Are you considering adding new cacti or succulents to your collection but are unsure which plants would be best for you? Problem solved! Here is the extensive list of beautiful cacti and succulents of top collectors’ choice.
The most beautiful cacti and succulents are:
- Purple prickly pear (Opuntia ‘santa rita’),
- Blue chalksticks (Senecio ‘repens’-,
- Concrete leaf (Titanopsis ‘calcarea’),
- Echeveria ‘chroma’,
- Moon cactus (Gymnocalycium ‘mihonivichii’),
- Living stones (Lithops),
- Royal agave (Agave ‘victoriae- reginae’),
- Zebra haworthia (Haworthiopsis ‘attenuata’),
- Ruby necklace (Othonna ‘capensis),
- String of pearls (Senecio ‘rowleyanus’),
- Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea ‘gigantea’),
- White ghost (Euphorbia ‘lactea),
- Lemon cactus (Echinopsis ‘calochlora’),
- String of hearts (Ceropegia ‘woodii’),
- Pink moonstone (Pachyphytum oviferum’),
- Sweet prickly pear (Opuntia ‘ficus indica’),
- Golden rat tail cactus (Cleistocactus ‘winteri’),
- Sea urchin cactus (Astrophytum ‘Asterias’),
- Burro’s tail (Sedum morganium ‘Burrito’) ,
- Echeveria ‘Laui’,
- Pink Frills (Echeveria ‘Shaviana’),
- Golden barrel cactus (Echinocereus ‘grusonii’),
- Giant chin cactus (Gymnocalyicium ‘Saglionis’),
- Pencil plant (Euphorbia ‘tirucalli’),
- Myrtle spurge (Euphorbia ‘myrsinites’),
- Elephant bush (Portulacaria ‘afra’), and
- Carrion flower (Orbea variegata).
Let’s dive in each one of these cactus and succulents and see how they look like.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Purple Prickly Pear (Opuntia ‘Santa Rita’)
- 2 2. Blue Chalksticks (Senecio ‘Serpens’)
- 3 3. Titanopsis ‘Calcarea’- Concrete Leaf
- 4 4. Echeveria ‘Chroma’
- 5 5. Moon Cactus (Gymnocalycium ‘Mihanovichii’ cv. Hibotan)
- 6 6. Living Stones (Lithops)
- 7 7. Royal Agave (Agave ‘Victoriae-Reginae’)
- 8 8. Zebra Haworthia (Haworthiopsis ‘attenuata’)
- 9 9. Ruby Necklace/ String of Pickles (Othonna Capensis)
- 10 10. String of Pearls (Senecio ‘Rowleyanus’)
- 11 11. Giant Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea ‘Gigantea’)
- 12 12. White Ghost (Euphorbia ‘Lactea’)
- 13 13. Lemon Cactus (Echinopsis ‘Calochlora’)
- 14 14. String of Hearts (Ceropegia Woodii)
- 15 15. Pink Moonstone (Pachyphytum ‘Oviferum’)
- 16 16. Sweet Prickly Pear (Opuntia ‘Ficus-Indica’)
- 17 17. Golden Rats Tail Cactus (Cleistocactus ‘Winteri’)
- 18 18. Sea Urchin Cactus (Astrophytum ‘Asterias’)
- 19 19. Burro’s Tail (Sedum Morganium ‘Burrito’)
- 20 20. Echeveria Laui
- 21 21. Pink Frills (Echeveria ‘Shaviana’)
- 22 22. Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocereus ‘Grusonii’)
- 23 23. Giant Chin Cactus (Gymnocalycium ‘Saglionis’)
- 24 24. African Milkbush or Pencil Plant (Euphorbia ‘Tirucalli’)
- 25 25. Myrtle Spurge (Euphorbia ‘myrsinites’)
- 26 26. Elephant Bush (Portulacaria ‘Afra’)
- 27 27. Carrion Flower, Star Flower (Orbea Variegata)
- 28 Summary On 27 Most Beautiful Cacti and Succulents
- 29 Sources
Purple Prickly Pear is a cactus from the genus Opuntia with a short upright trunk of approximately 6 feet, though generally shorter. It has showy flat oval purplish pads with prominent areoles that appear like tiny dark dots arranged diagonally on the stem.
Every cacti collector list of plants should include the Santa Rita prickly pear. It is one of the most appealing species because its rich color adds character to the garden. Large yellow multi-petaled flowers emerge from the stem’s outer margin, creating a beautiful contrast with the purple pads.
Care: Indeed, opuntia Santa Rita is one of the resilient cacti species. It can bask under the harsh sun during summer and withstand winter frost once established. This plant can grow in various soils as long as they drain effectively.
I water my Santa Rita once every 10 days throughout the vegetative stage in the summer, leaving the material to dry up before rewatering. You should not water regularly in winter. Keep it dry to avoid root rot.
The Senecio ‘Serpens’ or commonly known Blue Chalk Sticks is a dwarf creeping leaf succulent that grows up to 1 foot tall. Its slender blue-green fleshy foliages are chalky and erect, resembling fingers, and measure 1-2 inches in length.
It begins to bend downwards as it grows tall, forming roots on its nodes and sprawling on the ground. The leaves remain straight up while the stems proliferate on the soil. It forms an appealing blue carpet-like ground cover as it spreads, which adds jazz of color to the landscape.
Care: Blue chalk sticks are easy to grow as long they are provided with loose, well-draining soil and at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. It does best in warm climates and will likely give off tiny blooms in mid-summer under the right conditions. In the winter, keep them from frostbite.
Although it has a low water requirement, it is best to water them weekly during their growing season in summer. When they are dormant in winter, water only once throughout the season.
Often called a Concrete Leaf, this unique succulent has a wild appearance that forms clumping bluish-grey truncated leaves. Its fleshy leaves with wart-like bumps have triangular tips arranged in a rosette. It is low-growing but can reach 7-10 inches wide.
What’s remarkable about this mimicry succulent is that it camouflages with its habitat that you can hardly notice unless it’s in bloom. During fall or winter, it bears daisy-like glossy flowers that are yellow to orange. The blossoms have a honey-like smell and are open only in the evenings.
Care: Titanopsis is easy to cultivate and propagate despite its delicate, tender leaves. It can create a beautiful ground covering in landscaped areas. Being native to the sunny wild, it prefers ample sunlight, porous soil, and infrequent watering, especially during summer when dormant.
Drench until the water runs out the drainage holes of the planter, then allow the soil to dry out before watering again. It is crucial to choose containers with adequate drainage holes and use an appropriate gritty soil mix that drains well to prevent rot.
The Echeveria Chroma is another appealing shrubby succulent that grows up to 13 cm (5inches). Its thick rosette leaves can change hues from dark bronze to pink with a streak of yellow and stunning green variegations.
The shifting of its color happens over the season, putting on even a better show with ample sun exposure. In the spring, the plant can produce a tall flower stalk with golden bell-shaped blooms dangling from it. Chroma branches out sturdy limbs to form another plant that can be propagated by cutting.
Care: Echeveria chroma needs plenty of bright sunlight to maintain compact leaves and beautiful hues. In colder months, bring the plant inside and place it near an east-facing windowsill for protection against frost.
It should be watered thoroughly only when the soil is absolutely dry. Good soil should be l, have great drainage. To keep mealybugs and other pests at bay, regularly remove any wilted leaves that might fall on the soil.
The vibrant Moon Cactus captivates most people because of its unique form and attractive color. Moon cactus is obtained by grafting (fusing) two different cacti species. The round cactus sitting atop a green base cactus resembles a moon with its colors of neon yellow, red, and orange.
The cactus at the top in a moon cactus cannot survive alone because it cannot produce chlorophyll. Hence, it is grafted to a sturdy green cactus to grow. A moon cactus head can grow up to 3 inches wide and have a life span of 1-4 years, depending on the growing condition.
Care: Because it is composed of two cacti with very distinct demands, this cactus requires a mix of bright light and moderate shade. It can thrive indoors with moderate temperatures and little humidity. Keep the moon cactus indoors over the winter to avoid frost damage.
Mostly, the base cacti used in grafting are drought-tolerant so you will expect low water needs. Water only every week during the growing season and cut back to once a month in winter. Many people confuse the colored top as the flower, but they only give off yellow or pink flowers when mature.
Living Stones is one of the strangest plants on earth, making it extremely popular among succulent enthusiasts. This fleshy plant is famous for its stone-like appearance, blending so well and becoming like the stones and pebbles they live together. It can grow 1.5 – 2.5 cm long and 5 cm wide.
It might be difficult to spot lithops in its native habitat because it mimics its surroundings. You can identify if you look closely and see a small gap in the center of the plants. That’s where the daisy-like flower emerges as it reaches 3 years old during summer to early autumn.
Care: Many lithops grow on gritty grounds and rocky ridges in Southern Africa. Because lithops are from a relatively dry environment, it has excellent water retention capacity. Cultivated lithops prefers infrequent watering as they will easily rot if overwatered.
Living stones prefer at least 6 hours of bright light to maintain color and form. It can tolerate the harsh dry sun but is not hardy with temperatures lower than 4C. What’s more unique is that sometime in their mature state, the outer leaf splits and wilts, putting in new growth.
The spherical form succulent Royal Agave is a must-have among collectors because of its attractive dense rosette that measures up to 45 cm wide and 30 cm tall. Its unique thick, deep green foliage is 20 cm long, beautifully adorned with white margins and a short terminal spine.
It normally grows alone, but it can occasionally produce a few offsets. Royal Agave has a long life cycle like most agaves, setting a 4-meter stalk of creamy flowers after 20- 30 years of vegetative development. The energy used to generate the flowers exhausts the plant, causing it to die quickly.
Care: It needs well-draining medium and moderate shade to full sun exposure, though they appreciate partial afternoon shade during the warmest months to avoid sunburn. From spring to summer, water your royal agave thoroughly and allow the soil to be barely moist every watering.
Royal agaves can be successfully grown outdoors in city gardens, rock gardens, and borders in areas where frost does not occur. In cold climates, cultivating these plants in decorative containers to safeguard them over the winter in dry, fresh rooms is recommended.
Haworthiopsis attenuata or Zebra Haworthia is a popular low-growing indoor succulent with zebra-like deep green leaves that grow in rosettes. This plant can form a clump of multiple offsets and measures 8 inches.
Zebra haworthia can live up to 50 years and thrive in extreme climates. This plant is frequently found growing in sand and rocky grounds in the wild. Well adapted in harsh conditions, zebra haworthia requires minimal care and is easily grown even by beginner gardeners.
Care: Attenuata can survive periods of drought because it can store water from its thick leaves. However, a prolonged period without water can cause their leaves to curl, turn dull, and roots become brittle. It thrives better with loose, fast-draining soil mix and regular deep watering.
Although it can tolerate short exposure to direct sunlight, it prefers bright indirect light to maintain its erect leaves and deep green color. Under suitable conditions, the plant gives off a tiny white with green streak blooms set in a long stalk that can reach 12 inches long.
The Ruby Necklace is a beautiful, trailing succulent with dual-tone stems and leaves. Its pickle-like leaves are cylindrical, measuring 1-2 cm long, grey-green but turns purple when stressed. The reddish-purple stems are slender and branches readily, creeping into porous surfaces.
Othonna capensis is commonly planted in hanging baskets, but it’s also suitable for vertical and rock gardens. It blooms freely almost all year, typically from Spring to Autumn in cooler regions, but usually in Autumn and Spring in warmer areas. Daisy-like yellow flowers bloom with bright sunlight.
Here’s a photo of ruby necklace succulent in full bloom
Care: Ruby necklace is not cold hardy, so if you’re in a cold region, grow them in a pot so you can transfer them inside during frost. The ideal outdoor growing condition for the Ruby necklace is bright morning sun and partial afternoon shade.
If grown indoors, aim for the sunniest area, like in front of a glass window facing west. Water the plant thoroughly and allow any extra water to drain entirely. When the soil is approaching dryness, then you may rewater. Plant this succulent in a large shallow pot with free-draining soil to allow full growth.
The name String of Pearls best describes the long slender stem and pearl-shaped leaves of Senecio ‘Rowleyanus.’ The thread-like green stems that can grow 5 ft long are adorned with glossy bean-like leaves 5-10 mm in diameter.
As the stems trail along, roots will form on the nodes allowing the plant to cling onto soil and rough surfaces. The plant is best displayed in hanging planters to appreciate their cascading foliage truly. In summer, it forms clusters of tiny white trumpet-shaped flowers with a cinnamon scent.
Here is a string of pearls with flower buds.
Care: This succulent is a fast-grower and thrives happily in gritty soil with a bit of moisture retained. Water the plant weekly during its active state, drenching thoroughly letting excess water drain out from the bottom.
This plant will do great both indoor and outdoor, as long there is enough bright light and climates are above freezing. They need little care and are easy to cultivate, making them ideal ornamental plants. Although the plant is appealing to the eye, it is toxic to children and dogs, so keep it out of reach.
One of the iconic cactus species in the Sonoran Desert is the Saguaro Cactus. This slow-growing columnar cactus can get as tall as over 60 ft. It can develop magnificent arms extending upward and emerging only as it matures, though sometimes, others never do.
The giant saguaro cactus is among the enormous cactus species. This is possible due to its exceptional lifespan and grow as big as an oak tree. The beauty of a saguaro cactus becomes more prominent as it matures because of its towering characteristic and stunning spines, and clustering white blossoms.
Care: Younger saguaro needs light shade but requires full sunlight when rigid spines are starting to grow. Inside, it needs enough bright light to grow new spines. Water once a week in summer during drawing season.
Allow the medium to fully dry before watering the plant again. Saguaro is winter dormant, so avoid water during the rest period. It cannot tolerate frost, so make sure not to expose saguaro cactus to below zero temperature (so no for outdoor in cold climate area).
The White Ghost (Euphorbia Lactea) has many cultivars, but the white ghost is the most striking, with its up to 3-meter tall stem almost devoid of chlorophyll. Those stems can grow short thorns and tiny leaves on the zigzag edges.
White ghost is a slow-growing succulent with one primary stem and dense branches as it matures. The emerging stems curve upward with a candelabra-like form. Tiny leaves, 3mm broad, arise next to the sharp pricks, which are also extremely small, between 2- 6mm long, on the thick succulent stem.
Look at this gorgeous white ghost.
Care: This tough succulent can tolerate drought and full direct sunlight. Ample bright light encourages new growth and maintains the plant’s erect form and creamy color. When watering, make sure to drench deeply down to the bottom, but allow the soil to dry before another water session.
It flowers very rarely in spring, giving off white blossoms. When wounded, the Euphorbia stem exudes a milky white latex, which can be toxic if it gets into the skin and eyes. Be cautious with this kind of succulent and keep it away from kids and pets.
Lemon Cactus comes in various types that have a variety of spherical and cylindrical shapes. Around its bright green stem, there are more than 20 ribs that bear sunken areoles and golden-yellow spines 5- 7 mm long.
The lemon cactus can reach 5 – 6 inches wide and 5 inches tall. It develops several offsets readily and can get as wide as 12 inches in clumping form. The clustered calochlora is so attractive that it looks like a bunch of green lime.
Care: Calochlora is hardy and relatively easy to cultivate because it is well-adapted to drought and sunny climates. To achieve its optimum growth, you should provide free-draining soil mix and water regularly during the active season. However, keep the plant inside during frost.
When the condition is favorable, calochlora will shoot up a long floral tube bearing huge white or pink flowers. The nocturnal blooms (opens only at night) smell sweet and can only last up to a few hours.
The string of hearts is another beautiful trailing succulent with 1-2 cm heart-shaped fleshy leaves. The leaves are deep green with white to grey vein-like prints on the upper surface and purple or green on the underside. Stringy purple stems can creep and join other plants.
It is best planted in hanging baskets or a topiary where stems are trained to crawl on a frame. Stems and nodes in contact with soil can develop tubers like tiny potatoes where roots emerge. Flowers will bloom mostly in the summer and fall but can develop at any time during the year.
These strings of hearts are dangling from the pot.
Care: The string of hearts can be grown outdoors with dappled sunlight or indoors close to the south or west-facing windows. In bright light, the leaves will become stressed, brightly colored with distinctive marbling patterns. However, inadequate light exposure will turn the leaves pale.
You should water it every 7-10 days in summer and seldom in winter when the plant is dormant. Unlike other succulents, the string of hearts would love a little more moisture retained in the medium. So, water when the medium is about to get dry, but don’t allow it to dry out completely.
Pink Moonstone is a fleshy leaf succulent with a rosette of plumped almond-shape powdery pink leaves. The chubby foliages are like clustered moonstone gems; hence, the name suggests. This succulent is low-growing and can only reach 5-10 inches high.
The stem is upright at first when the plant is young. But as it matures, the leaves get big and heavy enough that the plant bends over time, creating a trailing stem. The pink moonstone will grow offsets that clump close together, forming an appealing cluster of leaves resembling a mound of stones.
Care: At least 6 hours of direct morning sunlight and some partial afternoon shade are required to maintain the compact leaves of vivid pinkish color. It can tolerate full sun outdoors, but it needs to stay indoors during winter as it cannot endure frost.
Moonstone succulents can quickly rot with too much water, so be careful not to overdo them. Weekly watering during the growing season and once throughout the winter is ideal for the moonstones. However, always bear in mind to let the soil dry first before watering again.
Sweet Prickly Pear is among the oldest cactus species in history. This plant can potentially reach 10-18 feet tall, with flat bluish-green pads measuring 12-18 inches long. It freely branches out with large pads and bears edible fruit.
Each pad has prominent areoles bearing long white or yellow spines. White to light or deep yellow bell-shaped flowers happen in spring, followed by abundant sweet edible fruit or various colors depending on the genus.
Care: It is one of our most drought-tolerant plants, storing moisture in its fleshy stems and pads to help it survive prolonged drought. In cultivation, sweet prickly pear requires weekly watering during the hot sunny days.
Golden Rats Tail Cactus is a spectacular cactus species having long, cylindrical green stems surrounded with 4-10 mm golden short spines. As the stems extend longer, they arch and bend downwards to 1.5 m long and 3-6 cm diameter.
What makes this beautiful cactus more remarkable is it makes a lovely hanging basket with all its golden stems draping from the pot. This cactus produces orange to orange-pink blooms in mid-winter to early spring. Cleistocactus winteri flowers are tubular around 5 cm long and 5 cm across.
Care: Because of this plant rapidly growing nature you will need to plant them in a wide-mouth shallow container or hanging planter. It prefers to grow in a sunny outdoor location as long as it cannot scorch them. Indoors, it enjoys filtered strong sunshine.
It thrives in all mediums and can grow in almost any soil with sufficient drainage. Being native to the rocky setting, it is best to provide them with a gravely cactus mix to imitate their original habitat.
In the summer, water the plant once every 7-10 days. However, in wintertime, watering should only be every 4 weeks as it prefers drier soil during this period.
The symmetry of the Sea Urchin Cactus fascinates most cactus growers. This cactus shape resembles an urchin. This plant grows a bluish-green spherical body 16 cm across and 6 cm in length.
Asterias has no thorns but has prominent ribs with tiny white freckles and short fuzzy hairs. It does not branch but produces offsets when part of its body is damaged. The roots of this plant are fleshy where some water is being stored for the drought period.
Care: The asterias can thrive in almost any soil type as long as it drains adequately. It doesn’t need frequent watering, and only minimal watering is required from March to October when the weather is dry. Overwatering can cause their fleshy stem to crack and rot.
This cactus species presets bright filtered sunlight to keep its beautiful form and attractive greyish-green color. Indeed, it will turn dull with prolonged shade. Stunning diurnal yellow flowers in spring or summer will not also bloom under shaded locations.
The Burro’s Tail is prized for its short, plump, spherical leaves and tails. Luscious, jelly bean-like, powdery greyish-green leaves cover the stems that arise from the plant’s head, overlapping like the frizzy hair of a donkey’s tail.
The dangling clustered stems trail down over the edge of the container and can get as long as 1 meter. Its chubby greenish leaves measuring 10-15 mm long are very fragile that they easily fall off with the slightest touch.
Care: Sedum burrito is a fascinating plant that is easy to grow in hanging planters or in the rock garden in warm sunny climates. It’s hardy and can tolerate the hot sun and dry conditions, yet it also thrives in partial shade. To maintain its compact leaves, provide at least 6 hours of full sun.
It requires little water and might rot if overwatered. Only water when the soil is dry to the touch. As it’s best not to water it until the root system has dried out.
Echeveria laui is a collector’s favorite and one of the more attractive and floriferous succulents because of its beautiful powdery bluish-white rosette leaves. Being a slow-growing succulent, luau’s rosettes can grow 12.5 cm wide and 15 cm tall.
The waxy bluish-white on top of its leaves is called farina, and it is essential for plants’ growth. It serves as their protection against intense sunlight and pest infestation. Be very careful not to touch the leaves as the farina is sot and readily damaged by the slightest touch.
Care: From spring to summer, water lightly and thoroughly, allowing the succulent to dry between waterings. Keep the leaves from getting wet as they do not appreciate overhead watering. It has peachy-colored flowers that bloom in spring.
Full sun is preferred, although a mild shade is fine. Droopy leaves, stretchy stems, and gaps in the leaves may signify that the plant is not getting enough sunshine. It’s a sign to increase their light exposure gradually.
Pink frills, Ruffles, or Mexican hens are among the various names given to Echeveria Shaviana. This low-growing rosette succulent can reach up to 8 inches wide, packed with 30 or more fleshy elongated spoon-shaped silvery green leaves.
Its leaf margins are frilly and turn pink under intense light. The pink frills send up long floral stalks 6-12 inches long, lined with flowers with pink and yellow petals. This echeveria is a fantastic choice for rock landscapes and wide decorative pots because it offsets easily.
Care: Pink frills would love well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade exposure to maintain its gorgeous color. However, it will need some protection in hot interior areas to avoid sunburn. They can withstand prolonged dry periods without needing to be watered.
But to achieve fuller and healthier growth, provide appropriate moisture during their growing season. Water only when it is dry and never allowed to become waterlogged as it is susceptible to root rot.
The only problem with this succulent is that it easily attracts mealybugs. So always keep an eye on your pink frills and check for possible infestation.
The striking Golden BarrelCactus is among the famous cactus found in the Sonoran Desert. It forms a barrel-shaped stem that grows slowly and spreads up to 3 ft tall and 3 ft wide. The stem is bright green, strongly ribbed, and lined with prominent areoles and rigid golden-yellow spines.
Mature plants receiving sufficient direct sun produce yellow diurnal blossoms measuring 2 inches wide and blooming from late spring and throughout summer. With age, it produces a cluster of offsets. Golden barrels are best paired with other bluish cacti in the landscape for a spectacular display.
Care: Grusonii is a summer-growing, somewhat easy-to-grow cactus. They thrive in any rich, free-draining soil such as pumice or lava grit. If your plants are potted, repot them in the spring if they become root-bound. If you grow them outdoor make sure to protect them from heavy frost.
Outside, they can tolerate full sun, but provide shade if the sun gets too hot. For indoor setup, provide bright light near the window sill. In the growing season, water the plant regularly. Although it requires a lot of water, don’t overwater but wait for the soil to dry before watering again.
The Giant Chin Cactus has a flattened, spherical, bluish-green body, 30 cm in diameter with 10-30 tubercled ribs and clusters of robust upright or recurved spines. Huge, funnel-shaped light pink blooms with a diameter of 2cm bloom in early summer.
Flowers develop at the plant’s crown and usually have a difficult time breaking through the dense layer of spines. The prominent ribs are wavy or protruded bearing large areoles with 10-15 solid spines.
Care: During the warmer months, watering can be done regularly if the plant is actively growing. Nonetheless, always allow the medium to nearly dry out before rewatering. Watering in the winter is a bad idea and unnecessary as it might kill the dormant saglionis.
I have several saglionis and I make sure that they get the most sunlight to maintain their awesome muscled ribs. But when the sun gets extreme, I provide a shade net to protect them from sunburns. On the flip side, saglionis s cold-hardy and can tolerate frost of 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
The African Milkbush or Pencil Plant is a spineless succulent with numerous 5-8 mm smooth, pencil-like, green branches. The glossy multiple branches usually grow 3-5 meters, but sometimes can reach up to 10 meters.
Tirucalli leaves are thin and delicate, measuring up to 12 x 1.5 mm. From the branches, you can notice short twigs of pale green hanging down occurring opposite to one another. The blooms are golden and very small, usually appearing from September to December.
Care: Plant your tirucalli in nutrient-rich and well-draining substrate with little organic content, and water only when the soil is dry. It can thrive both indoors and outdoors, provided they receive enough sunlight.
Wounded pencil plant stems secret an irritant latex liquid that is harmful when it comes in contact with your eyes and skin. When working with euphorbia species, use hand gloves to avoid contact with its toxic sap.
The Myrtle Spurge is a perennial succulent with sprawling 8 inches long stems covered with greyish-blue fleshy pointy leaves set in a spiral arrangement. It produces inconspicuous greenish-yellow star-shaped flowers in spring.
In the UK, myrtle spurge is regarded as an appealing garden plant. But some western states considered this succulent as noxious invasive weeds. This trailing succulent is a perfect addition to xeriscape, rockeries, and city landscapes. Its low stature can be a great ground covering or edging.
Care: Myrtle spurge thrives best with sufficient direct sunlight attaining its compact form. It is among the hardy succulents that can withstand periodic drought and poor soil conditions. However, fuller growth will only be possible if the plant can receive water once every week.
The Elephant Bush is a popular shrub succulent with a thick round fleshy red stem that can reach 12 feet tall. The stem bears paddle-shaped rubbery leaves with smooth leaf edges. They are either glossy deep green or light green with cream-colored variegation between leaves.
Elephant bush is often grown as an ornamental plant because it can look like a bonsai tree in a dish garden. In cultivation, the blossoms are extremely rare. However, in its native habitat, it produces delicate, discreet pink or white blooms in spring or summer.
Care: Although the plant is drought resilient, it grows faster and has lusher foliage when given enough water. It is sensitive to root rot, so be cautious not to overwater it. Cut back watering during cold months.
Bright indirect sunlight is the ideal exposure for the elephant bush to maintain its bright color. Extreme sunlight can burn the leaves, so be careful to keep them away from locations with prolonged direct sunshine.
Formerly known as Stapelia variegata, Orbea variegata is a flowering succulent with a starfish-like flower with a central disk with red or black blotches. It has a strong scent that smells like carrion or dead meat.
Orbea variegata has a soft greyish-green mottled stem over 25 cm long with soft teeth on the sides. Flowers emerge from the base of the teeth, often in clusters. Flowers that bloom in mid-summer October have a mild carrion odor. If grown in direct sunshine, it blooms freely.
Care: Carreon flower is a tough succulent that requires minimal care, making it suitable for beginner gardeners. It requires bright light to full sun but can tolerate partial shade. What’s more interesting is its resilience to hot and cold climates (and even light frost).
It grows best in areas with good air circulation. During its growing season, water the plants once every 7 days but keep the soil dry in the cold seasons.
Cacti and succulents are popular nowadays because of their unique features and stunning blooms. Some of the appealing leaf succulents include Senecio serpens, Titanopsis calcarea, Echeveria chroma, Lithops, Agave victoria-reginae, Haworthiopsis attenuata, and Othonna capensis.
The gorgeous string of pearls, string of hearts, pink moonstone, and shaviana are also among the most sought-after succulents. Euphorbia species such as lactea, tirucalli and myrle spurge also belong to the list because of their attractive forms and color.
Cacti that are commonly found in the collectors’ den are the moon cactus, saglionis, golden barrel cactus, opuntia santa rita, asterias, and golden rat tail cactus.
- “Living Stones: Lithops,” University of Wisconsin Madison
- “Haworthiopsis Attenuata,” North Carolina State University
- “Saguaro Cactus: From Life to Death,” American Museum of Natural History
- “Euphorbia lactea ‘White Ghost’,” National Parks Singapore Flora and Fauna
- “The String of Hearts,” University of California
- “Euphorbia Myrsinites,” North Carolina State University
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