Succulents are a group of plants with water storage tissues; most species are native to dry, warm climates, and this particular feature helps them endure periods of scarce rainfall and droughts. As a result, most varieties have thick, fleshy leaves as their defining characteristic. Succulents come in various species, colors, and forms, some with blooms and some without. If you want to add a touch of greenery to your living space, you can’t go wrong with a lovely succulent plant.
Buying Guide for Succulent Plants
Why buy succulent plants?
One of the main draws of succulents is that they’re incredibly hardy and easy to care for. Since they can keep water and nutrients stored for long periods, succulents require pretty minimal watering—most varieties only need to be watered once a week, sometimes as little as once a month. If their roots sit in water for too long, they’ll begin to rot. Thus succulent plants are a great option for people who travel a lot, have hectic, busy schedules, or are inexperienced with caring for and growing plants.
Succulents also tend to be relatively small plants. People who live in dorms, studio apartments, or small condos may not have the room or shelf space to spare for big and numerous houseplants. While larger succulents are available, some only reach a few inches high when fully grown and thus need pots that are only a few inches wide. This makes succulents great for smaller living spaces, desks, or windowsills. Alternatively, if you have enough space, some people like to arrange several or multiple different succulents in the same large planter or pot as an elaborate and unique centerpiece. The wide variety of shapes, colors, and, in some cases, blooms of different succulents make them a great decorative option in terrariums, lanterns, baskets, wall-mounted shelves, and more.
What should you look for in succulent plants?
- Type: You can buy a seemingly infinite number of different succulents. The list goes on and on: Agave, various aloes, gasteria, panda, jade plants, and hawthoria. Think about what you want your new succulent(s) to look like. Do you want one with hanging leaves or stems sticking up into the air? Do you want an all-green succulent plant or other colors like dark red or orange? Darker or lighter shade(s) of green? Blossoms or no blossoms? Spiky or rounded? All of these and more are options for succulent plants.
- Quantity: How many succulents do you want for your home or workspace? Many are sold in pairs or sets. That said, there are certainly individual succulents for sale and much larger quantities. You can even find sets of 100 or more if you need them on a larger scale as decorations for a wedding or other large event.
- Size: Many people think of succulents as small desktop or windowsill plants, and these are certainly common, but there is quite a size range available. Most succulents average somewhere between 6 inches and 2 feet in height. There are also miniature succulent plants around 2 or 3 inches tall, and some that can grow to several feet or more. Considering a succulent’s width is also important since that will determine how large of a pot it needs. The pot’s diameter should be about 10% bigger than the plant’s width. Be sure to consider where you plan to place your succulent(s) and how much room is available in those areas.
What’s the difference between succulents and cacti?
There are a lot of similarities between the two since cacti are also hardy, warm-weather plants that can store water and nutrients for extended periods and are low-maintenance houseplants. “Cactus” is an actual botanical plant sub-category, while “succulent” is a broader, unofficial term covering multiple species and plant families. Many people place cacti under the succulent umbrella since they are fleshy plants that retain water, but you can’t interchange the two terms. All cacti may qualify as succulents, but not all succulents are cacti.
Our Picks for the Best Succulent Plants
Plants for Pets Assorted Potted Succulent Plants
These adorable, assorted succulents are handpicked and come pre-potted.
Pros: You won’t have to go out and spend extra money on new pots or planters for these succulents; each plant arrives already planted inside its own perfectly sized flowerpot. (Feel free to move them into a bigger vase or glass terrarium if desired.) Soil is also included, so you don’t have to provide your own or worry about fertilizing them. The plants and pots are nice and small, only about 2 inches wide apiece, so they won’t take up excess room and will fit into tight spaces. And while this is listed as a set of five succulents, you should receive six with your purchase; the company sends an extra just in case one gets damaged during shipping. So you may wind up with a bonus plant for no additional cost.
Cons: As is sometimes the case when buying sets of succulents, you don’t get to pick the species or type you’ll receive. The selection is random, based on what the company has on hand.
Bottom Line: These classic little succulents will brighten up your living space, office, or wherever you display them. You can keep them in the pots they come in, repot them into the container of your choice, and even keep them outside to soak up the extra sun during the warmer months if you so desire.
The Succulent Cult Assorted Live Succulent Cuttings
This 10-pack of budget-friendly succulents come as an assorted pack.
Pros: It’s hard to beat the price of these assorted succulents. The company offers various succulents, with over 50 types, in their nursery. And unlike some succulent assortments, there shouldn’t be any repeats. They’re also incredibly easy to plant; they come clean-cut, and most varieties don’t have roots or a stem, so all you have to do is stick the plant directly on top of the soil, push down gently, and you’re good to go.
Cons: This is another set of succulents where you don’t get to pick which species or types you receive, and the selection is random. While you don’t have to worry about repeats, the company does rotate different succulents in and out every week, so you don’t know what you’re getting. And none of these succulents come pre-potted, so you’ll have to provide your own.
Bottom Line: These succulents are the perfect choice for those who want a better bang for their buck or want a variety of plants to decorate their office or living space. Even though you never know which 10 succulents you’ll receive, you know that each plant will be unique from its companions.
Shop Succulents Radiant Rosette Collection
Whether you only want a few succulents for your home or a 100 or more for wedding decorations, this collection has you covered.
Pros: Most succulent packs limit you to only a handful of different quantity choices, but not these. They’re available in 13 different quantities, the smallest being a set of 4 and the largest being a whopping 256-pack, perfect for large events. Each succulent comes pre-potted, and a care booklet for your new plants is included with your purchase, so you won’t have to research individual varieties to figure out how to best care for different species.
Cons: The plants may need some touching up upon arrival; it may take some brushing off and exposure to sunlight and water before these succulents perk back up. And while you receive an assorted set of succulents, every plant in the set will be a rosette-shaped succulent. You’ll have to look elsewhere if you want varieties with blossoms, hanging leaves, or longer stems.
Bottom Line: Whether you just want a couple of succulents to liven up your desk or need several dozen for wedding favors or decorations, this pack of succulent plants has you covered. Unlike most similar products, you can order up to several hundred at a time if needed, but there are still plenty of smaller sets.
The Succulent Cult Crassula Perforata Ivory Towers Succulent
This pretty little succulent will make for a unique addition to your home.
Pros: If you’re in the market for a single succulent instead of multiples, there’s much to love about this particular succulent. Of the Crassula Perforata “Ivory Towers” variety, it’s a beautiful and unique option, with a good variety of other species to choose from (14 in all). You’ll always know exactly which succulent you’re receiving, and you shouldn’t have any issue finding the perfect plant to complement your decor. No matter which succulent you choose to buy, the plants have been consistently reported as healthy and thriving upon arrival, so you know you’re investing in a succulent that should last and continue to flourish. And the succulent arrives in a perfectly-sized planter, so you can display your new addition immediately without needing to repot it.
Cons: Some customers have reported that the succulent they received was smaller than expected, which may be disappointing if you’re after a specific size or fullness. The soil in the pot may be too loosely packed to withstand shipping, in which case you might need to repot your succulent after all. And, as is always a risk when ordering plants online, there’s a chance your succulent may have broken leaves upon arrival, even if it’s otherwise healthy.
Bottom Line: Not everyone needs a full set or even several succulents. Sometimes you just want one new plant to add to your collection or only have space for one or two. You can’t go wrong with this pretty little plant if you’re only looking for a single succulent instead of a whole cluster.
Costa Farms Mini Succulents
These mini succulents provide a decorative touch without taking up too much space.
Pros: These succulents offer a solution if you have minimal space at your desk or home for decorative touches. Even by indoor succulent standards, they’re very small. The plants are less than 2 inches tall and no more than 2 inches wide. The pots have a drainage hole at the bottom to ensure your succulents aren’t sitting in water for extended periods, which is detrimental to their health. Alternatively, they’re easy to repot or even plant outdoors; they can survive outside in most USDA hardy zones (3-11).
Cons: While the miniature size of these succulents will be an advantage for some, they may be a bit too small for others.
Bottom Line: These succulents are especially pocket-sized, perfect for people who have smaller desks, windowsills, or minimal display space but still want some greenery in their home. They also make pretty and unique party favors for bridal or baby showers.
Succulents are a great way to bring a touch of greenery and color into your living space, even if you don’t have the largest home or a lot of extra room to spare. They’re tough, unfussy little plants that can thrive in any indoor environment with minimal attention.