5 Most Popular Succulents to Grow in 2024

Succulents have now become so popular that a garden without them seems incomplete. There are several reasons for these small buddies to become popular. Firstly, they are low maintenance. Secondly, they can be grown indoors as well as outdoors, so, whether you are fortunate enough to have an outdoor space or not, you can grow succulents to enjoy greenery in your home. Last but certainly not the least, they are beautiful, colorful and vibrant. If you haven’t yet started to grow succulents and are wondering where to start, here are 5 most popular succulents to grow in 2024 to help you out.

1. Aloe vera

Aloe vera popular succulent sap

Aloe vera is certainly one of the most popular succulents, mainly for being beautiful and also for having medicinal properties. It’s also pretty easy to grow and requires a little maintenance. It’s an ideal houseplant because it can add beauty and vibrance to any corner of a home. This succulent has some healthy compounds in it that can cure skin problems including burns, cuts, abrasions and even acne. Many skin lotions, health drinks and cosmetics include aloe vera in their formulations. With its thick pointed gray-green variegated spotted leaves radiating directly from the plant’s base, Aloe vera can be a great decorative element for your home. You can grow Aloe vera indoors as well as outdoors.

USFDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 10 through 12

Height: 12 to 36 inches

Light needs: Bright natural light (when planted indoors), 6 to 8 hours of full sun (when planted outdoors)

Soil needs: Well-draining, sandy or rocky, preferably designed for cactus and other arid plants

Water needs: Regular watering needed except during dormancy, overwatering can cause root rot, make sure the soil is completely dry before next watering.

Temperature needs: Aloe vera cannot stand frosts and should be kept between 55-degree F and 85-degree F. If you live in a cold climate, keep the plant outdoors during summer and bring it inside when temperatures start dropping down. But make sure to let your plants go through the transition slowly and not suddenly. If night time temperatures drop below 50-degree F, keep your Aloe vera plant inside overnight.

Fertilizer needs: Little to no fertilizer needed. While growing indoors, you might fertilize Aloe vera in early spring, but while growing outdoors, it doesn’t need any fertilizer.

Propagation: Propagating Aloe vera is super easy because this plant naturally produces new plants known as pups that you should just remove and re-pot. You can cut the pups with a clean, sharp knife towards the root. If a pup has grown its own root, cut that too along with the leaf. Lay the newly cut pups on a clean towel in a window with bright, indirect light and let them callous. Plant the pups in a container filled with soil designed for succulents and other arid plants. Water well.

Scientific name: Aloe barbadensis miller

2. Crown of Thorns

Crown of Thorns red popular succulent

Belonging to a large genus Euphorbiaceae containing more than 1600 species, Crown of Thorns or Euphorbiaceae milii is a small tropical species native to Madagascar and has long been a popular succulent houseplant in warm climates. While the species name milii honors Baron Milius, a past governor of the Bourbon Island who introduced the species in cultivation in France in 1821, the name Crown of Thorns refers to a legend that that the thorny crown worn by Jesus during his crucifixion was made of this plant. This is a shrubby plant with a 3-ft tall woody stem. Stems are brown and branched, and are adapted for water storage and are 5-7 sided. Stem and branches bear prominent 1” sharp gray spines, but some clones are almost thornless. Young plants are sparsely covered with narrow succulent bright green to grayish green leaves. Leaves are 1 ½” long and are smooth-edged and obovate (wider at the tip). They are spirally arranged on the stem and eventually drop off as the stem matures. Thus, older plants take up a scraggly appearance. A great feature of this plant is it blooms throughout the year if given ideal conditions. Interestingly, the flower petals are actually nectar glands on male flowers that surround the female flower. Flower color is red or yellow, but hybrids offer a plethora of colors including cream, white, yellow, pink and red and even double shades. Remember that this plant needs darkness to start flowering. Too much light at night, however, can cause poor flowering. Crown of Thorns is a quite hardy plant. It withstands extreme conditions and still looks great. If you’re looking for beautiful, colorful flowers on a succulent, cultivars of Crown of Thorns are a great way to go. E.g. the cultivar ‘Short and Sweet’ is a compact dwarf cultivar with soft spines and covered with small bright red bracts, while ‘Mini-Bell’ is another dwarf and compact cultivar with a lot of small red flowers. Generally, these hybrids are drought-tolerant as well as tolerant to overwatering, and bloom well in tiny planters.

Crown of Thorns pink popular succulent

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9 through 11

Height: 3 to 6 Feet (2 feet indoors)

Light needs: full, direct sun, but part shade too

Soil needs: Well-draining with neutral to acidic pH

Water needs: Does well in low humidity, thus succeeds in heated homes in northern climates. Does best when soil is allowed to dry out between deep waterings. But many hybrids, do well in growing conditions more suited to tropical foliage plants than typical succulents and so, needs more frequent watering.

Temperature needs: Average, but can survive temperatures down to around 35-degree F. Plants that are moved outdoors during the summer in the Midwest, but should be moved indoors well before frost.

Fertilizer needs: Lightly in spring and summer with a balanced fertilizer. Over fertilization will cause soft and vigorous vegetative growth and less flowering. Be careful while using fertilizers with high levels of micronutrients as E. milii is sensitive to boron.

Propagation: Propagating Crown of Thorns is very easy. You just have to cut 3 to 6” terminal sections and dip them in cold water or powdered horticultural charcoal to prevent the excessive flow of the milky sap. Let the cuttings dry out for 2-3 days. Then place them in well-draining planting mix (like sharp sand, peat and perlite) to root. Keep the mix barely moist. They will dry out if the mix is too dry and may rot if it’s too wet. They should root in 5-8 weeks in warm temperatures.

Scientific name: Euphorbia milii

3. Century Plant

Century Plant popular succulent

Containing over 250 species, Agave is a large genus. The plants generally have large leaves with pointy tips. They show a great variety, with some species growing up to 10 feet or more, while some others are only dish-sized. Some species have soft leaves and no spines. When the climate is cold, some Agave species tends to have blue-green foliage, while some others have gray-green leaves in warm climates. Some varieties have leaves with gold or white markings. They also vary greatly in size and appearance. Agave americana is commonly known as Century plant because it was once thought that it bloomed after 100 years; but it usually takes 10 to 25 years to bloom and dies after blooming.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 through 11

Height: 1 to 10 Feet or more

Light needs: Full sun, at least 6 hours of sun, but tolerates a little shade. The hotter the climate, the more shade this plant can handle.

Soil needs: rocky, sandy, well-draining with neutral to slightly acidic pH

Water needs: Doesn’t do well in humidity. Water only when you have no rainfall for long and the soil is dry. However, to newly planted young plants, give water every 4-5 days for the first month, then reduce watering to once a week, then to every other week, based on rainfall.

Temperature needs: Most agave species can’t tolerate frost.

Fertilizer: Fertilizer can encourage flowering. This is not good because Agave blooms only once in life and then dies.

Propagation: Mature plants produce tiny new plants called pups around their base. From these pups, you can propagate Agave. This way, you can get new plants and also, prevent the original mature plant from being overcrowded. As such, you can remove pups any time, but removing them when their diameter becomes a few inches is best. Loosen the soil around the pup to find the root connection to the mother plant. Cut that root with a sharp trowel. Take care not to cut any roots growing from the pup. Then dig out the pup carefully keeping as many roots intact as you can. Place them in a shaded, ventilated spot for a few days to let the cut roots callous. Plant them in a small container with drainage holes filled with succulent potting mix. Moisten the soil lightly and place the container in a bright, warm spot. Continue watering when the top inch of soil dries out. Never saturate the soil. The pup should be ready to transplant outside in a few weeks.

You can even propagate Agave from seeds. Seedlings should grow within a few weeks.

Scientific name: Agave americana

4. Jade Plant

Jade Plant popular succulent

One of the most popular succulent plants, jade plant is also an easy-to-grow-and-care-for plant and with proper care, it can live even up to 70 years. It’s slow-growing; so, its height grows only 2 inches every year. However, it can reach a height from 3 to 6 feet. The stems of the plant are thick and woody and leaves are oval, green and fleshy.

US Hardiness Zone: 11

Height: 3 to 6 feet

Light needs: Bright but indirect sun needed. At least 6 hours of indirect bright sunlight is best. It’s best to place it in a bright window that receives indirect light. A south- or west-facing window is best. Direct harsh light causes leaves to shrivel and burn, especially when the plant is still young. However, too low light is also bad, as the plant will have leggy growth and become weak and topple over, instead of a full, bushy appearance.

Soil needs: Well-draining loose soil with neutral to slightly acidic pH. It’s perfect to plant in a succulent potting medium. A mixture of sand, potting soil and perlite is the best. Use a terra cotta plant for best drainage.

Watering needs: Watering is needed frequently during spring and summer to keep the soil moist, but never make it soggy. In the winter, reduce watering to around once per month.

Temperature needs: Jade plant needs average household temperatures from 65-degree to 75-degree F. In winter nights, it can handle cooler environment, down to up to 55-degree F. However, never keep it in temperatures below 50-degree F for extended periods.

Fertilizer needs: Apply a 20-20-20 fertilizer during the growing season to promote vigorous growth.

Propagation: Propagation of jade plant is super-easy. You can propagate Jade plant even from a single leaf or cutting. The best time to propagate is summer when the plant can receive plenty of sun and humidity, which are favorable growth conditions and help the new plant to have a quick, successful start. Place the cuttings in a dry, warm place for many days. Once the cut end is dry and scabbed over, dip the cut end into rooting hormone powder and then plant it in a container having a mixture of half soil and half vermiculite (or perlite). Water just enough to dampen the soil. Roots should develop within a few weeks. The cutting will need the same care needed by a grownup jade plant.

Another method of propagation of jade plant is with leaf cuttings. The cutting should contain its stem. Or else it won’t root.

Scientific name: Crassula ovata

5. Donkey’s tail

Donkey’s tail popular succulent

Also known as Burro’s Tail, Horse’s Tail and Lamb’s Tail for the resemblance of its pendulous stems with an animal’s tail, Donkey’s Tail belongs to a large genus Sedum and is one of the most popular succulents due to its distinctive appearance with its trailing stems and succulent blue-green leaves and silvery flowers that come off when handled. Its leaves are tender, smooth-textured, lance-shaped and are arranged in a closely-whorled pattern overlapping each other and completely surround the stem. They are short and plump with a pointed end. They become very plump when watered well and wither when too dry. They break off easily. The stem is also brittle. So, place the plant in such a place, where it won’t be accidentally knocked or damaged by passers-by. Burro’s tail is a beautiful and so, an ideal houseplant. It rarely blooms; when it blooms it does so in summer and produces small yet very attractive pink or red star-shaped flowers in terminal clusters of 1-6 flowers on slender pedicels. Containing abundant nectar, they are very attractive to bees and flies. The plant should be mature with its stem at least 25cm long to flower. Another thing you can do to encourage flowering is to move the plant outdoors in summer and keeping it at cooler temperature (50-degree or 60-degree F) in the winter instead of room temperature.

Due to its trailing stems, burro’s tail is perfect to grow in hanging containers so the stems can hang down vertically. In ideal conditions indoors, this plant may even last for decades. Outdoors it must be kept protected from strong winds.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 10, 11

Light needs: Bright light to full sun, but in too intense light the leaves bleach out and turn yellowish instead of blue-green. Water regularly during the growing season, but lessen the frequency in the fall and in the winter, water just enough to prevent the potting medium from drying out completely. Houseplants may need watering not more than once a month depending on the conditions.

Soil needs: Well-draining such as cactus mix or regular potting medium fortified with pumice, perlite, baked clay granules and even small pea gravel (but not sand as it fills the soil pores and block them and thus hinders drainage).

Watering needs: Overwatering is a strict no-no, especially during the dormancy period i.e., winter. Also, make sure the soil is bone dry out between waterings

Temperature needs: Burro’s tail is typically grown year-round as a houseplant in the Midwest. However, you can move it outside for the growing season once temperatures are consistently more than 40-degree F. Take care to gradually acclimate it to the brighter conditions outdoors, or else it will sunburn. Move it indoors again in the fall when nighttime temperatures are to go below 40-degree F.

Fertilizer needs: You’ll need to fertilize lightly only once or twice during the growing season

Propagation: It’s super easy to propagate Burro’s Tail from leaf and stem cuttings. Growing from stem cuttings is easier than that from individual leaves removed from the stem. For stem cuttings, remove all the laves from the lower part of the cut stem, let it dry for a couple of days and then insert the stem ends into the rooting medium. If the cuttings are too long or heavy, secure them with stakes or pins until they develop roots. Be patient though, because you may have to wait for several months to let the plant root well. You can also propagate Burro’s tail with seed or divisions.

Scientific name: Sedum morganianum

Conclusion

The above list of most popular succulents to grow in 2024 will help you decide which succulents would be best for you. Almost all of them are also some of the easiest succulents to grow and also the most beautiful succulents too. Grow them and please don’t forget to share your experience with them in the comments below. Also read our other articles to know several things about succulents including rare and best succulents, care, growing needs, propagation and more.

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