17 Tall Succulent Plants for Big Garden Spaces

Looking for a tall succulent to add to your indoor or outdoor garden? There are many options to choose from, depening on the size and space you have available. In this article, gardening expert Melissa Strauss shares her favorite tall succulents that have some height when fully grown.

Tall Succulent Snake Plant in Container


Succulents are such interesting and versatile plants. There are so many textures and shapes that can be used to add variety to a succulent or rock garden. Succulents also make great houseplants if you have a sunny window and a propensity to forget about the watering day.

Most types of succulents tend to thrive on a bit of neglect. If they have good drainage and the right amount of light, there is little to do in the way of maintenance other than the occasional watering and they are even quite forgiving about that.

Some succulent plants grow to soaring heights in their natural habitats but can be tamed to more manageable heights when kept in containers. Most succulents are slow growing, and many of them will bloom if they get enough sun.

If you’re looking for a succulent to add some height to your garden, or a towering houseplant that makes a statement, look no further. These 17 plants are definite conversation starters that will add loads of interest to a garden or houseplant collection.

African Milk Tree

Close-up of a succulent plant Euphorbia trigona against a yellow wall, next to a wicker square basket with a white plaid. The plant has tall, narrow, juicy, triangular, erect stems of dark green color with 3-4 ribs. The edges of the stems are strewn with thorns and small pear-shaped leaves.
Euphorbia trigona is a succulent plant that produces tall triangular stems sprinkled with thorns and small pear-shaped leaves.
botanical-name botanical name Euphorbia trigona
sun-requirements sun requirements Part Sun
height height up to 9’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

African Milk Tree is a great plant for the gardener that wants a plant with some height but doesn’t want to wait a very long time for it to get there.

African Milk tree, also known as the Good Luck Cactus, is not a true cactus but a succulent. Its triangular stems are smooth on the surfaces. The edges are sprinkled with thorns and small, pear-shaped leaves.

This plant can live outdoors in warmer climates but is not tolerant of temperatures below 50°F. It is toxic to humans and animals, so keep this one out of the path of small children and animals that might like to snack on plants. An especially pretty variety, the Royal Red cultivar has leaves that turn a rich red shade in the fall.

Candelabra Spurge

Close-up of a growing succulent Euphorbia ammak 'Variegata' in the garden, behind a high dark brown fence. The plant has tall succulent stems and branches of marbled creamy yellow and pale green. The ribs are thick, wavy, with dark brown spines.
Candelabra Spurge is a fast-growing succulent with stunning marbled creamy yellow stems.
botanical-name botanical name Euphorbia ammak ‘Variegata’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 15’-20’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

This is one succulent you don’t want to miss out on. The stunning, marbled stems and branches of this Euphorbia are a swirl of blue and cream colors.

The edges of the four-sided stem structures are peppered with spines and branch out at around 3’ tall. The branches grow out and upward, which gives the plant its nickname, the Candelabra Spurge.

If you live North of zone 9, this plant will work better as a houseplant, or in a container that can be brought indoors in the cooler months. It likes warm weather, lots of light, and low humidity. Avoid touching the sap from this succulent, as it can cause irritation to the skin and eyes and is toxic when consumed.

Desert Rose

Close-up of a flowering succulent Adenium obesum in a pot, in the garden, against the backdrop of a fence. The plant has thick stems, sparse oval dark green leaves and beautiful bright red tubular open flowers with white eyes.
This is a perennial succulent with beautiful hot pink, red or white flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Adenium obesum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 3’-9’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 11-12

Desert Rose is an easy succulent to care for and it will reward its owner by blooming easily and beautifully in the summertime. As long as this plant gets enough sun, and not too much water, it should thrive and produce plenty of stunning bright pink, red, or white flowers. While many succulents are rare bloomers, Desert Rose is quite generous in this way.

This plant is deciduous and drops its flowers and leaves in the winter. If kept outside, it should get lots of sun early in the day but give it a bit of protection from the afternoon sun which can scorch its leaves. It should be kept slightly moist in spring and summer, but watering can be reduced to just once per month in fall and winter.

Elephant Bush

Close-up of a Portulacaria Afra plant in a wooden pot on a wooden table, against a gray background. This is a bushy succulent with wooden stems, the tops of which are covered with many small, fleshy, flat, smooth, glossy, teardrop-shaped, bright green leaves.
Elephant Bush is a small-leaved, woody-stemmed succulent plant with small bright green teardrop-shaped leaves.
botanical-name botanical name Portulacaria Afra
sun-requirements sun requirements Part Shade to Full Sun
height height 8’-12’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

This succulent gets its name not from its appearance, but rather because it is a food source for elephants in Africa to which it is native. While it can grow as tall as 20’ in the wild, it will not grow much taller than a manageable 4’ when kept as a container plant. This bushy succulent resembles a jade plant with its woody stems but has smaller leaves.

Elephant Bush goes dormant in the winter, and when it awakens in the spring, it can produce clusters of tiny pink flowers at the ends of its branches. It does best in bright, but indirect sunlight, as too much sun will cause the leaves to drop off.

Eve’s Needle

Croat Plan Austrocylindropuntia Subulata on a blurry background of the garden. The succulent plant has thick, cylindrical stems of covered with long, thin, pointed, fleshy leaves and long sharp spikes.
Eve’s Needle produces cylindrical dark green stems with long, pointed fleshy leaves and sharp spines.
botanical-name botanical name Austrocylindropuntia subulata
sun-requirements sun requirements Light Shade to Full Sun
height height up to 12’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

This non-toxic succulent’s leaves are commonly sold as a vegetable in its native areas of Mexico and South America. The long, thin, pointed, and fleshy leaves grow on cylindrical stems that branch like a tree. Interspersed among the leaves are long sharp spines.

Eve’s Needle rarely blooms in captivity, but when it blooms the flowers are lovely. They are cup-shaped and red, as large as 3” in diameter, and appear at the ends of the branches. After the blooms fall, edible fruit develops which is appetizing, but difficult to eat as they contain a lot of seeds.

Fox Tail Agave

The close -up of many flowering plants Fox Tail Agave in the tropical succulent garden. The plant has an attractive socket of long, pointed, fleshy, pale green leaves that are slightly bending when opening. The succulent has a large, high, long flower stem of small greenish-yellow flowers.
Agave attenuata is a long-term succulent that produces a huge long flower stem with greenish-yellow flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Agave attenuata
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 4’-5’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

This attractive Agave grows in a rosette of pale green with a silvery tint. The long, fleshy leaves are pointed and gently arching as they open.

Fox Tail gets its name from its rather imposing flower stalk, which has a tail-like appearance. This stalk hosts greenish-yellow flowers which fall to reveal seed pods that turn into tiny plantlets.

Agave plants are typically associated with Mezcal and Tequila, liquors made from the core of the plants. However, this particular variety is not one that is commonly used for purposes of consumption. The core of the agave plant can also be used to produce a sweet syrup that is low on the glycemic index.

Jade Plant

A close plan of the Crassula Ovata succulent in a red ceramic flower pot on the porch, on the full sun. The plant has wooden stems covered with oval, fleshy, shiny, evergreen leaves with reddish edges due to the exposure of the sun.
This slow-growing succulent reaches a height of up to 4-5 feet.
botanical-name botanical name Crassula Ovata
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright Indirect Light
height height up to 5’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

Jade plants are very slow-growing succulents, and it is uncommon to see one reach its full height of 5’ tall, but it isn’t unheard of.

My father has had a jade plant for as long as I can remember (which is right around 40 years) and it is one of the largest I have seen, reaching about 4’ in height. However, they can grow larger under the right conditions.

These plants are associated with good fortune and wealth, and they are quite fragile to the touch. Their woody stems and oval-shaped, green leaves make them resemble miniature trees.

Jade trees will flower indoors in the winter if they are given the right conditions. They make wonderful houseplants as they prefer warm and dry conditions.

Joshua Tree

The close-up of the yucca brevifolia in the National Park. A tall tree has wide, thick branches, covered with stiff, narrow, pointed leaves with end spikes and small serrations along the edges.
This plant is a large tree-like succulent with stiff, narrow, tapered leaves with terminal spines.
botanical-name botanical name Yucca brevifolia
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height up to 40’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-10

Joshua trees are large, treelike succulents that were named for the biblical figure Joshua by 19th Century Mormons who believed that the trees pointed them in the right direction.

They have thick, woody trunks that branch out around 3’, and the branches terminate with spikey clusters of leaves. Their trunks can grow up to 3’ in diameter and they can reach heights of 30’-70’ tall in the wild but will stay a more manageable size when kept in containers.

These plants are widely found in the Mojave Desert, where they have a National Park named for them. They were also made memorable when the band U2 named an album after them.

They go dormant in the winter, and in spring they produce clusters of white flowers. Both humans and animals use them as a food source, and they are slow growing with an average lifespan of 150 years.

Madagascar Palm

A close up of the pots of Pachypodium Lamerei in the garden. Succulents have high, fleshy cylindrical trunks and long, thin, green leaves on tops resembling a palm tree.
This succulent has a thick cylindrical barrel with long, thin leaves.
botanical-name botanical name Pachypodium lamerei
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height up to 15’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

Madagascar Palm is not a palm tree at all, but rather, like all of our plants on this list, it is classified as a succulent. Its thick, cylindrical trunk holds water to keep the plant alive in times of little rain. It has a fun and funky appearance but should be kept out of high-traffic areas as it is covered in sharp spines.

This succulent can reach up to 20’ tall when planted in the ground, but only about half that height when kept in a container. After its winter dormancy, Madagascar Palm will produce pure white flowers going into the summer, from their palm-like, leafy tops.

Mother of Millions

Close-up of a Kalanchoe delagoensis plant in a garden. The succulent has a tall stem that produces long, ragged, serrated, spoon-shaped green leaves with dark purple flecks, and tiny plantlets at the tips of the leaves.
This succulent produces tall stems covered with long, serrated green leaves speckled with deep purple.
botanical-name botanical name Kalanchoe delagoensis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height up to 7’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

Mother of Millions goes by quite a few names, Devil’s Backbone being the most ominous of them. It has a rather ragged, toothy appearance to its leaves, but they are actually not sharp or pointed. Long stalks can grow up to 7’ tall, with elongated, spoon-shaped leaves. These leaves are green with dark purple mottling.

The most striking characteristic of the plant is the abundance of tiny plantlets that grow all along the serrated edges of their leaves. If planted in the ground, Mother of Millions can very quickly become invasive. It’s a great houseplant though, and very forgiving.

At various times of the year, this kalanchoe species can send up a tall inflorescence with large clusters of coral-colored, bell-shaped flowers that are attractive to hummingbirds.


Close-up of a Fouquieria splendens plant in a national park. The succulent has tall, thin stems covered with small, dark green leaves and bright red buds at the tops of the stems.
Ocotillo has long, thin, tall stems with bright red buds that are a source of food for hummingbirds.
botanical-name botanical name Fouquieria splendens
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height up to 20’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-11

These curious cacti are known for their long, thin clusters of very tall stems that grow lots of tiny leaves when they are watered well. The leaves fall off during times of drought but come back after a good rain.

The name Ocotillo means ‘Little Torch’ in Spanish and comes from the appearance of the bright red flower clusters that show up in late spring and summer. These flowers are a great food source for hummingbirds.

A row of Ocotillos makes an intriguing, living fence in climates where the temperature stays above 10°F. They are very adaptable to different soil conditions and grow at a wide range of altitudes. They are relatively fast-growing and can live as long as 60 years.

Organ-Pipe Cactus

Close-up of Stenocereus thurberi cactus in the national park. The plant has tall, dense, fleshy, bright green cylindrical stems, the ribs of which are covered with small sharp spikes.
The Organ-Pipe Cactus is a huge slow growing cactus that blooms with large white flowers in May.
botanical-name botanical name Stenocereus thurberi
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 23’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

These stately cacti can be found in large numbers in the Sonoran Desert, where they have a monument in their honor. They are considered succulents due to how they store their water and are slow growing. They are easily damaged by cold, but they will typically survive a light frost.

Organ-Pipe is a flowering cactus, it produces large, lovely white flowers in May and June. The flowers only open at night, and the plant won’t flower until the reach about 35 years old but can live for up to 150 years. Because of their night-blooming habit, they are mostly pollinated by long-nosed bats.

Queen of the Night

Close-up of a flowering plant Epiphyllum oxypetalum in a white pot, against the backdrop of a garden. The plant has dark green, flat, long, thorny, drooping stems and large, white, cupped flowers.
Queen of the Night is a tubular cactus with unique large white flowers that bloom only once a year for one night.
botanical-name botanical name Epiphyllum oxypetalum
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright Indirect Light
height height 10’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

The Queen of the Night cactus is an intriguing plant with a unique and elusive blooming habit. This plant blooms only once per year, and over only one night. The blooms are large, pure white, and fragrant. In its native home of Southern Mexico, its blooms are widely anticipated and celebrated.

This is an easy plant to keep as a houseplant. They grow under a tree canopy naturally, so while most succulents need a lot of sun, Queen of the Night actually prefers bright, but indirect sunlight. Let the top 2 inches of the soil dry between waterings, however, this is not a cactus that likes to dry out completely.


Lots of tall Carnegiea gigantea cacti in the national park. Plants are tall, have cylindrical pale green stems, ribbed structure, covered with small sharp spikes.
This classic cactus can reach 40 feet and up.
botanical-name botanical name Carnegiea gigantea
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height up to 40’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-11

The stately Saguaro is considered a succulent because of how it stores water. It is a wonderfully tall addition to a succulent garden. When kept in containers, they will remain considerably smaller than their potential for 40’ or taller in the wild.

They have a distinctively Western vibe that exudes coolness as an imposing houseplant. They do best in a very sunny spot near to lots of natural light.

Expect to pay a premium for a larger specimen, as Saguaros are very slow growers. They will grow only an inch or two per year for the first 8 years, so a large saguaro is one that has been cared for, for a long time.

In late spring, a cluster of large white flowers blooms at the crown of the Saguaro cactus. The flowers open at night and last through the next day, with each flower blooming for no more than 24 hours.

Snake Plant

Close-up of a growing succulent plant Sansevieria trifasciata in a large square white pot, in the garden. The plant has many erect, tall, fleshy, xiphoid leaves with pointed tips. The leaves are dark green with light gray-green horizontal stripes.
The Snake Plant is a popular houseplant that produces erect, fleshy sword-shaped leaves that are dark green in color with light green stripes.
botanical-name botanical name Sansevieria trifasciata
sun-requirements sun requirements Part Shade to Full Sun
height height up to 8’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-12

Sansevieria trifasciata is one of the most widely available and adaptable plants on this list, and probably on most lists of popular houseplants.

Snake plants are widely available, inexpensive, and very easy to care for. They can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, although they will grow faster when given lighter, and they don’t mind drying out between waterings.

Though this succulent can produce flowers, it is rare for them to do so when kept indoors. When they do bloom, they send up a long stalk that holds dozens of delightfully delicate, white blossoms that resemble honeysuckle, and have a pleasing aroma. To encourage blooming, don’t overwater a Snake Plant, and give it lots of bright light.

Spineless Yucca

Close-up of a Yucca elephantipes succulent tree on a white background. The plant is tall, has a strong, rough, thick trunk and bunches of dark green, long, pointed leaves. The pot is wrapped in a red bag with a red ribbon bow.
This succulent tree has long, pointed, dark green leaves.
botanical-name botanical name Yucca elephantipes
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 15’-30’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

Spineless Yucca is a versatile and easy-to-find succulent tree that does well both indoors and out, provided it can be moved inside during freezing weather.

Its name comes from the fact that, unlike most types of yuccas, this one has leaves without spines. Rather, the leaves are long, pointed, and softer than other varieties. This makes it an ideal houseplant.

When kept inside, Spineless Yucca will generally grow to a manageable 5’ tall but is unlikely to flower. When planted in the ground, they can reach heights of up to 30’ tall, and in the summer, they will produce flower stalks bearing clusters of white, bell-shaped blooms. If you keep this plant in the sun and don’t overwater, it will thrive and make a great houseplant.

Sticks on Fire

Close-up of Euphorbia tirucalli succulent plant in the garden. A lush shrub-shaped plant composed of numerous pencil-thin coral-colored stems with a greenish-yellow tint at the base of the plant.
Sticks on Fire is a vibrant succulent that produces numerous slender, coral-colored branches.
botanical-name botanical name Euphorbia tirucalli
sun-requirements sun requirements Part Shade to Full Sun
height height 4’-16’ tall
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-12

This wonderful succulent shrub is named for its unique appearance. The branches are plentiful, pencil-thin, and grow in a splendid coral color. This bright and cheerful plant will fade to yellow in summer and then deepen to red again when the weather cools. It can grow quite tall in the ground but will remain more manageable in a container, indoors.

Sticks on Fire is remarkably resistant to pests and diseases and is exceptionally resilient. When mature, they will produce clusters of small yellow flowers atop the thin stalks, typically in spring and fall. All parts of this plant are toxic to humans and animals so this should be considered when keeping it as a houseplant.

Final Thoughts

Succulents come in so many different shapes and sizes. With their interesting textures, colors, and ease of care, it’s no wonder succulents are very popular as houseplants. These tall varieties make an excellent addition to any succulent garden or houseplant collection.

It is interesting to collect and cultivate these quirky and sometimes surprising plants from the very common to the rather rare. And, if you manage to coax some flowers out of them, it can be quite a momentous occasion!

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