How Long Do Succulents Live?

Kelvin M. Kelvin Mwathi on

Succulents are among the hardiest of plant types. They survive in conditions a majority of plants won’t.

Scarce water and extreme temperatures are just some of them.

But for how long can these camels of the plant kingdom put up their brave beings? How long can they live? Let’s find out!

Predicting How Long Your Succulents Will Live is Difficult

Hate to break it to you but unfortunately determining how long your succulent will live doesn’t have a precise answer. There are many variables at play.

This group of plants known as succulents has thousands upon thousands of individual plants and each one of them has its own lifespan. Maybe having an index or database of all the succulents in the world might have to be our next big writing project! For now, you can check out the 16 types of different succulents instead.

Listing all of them down isn’t just an option right now, at least for an article like this. Even if it were, a good number of them haven’t been under watch to determine their survival periods.

So, saying something like “succulents can live for X years” won’t suffice.

Luckily, there are a few ones out there whose lifespans have been fixed to a specific number of years – or range of years, so we’ll stick with those.

Most Common Succulents and How Long They Live

The Jade Plant

Scientifically known as the Crassula Ovata. Also referred to as a money plant it is associated with good luck. The jade plants are ideal for indoor growth, growing to at least three feet and bearing thick woody stems.

These good luck plants can live to be as old as 70 to 100 years, definitely a life time plant if you ask us!

If you get the crassula ovata or jade plant, maybe you should also pair it with a nice piggy bank like this, considering it is a “money plant.”

Hens and Chicks

Part of the Sempervivum genus and also called houseleeks. It gets its common name from the nature of its growth – there is one centrally-placed slightly large plant and smaller ones spread around the base. A planter of this size is perfect for growth so long as it has a great drainage system intact.

It is ideal for both outdoor and indoor nurturing and has a lifespan of 3 years on the lower end. There are some that can live for as much as 10X this limit – it all depends on the particular species. And of course how well you take care of it.

Aloe Vera

Quite a popular succulent in the medicinal world, arguably the most popular. It’s fleshy serrated leaves have a color range of anything between green and grey-green. The plant itself can grow to attain a height of up to 2 feet.

Its lifespan falls in the range of 5 to 25 years depending on the care and attention you give it. Aloe isn’t typically that difficult to grow though, so when you see yours at a slower growth rate, sometimes you just have to be patient.

While you wait for your aloe vera to grow, you can also benefit from some of it’s skin and medicinal purposes.

Barrel Cactus

The barrel cactus comes in so many sizes with a near-cylindrical shape. The first years of its growth are marked with rapid growth which later slows down considerably. That’s why a typical barrel cactus will mature in a little over 10 years.

It can outlive most succulents with its century-long lifespan.

Living Stones

Can be mistaken for split pebbles due to their appearance, hence the name. They’re small and take a considerable amount of time to develop unfortunately. But they look really awesome when they’ve developed!

These little plants can survive all the way to maximum 50 years and 40 years in the lower end.

Christmas Cactus

The Christmas cactus stands apart from other cacti for two reasons.

Firstly, it has a tendency to throw up lots of flowers with the blossoms being of assorted colors of red, pink and white. Secondly, it thrives more in tropical conditions as opposed to the normal desert conditions preferred by other cacti.

30 years is the minimum age a Christmas cactus can live if properly cared for.

How to Ensure Your Succulents can Live Longer

Of course, for the few succulents mentioned above, the survival period is hinged on the assumption that these plants are getting the best care there is.

What does this mean?

As a succulents’ owner, you’re in control of how long your plant can survive. You could have a barrel cactus dying in less than a year if your idea of caring doesn’t satisfy the specific demands of the plant.

If you want longevity for your succulent plant, keep the following in mind:

  • Specialization of your plant
  • The ideal conditions of the proper growth for that particular succulent

Specialization of your plant

Try avoiding plants that have been hybridized. Such succulents live for shorter periods as compared to the less complex ones.

So it’s simple – if you want a succulent that will live as long as possible, no hybrids.

Ideal conditions for growth

Succulents generally need less water, light and specific ranges of temperatures to thrive well. But, find out more about the plant you’re growing as there are some exceptions to these requirements.

Remember the Christmas cactus above?

Aside from these, explore the best fertilizer to feed your plants and keep pests and diseases at bay by applying the corresponding treatments timely.

Still worried of your succulents dying off? Consider propagating them. Most succulents can be easily multiplied by taking parts of them and placing them into the right soil mix.


Succulents have varied lifespans. Each individual plant has its own period of survival under favorable conditions.

Proper care for your succulent will mean the difference between it dying and thriving. So, be sure it is well-looked after for years of beauty.

If you’ve been caring for succulents for quite some time and still can’t figure out why your succulents keep dying be sure to check out in depth article about this topic. We’ll teach you the correct way to spot early signs of death and solutions you can implement in order to grow it healthily and vibrant.

Want to learn more?

How Long Do Succulents Live?