If you’re just getting started with succulents, all the weird and wonderful varieties out there can be very tempting. Unfortunately, beginners who end up buying every succulent they see might end up disappointed.
Not all succulents are easy to grow. In fact, some popular species are actually very difficult to keep alive! Luckily there are still many beginner-proof succulents out there that are perfect to start out with and will forgive the occasional mistake.
Keep reading for a list of 10 easy succulents that even beginners can grow!
Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
Probably the most popular indoor succulent and also one of the easiest ones out there is Crassula ovata, also known as the Jade plant. It is often sold as a tiny succulent with just a few leaves, but with years of care it can actually grow into an attractive tree shape complete with woody base.
All your Jade plant needs are a well-draining gritty soil type, the sunniest spot in the house you can offer and a good soaking whenever the soil has gone completely dry.
Regular old Crassula ovata has green, spoon-shaped leaves, but this classic houseplant has been selectively cultivated over the years to produce a whole range of different leaf shapes and colors.
For example, Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ has long, finger-shaped leaves, Crassula ovata ‘Minima’ features tiny foliage and Crassula ovata ‘Undulata’ is appreciated for its wavy leaf shape. There’s a Crassula ovata cultivar for everyone!
You can buy one of the many Crassula ovata varieties online here.
Foxtail agave (Agave attenuata)
If you like Agaves but don’t appreciate their spiked leaf tips, Agava attenuata is a great option. It has relatively soft leaf tips and comes with the added bonus of super easy care and a lovely rosette shape. Agaves grown outdoors can reach huge sizes but luckily they usually stay a little smaller when grown in the house.
Agave attenuata doesn’t need much to stay happy and healthy. Provide well-draining soil and be sure to use a pot with a drainage hole so there is no risk of excess water causing rot. If you’re not sure how to plant succulents like Agave, this article can help you with the basics. Agave attenuata can be placed in a very sunny location but will also do well in indirect light as long as it’s still right next to a window.
If you can’t find Agave attenuata but still want to grow an Agave indoors, most species should work relatively well. They’re all pretty hardy, although some can have painful spikes and might need more direct sun.
Gasteria ‘Little Warty’
With its silly common name and unusual look, Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ is definitely a fun addition to any succulent collection. It’s also quite easy to keep alive and thriving as long as its requirements are met. Succulents from the Gasteria genus are among the few species that don’t need loads of sunlight to thrive, which comes in handy indoors where light can be an issue.
Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ is a clustering plant that grows plantlets at its base and, in time, forms large clumps. You can grow it in any location that receives bright, indirect light. Some direct sun is not a problem but be sure to avoid exposure to the sun’s full afternoon rays to prevent the plant from burning.
Use a gritty soil mixture and water regularly during summertime when the plant is actively growing. During the winter months Gasterias will need less water, so leave the soil to dry out completely during this period.
You can buy your own Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ online here.
Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ (Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’)
This stunning cultivar of Aeonium arboreum (also known as tree houseleek) features intense, dark purple to black coloration. It looks almost tree-like, with a single rosette growing on a thick, woody stem. Very decorative and, luckily, also quite easy to grow as long as its basic requirements are met.
If you want to grow Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ indoors, there area few things to keep in mind. It doesn’t like low-light conditions, so if you’re keeping it inside all year you’ll have to find a nice, bright spot. If things get hot during summertime this plant can go into hibernation mode to protect itself. Although the chances of full hibernation are low indoors, you might find your Aeonium’s growth slowing a little when temperatures start to rise.
Water-wise, these succulents are a little less tolerant of drought than many of the others on this list, which comes in handy if you’re someone who tends to overwater their succulents. Water regularly (as soon as the soil has gone a bit dry).
Plant your Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ in a mix that’s a bit less gritty than cactus soil but still contains plenty of perlite for drainage.
You can buy an Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ online here.
Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
Despite its common name, Beaucarnea recurvata isn’t actually a palm, but rather a succulent closely related to Agaves. This slow grower doesn’t need much to stay happy, which means it’s a good choice for beginners.
Just plant this one it in regular succulent soil, place it in the sunniest location you can offer and water when the soil has gone fully dry. During summertime this one can dry out pretty quickly and will need water around once a week.
Keep in mind that it will take quite a while before ponytail palms acquire their typical fat, woody base. Juveniles will look more like onions! If that’s not the look you’re after be sure to buy a more mature ponytail palm or you’ll find yourself waiting for a long time.
Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe daigremontiana/Bryophyllum daigremontianum
Mother of Thousands succulents are easy to grow and can take quite a bit of abuse. A wonderful option for beginners, but you better keep this one far away from your other plants as it certainly lives up to its name.
This succulent grows tiny plantlets along the edges of its leaves and drops them everywhere, which means any plant pot standing too close by will be full of tiny babies that may crowd out the original inhabitant. Looks cute at first, but can be quite a nuisance in the long run.
To keep your Mother of Thousands succulent happy, provide as much light as possible. Use a terracotta pot with a drainage hole and a gritty soil mixture. Water it a little more often than you would most other succulents; this plant can handle dry soil but will do better if you keep it very lightly moist during the summer growing season.
You can buy a Mother of Thousands succulent online here.
African spear plant (Sansevieria cylindrica)
The genus Sansevieria is pretty much synonymous with easy care. These succulents seem to thrive on neglect – their most common cause of death is actually overwatering. Sansevieria cylindrica is only one of the many varieties of this plant, but its funky appearance has made it my personal favorite.
Sansevierias are often thought to do well in very low-light conditions. Although it’s true they can survive for years without much light, they won’t thrive or put out much new growth. It’s actually better to provide as much light as possible.
When it comes to watering, be very careful. Use a super gritty soil mixture and don’t water until it has gone bone dry, which is probably around once every two weeks during summertime and less than once a month in winter. If you’re not sure, just skip watering for another week to minimize the chance of rot.
Tip: Sansevieria is now included in the genus Dracaena, although most houseplant enthusiasts still refer to snake plants by their old name.
Easter lily cactus (Echinopsis subdenudata)
Cacti have been underrepresented on this list so far, so let’s make up with that with a great species for beginners that harbors a beautiful secret. With its polka dotted appearance the round Easter lily cactus is always a fun little specimen, but you haven’t seen this one in its full glory until it blooms. The flowers don’t last long but they are nothing short of spectacular!
Naturally found in Bolivia, the Easter lily cactus likes a little more water than the average cactus, since it doesn’t grow in desert habitats. Still, it needs a very well-draining soil and you should make sure the soil goes dry before watering again.
A dash of cactus fertilizer during the growing season should encourage healthy growth and, hopefully, a flower or two.
Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera)
Also known as Aloe vera (and a bunch of other names), Aloe barbadensis is often grown for its medicinal properties. However, if you’re just looking for a nice and undemanding houseplant, it’s perfect for that as well.
All you need to grow a healthy Aloe barbadensis is a planter with a drainage hole (terracotta works well) and some gritty, well-draining soil. Succulents from the Aloe genus like a little less direct sun than most other succulents but still, indoors it’s hard to overdo it. In any case, the plant will warn you if things are a bit too bright: its leaves will take on a reddish color.
Aloe barbadensis is very easy to propagate, so you can share this one with friends and family members. A healthy plant will produce pups, which you can separate with a clean knife and pot up into their own planters. Voilà! Brand new Aloes to keep or give away.
You can read more about this popular Aloe in the full Aloe barbadensis care guide.
String of buttons (Crassula perforata)
Another easy Crassula, the string of buttons plant is a very popular indoor succulent and a favorite among beginners. Given the right care it will grow quickly, getting taller and forming pups at its base. As with most of the succulents on this list, just plop your Crassula perforata into some well-draining, gritty soil and place it in the sunniest location you can offer.
During the growing season, water whenever the soil has gone dry. When things get a little darker during wintertime reduce watering to about once a month.
If you find the plants are getting a little too tall for your liking, simply cut off their heads and replant them. This encourages branching and makes for a fuller look. The pot will be full of branches in no time!
Tip: An added bonus of exposing this plant to plenty of sun is that its normally green leaves will acquire a lovely pink shade.
If you have any more questions about the succulents on this list or if you want to share your own experiences, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!