stems.
Just like you’d do with most indoor types of succulents, you want to grow this one in a container that is slightly larger than the root system. Practice deep watering sessions once a week during the summer months to keep it healthy and growing, and it’ll thrive in zones 9 to 11.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – The fuzzy succulent has furry, rounded leaves that lend it a cute look like a tiny bear paw. You can find this plant with red or dark purple tips if you put them in a place with a lot of sunlight.
3. Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)
This is a flowering perennial type of succulent that does well in hanging baskets inside as it loves low-light conditions. This is also one of the best succulents to put in a hanging basket because it trails down the sides. You may hear it referred to as the Donkey’s Tail, and it has several small, plump leaves in a greenish-blue hue that make it resemble a tail. The long stems can get up to two feet long under the correct conditions.
As we mentioned, this succulent produces flowers. You’ll typically get small red or pink flowers during the summer months. Just like most types of succulents, you’ll have to plant them in full sunlight to keep the leaves healthy. If you live in a warmer climate, you can grow them outside in zones 9 to 11 without any problems.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – This is an extremely easy succulent type to identify since it has trailing, thick stems that get covered with crescent-shaped, fleshy leaves that grow in a spiral pattern.
This broad category encompasses many cultivars and varieties. It’s one of the biggest genera of flowering succulents, and it falls into the Crassulaceae family. It has very fleshy leaves and it grows in a tight rosette shape that makes it easy to identify. This is also one of the most colorful types of succulent genuses out there, and you can find lime green plants with hot pink edges or blue succulents. Some echeveria will grow decently well in zones 9 to 11, but most like to be indoors instead of exposed to the elements.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – These types of succulents come with pointed leaves that grow to resemble a rose. The leaf shape helps you identify these smaller succulents, and some come with longer spoon-shaped leaves while others are triangular-shaped or rounded.
5. Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
This type of succulent comes in a huge range of colors that can include everything from a single flower to double blooms, depending on the cultivar you pick out and maintain. This is a pretty flowering succulent that offers stunning fall flowers with dark green leaves that are very shiny. Flowers on this plant can be orange, pink, red, yellow, or white, and the leaves feature an ovate shape and come with serrated edges. Once the plant matures, it forms an eye-catching cup shape.
It is possible to grow this succulent outside, but they are extremely sensitive to the cold, and it can kill them quickly. So, it’s better to put this plant in a terrarium and plant it indoors in a succulent soil. If you do plan to grow them outdoors, you have to live in zones 10 and 11 for them to survive.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – You’ll see very deep green leaves with shorter stems with this plant, and it has rounded, broad leaves with pretty white, orange, pink, red, or yellow flowers.
6. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
This is a very popular indoor type of succulent that symbolizes good fortune. You may hear it referred to as the money tree plant, and it’s a perennial, evergreen succulent. The shiny and thick leaves are wedge or oval-shaped, and it can have very delicate red edges on the tips of the leaves. The leaves can get up to 1.4-inches wide and 3.5-inches long at full maturity.
To care for this type of succulent inside, plant it in a place where the temperature stays between 65 and 75-degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24-degrees Celsius). To keep jade plants outside, you have to live in zones 10 and 11 for them to do well as they don’t tolerate cold weather or frost.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – The leathery, rounded leaves are the biggest indicator for this plant. In full sun, they gain a red hue. It’s a tree-like succulent that has woody, thick stems, and it can produce star-shaped flowers in tight clusters.
Lithops are a flowering type of succulent that is more unique, and there are many varieties that fall under this umbrella. You can get more unusual shapes with this genus. The succulents also get the name of pebble plants or living stones because they have a very stony appearance. The name means “stone face” in Greek. The shape of the Lithops plants feature two plump succulent leaves that are virtually fused together.
The new flowers and leaves will show up between the two leaves and cause them to split apart. The leaves can be gray, brown, green, or cream colors, and they have a slightly bumpy texture to them. When you grow them in the wild, it can be challenging to tell this type of succulent apart from stones. They produce yellow or white flowers during the fall months, and they are best planted in zones 10 and 11.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – You can identify this small succulent as one that looks like stones or pebbles. The pebble-like variety has a split stem that divides when a new stem emerges. They come in many shapes and colors.
8. Lucky Heart Plant (Hoya Kerrii)
Lucky Heart Plant also goes by the names of Valentine Hoya or Sweetheart Hoya. This is a very unique-looking type of succulent that you grow inside. It has heart-shaped leaves that give it its name, and it looks wonderful planted in a terrarium in a sunny location. It loves bright but indirect sunlight, and you should plant it in a loose, well-draining soil.
They won’t do well outdoors unless you live in zone 11 as they need a constant steady temperature range of 65 to 80-degrees Fahrenheit or 18 to 27-degrees Celsius. The humidity level should be medium, and you can fertilize them up to four times during the active growing season.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – It’s relatively easy to recognize this plant due to the heart-shaped leaves. Even though it’s a climbing or trailing plant, it’s common to see single leaves put in a pot for sale.
9. Paddle Plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora or Kalanchoe luciae)
This type of succulent comes with red margins and green leaves, and the red gets more prominent with sun exposure. Better known as the flapjack succulent, you’ll get slightly larger leaves in a paddle shape. The jade-green coloring on the leaves can slowly change to darker shades of purple or red when you grow it in cooler conditions. They can get up to 10-inches tall at full maturity when you plant them in containers.
The flapjack succulent also has rounded, flat leaves that grow stacked just like pancakes, hence the name. You may also hear this type of succulent referred to as the white lady, desert cabbage, or red pancakes. You can grow it outside in zones 10 and 11.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – The rounded, large leaves on this plant have a waxy look and grow in a rosette pattern.
10. Pig’s Ear (Cotyledon orbiculata)
If you plant this type of succulent outdoors, it can grow as a taller flowering plant. It offers very thick rounded leaves, and this is where the plant got the name. The greenish-gray leaves are oval-shaped, and they can grow up to 5-inches long and have a red line running along the edges.
At full maturity, this succulent can easily get four feet tall, and it looks stunning planted in any succulent garden. When this plant blooms, it’s extremely eye-catching. You’ll get tall stalks that produce tiny bell-shaped flowers in an orange coloring in large masses, and it’s hardy in zones 9 to 11.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – You can identify this type of succulent by the dollar-shaped green leaves with bright red edges. The pale green leaves grow in clumps on the stem, and this makes it resemble a very small succulent tree.
11. Pincushion Cactus (Mammillaria crinita)
As the name suggests, this type of succulent is a flowering cactus with spikes and fleshy leaves. It has a very distinctive furry appearance to it that makes it a fan-favorite for many homes. Also, this is one of roughly 250 cacti that fall into the Mammillaria family, and this makes it native to Mexico.
One large advantage of adding this succulent cacti to your garden is that it has a short growth habit. It won’t get over six-inches tall at full maturity, and it blooms with very pink, vibrant flowers. It’s hardy in zones 9, 10, and 11.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – This is a very fuzzy looking darker green succulent that is covered in silver-white, fine hairs with white or pink flowers.
12. Plush Plant (Echeveria pulvinata)
This is another smaller type of succulent hat you can grow outdoors or indoors. It’s native to Mexico, and it’s a plant that offers ovate green leaves that come with pink edging. The leaves also have fine hairs on them, and this gives them a fuzzy appearance and feel. If the plant gets full, bright sunlight, the coloring will get brighter on the leaves. When it blooms, the flowers are very bright orange. It does best outdoors when you live in zones 9, 10, or 11.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – You may hear this type of succulent described as a fuzzy plant with greenish-silvery leaves covered in white, soft hairs.
13. Roseum Sedum (Sedum spurium ‘Roseum’)
Roseum types of succulents are stunning indoors and outdoors. You get a very light green coloring with a dainty look, and the leaves have a very pale pink tinge running along the edges. The plant leaves come in a rosette shape with very lightly serrated edging. When you plant them in full sun, the leaf color will get much brighter with pretty pink flowers when they bloom.
They do very well planted outside in zones 4 to 10, and it’s a very vigorous grower that works well as a full-sun ground cover. It’ll do well planted in containers too, and it’s very attractive added to hanging baskets along your patio or porch.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – You’ll see fleshy green leaves on this type of succulent that turn a pinkish-red under the full sun. As a ground cover plant, it blooms to show pink flowers under ideal conditions.
14. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Snake plants are very ornamental plants with yellow and green stripes along longer leaves, and it’s a very low-maintenance option to add to your house plants. The term “snake plant” is the common name for Sansevieria trifasciata, and it falls into the Asparagaceae family. Snake Plants have the longer sword-like green leaves with bright yellow on the edges, and it’s actually a rosette succulent type. The leaves can get up to three feet tall, and some can even reach six feet tall.
One reason many people like to grow this plant indoors is that it thrives in poor conditions. It requires very little maintenance from you to stay healthy and thriving, and it can survive poor soil, low light, and drought without damage. You may hear it referred to as St. George’s Sword, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, and Viper’s Browsing Hemp. It’s winter-hardy in zones 10 to 12.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – This type of succulent is very easy to spot due to the pointed, long clumps of dark green leaves with yellow streaks that form an upright growth habit.
15. String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
This type of succulent looks best displayed as a hanging ornamental plant. It’s actually a creeping succulent species that forms pea or pearl-like green balls that attach to very thin stems. This ornamental succulent falls into the Asteraceae family, so this means that they’re very closely related to daisies rather than cacti. You may hear this plant referred to as the String of Beads, and the trailing stems can get up to three feet long at full maturity with dozens of small pea-shaped leaves.
If you have perfect conditions, this type of succulent will produce flowers during the summer months. They’re white and small, and they feature a trumpet shape. Also, the flowers are compound flowers, just like asters. It does well if you plant it in zones 9 through 12, outdoors.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – This plant comes with very identifiable rounded ball-like leaves that attach to dangling stems. It looks like peas attached to thin strings.
16. Sunburst Succulent (Aeonium ‘Sunburst’)
The Sunburst type of succulent has green leaves with light pink or red edges that fan out in a circular pattern around the center. This is actually a hybrid plant that has branches with big rosettes that can measure up to 12-inches in diameter. It has a very distinct pinwheel shape to it, and this is very common for succulents in the Aeonium genus. It’s hardy outdoors in zones 9 to 11.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – You can identify this type of succulent but the striped green and yellow leaves with bright pink edges. It grows in a big rosette shape, and it’s one of the most colorful larger succulents available.
17. Torch Plant (Aristaloe aristata)
This type of succulent falls into the same tribe as the aloe plant, and it looks very similar to it. Under the best growing conditions, this type of succulent will produce fleshy, long triangular leaves in a rosette shape, and it can reach up to 10 feet tall. The lance-shaped leaves on this plant have toothed edges on them, and it gives the plant a very bristly feel and appearance. It’s hardy in zones 8 to 10, and it prefers warmer environments. If you live in a warm climate and have space, this will be a colorful addition to your garden.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – The triangular-shaped green leaves on this type of succulent and the rosette growth habit make it easy to spot. There are also white-toothed margins with white bumps to spot.
18. Wooly Senecio or Cocoon Plant (Caputia tomentosa)
This is a very fuzzy type of succulent that has whtie felted cylindrical leaves that grow in tight clumps from the plant’s woody stems. It offers a very striking appearance with the furry whitish-gray leaves. They can get between 4 and 10 inches tall at full maturity. The botanical name for this plant is Senecio haworthii, and the common names come from the fact that this type of succulent looks like furry, small coconuts. They’re not cold-hardy at all, and they require warmth and bright light to thrive.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – It’s easy to spot this type of succulent due to the cocoon-shaped, fuzzy leaves that grow in tight clusters.
19. Zebra Plant (Haworthia Fasciata)
This smaller type of succulent has white markings on it to make it look like Zebra stripes, hence the name. It’s a great option if you’re after something with a very eye-catching or striking appearance. It’s native to South America, and it’s a more exotic addition to the list. It will only get up to four-inches tall at full maturity, and it forms triangular, dark leaves with bright white stripes.
The fleshy, thick leaves will grow in a rosette form. It’s a flowering type of succulent that can produce bright yellow flowers in early winter or later fall months. This is the perfect houseplant if you have very limited space, and it does well in zones 9, 10, and 11.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – This type of succulent has very thick leaves with a spiky look. The cylindrica, thick pointed leaves get covered in raised white dots and stripes.
20. Zwartkop (Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’)
The final type of succulent on the list is a purple option where other types of Aeonium arboreum come in more traditional green coloring. It’s one of the most striking succulents you can grow in your garden since it has very dark coloring on the leaves with a rosette shape. You may hear it referred to as the black rose. This plant can produce bright yellow flowers that contrast sharply with the darker leaves.
The common types of succulent in this category have lime or light-green leaves and grow in a shrubby, small bush form. You may hear the more common species referred to as treehouse leek or irish rose, and they’re all hardy in zones 9 to 11.
- HappyDIYHome Identification Tip – This is an easily recognizable succulent due to the bigger rose-like flower head and woody stem. It also offers very dark purple, almost black leaves that grow in a pinwheel shape.
We’ve outlined 20 stunning types of succulents that grow nicely indoors or outdoors in a host of conditions, and you can decide which ones you want to add to your current houseplant collection. Most of them are easy to grow and care for, and they do well with little input or maintenance on your end to create eye-catching displays.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.