To describe “the best indoor succulents” depends on a few things. Where it will be located in your house, the size of succulent you desire, and the type of container to name a few. However, I have listed some that are easy and interesting.
Best Indoor Succulents List
- Aloe Vera
- Zebra Plant
- Panda Plant
- Bird’s Nest Sansevieria
- Ponytail Palm
- String of Pearls and String of Bananas
- Jade Plant
- Himalaya Senecio
- Tree Houseleek
- Pencil Cactus
- Baby Toes
- Tiger Jaws and Cat Jaws
- Mother-In-Law’s Tongue
- Air Plants
There are literally hundreds of aloe species to choose from. Most are very easy to grow and are available in a variety of leaf colors. Since it is so easy to propagate and grow we have included the Aloe vera in an article that encourages teaching children to grow succulent plants. The leaves vary in color from gray to bright green. Some varieties even have striped or mottled leaves. In time your plant will produce small pups or offsets that can be removed and planted in another container. Most indoor aloe grows to 1 to 2 feet tall and across. Place the plant where it will receive bright light. Aloe is one of the few succulents that can even withstand direct sunlight.
Mature Size: 1 to 2 feet tall and across.
The Zebra Plant, or Hawarthia fasciata, grows to only 5 or 6 inches. Zebras are often mistaken for a variety of aloe because of the similar shape. A few of the popular types are Zebra Cactus, Pearl Plant and Star Window Plant. All varieties have either striped white leaf patterns (thus the name ‘zebra’) or white dots (the pearl pattern). The unusual pattern of the Star Window Plant, small semi-transparent pearl dots, provide the name ‘window’ plant. Zebras have shallow roots so may be potted in relatively small, shallow pots. It is a good practice to repot every 1 to 2 years. The plant roots are shallow making it possible to use small decorative containers in a grouping with other succulents. These small plants can tolerate lower light conditions than most succulents, but they do need medium indirect light. Do not place in a window with direct sun exposure. The Zebra Plant may surprise you with stems extending out several inches from the plant with attractive flowers at the tips.
Mature Size: 5 to 6 inches tall.
The panda plant or kalanchoe tomentosa is also known ‘pussy ears’ and ‘chocolate soldier’. The leaves have a soft, fuzzy texture is due to small white hairs growing on the surface. The leaf edges are rimmed with dark red making the plant particularly striking. Pandas are easy to care for. Place the plant where it will get bright indirect sunlight.
Mature Size: 12 to 18 inches tall.
The Bird’s Nest, or sansevieria trifasciata, is an attractive plant. The leaf colors range from dark green with silver stripes to a lighter golden variety. This is the best indoor succulent for low light conditions. Remove the pups or suckers from the parent and pot them in another container. Keep them away from drafts and heating or cooling vents. When watering your Bird’s Nest avoid getting water in the center of the plant.
Mature Size: 12 inches across and tall.
The striking Ponytail Palm, or beaucarnea recurvata, has thin stiff leaves gracefully draping from the top of a ball shaped trunk. It is often mistaken for a palm. Because water is stored in the large unique stem bottom, the leaves don’t have the usual puffy succulent appearance. This is the succulent for you if you tend to forget to water. If leaf tips turn brown, you’re either over or under watering. Most likely, though, is that you are overwatering! You can tell if you are under watering your plant if the stem or trunk has a shrunken appearance. Don’t water until the top 1 inch or more of the soil completely dry. Fix the problem and trim the brown tips for a lovely, healthy looking plant. The ponytail plant rarely needs repotting and produces the best growth when kept pot-bound. This is an extraordinary plant. Keep in bright light to direct sun.
Mature Size: Indoors to 8 feet tall
String of Pearls and String of Bananas
The String of Pearls, or senecio rawleyanus, looks exactly like a string of pearls gracefully descending over the edge of its pot. The ‘pearls’ may be perfectly round or oval shaped with a dark green color. When the leaves resemble a banana shape they are known as String of Bananas. They are best displayed as hanging plants because the stems may grow to 2 to 3 feet or more. The plants rarely reach a height of 3 inches, and with all succulents the stems may be trimmed and started as a new plant or inserted into the same pot for a thicker plant. Place the plant where it will get bright indirect light.
Mature Size: 2 to 3 feet ascending over the edge of the pot.
The Jade Plant, or crassula ovate, has dark glossy leaves growing on thick tan stems or trunks. The leaves may occasionally have red margins. One variety even has variegated leaves. The plant may produce star-shaped flowers that range from white to pale pink in color.
The Jade Plant can grow one to two feet in height and width. Due to the thickness of the stem and leaves a mature plant may become too heavy and require a heavier soil than other succulents. The thick structure of the stem has allowed it to be easily shaped into a bonsai design. Be careful not to allow water to splash on the leaves when watering. Minerals in the water can leave unattractive spots on the shiny leaves. Place them where they will get full sun to ensure good growth.
Mature Size: 2 feet across and 2 feet tall
Himalaya senecio is a dense upright-growing succulent with dark to bright green needle-like leaves. The plant may reach a height of only 6 to 8 inches. Because of the unusual needle-like succulent leaves it is a nice plant to pair with a contrasting succulent with puffy leaves such as a Jade Plant. The plant requires bright indoor light or even full sun in a window.
Mature Size: 6 to 8 inches tall
Tree Houseleek, Aeonium arboreum, is a striking treelike succulent. The stems branch out giving it the tree like appearance. The end of each branch produces attractive leaf rosettes. These plants are fast growing and may produce small, yellow flowers from late winter through early spring. Expect the rosettes to die after flowering. However, if the plant has produced side shoots, they will live on. If not, your plant will die. Aeoniums have sometimes been confused with echeveria because of the similarity. They do resemble echeveria, only with stems.
Mature Size: up to 3 feet in height
Euphorbia tirucalli, Pencil Cactus or Milkbush, is actually related to the poinsettia. When trimming the plants a white sap will immediately flow from the cut. The sap is very toxic and glue-like. Put newspaper or plastic under the plant to catch the sap. Wear gloves when trimming and avoid getting on your skin or especially in your eyes. The succulent gets its common name because of the pencil shape of the leaves. Plants can be highly branched and may produce tiny yellow flowers. Occasional trimming helps maintain a compact plant and each cutting can be planted for a new plant. One Pencil variety turns fiery red or orange on the end of the stems. For good reason this variety is referred to as Firesticks.
Mature Size: Indoors – 2 to 3 feet tall and wide
The Agave or Century Plant has an enormous variety of plants. They need a bright sunny location as an indoor plant. The best varieties for growing indoors are Parviflora or victoriae-reginae.
Mature Size: 1 to 2 inches
Other Agave varieties which number over 200 are also excellent plants. They require very little water. The sharp tips of the leaves should be trimmed because they can inflict serious wounds. Inside they need to be by a bright window. They can, though, survive in shady areas as well. When they bloom the mother plant will die, but the pups can be planted for new plants.
Mature Size: Main plant up to 7 feet but unlikely this large indoors
Fenestraria, Baby Toes or Window Plant, will grow in either low light, but best in bright light. They grow in tight little clumps. The tips of the branches are transparent and rounded resulting in the name Window Plant. They produce yellow daisy-like flowers. The more light they receive the more likely they will produce flowers. These plants require very little water and will develop root rot if over watered. Be sure the soil has completely dried before watering.
Mature Size: Up to 6 inches tall and 6 inches width
Tiger Jaws and Cat Jaws
Faucaria, Tiger Jaws or Cat Jaws, are interesting plants. The bright green leaves have serrated edges and slightly curved. Thus the name ‘jaws’. They grow in tight clumps and produce yellow daisy-like flowers throughout the summer. To bloom, though, they will need at least 3-4 hours of direct sun. So, place them in a sunny window.
Mature Size: 3 inches long and 1 inch across
Crassulaceae, or Kalanchoe, has fleshy dark green leaves. Grown indoors they need very bright light so place in the sunniest window in your home or office. If a bright window is not available this would be a great time to utilize a Grow Light. When you purchase your plant it may be because of the showy red, pink of orange flowers. After the blooms have died cut off the stems. To get them to bloom again your plant will need to be covered for about 14 hours a day. Continue to do this for about 4 – 6 weeks and buds should start to form. Set in the bright light again and enjoy the blooms. If you do not want to produce blooms again, just enjoy your Kalanchoe as a nice dark green plant.
Mature Size: Hybridized nursery plants – to 12 inches tall
Sansevieria, Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, Bowstring Hemp or Snake plant, have been recently included in the Dracaena family. The sleek appearance is very appealing to add drama to your home or office. There are many species and can be divided into two types: hard-leaved and soft-leaved species. Plants are available with plain green leaves or a seemingly endless variety of beautiful patterns. They will thrive in a well-lit window, but will also survive in low light areas. Repotting when the plant seems crowded in the pot is wise because they can actually crack their pot.
Mature Size: Up to 8 feet tall
Tillandsia, or Air Plant, comes in an interesting variety of shapes, blooms and leaf color. The most interesting, and what makes these plants so easy, is that they do not need soil. Spray them or dunk them in water every 2 days. They need bright indirect light. If given enough light they will produce one interesting flower. This happens only once in the plant’s lifespan. Place them on a clump of moss, a decorative piece of wood or anywhere your heart desires.
Mature Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 3 feet across
Watering might be the most crucial step in how to grow succulents indoors. Let the topsoil around your plant completely dry between watering. Put your finger down into the soil and if it is dry to at least ½ inch water your plant. If your aloe is in a container larger than 6 inches across and 6 inches high, wait even longer. The soil will stay moist at the bottom of the pot for a longer period. If possible turn the pot over and check to see if the soil is wet at the bottom of the pot by putting a toothpick or small object into one of the drainage holes to bring out a little of the dirt. If it is still very moist wait longer and check again in a few days. Water when the soil is almost dry and be sure to use enough water that it goes completely through the plant and out the bottom.
Succulent Houseplants Summary
There are many varieties of succulents that look beautiful and are easy to care for in your home or office. We have listed our favorite succulents to grow indoors but don’t feel restricted to these ones. We listed succulents that are easy to propagate, grow and care for. These plants are also beautiful in pots and to accent your decor. Succulent houseplants come in an almost endless variety of shapes, sizes and colors. There are also succulents that are fantastic indoor air cleaning plants. It is simple to learn how to care for succulents indoors so go ahead and just get started.