15 Succulents You Can Grow From Seed

If you want to save money on plants or are looking for a rarer species you just can’t find in-store, growing succulents from seed is the answer. Gardening expert Madison Moulton lists 15 beginner-friendly succulents you can grow from seed.

Growing succulents from seed. Close-up of a woman's hand holding a small white pot of Lithops against a blurred background of many pots of Lithops. Lithops are distinctive succulents known for their unique appearance. Resembling small, smooth pebbles, these plants have a pair of fused leaves that form a cleft at the top, creating a cactus-like cleft or slit. The leaves have different patterns, textures and colors from green to gray.


Growing plants from seed has many benefits. You have better control over the environment, it saves money, and it’s more rewarding to nurse a plant from seed than it is to buy one from the nursery. But can succulent lovers join in on the action?

Like any plant that flowers, it is possible to grow succulents from seeds. In fact, it is ideal for avid succulent growers looking for rarer species that are hard to find in nurseries. It may take a little longer for the plants to develop, especially if you’re used to sowing things like vegetables and herbs, which pop up in a few weeks. But the reward is well worth the wait.

The list of succulents you can grow from seed is extensive, but these are the 15 I recommend for beginners that are relatively easy to find or grow well from seed.


Close-up of a balloon cactus in a black pot. Notocactus magnificus, is a distinctive cactus species appreciated for its charming and unusual appearance. This globular cactus features a spherical shape with numerous prominent ribs and is covered in dense, golden-yellow spines. The spines give the cactus a spiky and textured appearance, while the round body resembles a balloon.
Cacti are part of the succulent group, and their seeds grow easily for more diversity.

The first entry is somewhat confusing, as cacti are usually considered a separate group of plants. However, their growth habits mean they can be grouped under succulents; it just doesn’t work the other way around. All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti.

These spiked beauties are easy to start as seeds, although you will need a little patience while you wait for them to germinate. It takes about a year from sowing to reach one inch in height. For some added variety, choose a seed mix with a few different species.


 Close-up of Lithops in a white pot on a gray table. Lithops are distinctive succulents with a unique appearance. These small, desert-dwelling plants have evolved to mimic the appearance of stones or pebbles. Lithops consist of two fleshy, leaf-like structures fused together, forming a cleft at the top that resembles a slit or fissure. The surfaces of the leaves are patterned with intricate markings and textures.
Also called living stones, lithops mimic pebbles for defense from predators.

Lithops are also known as living stones or stone plants, and it’s easy to see why. The pair of fused leaves remains mostly underground, with only a small section peeking above the soil line. Without a second look, you can easily mistake them for pebbles. This is their defense against predators in the wild.

It’s actually easiest to propagate lithops with seeds. Simply sow the seeds in a layer over succulent potting soil and lightly cover in vermiculite. Purchasing seeds allows you greater choice over variety, rather than limiting you to what’s available at your local nursery.


Close-up of Conophytum in a white ceramic pot. These small, globular plants consist of pairs of fused leaves that form a rounded, pebble-like structure. The leaves are gray-green with purple-pink tips.
A rare succulent, Conophytum thrives in harsh Southern African conditions, featuring fused leaves and minimal stems.

If you’ve fallen in love with lithops, you’ll probably love the adorable and far less common genus Conophytum. Originating from the same harsh Southern African environments, conophytum plants also feature fused leaf pairs and almost no stem, often popping up between crevices in rocks.

The seeds of this unique plant may be a little harder to find than other succulents on this list. Check with specialized growers and shop online to find the perfect species.


Close-up of Echeveria glauca in a black pot. This rosette-forming plant features thick, fleshy, and powdery blue-green leaves that have a waxy coating, giving them a striking and glaucous appearance. The leaves are arranged in a tight, symmetrical rosette, and their edges display delicate pinkish-red pointed tips.
Known for geometric forms, Echeveria plants are easy to grow, offering variety and cost-effectiveness in garden landscaping.

When I think of succulents, Echeveria is the first genus that pops into my head. Their geometric forms, unique colors, and ease of care encompass everything there is to love about growing succulents.

Echeveria are easy to find but also fun to grow from seeds. There is more variety in species, particularly in areas where succulents are not as widely grown. If you’re looking to cover a large area in your garden, sowing seeds is far more cost-effective and quicker than waiting for mature plants to spread.


Top view of a potted Crassula ovata plant on a wooden table. The plant is in a white pot and sits on a rustic burlap napkin. Crassula ovata, commonly known as the Jade Plant or Money Plant, is a popular succulent admired for its distinctive appearance. This shrubby succulent features thick, fleshy, oval-shaped leaves that are glossy and vibrant green. The leaves grow opposite each other along sturdy, woody branches.
Jade plant, native to South Africa, thrives in low light, making it a sought-after, beginner-friendly houseplant.

Crassula ovata, commonly known as jade plant, is a shrub native to South Africa. Thanks to its tolerance for lower light compared to other species, it’s become a popular houseplant and one of the most sought-after succulents for beginners.

For houseplant lovers who don’t get to sow seeds often, seeding Crassula ovata is a great gardening experiment. But you aren’t limited to this species. Several Crassula seeds are available online, expanding your options beyond the traditional jade plant.


Close-up of Aloe Vera in a gray ceramic pot against a white wall near a window. This plant forms a rosette of thick, fleshy, lance-shaped leaves that emerge from a central stem or base. The leaves are succulent, with serrated edges and a vibrant green color.
Consider growing lesser-known Aloe species from seed.

The name aloe is almost synonymous with the species Aloe vera, known for its medicinal properties and used often in beauty products. However, there is much more to the aloe genus than this one plant. There are more than 600 species to choose from, one of which is actually named after one of my ancestors (Aloe greatheadii).

If you’re growing aloe from seed, try a species you may not have seen or grown before. They germinate within a few weeks, but larger species will take a while to reach their full size.


Close-up of Sedum stonecrop in the garden. This is a low-growing plant that forms dense mats or clusters of fleshy leaves. The leaves are small, triangular in shape, blue-green in color with a waxy coating.
Stonecrop sedums thrive in rocky environments. They are ideal groundcovers for sunny sandy areas and easily propagate via seed.

Sedums are also known as stonecrops due to the rocky environments they grow best in. They make ideal groundcovers for sunny areas with sandy soil where other plants may struggle to grow.

To establish sedum as a groundcover, it’s easiest to start from seed. Choose the same species for uniformity in the garden, or pick a pack of mixed species to bring some variety to open and uncovered areas.


Close-up of Haworthia cooperi in a white ceramic pot. The soil is sprinkled with small brown pebbles. The plant consists of tightly packed, fleshy leaves that form a rounded cluster. Each leaf is translucent, revealing an inner core that ranges from light green to pinkish hues.
Opt for compact Haworthias with aloe-like appearance, such as H. truncata or H. cooperi.

If you like the look of Aloes but don’t have space for a larger plant, try Haworthia instead. These plants have a similar shape and structure to Aloes but are a fraction of the size.

Some Haworthias have a more unique look than others, with inflated leaves or strange growth patterns. If you want something a little more out-of-the-box, look for species like H. truncata, H. splendens, or H. cooperi.


Close-up of Agave americana in a sunny garden. It is a large and striking succulent with a distinctive appearance. Its rosette of rigid, lance-shaped leaves reaches impressive sizes, forming a dramatic and architectural silhouette. These leaves are grayish-green, with yellow stripes along the edges.
Agaves are large succulents that are ideal for outdoor beds.

Stately agaves are typically much larger than the compact succulents many are used to growing. They are typically planted in beds rather than containers. These structural plants have thick leaves and harsh spiked edges, with Agave attenuata as the smooth-leaved exception.

If you’re interested in distilling your own tequila, you’ll want to look for Agave tequilana seeds. Make sure you get a license to do so first, as distilling in the US without one is a felony. The plants have a gorgeous blue hue and spiked shape that stands out in any garden.


Close-up of Aeonium arborescens in a white pot on a blurred background. This evergreen perennial forms a branching, shrub-like structure with stems that hold rosettes of plump, spoon-shaped leaves. The leaves are typically variegated, ranging from light green to dark purple or burgundy, and they cluster at the ends of the stems, creating a visually striking effect.
These unique rounded succulents excel in container gardens, featuring height and vibrant colors.

Aeoniums are great feature plants for containers, not just for their height but their impressive colors. They form rosettes like other succulents, but the leaves are more rounded at the ends to soften their structural shape.

To fit the goth garden trend, try growing ‘Zwartkop’ for intriguing purple-black leaves. You’ll also find Aeonium species with patterned green, red, and purple leaves. Sow the seeds on the surface of a standard succulent soil mix and provide bright sunlight.


Close-up of a potted Pachypodium plant on a wooden round table against a beige wall. It is a succulent plant recognized for its distinctive appearance and spiky growth habit. This plant features a thick, bottle-shaped trunk covered in sharp spines or thorns, giving them a cactus-like aesthetic. At the top of the trunk, Pachypodium species produce a cluster of long, slender leaves, arranged in a rosette or whorled pattern. The leaves are dark green in color.
With adorable bloated stems, Pachypodiums are sometimes alien-like.

Pachypodium is one of my favorite succulent genera, purely for the adorable, bloated stems of many species. Some of the plants look almost alien, with massive spiked bases and just a few tiny leaves sticking out. The smaller species are great for containers and are often trained like bonsai trees.

Sowing seeds gives you the opportunity to choose rarer species that may be tough to find. This also allows them to adapt to your garden environment from the get-go. They are slow growers but certainly worth the wait.


Close-up of a blooming Adenium obesum in a large gray pot in the garden. This tropical plant features a swollen, bottle-shaped trunk that stores water. At the top of the trunk, Adenium obesum produces clusters of leathery, lance-shaped leaves that are dark green in color with a glossy texture. The plant produces showy, trumpet-shaped flowers of bright pink color.
Desert roses stay compact indoors but need plenty of sunlight.

Adenium species have a similar shape to Pachypodiums. However, the standout feature of these plants is the flowers, commonly known as desert roses. In the right environments, the ends of the branches will be covered in bright blooms in a range of colors.

Adeniums are large plants that typically grow several feet tall. However, if they are kept indoors and confined to a container, these slow growers will remain compact. Sow them indoors, giving them plenty of sunlight to allow them to adapt to your home environment.


Close-up of blooming Kalanchoe blossfeldiana in a pot outdoors. This compact plant features fleshy, dark green leaves and produces dense clusters of small, vividly colored flowers at the top of sturdy stems. The flowers come in soft pink color. The leaves are scalloped along the edges.
Great for beginners, Kalanchoe plants thrive indoors and remain resilient in various conditions.

Often kept as houseplants, Kalanchoe are ideal succulents for beginners. They are resilient plants that grow well in a range of conditions (including indirect light), making them one of the easier succulents to grow indoors.

Kalanchoe seeds are super tiny, so be careful when handling them. Sow lightly directly on top of your mix, and do not cover. The seeds need light to germinate successfully. Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is one of the most widely grown for its flowers, but other adorable species like Kalanchoe thyrsiflora also grow well from seed.


Close-up of Sempervivum tectorum, commonly known as Common Houseleek, in a large gray pot in the garden. This perennial plant forms tight, compact rosettes of fleshy, pointed leaves that radiate from a central point, resembling an artistic arrangement of overlapping petals. The leaves have a gray-green hue, and their tips develop reddish and purple tinges.
Sempervivums, known as houseleeks, offer excitement in mixed seed packets, revealing diverse forms and colors.

These plants have a long list of entertaining common names. Hens and chicks is one you’ll likely see most often, named after the way they propagate and spread. They’re also called houseleeks or (reassuringly for beginners) live-forever plants.

You can find Sempervivum seeds for particular types, but mixed packets are far more exciting, in my opinion. It adds some mystery to the process and excitement when the different forms and colors start to take shape.


Close-up of a woman's hand holding a small pot of Fenestraria on a blurred green background. The plant consists of small, cylindrical, or cone-shaped leaves that cluster together, forming a dense mat close to the soil. What sets Fenestraria apart is the translucent window-like structures at the top of its leaves. The leaves have a pale green color with bluish tint.
Adorable Fenestraria rhopalophylla, known as baby toes, thrives indoors with sunlight, potentially flowering after years.

Fenestraria rhopalophylla is one of the most adorable succulents you can grow, with an equally adorable name – baby toes. The clump-forming succulent produces groups of tubular leaves with slightly translucent tops to allow light to penetrate through.

Baby toes are often kept as houseplants but need plenty of sun to keep them happy. After a few years of growing from seed, you may even see them flower under the right conditions.

Final Thoughts

Growing succulents from seed is not as tricky as you may think. They will take a while to mature, but you’ll appreciate them much more growing from seed.

Vivid green succulents arranged in petite brown eco-friendly paper pots, nestled within rich dark soil. Each delicate succulent is adorned with neat brown ribbons, enhancing their charm. These potted succulents rest on a warm brown table.

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A close-up showcases vibrant aloe vera leaves with long, succulent, and spiked edges. The sunlight kisses its surface, revealing a mesmerizing glow, and accentuating the plant's natural hues of green. Against a soft, blurred backdrop, the plant appears almost ethereal, evoking a magical aura.

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This close-up features a succulent aloe vera plant called ‘Minnie Belle’. Its fleshy leaves sprawl outwards, each rimmed with a fringe of frosty white spikes, a surprising contrast to the typical smooth aloe edge.

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