27 Easy To Grow Succulents for Beginners

Succulents are wonderful plants for beginner gardeners thanks to their resilience and low-maintenance nature. Gardening expert Madison Moulton lists the 27 best succulents for beginners that are easy to grow and tolerant of a few mistakes.

Close-up of different types of easy succulents in pots on a white surface. There are succulents such as Lace aloe, Ghost-plant, String of Beads, Echeveria, Pachyphytum longifolium, Echeveria Purple Pearl.


Succulents are incredibly low-maintenance, largely thanks to their drought tolerance and ability to survive in tough conditions. However, some are trickier to understand than others, making them frustrating for beginners to the succulent world.

If you’ve never grown succulents before or never gardened before, start with one of these 27 succulents. As long as you understand their preferred environment, they won’t give you any trouble.


Close-up of an Echeveria in a small soft pink pot on a wooden table. Echeveria is a stunning succulent admired for its rosette-shaped arrangement of thick, fleshy leaves. The leaves are plump, spoon-shaped, and bright green with reddish tips. Echeverias feature a powdery coating, known as farina, adding a subtle frosty or velvety appearance.
These iconic succulents, with diverse shapes and colors, are low-maintenance and beginner-friendly.

Whenever I imagine a succulent, this is the first to come to mind. Echeveria is a genus of incredibly popular succulents with a classic geometric shape that makes them so exciting to look at. On top of that, there are so many species and cultivars with different shapes and colors that you’re bound to find one you fall in love with.

Echeverias largely care for themselves, making them ideal for beginners or those looking for a low-maintenance container plant. Give them plenty of sun to help them maintain their compact shapes.


Close-up of Sempervivum succulents in a large pot in a sunny garden. Sempervivum, commonly known as hens-and-chicks or houseleeks, is a charming succulent that forms tight rosettes of fleshy leaves. The leaves are densely packed and come in a variety of colors, including shades of green, red, and yellow. The edges of the leaves are adorned with small, pointed tips.
Sempervivum, ideal for beginners, has geometric leaves and reproduces through ‘pups’ for easy expansion.

Sempervivum is another succulent genus great for beginners. It has some interesting common names, including hens and chicks or (most promisingly for newbies) live forever. The leaves maintain the same geometric and compact shape as echeverias but are typically more narrow and pointed.

The name hens and chicks comes from how this plant spreads, producing ‘pups’ or smaller versions of the main plant from the base. Simply snap these off and repot to expand your sempervivum collection.


Close-up of a Haworthia in a gray decorative pot against a blurred background. Haworthia is a captivating succulent characterized by its rosette-shaped arrangement of thick, fleshy leaves. The leaves are lance-shaped, pointed, and feature intricate patterns of raised ridges in white.
These aloelike succulents stay compact, spreading like hen and chick plants beneath the soil.

If something structural and spiky is what you’re after, look no further than the Haworthia genus. These succulents look just like tiny aloes, staying compact and spreading beneath the soil like hens and chicks. They also come in a few different colors and patterns depending on the species, but the bright, almost neon green cultivars are a personal favorite.

Haworthias will produce flowers on tall spikes if planted in the right conditions. Keep them in a sunny spot and protect them from temperature dips over winter to encourage them to flower.


Close-up of Graptopetalum in a gray rusty pot in the garden. Graptopetalum is a visually stunning succulent with a distinctive rosette structure formed by thick, overlapping leaves. The leaves are shaped like flattened, rounded petals, and their coloration ranges from shades of green to various pastel tones, with a subtle powdery coating.
Graptopetalums, also known as ghost plants, thrive with sunlight, occasional watering, and pest monitoring.

Graptopetalums are usually a little larger but still compact enough for small pots or sneaking into sandy beds. They are commonly known as ghost plants, thanks to the pale and ghostly color of some of the most popular varieties. There are also a few hybrids of this common genus, including the next entry on this list.

Graptopetalums can quickly lose their shape and stretch toward the nearest light source if they don’t receive enough sun. Beyond that, giving them a little water every couple of weeks and watching for pests is all you really need to keep them happy.


Close-up of Graptoveria in a large blue pot. Graptoveria is a visually charming succulent that showcases a captivating rosette formation composed of thick, plump leaves. The leaves are typically arranged in a spiraling pattern, creating a symmetrical and compact structure. The leaves exhibit a pinkish tint.
This graptopetalum-echeveria hybrid offers a diverse, low-maintenance starting point for beginners.

Graptoveria is a hybrid between graptopetalum and echeveria, combining the best of these two genera. There are many cultivars to choose from in interesting colors and patterns, spreading quickly to fill any container you plant them in.

These hybrids are not demanding and ideal for beginners in the succulent world. Plant them in well-draining soil and be careful not to overwater as they are very sensitive to root rot.


Close-up of a Pachyveria in a pot against a blurred green background. Pachyveria is a striking succulent plant that exhibits a rosette growth pattern, forming compact, symmetrical clusters of thick, fleshy leaves. The leaves are often spoon-shaped, slightly oblong, with pointed tips of a pinkish color. Leaves are blue-green.
This echeveria-pachyphytum hybrid combines plumpness and structure.

The next entry is another echeveria hybrid, this time combining this popular genus with pachyphytum. This crossing produces an adorable compact succulent that retains the plump look of pachyphytums while adding a little more structure from the echeverias.

Pachyverias look stunning on their own, but they are great for combining with more pointed succulents to soften a display and change up the textures. They appreciate the same conditions as the previous genera on this list, giving you plenty to play with when looking for companions.


Close-up of Pachyphytum on a blurred gray background. Pachyphytum succulents display a distinctive and charming appearance with their clustered, plump leaves that resemble full balloons. The leaves are blue-green changing to a pinkish tint.
Admire pachyphytums for their unique clustered shape, but avoid touching them to preserve the leaves.

As soon as you spot a pachyphytum, it’s impossible not to stop and admire them. With a clustered shape and leaves that look like full balloons, they are certainly one of the more unique-looking succulents. Despite this departure, they are no harder to care for than other beginner-friendly types if you understand their needs.

They do look fun to touch, but I would avoid interacting with them this way. Mine has lost more than a few leaves from prying fingers trying to squish the plump leaves.

Snake Plant

Close-up of a Snake Plant in a white decorative pot on a porch. The Snake Plant, scientifically known as Sansevieria, boasts long, pointed leaves that store ample moisture. The leaves are dark green with yellow stripes along the edges.
Choose snake plants for low-light indoor spaces.

Succulents are typically not recommended for long-term indoor growth as they love the sun. However, a few succulents happily grow in lower light levels, ideal for keeping as houseplants. Snake plants are one of them.

This dracaena (previously known botanically as sansevieria) has long, pointed leaves that store plenty of moisture, requiring limited watering. They can also survive low light, although the leaves may begin to stretch in these conditions.


Close-up of a Cotyledon in a red pot. Cotyledon is a succulent with slightly rounded green leaves covered with fine white hairs. The leaves have spiky burgundy-purple edges.
Cotyledons are diverse in shape and forgiving of neglect.

Cotyledon is an interesting genus with so much variety that it can be hard to tell that two species are even related. The plump leaves come in a few different shapes, from slightly rounded to almost cylindrical.

Giving these plants the best care starts with understanding the type. Some grow best in hanging baskets where the stems can cascade downwards, while others are better suited to larger patio or balcony containers. Luckily, even with a bit of neglect, they won’t give beginners any trouble.

Jade Plant

Close-up of Jade Plant against a blurred white and gray background. The Jade Plant is a classic succulent known for its resilient and tree-like appearance. It features thick, fleshy, oval-shaped leaves that grow in opposite pairs along thick stems. The leaves are glossy and dark green.
Crassula ovata is resilient and adaptable, perfect for beginners.

Scientifically, Crassula ovata, the jade plant, is known for its resilience. This succulent can grow almost anywhere indoors and out, easily adapting to new conditions. They also have a tree-like shape as they grow, looking similar to bonsai trees (without the technical requirements).

If you’ve always thought of yourself as a black thumb, this may be the plant to change your mind. As long as you avoid overwatering, they are one of the easiest succulents to keep alive long-term.

Elephant Bush

Close-up of Elephant Bush plants in black plastic pots with mulched soil, in a greenhouse. The Elephant Bush (Portulacaria afra) is a succulent shrub with small, round, and fleshy leaves that resemble the shape of a small elephant's ear. The leaves are glossy, green, and have white edges.
Elephant bush, a beginner-friendly succulent, can be compact or allowed to grow freely.

A popular snack among elephants in Southern Africa, Portulacaria afra is another succulent shrub suitable for beginners. You can keep it compact with regular trimming or allow it to grow to its full potential in a large container or bed. I’ve had one in a tall pot for several years and haven’t had any trouble – rain even takes care of all the watering for me.

Elephant bush isn’t just tasty for elephants – people can eat the leaves, too. The juicy leaves are great for sprinkling on salads. I also like to use them in smoothies for their high moisture content.


Close-up of a flowering Portulaca. This succulent produces double flowers with wavy petals in a soft pink color. The plant produces slender, fleshy leaves. The leaves are smooth and cylindrical, succulent, dark green in color.
This succulent is valued for its vibrant flowers and loves full sun.

While the previous succulents are mostly grown for their leaves, portulaca is appreciated for its flowers. Popping up in many warm and bright colors, the flowers carpet the entire plant, looking especially attractive in hanging baskets. It’s also possible to grow them from seed that is easily accessible, unlike many other plants on this list.

If you’re growing in hanging baskets in full sun, remember that the soil will dry out quickly, requiring watering a little more often if you want them to flower profusely.


Close-up of Gasteria in a ceramic green pot on a blurred green background. Gasterias are succulents with a distinctive aloe-like appearance, featuring thick, pointed leaves arranged in rosettes. The leaves are narrow, oblong, green, covered with many small creamy dots.
Gasterias have an aloe-like appearance, prefer light shade, and are suitable for indoor growing.

Gasterias have a similar look to many haworthia species but are usually larger. They have the same aloe-like appearance with pointed leaves that add a structural look to pots or beds in warmer climates. However, my favorite species are the ones with rounded and narrow leaves – a unique look that you won’t find in many other plants.

Gasterias grow best in a lightly shaded position. Avoid any harsh afternoon sun to protect the leaves from damage. This also makes them suitable candidates for growing indoors on a sunny windowsill.


Top view, close-up of Lithops in a white pot on a blurred beige background. Lithops exhibit a distinctive appearance reminiscent of small, mimicry stones. These fascinating succulents are recognized for their camouflage-like patterns and colors, which resemble the surrounding pebbles and rocks. Lithops consist of two succulent leaves fused together, forming a cleft at the top where a delicate, daisy-like flower may emerge.
These adorable and beginner-friendly succulents thrive with minimal water and sunlight.

Adorable lithops are impossible not to love. Coming from harsh climates with hot sun and little rain, most of the leaf sits below the soil line, with a transparent top window for photosynthesis. The leaf pair eventually splits to make way for new leaves in the center – an interesting transformation to watch.

Most beginners kill lithops, but they are actually wonderfully beginner-friendly if you avoid common mistakes like overwatering. Just a teaspoon of water is enough for these plants to survive for weeks. Leave them alone in a sunny spot, and they are bound to thrive.

Burro’s Tail

Close-up of Burro's Tail succulent in a white hanging pot on the porch. This succulent is known for its unique trailing growth habit. The plant features long, trailing stems that are densely covered with plump, blue-green, tear-shaped leaves.
Burro’s tail, ideal for hanging baskets or balconies, needs partial sun.

Another popular hanging basket candidate, burro’s tail is the perfect patio or balcony plant. The leaves cluster together along hanging stems, giving them their comical common name. Growing best in partial sun, they are also suitable for growing indoors near a sunny south-facing window.

There are two common mistakes beginners often make when growing these plants – too much water and too little sun. Avoid these issues, and you won’t have trouble growing this plant, even as a newbie.

Ice Plant

Close-up shot of a blooming Ice plant succulent in a sunny garden. This succulent is characterized by fleshy, triangular leaves of a dark green color. The plant produces daisy-like flowers with yellow central discs and bright orange, ray-shaped thin petals radiating from the center.
Choose ice plants for low-maintenance ground cover in tough areas, but avoid extremely cold conditions.

If you’re looking for a succulent groundcover, potentially replacing lawns in tough or sandy areas, ice plants are a great option. These vigorous growers are great for covering open space with a low-maintenance lawn alternative that won’t give even the newest gardeners problems.

Don’t let the name ice plant fool you – these plants can’t handle extreme cold. They don’t mind temperature dips but won’t survive in USDA zones lower than 5.


Close-up of a Stonecrop growing in a garden. This succulent forms low, spreading mats or clusters of fleshy leaves. These leaves are small, plump, teardrop-shaped, and greenish-burgundy in color.
This succulent has 400+ species and thrives in sandy soil.

Stonecrop is the common name for plants in the Sedum genus, also often grown as a groundcover. There are over 400 species (including the previously mentioned burro’s tail), offering endless variety for any part of your garden.

Different species may have slightly different needs, but the basics are the same. Plant in sandy soil and avoid overwatering to prevent the most common killer of these plants – rot. Following those conditions, beginners should find stonecrops worry-free.


Close-up of Aeoniums with water drops. Aeoniums are captivating succulents known for their rosette-shaped clusters of fleshy leaves that radiate from a central stem. The leaves are spoon-shaped and have shades ranging from deep purple to burgundy and green towards the center.
Tree houseleeks pair well with shorter succulents, offering color variety.

Commonly known as tree houseleeks, these interesting succulents are easy to spot. They have the classic houseleek rosettes, but these appear on tall stems to give the plant more height and a tree-like shape. They are ideal for pairing with shorter succulents to really fill out a container.

There are several color options for beginner gardeners to choose from. If you’re looking for something a little more dramatic, I recommend the black aeoniums for their deep and dark purple leaves.


Close-up of a blooming Kalanchoe blossfeldiana against a blurred window background. This compact plant features glossy, fleshy leaves with scalloped edges, dark green. The blossoms are small, with double petals, and bright yellow.
Kalanchoe, favored for its bright flowers, thrives in low light and prefers well-draining, gritty soil.

Kalanchoe is another succulent genus popular among houseplant lovers. While many species have unique foliage (like the adorable panda plant), kalanchoes are often grown for their bright flowers. Tolerating low light levels well, they flower reliably throughout the year, indoors and out.

When planting your kalanchoe, no matter the species, choose gritty soil that drains quickly. If you don’t want to make your own mix, look for potting mixes with a ‘succulent and cacti’ label to provide the perfect conditions.

African Milk Tree

Close-up of an African Milk Tree (Euphorbia trigona) against a blurred window background. The African Milk Tree, also known as the Cathedral Cactus, presents a distinctive succulent appearance with a tall, erect stem adorned with spikes for protection. This succulent showcases a tree-like structure, with leaves forming along the stem, giving it a palm-like silhouette.
Euphorbia trigona resembles a cactus and thrives in sun and well-draining soil.

Featuring a cactus look without the actual cactus classification, the African milk tree is a great way to add height to your succulent containers. Botanically named Euphorbia trigona, it is closely related to many other easy-care succulents with a similar cactus-like structure. That’s also why it has the other common name, cathedral cactus.

If you want your African milk tree to grow to its full potential, plant it in a relatively large pot in well-draining soil. Plenty of direct sun will also prevent stretching that can make the plant look diminished and lose shape over time.

Desert Rose

Close-up of a blooming Desert Rose succulent (Adenium obesum) in a sunny garden. This succulent is characterized by stunning, rose-like flowers in a vibrant pink color. The large blooms emerge from a thick succulent stem, imparting a visual resemblance to a bonsai tree. The flowers are tubular in shape with frilly edges on the petals. The leaves are oval-shaped, glossy, fleshy, dark green in color.
Adenium obesum thrives with minimal water, full sun, and warmth.

The desert rose (Adenium obesum) is known for its eye-catching flowers in a range of stunning colors. The large blooms look just like roses, emerging from a thick succulent stem that makes the plant look almost like a bonsai tree, much like jade plants.

Despite their intricate appearance, the desert rose is not difficult to grow. The key is in the name – provide desert-like conditions, and this plant will thrive. Keep it in full sun and water minimally, and keep it out of cold temperatures to protect it from damage.


Close-up of an Agave with variegated foliage in a large decorative pot. This succulent forms a beautiful rosette of fleshy, rigid variegated leaves. They are green with cream edges. The leaves have pointed tips and spiny edges.
Agaves are impressive in garden beds but need little water and are beginner-friendly.

Agaves are large succulents that make an impressive statement in any garden bed. Although they start small, the leaves quickly fill out to form large rosettes in interesting shapes. Requiring little water or attention after planting, these drought-tolerant succulents are ideal for beginner gardeners in warmer USDA zones.

There is plenty of variety in this genus, making it difficult to choose just one. In beds, I would opt for the soft but structural foxtail agave. In containers, the Queen Victoria agave has fascinating coloring that looks almost painted.

Madagascar Palm

Close-up of Pachypodium lamerei in a large clay pot on a wooden table in a bright room. This succulent features a thick, bottle-shaped trunk adorned with sharp spines. The leaves, concentrated at the top of the trunk, form a rosette with a palm-like arrangement.
This tree-like succulent requires sturdy containers to prevent toppling as it grows.

The Madagascar palm is another member of the tree-like succulent grouping. It has a thick stem or trunk packed with spikes to protect it from predators. Leaves arch outwards from the top, giving the plant a palm-like shape. The palm in the name comes from this shape only, as it is not related to true palms.

If you’re growing in containers, remember that these succulents can easily topple over if they become too large for the container. Either repot into a sturdier container or weigh the pot down with pebbles to stop it from falling over.


Close-up of Aloe in a pot. Aloe, a renowned succulent genus, presents a striking appearance with its fleshy, lance-shaped leaves that form a rosette. The leaves feature serrated edges and display vibrant green hues.
Aloes include many species suitable for beginners.

The Aloe genus is famous worldwide for its medicinal properties. Aloe vera is undoubtedly the most popular, often used in beauty products or burn treatments, and it can be grown indoors. However, there is much more to this genus than this singular species, with many choices for beginners and experienced gardeners.

If kept in the right conditions (full sun and well-draining soil), aloes will grow quite quickly. Keep the mature size of your chosen species in mind to avoid repotting too often.


Close-up of Fenestraria in a large decorative pot. Fenestraria, commonly known as "Baby Toes," boasts a distinctive appearance with small cylindrical leaves emerging from the soil, resembling tiny toes. The leaves have transparent windows at the top for photosynthesis.
Baby toes thrive in sunlight and feature many cylindrical, toe-like leaves.

This succulent has one of the most adorable common names – baby toes. That’s because the leaves emerge from the soil in small cylindrical shapes, looking just like tiny toes. In their natural habitats, the leaves mostly grow beneath the soil like lithops, with transparent windows at the top for photosynthesis.

These are true desert succulents that need plenty of direct sunlight and very little water to grow. If you water when the soil is still moist, the leaves will begin to rot at the base.

String of Hearts

Close-up of String of Hearts in a small terracotta pot on a white shelf against a blurred background of potted houseplants. The Ceropegia woodii is a visually enchanting succulent with slender trailing vines that bear small, heart-shaped leaves. The delicate foliage is green, variegated with silver markings
This charming succulent boasts cascading heart-shaped leaves and needs moderate watering.

The perfect Valentine’s Day gift, string of hearts looks exactly as its common name describes. The thin vines produce small heart-shaped leaves, ideal for cascading down the sides of hanging baskets. They also have unique patterns and colors, particularly in the variegated varieties.

As the vines are thin and the foliage is delicate, string of hearts needs a little more water than some other succulents on this list. But it’s still important not to overdo it – they don’t like soggy soil either.

String of Pearls

Close-up of String of Pearls succulent (Senecio rowleyanus) in a small clay pot on a white table, against a gray background. The String of Pearls is a charming succulent with long cascading vines adorned by small, spherical leaves resembling peas on a string.
This plant is perfect for indoor or lightly shaded spaces and demands indirect light and careful watering.

The final entry on the list is ideal for growing indoors or on lightly shaded balconies – string of pearls. Long vines produce tiny spherical leaves that grow closer together in higher light levels. They are sensitive to intense direct sun but do appreciate a full day of indirect light to grow successfully.

Beginners often struggle with string of pearls for two reasons – overwatering and lack of sunlight. They are considered beginner-friendly if you keep their preferred conditions in mind and avoid these mistakes.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re new to succulents or gardening in general, choosing one of these 27 plants will make caring for your succulent garden a breeze.

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