8 Most Popular African Succulents

Popular African Succulents

Let’s be honest! Some plants need more care than children or pets! Maybe you don’t have the time, patience, or green thumb to deal with a fussy plant, but at the same time, you want to avoid the disapproving look from ‘mother’ when she visits, and every plant has died.

Or perhaps, allergies prevent you from having fresh daisies and roses close to you, but you still want the opportunity to be a plant parent.

Well, don’t stop ‘be-leaf-ing’!

A fresh fad has hit the streets, taking ‘succers’ by storm.

Succulents are the way, and they are here to stay!

Available and affordable, succulent has set the trend as decorating staples at events, restaurants, office focal points, outdoor landscaping, and even walking down the aisle on a bridal bouquet.

Here is your chance to get inspired and keep that plant alive with this list of 8 most popular African succulents.

Not only are these African succulents gorgeous to look at, but you won’t pull your hair out, keeping them alive. Here we go!

8 popular African succulents
let’s learn about some African succulents @holistichabits

Othonna Capensis—Ruby Necklace

This distant sunflower family member has its roots in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It also goes by the name “Ruby Necklace” or “Little Pickles” and is known locally as “Bobbejaankool.”

Talk about nicknames!

The Ruby Necklace, not to be mistaken by jewelry, This succulent has bean-like foliage that extends from vibrant, ruby-red stems. The succulent bean-like leaves vary in color from green to purple, depending on how much sunlight it is exposed to. The plant produces small, daisy-like flowers that may be purple, white, or yellow, bloom year-round.

The Ruby Necklace’s popularity, amongst other succulents, has grown because of the adaptability of its vines for trailing and spilling. You can find it trending, like a delicious bunch of grapes, as it hangs from a ‘fruit and veg bowl’ when planted with rosette-type succulents. It has also become a main feature of bridal bouquets. No matter the occasion, the ‘Othonna Capensis‘ flexibly adjusts to fit its new home marvelously.

See 7 Fantastic Succulent Bouquets for some inspiration!

This fashionable plant not only looks attractive but is also fairly easy to maintain. It requires very little water, and only when the soil completely dries out. The flowers of the Ruby Necklace are a great attraction for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, making it prominent as an environmental protector. You can even match your Ruby Necklace with this ruby colored pot! Maybe we should get this one for the team too, so many planters are too cute!

8 popular African succulents
radiant ruby necklace @withloveandkare

Follow Succulent City on Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram for more informative & interesting content about succulents & cacti 🙂 Join the discussions at our Facebook Group, “Succulent City Plant Lounge.” Happy planting, and live the moment!

Crassula Ovata—The Jade Plant

When talking about popular succulents, no other plant is as world-renowned as the Mozambican native Jade Plant. From China to New York, this beauty can be found on the window sills of living rooms of different sizes, crossing cultures, and language barriers as a symbol of good luck. This legendary plant also goes by the names Lucky Plant, Money Plant, Silver Dollar, Money Tree, and Friendship Tree.

Apart from Mozambique, the Jade Plant still features prominently in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa. Historians have mentioned that the Khoi and other native tribes grated and cooked the roots of this succulent, as a delicacy to be eaten with thick milk. It was also known for its medicinal value to treat nausea and diarrhea.

The scientific name Crassula Ovata perfectly describes this succulent. Crassula, which means fat or thick, denotes the fleshy nature of the species while Ovata means egg-shaped, which is a correct representation of the shape of the leaves.

The Jade Plant has many characteristics of a Bonsai tree, with a thick trunk and wide, olive-green leaves. It prospers indoors and will retain water well, producing small white or pink flowers in the right conditions.

This succulent’s association with friendship, good luck, and financial success, make it one of the most admired, no-brainer gifts for any occasion—like in this fun planter, we gifted this to one of our team members birthday recently too!

Learn further tips on caring for the Jade plant with our article here!

8 popular African succulents
jaw dropping jade @homebrewedo2

Euphorbia Milii—Crown of Thorns Plant

Hailing from the island of Madagascar on the Indian Ocean, the Euphorbia Milii behaves like the ‘femme fetale’ of the succulent world. Not only does this plant have striking, clustered flowers growing on evergreen shrubbery, but it also has long, sharp thorns all around its stems.  The yellow, white, or pink flowers grow in red bracts that resemble petals and in tropical locations, the plant flowers all year round. This pretty little thing is, however, highly poisonous!

This drought-resistant succulent, which you can buy here, is a major sun worshiper; the more exposure to the sun it gets, the more intense and longer the flowering period is. These colorful outdoor pots would look great with this pretty plant! On the contrary to its beauty, the succulent plant produces a poisonous sap that can irritate when it comes to contact with skin and eyes. This succulent also causes severe stomach aches, vomiting, and inflammation of the throat and mouth if ingested. If you have toddlers or curious pets, this is a plant to keep at a distance.

That being said, the Crown of Thorns is legendary for being a magnificent natural barrier planted as a low hedge, to keep out vermin and unwanted rodents. So if you are looking for a Game of Thrones challenge, how about planting a Crown of Thorns?

For even more information on the Crown of Thorns Plant, head on over to this article!

8 popular African succulents
captivating crown of thorns @bluerainier_raining

Zebra Haworthia—The Zebra Plant

How worthy is the Zebra Haworthia? Well worth it!

This eye-catching African succulent stays true to its name, the Zebra Plant. This plant can be seen bearing chunky, dark green leaves with horizontal white stripes resembling a zebra pattern.

Indigenous to South Africa, the Zebra Plant can go without water for long periods as it stores water in its thick leaves and stems. It forms in a rosette of leaves that grow between 4” and 8” tall. When it blooms, the succulent produces tubular white or pink flowers that develop from a fragile stem, called an inflorescence.

The succulent Plant has an ingrained stress detector; the plant ‘gets stressed’, and the leaves change color. Its leaves turn red after more than 6 hours of direct sunshine. You can tell if your succulent has sunburn as it will have brown marks on the leaf’s surface facing the sun. If the leaves start to turn yellow or transparent, your plant may be drowning. How unique is that?

8 popular African succulents
spotZ and stripeZ on the Zebra plant @ijustwetmyplantss

Follow Succulent City on Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram for more informative & interesting content about succulents & cacti 🙂 Join the discussions at our Facebook Group, “Succulent City Plant Lounge.” Happy planting, and live the moment!

Aloe Aristata—The Torch Plant

Yeah, the good old Aloe.

Aristaloe Aristata is an atypical species that is also referred to as The Torch Plant, Lace Aloe, or Guinea-Fowl Aloe. Historically, it covered a wide span of South Africa, stretching from the Northern and Eastern Cape provinces, through Lesotho, to the borders of KwaZulu-Natal province. Highly adaptable to a variety of temperatures, the Torch Plant can flourish in sandy, dry regions, cold mountain slopes, high grasslands, and forested valleys.

This African succulent, takes the shape of a perfectly formed rosette, with thick, lance-shaped leaves. The fleshy leaves are outlined with white, saw-like teeth around the edges and have a soft white spine. White bumps can be seen scattered on the fleshy leaves, giving the plant a decorative appeal.

The evergreen plant, that would look amazing in this pot, has tubular orange flowers that grow from a bloom stalk that can reach heights of 20” (50 cm). The nectar-loaded flowers are irresistible to pollinators and tend to easily attract bees, wasps, and birds.

When planted in the ground, the Torch Plant produces several offsets around its base that are easy to propagate. The compactness of the rosettes makes this succulent popular as a potted plant, as well as, absolutely adorable in a succulent garden.

Does the Torch Plant sound like a great addition to your home, read up on this article to learn further care tips!

8 popular African succulents
totally torch @gwyn.blath

Kalanchoe Tomentosa—The Panda Plant

The Kalanchoe Tomentosa is commonly known as the Panda Plant, Chocolate Soldier, Pussy Ears, or Plush Plant and it originates from Madagascar. The succulent has oval-shaped leaves that resemble the ears of a rabbit or a cat, thus the name Pussy Ears.

The leaves are usually greyish-green and covered all over in tiny hair-like structures that give the leaves a furry look and feel, click here to buy your own from Amazon! Brown freckles decorate the edges of the leaves and margins while the thick stem enables the plant to grow up to approximately 1.5 ft. tall!

This hairy house plant requires long intervals between watering. It grows well at room temperature with medium to bright lighting. There have been rare sightings of small, yellow-green flowers sprouting on the tips of branches, but it’s possible! For a super cute planter for the Panda Plant, we think you’ll enjoy this one, or maybe your friend will appreciate it as a gift! Do you know someone who likes pandas?

This African succulent has earned its popularity as event decor, a must-have when creating stunning floral arrangements for guest tables.

A word of caution though; if you are interested in being a Panda Plant parent, they ARE known to be toxic to cats and dogs.

For additional tips on caring for the Panda Plant, head over to this article.

8 popular African succulents
proud panda plant @succulustbalcony

Sansevieria Trifasciata—The Snake Plant

The Sansevieria trifasciata is one of the most unique species of plants that tracks its heritage between tropical West Africa, Nigeria, and the Congo. This wild-looking plant also goes by the alias The Snake Plant or Mother-in-law’s Tongue mainly due to the shape of its sharp leaf margins. Either way, it makes you a little bit cautious but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The slithering Snake Plant has vertical wide thick leaves growing from a rosette and reaching to the sky like flames of a roaring campfire. The leaves change color ranging between dark green, light green, white, and cream, and in optimal conditions, these plants can easily reach a height of up to 2 meters.

This tenacious African succulent can tolerate neglect, abuse, and most unsuitable growing conditions. It is content when placed in direct sunlight and it can go for more than 6 weeks without water. In fact, the more you turn your back on them, the better they do!

Despite its crazy appearance, this succulent’s popularity has risen as more and more people discover the health benefits associated with this plant. NASA was trying to find a way to purify the air in space stations and they approved the Snake Plant as an outstanding air purifier.  Studies confirmed that the succulent removes toxins, such as formaldehyde, found in cleaning products, tissues, and personal care products. Place this plant in the bathroom and watch it thrive in the steam and low light (more low-light succulents here), all the while cleaning the air! Check out our preferred super cool planter that’ll look great in any bedroom or bathroom.

Unlike other plants, this succulent continues converting carbon dioxide into oxygen all night.  This particular characteristic can allow you to live with a couple of Snake Plants, in a completely air-sealed room with no airflow, for a significant amount of time. It is truly a plant you can count on!

On the popularity poll, the Snake Plant blows it out of the water. Aesthetically pleasing, with very little maintenance required and the ability to purify the air, these succulents from Africa have been recommended in large numbers to fill up factories, schools, offices, and homes.

Learn everything else there is know about the Snake Plant in our article here!

8 popular African succulents
indoor snake plants @house_plant_community

Follow Succulent City on Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram for more informative & interesting content about succulents & cacti 🙂 Join the discussions at our Facebook Group, “Succulent City Plant Lounge.” Happy planting, and live the moment!


There you have it, 8 African succulents that are sure to escalate your patio, garden, home, or office from drab to fab!

If you liked this read, you’ll love our total in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles. Some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.

Happy planting, my friends!

Succulent City chief editor

ABOUT ME

Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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