Super low maintenance, tough, resilient, AND pretty flowers? Yep, that’s right. These spectacular flowering succulents are the perfect plants to make your gardening life easier (and more beautiful).
Both cacti and succulents prefer a hot and dry environment with a rainy season to bloom to their full potential. Still, they can be a great addition to any garden, whether as a ground cover or a standalone section.
Let’s look at some spectacularly flowering succulents for your home or garden.
- Spectacular Flowering Succulents
- 1. Kalanchoe
- 2. Moss Rose / Portulaca
- 3. Aloe
- 4. Easter or Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera/Rhipsalidopsis)
- 5. Stapelia (Carrion Flower)
- 6. Ice Plant
- 7. Echeveria
- 8. Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi
- 9. Desert Rose (Adenium)
- 10. Huernia
- 11. Euphorbia
- 12. Aeonium
- 13. Lithops or Living Stones
- 14. Opuntia sp.
- 15. Conophytum
- 16. Crassula ovata
- 17. Red Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora)
- 18. Sempervivum arachnoideum
- 19. Epiphyllum sp. (Orchid Cactus)
- 20. String of pearls, Senecio
- 21. Sedum
- 22. Graptopetalum
- Which Flowering Succulent Will You Grow?
Spectacular Flowering Succulents
After meticulously planning out your vegetable garden and your fruit orchard, have you thought that you want some decorative plants in your garden that are low maintenance? Perhaps you’ve also wanted some fantastic and eye-catching flowers to liven up things?
This is where succulents come in. Succulents have adapted to dry climates by developing thick, waxy, fleshy leaves. These leaves seal in moisture, allowing the plant to survive for months without rain.
For that reason, succulents generally thrive in a warm climate, but surprisingly, some can survive in an outdoor garden over winter as far north as USDA zone 3!
So, no matter where you live, there’s a low-maintenance, blossoming succulent that will fit into your garden.
When you think about flowering succulent plants to put in your garden, the most common ones bought at the local garden store are kalanchoe and purslane. Both of these succulents are great for adding some color to your garden.
Kalanchoe is one of the most low-maintenance succulents out there, and it also has some of the brightest, most prolific blooms. This fall-to-winter bloomer prefers plenty of light and dry soil conditions. They are not very cold-tolerant, but they make great winter houseplants!
This flowering succulent plant is an excellent accent to any garden. However, it is also one of the best indoor succulents since it has many bright, uplifting flowers.
The bright yellow blooms on this Kalanchoe can brighten up any space! Plus, kalanchoe flowers are very resilient and last for weeks.
2. Moss Rose / Portulaca
Moss rose is from the purslane family, and it grows in a clump, similar to moss – hence its name. These stunning flowering succulents make excellent ground covers in a rock garden, producing large, rose-like, colorful flowers every late summer to fall.
Portulaca grandiflora grows to approx. 3-6″ tall and spreads 12 to 14″ wide. Its spreading habit makes it a fantastic groundcover!
This succulent is popular in rock gardens, along borders, in containers, and to line walkways – or anywhere where a pop of color is needed. It’s also suitable for zones 4-11, so you can grow it in frost-prone areas.
This mixed seed pack of portulaca will give you some gorgeous 2" flowers in a variety of red, pink, white, yellow, rose, and purple.
The Aloe family includes more than just the well-known Aloe vera. There are many different flowering Aloes, and many are spectacular. Many of them have big flower spikes with unique colors.
Aloe arborescens (Torch Aloe) is an evergreen succulent shrub with branching flower stalks holding rosettes. In late winter, large, bright red to orange flower spikes bloom, adding a splash of bright red color to a cold landscape.
This flowering succulent plant does well in a pot but will need to be split off regularly since it can grow quite large. Due to its size, Aloe can make a great centerpiece in a succulent garden or a statement plant in any garden. They are well suited to those dry, hot spots where nothing else will grow.
Like most succulents, aloe arborescens requires well-draining, gravelly, or sandy soils and is a drought-tolerant plant.
Just look at this one, for example:
This plant makes a dramatic focal point in sunny borders or decorative containers.
If you like the shape of Aloe plants but don’t want a plant that gets as big, then Haworthia attenuata, or Zebra Plant, might be the plant for you. The Zebra Plant is small to medium-sized with what looks like zebra stripes, thus the name.
4. Easter or Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera/Rhipsalidopsis)
These are better known as Thanksgiving, Christmas (Schlumbergera), or Easter (Rhipsalidopsis) cactus, depending on the time of year they bloom. Despite their name, they are succulents.
All three of these flowering succulent plants can live for generations and have been known to be passed down from family member to family member.
They do very well in pots and enjoy being rootbound. These flowering succulents don’t need too much sun exposure or water, and when the days get short, they put out attractive flowers in almost every color you can think of.
These tropical plants require full, bright sunlight to bloom in the fall and winter. They are not cold-tolerant and only survive the winters outside in USDA zones 9 to 11. However, they make excellent perennial container plants indoors.
Orange Christmas cacti are some of the most unique flowering succulents, with large flowers that come in shades of fuchsia, yellow, pink, white, orange, and red.
5. Stapelia (Carrion Flower)
I used to call this particular succulent “Milo” for reasons I can’t remember. It is one of the most spectacular flowering succulents I’ve ever seen, but it’s also one of the strangest.
The stapelia is a unique type of plant that grows in clusters with cactus-like, tall stems. In the winter, this drought-tolerant, fast-growing succulent produces large, star-shaped flowers – often called carrion flowers.
The name “Carrion Flower” comes from the fact that the fragrant blooms do indeed smell like carrion. It’s a way of attracting flies into the center of the flower. Don’t let the smell put you off, though – it’s not that bad!
Stapelia will last all year if you bring it indoors during winter or live in zone 9-11. It thrives in indirect light or partial shade and does fine with infrequent watering.
Tired of the same old flowers? Want to add something truly unique to your succulent garden? Then, the 'giant starfish flower' is for you!
6. Ice Plant
The Ice Plant is an excellent ground cover like purslane and has beautiful flowers. The leaves on this flowering succulent look similar to rosemary, but the blooms come in many brilliant colors, offering an eye-catching addition to your garden.
Despite its name, this succulent cannot tolerate the cold, making it an excellent annual cover for those living north of zone 9. However, it can survive year-round as an indoor plant.
These brilliant daisy lookalikes grow in clusters that grow up to six inches tall and twelve inches wide, creating stunning, dense, and colorful patches of blooms.
With many varieties to choose from, you can’t go wrong with an echeveria. I mean, you’d grow this plant for its gorgeous leaf patterns and colors alone, but the flowers are a nice touch! Just look at all the different colors and patterns you can get:
This mix of vibrant and stunning echeverias makes for the perfect start to a succulent garden - whether you are planting in a container or a garden.
Even when this flowering succulent plant is not in bloom, its petals make it look like a green rose. Echeverias are compact plants, so they’re well-suited to growing in containers. But, of course, you can plant them in the garden too. Leave them to spread, which they do by forming new rosettes.
8. Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi
I know I mentioned kalanchoes above, but I wanted to show you this one in particular. It’s so easy to grow, it’s almost crazy. Easy to propagate, too; just cut a piece of stem, stick it in the ground, and it’ll be a big plant in no time. This succulent flowers on its long spike-like stems. The show is incredible!
Like other kalanchoes, these succulents need well-draining soil, a warm environment, and partial sun to bloom.
These stunning kalanchoes are one of a kind, with their scallop-shaped foliage, light pinkish-purple color, and remarkable flowers!
9. Desert Rose (Adenium)
The Desert Rose truly has gorgeous flowers. It doesn’t flower all the time, but it makes a point when it does. With time, it grows a big, bulbous base and solid trunk.
These stunning succulents look a lot more like trees as they mature, and they just get more and more beautiful!
These succulents make excellent indoor bonsai trees since they must be warm all year to thrive.
There are lots of Huernias, and they all have these gorgeous little star-shaped flowers. Its growth habit is similar to my Milo above (Stapelia grandiflora) but more compact and smaller overall. These flowering succulents are incredibly easy to grow and propagate.
The photo below shows Huernia zebrina:
These funky flowering succulents are truly unique. They thrive in partial shade and require little water to bloom, so they are the perfect low-maintenance flowering succulent for those of us with brown thumbs.
Euphorbias come in a massive range of varieties, sizes, and flowers. It’s one of my favorite plant varieties because they’re hardy, easy to grow, and beautiful. Above is one in my garden with big white flowers and a spiky stem.
In my carport garden bed, I have a very dainty Euphorbia with no spikes and tiny white flowers. I also have one that is covered with small, sticky red flowers. There’s a Euphorbia for everyone!
Then there are Euphorbias like Martin’s Spurge:
And this wonderfully crazy Crested Euphorbia:
Another flowering succulent with a pretty leaf pattern and beautiful flowers is the Aeonium, or the Tree Houseleek. The Tree Houseleek is a genus of succulents in the same family as Echeveria, with leaves that form rosettes. However, they are still different enough to be able to be differentiated by sight.
The main difference is that Echeveria’s rosettes push out from the middle, while Aeonium’s rosette resembles more of a bowl shape. Aeonium also has beautiful flowers that are a yellow cone shape and spread pretty quickly by sending out more rosettes.
They are relatively compact, so they can be planted in pots or as an accent border for a succulent or cactus garden.
13. Lithops or Living Stones
If you want to get away from plants that resemble roses but still want to stay small, some succulents to choose from are Lithops or Pleiospilos. Lithops, also called living stones, are a succulent native to South Africa. They make a great accent to a succulent garden.
This succulent gets its name from the fact that it looks like small stones and it does not get very large. Lithops come in many colors and look beautiful on their own, but they look even more spectacular when they flower!
Another small succulent that looks great as an accent to a garden is Pleiospilos. Pleiospilos look similar to Lithops in that they also look like split rocks, but Pleiospilos usually just come in shades of green or gray instead of the many shades that Lithops can come in.
Like Lithops, Pleiospilos also have beautiful flowers. However, Pleiospilos usually have pink flowers instead of yellow, like the flowers of Lithops.
14. Opuntia sp.
The opuntia species, better known as prickly pears, are flat-padded cacti that survive the cold better than most other succulents. They grow well outdoors in zones 8 to 10, and as a bonus, after they are done flowering, they grow bright purple or pink fruits!
There are many varieties of opuntia, and some even come in unique colors. Just take a look at this stunning purple opuntia with light yellow flowers:
Opuntia are some of the easiest flowering succulent plants to grow. They root easily, can grow to very large sizes, and are sure to put on a stunning show of blooms in the summertime.
There are over 100 types of conophytum succulents, known as button plants. These gorgeous plants look like lithops in some cases, but in others, they can grow rather tall.
The name conophytum means “cone-plant,” and it grows in tons of little button-shaped nodes that cluster together to form a cone.
Other conophytums cluster together in ‘blobs’ that look like little round stones. One of the most popular of these spherical flowering succulent plants is the conophytum calculus – look at that adorable little flower head:
16. Crassula ovata
Also known as the jade plant, Crassula ovata is one of the most essential succulents to include in your garden or houseplant collection. These little flowering succulent plants, native to South Africa, can develop into large, hardy trees – it’s fun to watch them thrive.
They are also some of the easiest, most beginner-friendly succulents. That’s because they are very easy to propagate, require little water, and only need bright indirect sunlight.
With just a little bit of water and patience, you’ll enjoy this succulent’s dainty little flowers in no time!
Crassula ovata is an easy keeper that keeps on giving! Just be sure to keep it warm during the winter, and it’ll last many years.
Crassula ovata is a moderately slow grower, so I recommend getting a slightly larger plant like this one if you want to see blooms soon!
17. Red Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora)
Red yucca is the perfect succulent for you if you want something that can survive a cold winter. It’s one of the few succulents that are also evergreen, and it grows exceedingly well in colder climates up to zone six.
It can get tall and looks a bit more like ornamental grass than a succulent, so it’s also an excellent choice for landscaping.
This flowering succulent grows best in zones 6 to 13, so it’s super versatile and can overwinter without any special care. It’s one of the best choices if you’re looking for an outdoor-only garden succulent.
Red yucca is a perennial succulent that sends up stunning red blooms between summer and fall. They are also evergreens, so they are hard to kill.
18. Sempervivum arachnoideum
Sempervivum succulents are exceedingly common, but the arachnoideum is an exotic, stunning, and unique variety. This reddish-to-purple succulent has fine, silky hairs that connect its leaves – which is how it got its name ‘arachnoideum,’ meaning ‘spider-like.’
Like yucca, this plant is a perennial that can withstand frosts, so it’s an excellent choice for people living up north.
It loves direct sunlight and a nice, well-draining soil. Other than that, it’s an easy keeper!
This hardy perennial grows best in colder regions, and you can leave it outdoors in zones 5 through 8. Accordingly, it's a perennial that can withstand a cold frost.
19. Epiphyllum sp. (Orchid Cactus)
The epiphyllum succulent species, also called the orchid cactus, is one of the coolest. Epiphyllum succulents come in tons of colors, leaf patterns, and shapes, but ultimately, each one is incredibly unique with showy blooms.
Epiphyllum plants generally have unique leaves that zig-zag, swirl around as they grow, or form into long, thin leaves that look like bunny ears.
Then – there’s the flowers. These flowers are real eye-catchers and generally have thinner, long petals at the back, encircling round, lusher ones. Just take a look at some of the different colors out there:
20. String of pearls, Senecio
Senecio rowleyanus is one of the best succulents to hang in your window or leave trailing down a fence post, thanks to its long, luxurious strings.
These succulents aren’t just easy to care for – they also give you bright little white flowers to enjoy in late spring. There’s nothing as dainty and elegant!
String of pearls succulents prefer morning sunlight, so they do well in an eastern-facing location. They will tell you when they need more water by shriveling up a bit, which usually happens around once every two weeks. Make sure your plant is in well-draining soil before fully soaking it.
Also known as stonecrop, sedum is another flowering succulent plant that will last all year, even in frosty conditions. They are hardy as far north as zone three and will just keep blooming annually from late spring to the summer months.
There are also tons of sedum colors and varieties – from short little orange blossoms to tall, bright red ones. So there really is a sedum for everyone!
One of the most unique features of this succulent is that its clusters of flowers are incredibly dense. They look like snowballs of color!
Tall, bright sedum plants make an eye-catching addition to any garden. They are surprisingly cold-tolerant and will last all year in zones 3 - 11.
Plus, since they do not need much water to thrive and bloom, they are a maintenance-free addition to the garden.
This succulent plant is also called the ghost plant because it has a powdery, matte coating on its leaves that makes it look pale and ghost-like. There are many varieties of graptopetalum, but the most popular by far is the paraguayense, which – you guessed it- is from central America.
This fast-growing, evergreen succulent is cold-tolerant but not frost-tolerant and can survive outdoors in zones 7 to 11.
This flowering succulent doesn't need much care to thrive. Left unchecked outdoors, it will spread rapidly and put on a brilliant display of tiny white star-shaped flowers every spring.
Which Flowering Succulent Will You Grow?
Whether you’re a homesteader with a vegetable patch to feed your family or an avid plant parent looking to spruce up your home, there are succulents for every environment. They come in all shapes and sizes, with flowers in colors that suit any preference.
Succulents can be used as an accent plant, ground cover, a hanging plant, or even take center stage in a garden corner.
What’s your favorite flowering succulent or cactus?
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