Why Succulent Plants Are So Popular

Gone are the days when the only places you could find succulents were arid and semiarid areas.

They’re now the order of the day for anyone with the slightest interest in houseplants. I bet you have one of them sitting somewhere at home or in the office.

Just take a look around.

Even for the few who cared to cultivate these plants, not much significance was given to see to it that they develop into the beautiful masterpieces of today. They were left to soak up unholy amounts of water and rot – after which they’d be discarded.

But not anymore. In today’s web-centric world, the trends are out there for anyone who cares to note. Plus, succulents are less maintenance heavy compared to other house plants.

Away from the (numerous) Instagram glitz, the numbers are speaking louder. A peek at Google Trends shows a continued rise in interest in the past 10+ years.

There is a reason. In fact, several of them. But before that…

Were Succulents Popular Before?

Way back then – as far as the 18th century – succulents had a special place in many people’s lives; especially the royals.

In Europe, explorers had just discovered succulents in the distant world (parts of East and South Africa) and were bringing them back. And the interest picked up almost immediately.

Soon enough, botanical expeditions were being held across the continent between individuals and societies showcasing their succulent’s collection.

Fast forward to the 20th century (in the 70s) when the buzz caught on again but fizzled out until recently – and Millennials are among those bitten by the succulents’ bug.

Do Millennials Love Succulents?

Millennials have a general inclination to house plants, for a couple of reasons.

For one, more and more are preferring not to buy houses. Instead, they live in rented apartments. That means no compounds to launch a full-fledged garden for the interested. And what other better way of quenching their gardening thirst than procuring a few houseplants?

And this is where succulents tie in best – because they come with the convenience of occupying teeny spaces.

Another reason for the millennials-houseplants dalliance is the fact many reside in urban areas like New York City or San Francisco and probably work late hours. (They’re always out there hustling nowadays).

As such, they have minimal (if any) interaction with nature. So nurturing a few sprouts presents the perfect opportunity for reconnecting with nature.

All in all, though, the succulents romance cuts across the generations. Time to look at why.

Why Succulent Plants are so Popular

Succulent plants can grow anywhere

Succulents are hardy plants by nature. They can withstand most of the harshest environmental conditions like small amounts of water and extreme temperatures; the two factors that will make most houseplants to give it up.

As long as you have the basics nailed down (potting mix, sunlight duration, and watering frequency), you can nurture your succulents from any corner of the world – and still have a beautiful plant.

Succulents are convenient for growth

The growth of most succulents is well in line with the needs of someone in a limited space, e.g. rented apartments or 100 sq ft closets in New York City.

Most of them don’t grow quickly, filling up lots of space. And this is not a matter of only space; it means you’re free from – the additional – baggage of having to train or move them. Talk about the perfect combo!

Succulents require very little maintenance

Ask yourself this. What’s the typical maintenance regimen for the average plant?

There is watering – almost daily, frequent pruning, checking for pests and diseases – and doing the necessary and moving them around as they outgrow their spaces. And, not forgetting, training those that need to.

Succulents don’t need all these requirements for growth. Even for the caring requirements that apply to succulents, the intensity of application is much lower for even better growth.

Take, for example, watering. You’ll need very few watering sessions for succulents if you want a vibrant plant. And pruning? Not much, unless dry leaves happen in winter.

Very easy to propagate

Increasing your collection of succulents isn’t half as hard as doing so for many varieties of houseplants. And you can also be a savior to your friends who might need one or two plants to start with.

Unless you want a completely new type, multiplying your succulent plants is super simple via their parts. These can be stems, leaves, and offsets.

You can dig up the basics of going this route and be a total boss at it. Ooh, and when you’re done, ask around for new types from your friends to further expand your succulent empire.

Very beautiful and aesthetic looking plants

Succulents appeal on multiple fronts making it a rare jewel. With these plants, you get natural decorations in different shapes, sizes, and colors – all unique to each of the numerous types.

What’s even more interesting is that you can vary the colors of a good number of succulents by controlling elements such as water and sunlight.

For instance, an extended period of little water and lots of sunshine can lead to your succulents becoming red, purple or orange. Of course, should be careful not to harm the plant. A better approach at having a pleasing mix of shapes, sizes, and colors is stocking different types of succulents.

Succulents have many use cases besides looking pretty

Succulents aren’t just for your house.

Depending on the types you’re nurturing, you can find a gazillion of ways to utilize them. Owing to their hardy nature, they can be put in many designs and arrangements and still be able to appear dapper. Away from home, you can find them as decorations in public places like coffee shops.

Besides that, they can also be used as wedding bouquets. But the most crucial alternative use is one that leans on the medicinal side. A select few can be processed or used raw to treat certain illnesses. Aloe Vera leads in this category with proven abilities to treat several skin conditions, acne scars, and indigestion.


Calling all succulents lovers— rookie or veteran! Succulent City has developed a line of 12 ebooks (see here), ranging on topics from indoor & outdoor succulents, essential tools, the best soil to use, and more! We even threw in a complimentary ebook to help get your succulent journey started you just have to insert your email on our front page for this. With our ebooks you’ll be a succulent guru in no time, have fun!

Whether their popularity will wane or keep going, is a matter of speculation. But for the moment, succulents have more than serious interest. And for good reasons.

If you’ve actually made it this far, be sure to give us a comment below. How about leaving a comment by answering the following? Why do you find succulents so popular? Let us know!

16 Types of Succulents

The succulent family includes an enormous range of varied and beautiful plants. From the humble jade plant to the magnificent saguaro cactus, succulents occupy every corner of the world with their fantastic shapes and colors.

It would be impossible to describe every type of succulent, but here are a few of our favorites. How many do you have??

1. Mexican Hens and Chicks, Echeveria Lola

Mexican Hens & Chicks Echeveria Lola Succulent Plant
Mexican Hens & Chicks – Echeveria Lola
Image: @succulent_treasure_chest

This elegant Echeveria is responsible for bringing many succulent enthusiasts into the fold. The delicate aquamarine color, powdery patina, and curvaceous leaves all add together to equal a champion succulent.

This Echeveria, like all others, earned its common name of “hens and chicks” because of its unique method of self propagation. (See how to propagate the echevaria lola here). A healthy plant will grow a multitude of baby plantlets around its bottom edge which resemble chicks peeking out from under a mother hen.

2. Ladyfinger Cactus, Mamilliaria Elongata

Ladyfinger Cactus Mamilliaria Succulent Plant
Ladyfinger Cactus – Mamilliaria Elongata
Image: @moonshineana

The Ladyfinger Cactus is one of the most common species of household cactus for one reason: nothing could be easier to propagate.

This fuzzy-looking succulent creates new cactus buds all the time. Once they’ve grown a little, they can be popped off and placed in dirt. While it takes a little while for the roots to grow, you are assured many new cacti all from the original mother plant.

Be aware that this plant really likes its sunlight – if it doesn’t have bright light, it will quickly grow tall and leggy. If that happens, you can just cut off the top part that has begun to stretch. After the wound heals it will grow new baby cacti at that spot. It’s a win-win!

3. Tiger Tooth Aloe, Aloe Juvenna

Tiger Tooth Aloe Juevenna Succulent Plant
Tiger Tooth Aloe – Aloe Juvenna
Image: @succycrazy

This example of Aloe really puts that old Aloe vera to shame. The colors of the two plants are almost identical, but the shape of the tiger tooth becomes more and more pleasing as it grows larger.

The tiger tooth aloe is characterized by overlapping segments of two opposite leaves adorned with its namesake – large spikes that resemble tiger’s teeth! Don’t worry, they’re not actually sharp. Feel free to pet this domestic tiger.

4. Black Prince, Echeveria Hybrid

Black Prince Echeveria Hybrid Succulent Plant
Black Prince – Echeveria Hybrid
Image: @mickssucculents

The Black Prince succulent is on level two of succulent obsession. It’s not the first succulent you will purchase, but once you get that first jade plant, this isn’t far behind.

And who can blame you? A happy, healthy Black Prince has a lustrous black hue that is unmatched in the plant kingdom. Be careful though – without lots and lots of bright light, this Echeveria will quickly lose it’s dark coloring and revert to a very plain shade of green.

Want to add a Black Prince to your family? We recommend this one from Fat Plants in San Diego! They put out some great quality succulents!

5. Perle von Nurnburg, Echeveria Hybrid

Perle Von Nurnburg Echeveria Hybrid Succulent Plant
Perle von Nurnburg – Echeveria Hybrid
Image: @de_little_jungle

The Perle von Nurnburg is the crown jewel of any succulent collection. The majestic purple coloring and broad, inviting leaves simply can’t be matched by any other plant.

Surprisingly, it’s not even a particularly difficult succulent to care for, nor is it exceptionally rare. You’re likely to find one in any garden center or home improvement store (although they’ll need some R&R before they can reach their full potential).

6. Split Rock, Pleiospilos Nelii

Split Rock Pleiospilos Nelii Succulent Plant
Split Rock – Pleiospilos Nelii
Image: @anxiousgarden

Often confused with Lithops, the Split Rock is a different, yet similar, succulent. Both are in the Mesemb family which is known for plants that look like rocks instead of plants.

Plants in this family tend to sit very low to the ground. Oftentimes, part or all of their leaves are buried in the surrounding dirt. Several species have transparent window-like leaves that allow light to penetrate even when the plant is buried.

Split Rocks are very sensitive to being overwatered. They are watered much less frequently than other succulents, and so they don’t do well in mixed-composition pots. (See how you should water your succulents to keep them healthy here).

We recently picked up these 2″ Royal Flush Purple Split Rocks for our office from & we are absolutely in LOVE with them! (purple is one of our favorite colors though).

7. Jade Plant, Crassula Ovata

Jade Plant Crassula Ovata Succulent Plant
Jade Plant – Crassula Ovata
Image: @homebyfousna

The Jade Plant has several names, including Money Plant and the Lucky Plant. It’s a classic succulent found in offices and living rooms the world over. Many are family heirlooms with cuttings and even whole plants being passed on through generations.

Rightfully so! Jades can live centuries with proper care and are prolific propagators. They’re some of the easiest succulents to care for as well – you’ll know when to water when you see the leaves begin to wrinkle.

If you can’t find a Jade Plant at one fo your local greenhouses, this 4″ Jade Plant is perfect to add to your collection, it is shipping without soil to avoid infection. If you grab one, remember to trim the roots with sterile succulent pruning scissors to avoid any infection.

8. Ogre Ears, Crassula Ovata

Ogre Ears Crassula Ovata Succulent Plant
Ogre Ears – Crassula Ovata
Image: @theurbanoasisshop

Believe it or not, Ogre Ears is actually the same species as the Jade Plant. It is, however, a different cultivar. Sort of like two of the same kind of dog having different colors.

While their leaves are noticeably different, most other characteristics are shared between the two types of jade. Ogre Ears readily propagates from leaves or stems that are plucked off and placed in dirt. The telltale shriveling of leaves as an indicator of the need for watering is even more obvious.

9. Lipstick Echeveria, Echeveria Agavoides

Lipstick Echeveria Agavoides Succulent Plant
Lipstick Echeveria – Echeveria Agavoides
Image: @world_of_aqb

It’s no secret where this Echeveria got its name. In bright, direct light it reveals its true colors – a luscious scarlet rim around the edge of every leaf. Between that and the already glossy leaves, this plant is ready for a night out on the town.

That glossy complexion is caused by the succulent’s particularly thick “cuticle”, which is a protective waxy coating on the leaf. Practically, it’s great for retaining moisture. Aesthetically, it makes it an awesome companion piece to other succulents with dark green colors.

10. Bunny Ear Cactus, Opuntia Microdasys

Bunny Ears Cactus Opuntia Microdasys Succulent Plant
Bunny Ear Cactus – Opuntia Microdasys
Image: @kateandfinn_vs_plants

The Bunny Ear Cactus is representative of the whole Opuntia genus. It grows quickly; new cactus pads pop up with the same frequency and appearance as rabbit ears.

Unlike some other cacti, this is one you can pet. Be careful though: if you get close to the skin of the cactus you might inadvertently touch “glochids” – tiny, almost-invisible hairs that irritate your skin and are hard to remove.

On second thought, maybe just pet a real bunny ear.

If you can’t find some locally, Fat Plants of San Diego sells some really high quality succulents. We recommend this Bunny Ear Cactus Plant (oh yeah, and it ships free on prime, so how could you go wrong).

11. Jelly Bean Plant, Sedum Rubrinctum

Jelly Bean Plant Sedum Rubrinctum Succulent Plant
Jelly Bean Plant – Sedum Rubrinctum
Image: @succulentleaf_uk

These cute little beans don’t taste nearly as good as real Jelly Beans, but they’re not poisonous if you really want to test that. They do look way better than the real thing, though. With lots of sun, the Jelly Beans on this plant turn into a gorgeous translucent rainbow of red, pink, and yellow.

We recently shared this beautiful Jelly Bean Plant on our instagram really felt the love. Over 25k likes! If you are one of them that showed the love, we were asked countlessly where to buy them. This one we featured was a variegated and pretty rare, but we do recommend this one from Ricks Rare Plants.

The leaves of this little Sedum are incredibly fragile. They fall off at the slightest touch. Don’t be upset – leave them in the pot and they’ll start to grow their own baby Jelly Bean Plant!

12. String of Pearls, Senecio Rowleyanus

String of Pearls Senecio Rowleyanus Succulent Plant
String of Pearls – Senecio Rowleyanus
Image: @urbanplantoasis

Is this succulent a plant or a piece of jewelry?

That’s for you to decide, but don’t be surprised if you see these guys dangling from a neck or some earrings in the near future. They’re becoming incredibly popular as decorations for minimalist themes. It’s not a far jump to being an ornament for humans.

These pearls, unlike natural ones, don’t do well in water. Be really careful with how often you water. We recommend a fast-draining soil and waiting to water until the pearls start to turn pruney.

13. Snake Plant, Sansevieria Trifasciata

Snake Plant Sanseviera Trifasciata Succulent Plant
Snake Plant – Sanseviera Trifasciata
Image: @radical_botanical

Also called Mother in Law’s Tongue, this succulent is extraordinarily versatile. It thrives in outdoor landscape environments and indoor potted settings too. It can grow up into an enormous bush ten feet across or stay as a little, three-leafed house plant.

Not to mention the sheer indestructibility of the Snake Plant. It’s a low-light plant, a rarity amongst succulents, but this guy takes it to the next level. They can live in near-pitch black for weeks or months at a time.

Will they like it? No. They will absolutely live, though.

14. Key Lime Pie, Adromischus Cristatus

Adromischus Cristatus Succulent Plant
Key Lime Pie – Adromishus Cristatus
Image: @plants_revamped

Another delectable-looking succulent, Key Lime Pie is an easy-going plant. It doesn’t need too much light, it’s not overly-sensitive to water, and it doesn’t mind crowding. It makes a great indoor plant that doesn’t require valuable window real estate.

Don’t tell anyone, but I think it looks more like a pierogi than key lime pie.

15. Zebra Plant, Haworthia Attenuata

Zebra Succulent Plant Haworthia Attenuata
Zebra Plant – Haworthia Attenuata
Image: @smartplantapp

This is a familiar sight to anyone who has ever seen a stock photo. The zebra plant is probably the most photographed succulent of all time and it’s easy to see why. The long, dark green leaves contrast nicely with the white stripes and the geometric shape is pleasing to the eye.

The other thing that is pleasing is the ease of growing Zebra Plants. They’re slow-growing but don’t need much light or water. Occasionally a tiny baby plant will pop up in the pot next to the mother plant. Cut it off and give it away as a gift!

If you want to add a Haworthia Attenuata to your collection, click here.

16. Kiwi Aeonium, Aeonium Kiwi

Kiwi Aeonium Succulent Plant
Kiwi Aeonium – Aeonium Kiwi
Image: @justbeingcon

The vivacious colors of the Aeonium Kiwi make it hugely popular. Pink, white, and green in one delightfully vibrant package.

This succulent grows best as an outdoor shrub, though you can make it work inside if you pay careful attention. It prefers warm temperatures but can tolerate a few chilly nights if temperatures don’t get below freezing.


Calling all succulents lovers— rookie or veteran! Succulent City has developed a line of 12 ebooks (see here), ranging on topics from indoor & outdoor succulents, essential tools, the best soil to use, and more! We even threw in a complimentary ebook to help get your succulent journey started you just have to insert your email on our front page for this. With our ebooks you’ll be a succulent guru in no time, have fun!

Suggest some other types of succulents that we didn’t mention that you think would be awesome to write about. Thanks for reading our article about the different types of succulent plants. If you enjoyed this read, please be sure to share with your friends and fellow succulent lovers!

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