Today we will discuss 15 of our favorite flowering succulents, all of which are easy to grow!
When it comes to houseplants and flowers, succulents are not usually the first thing to come to indoor gardeners’ minds. Other than fake glued on strawflowers, what do they actually have to offer in terms of blooming?
Actually, more than you’d think.
There are quite a few succulent species out there that bloom spectacularly and will even do so indoors.
The majority of succulents on this list is relatively easy to care for and will bloom naturally as long as proper care is provided.
Most flowering succulents hail from sunny, arid environments. Consider growing your plants outside during the warm summer months or setting up some grow lights for additional brightness. This extra light and the exposure to separate ‘summer’ and ‘winter’ conditions can be just what your succulents need for blooming to be triggered.
If you want to know more about how to make your succulents thrive, check out our complete cacti and succulents care guide. For a quick diagnosis of your plants’ issues, see my article on why are succulents leaves falling off.
Now, let’s move on to some of our favorite flowering succulents!
SpringMammillari, Hatiora gaertneri, Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, Aloë, Echinopsis, Delosperma, Lithops
SummerEcheveria, Opuntia, Senecio rowleyanus, Sempervivum, Delosperma, Cereus
AutumnLithops, Delosperma, Cereus
WinterSchlumbergera, Huernia, Pachyphytum oviferum
The most fabulous flowering succulents
1. Aloë (Aloe sp.)
Let’s kick off the list of flowering succulents with an absolute classic! Members of the Aloe genus were long considered a little stuffy, but they’re regaining their much-deserved popularity.
Found in tropical regions throughout the world, this hardy genus works well indoors because its requirements are easy to meet. It’s suitable even for beginning indoor gardeners! All you have to provide is basic succulent care.
Caring for your Aloe Vera plant is not hard. Remember that it does not like cold temperatures and frost is out of the question, so it is best to grow it indoors. It takes quite the space easily, so make sure you also find it the right pot. As we all know, Aloe plants’ sharp leaves contain a gel that has plenty of cosmetic and wellness applications, as well as many medicinal properties.
Give your Aloe plenty of sun and be sure to grow it in a pot with a drainage hole that contains well-draining soil. Proper care will be rewarded with the development of a flower spike that produces a multitude of beautiful (usually orange) flowers. A real sight to see!
2. Echeveria (Echeveria sp.)
One of the most popular types of flowering succulents, Echeveria is loved for its beautiful rosette growth pattern. This species of flowering succulents blooms spectacularly. One flower spike can have multiple offsets that all produce the most wonderful little pink, yellow, or orange flowers.
Echeveria is not considered the easiest succulent to grow indoors, but you can definitely make yours thrive if you keep its care requirements in mind. This species needs a lot of light to maintain its flat, rosette-like shape.
Echeverias that receive too little light will etiolate heavily. This results in an awkwardly elongated plant that won’t be able to expend energy by producing flowers. So get yours in the sun or invest in some grow lights to really be able to enjoy this fantastic species!
Keep in mind that there are plenty of Echeveria varieties out there. Check out our guide on Echeveria types, hardiness zones, best blooming times, and indoor vs. outdoor growth so you can pick the best flowers for you!
3. Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia sp.)
Prickly pear cacti from the Opuntia genus are well-known for being edible. What you know as a cactus fruit is an amazing addition to your dishes – as long as you peel it properly.
Some varieties of Prickly pear cacti produce colorful fruits, and the leaf pads are delicious after the removal of their pesky spines. In addition to being nutritious, Opuntia cacti are also appreciated for the beautiful flowers they produce.
With over a hundred species in the genus, there is an Opuntia for everyone. If you’re looking for a flowering succulent that stays small, consider Opuntia microdasys, which is also referred to as the bunny ears cactus. If you want to grow yours outside, there’s the very cold-hardy Opuntia Grandiflora, and for the hardcore flower fanatics, there’s the spectacular Opuntia basilaris.
All are considered easy to grow and very hardy, making them a perfect choice for beginners. Just be very careful when handling this species, as its spines are some of the nastiest of all cacti! Many Opuntias produce a combination of very prickly spines as well as burn hairs (known as glochids) that can get stuck in and severely irritate your skin.
For you to grow the most spectacular cacti (and other succulents, for that matter), you need to find the perfect blend of low humidity, high temperatures, and sunshine (lots and lots of it). Make sure you do not water your cacti more often than recommended. When they take up too much water, they start looking like sponges and may even break under their own weight. True story!
4. String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
If you can appreciate subtlety, you’ll love the flowers on a string of pearls plant. Scientifically known as Senecio rowleyanus, this funky succulent is the perfect combination of foliage and flowers. Its pea-like leaves grow in long strings, making it an excellent option for hanging planters. If proper care is provided, the plant will also put out a ton of tiny, fuzzy flowers.
The string of pearls can be a bit fussy when it comes to watering. Make sure you read up on this plant before getting one. Its natural habitat is a very unwelcoming environment that doesn’t get a lot of rainfall, and the plant generally grows on rocky grounds with little dirt.
In the home, we’ll want to replicate that by watering sparingly but deeply and using a very gritty soil that drains quickly. Too much water and your Senecio will drown! Underwatering is generally better than overwatering since this plant will let you know when it’s thirsty by deflating its usually fleshy leaves.
5. Easter lily cactus (Echinopsis sp.)
Prefer showy over subtle? Skip the previously mentioned string of pearls and go for Easter lily cacti from the Echinopsis genus (also known as hedgehog cacti) instead. Although this genus is usually rather nondescript in appearance, that changes entirely once spring rolls around and it comes out of winter dormancy.
The plant puts out a fuzzy flower spike, which opens up to reveal a spectacular flower that can be so large it obscures the entire cactus.
There is a reason one Echinopsis cultivar has been named ‘Flying Saucer’! Under the right circumstances, the cactus can continue flowering for days or even weeks, with each flower wilting after a few days only to be replaced immediately by a new one.
Echinopsis cacti are easy to care for if you can provide plenty of light. Water deeply when the soil has gone entirely dry in the summer season while withholding water for the most part in winter. Consider using a cactus fertilizer to ensure your Echinopsis has the energy it needs to produce its spectacular inflorescence!
When it comes to cacti fertilizers, keep in mind that these plants do not require complex blends. Most cacti and succulents will fare great with highly-diluted all-purpose fertilizer you can buy from a specialized store. However, a low-nitrogen, water-soluble fertilizer is best for your needs. As frequency goes, once or twice a year feeding will do wonders to your cacti in general.
6. Powder puff cactus (Mammillaria sp.)
Number 6 on our list of flowering succulents is the powder puff cactus. The genus Mammillaria is one of the most abundant families of cacti out there, comprising of nearly 200 recognized species. Its members have one thing in common: their beautiful little flowers, which grow like a crown on top of the plant during springtime.
Mammillaria is one of the easier and most common types of cacti out there. This means you should have no trouble finding one at your local garden center. All varieties stay relatively small, making them the perfect addition to a sunny windowsill.
As always, grow your Mammillaria in a pot that allows for drainage and use gritty soil that doesn’t hold water. Water once the soil has gone fully dry, but stop providing water almost entirely during wintertime to simulate the plant’s natural habitat.
Pro Tip: Withholding water and exposing Mammillaria to lower temperatures in winter actually helps stimulate more abundant flowering once spring rolls around.
7. Easter cactus (Hatiora gaertneri)
So-called because it produces its beautiful flowers right around Easter, the Easter cactus (Hatiora gaertneri) is a perfect addition to your springtime décor. Here is how it looks, so you do not mistake it with other holiday cacti (like the Thanksgiving one or the Christmas one):
The Easter cactus is a succulent, jointed, spine-free cactus with 2- to 3-inch long segments. Segments are usually flattened, but older stems may become triangular. Between the segments and at the tips are soft, brownish bristles. The edges of the segments (called phylloclads) are often ringed with a purplish fringe.
Although this species is not particularly difficult to grow, many indoor gardeners end up with a dying Easter cactus on their hands because they haven’t kept the plant’s natural habitat in mind. Contrary to many other flowering succulents, the Easter cactus doesn’t grow in desert-like conditions. It’s a jungle succulent, which means it needs more moisture and less light than its desert cousins.
Keep in mind that flowering is triggered by both light and temperature. Although the plant can still bloom if you take no action at all in the months leading up to spring, it will ‘perform’ better if you can keep the nights completely pitch black starting around January.
Pro Tip: Don’t confuse the Easter cactus with the similar Christmas cactus, which we’ll discuss later in this article. Not sure which variety you’re dealing with? The segmented leaves of the Easter cactus are more rounded than those of the Christmas cactus. Additionally, its flowers only have one segment rather than multiple.
8. Hens and chicks (Sempervivum sp.)
Usually grown outside because it’s one of the few succulent species that can survive pretty much anything, Sempervivums are the perfect plant. They are incredibly drought-tolerant, which is not surprising since they naturally grow in rocky cracks and crevices in arid areas.
Additionally, they can take lots of sunlight and will live up to their common name (hens and chicks) by producing many offsets each year.
Now, all that is great and all, but the real reason we love hens and chicks so much is that in addition to all that, they also produce gorgeous little flowers. Because Sempervivums are monocarpic, the appearance of flowers means the plant will die off soon after. There is no reason to fear their blooms, though: the many chicks a single specimen can produce will live on.
9. Carrion flower (Huernia sp.)
Here’s one for all those readers that love the funky flowering succulents! Huernia is a genus of succulents naturally found in the southern regions of Africa. It stays relatively small, producing only stems rather than stems and leaves. Its most exciting feature is its flowers.
As its common name suggests, many varieties produce flowers that smell like carrion to attract flies as pollinators. These small flowers are unlike anything you’ll see on other succulents, with each variety producing more wacky-looking ones than the last.
Huernia naturally grows in very arid climates. It needs excellent drainage to thrive indoors. Plenty of light is appreciated, but this species doesn’t actually need as much direct sun as others and can do well in bright indirect light.
10. Ice plant (Delosperma sp.)
Originating from South Africa, ice plants from the Delosperma genus are found throughout the world. The genus contains quite a few different varieties. All of them are great options for those looking to grow a succulent as ground cover.
In the right conditions, Delosperma runners will quickly cover any area they’re planted in. This results in a lovely green display that becomes extra spectacular once the blooming time rolls around. Ice plants produce vast quantities of little daisy-like flowers in colors like pink, purple, and yellow.
The Delosperma succulents are very cold hardy as long as they’re kept dry during winter. They can take pretty severe freezes that would mean certain death for many other flowering succulents!
11. Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera sp.)
If you liked the previously mentioned Easter cactus (Hatiora gaertneri), you’ll love the Christmas cactus. These flowering succulents are perfect for dark winter days when your home needs a little bit of color.
Like the Easter cactus, the Christmas cactus is comprised of segmented leaves that produce beautiful flowers in various colors at their tips. This succulent blooms during wintertime, as the name suggests.
Christmas cacti naturally grow in forests rather than desert environments. They need a bit more water than most other succulents. If you keep your Christmas cactus on a regular succulent watering schedule, it’ll soon wilt and start dropping leaf segments. Make sure to keep its soil very lightly moist instead of bone dry. It is not hard to find the best potting soil for cacti on the market. Just make sure you find one that also prevents soil compaction and allows your Christmas cactus to grow just as it would thrive in its natural habitat.
Hey, if you were looking for an eco-friendly solution to a Christmas tree, a Christmas cactus may become that exact spec of originality to make you stand out of the crowd during the holiday!
Just avoid direct sunlight, as this would naturally be blocked out by taller trees.
12. Florist Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
Also known as the florist Kalanchoe or flaming Katy, the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a classic favorite for those looking to brighten up their windowsills. The plant produces masses of little flowers around springtime in colors like pink, red, orange and yellow.
Lovely to see and easy to grow by providing regular succulent care, it’s a pity that so many Kalanchoes end up in the trash after their flowers have died off. They’ll rebloom time after time if you take care to remove spent flowers!
Let’s see in short a Kalanchoe’s growing and care guide:
- It needs light soil that benefitted from proper drainage;
- You should place it on the sunniest windowsill (or spot) in your home, as it loves the sunlight;
- Make sure the room temperature where you keep your Kalanchoe is between 40 °F and 85 °F;
- Water the plant only after the top layer of the soil dried completely during the growing season;
- Keep your kids and pets away from the plant, as it may be toxic to them. Yes, the Kalanchoe is one of those spectacularly beautiful but toxic/deadly flowers you should know about before letting the little ones or the furry buddies around them.
Provide your Kalanchoe blossfeldiana with ample sunlight and be sure not to overwater it. Although its leaves aren’t as fleshy as those of many other succulents, the species is still quite sensitive to rot.
13. Night blooming cereus (Cereus sp.)
As their common name suggests, columnar cacti are hard to catch in bloom. But trust us on this one: it’s worth staying up (or setting up a camera) for. Their abundant white flowers open up after dark, making for a rather spectacular display that you won’t want to miss. Interestingly, some varieties of this species will even produce edible fruits if pollinated.
The genus Cereus is a bit of a mess that contains many different varieties, but their care is quite similar. All are hardy and will do perfectly fine in normal succulent conditions, i.e., plenty of sunlight and good drainage. If you’re really looking for a spectacular specimen that draws all eyes to it even outside of flowering time, the spiraled Cereus Validus ‘Spiralis’ is a fantastic option.
14. Moonstone plant (Pachyphytum oviferum)
The moonstone plant, correctly known as Pachyphytum oviferum, is an excellent choice for lovers of foliage and flowers alike. As its common name suggests, this rosette succulent produces rounded leaves that almost resemble little stones (or Mentos candies, in our opinion!).
It’s very decorative, even more so during early spring when the species starts pushing out its flower spikes. The flowers hang down in clusters from a thin stem that can grow quite tall and are a pleasant combination of white and orange.
Provide your moonstone plant with plenty of sunlight and very good drainage to keep it healthy. Keep in mind that this species is not resilient to winter and won’t respond well to frost, so if you like to grow your succulents outside during summer be sure to move this one back in before things get too chilly.
15. Living stone (Lithops sp.)
So well-camouflaged that they can genuinely be taken for stones when grown in a rocky medium, Lithops are among the weirdest succulents out there. They’re perfect for those that lack much space in their home (as they typically stay under an inch) but have sunny window sills at their disposal. The best part is that you can put them in a wide variety of perfect succulent pots and planters of your choosing, as these gorgeous plants will not say no to them.
Lithops care is generally regarded as challenging because the species naturally occurs in very inhospitable habitats and has had to evolve to specialize in reacting to changes in seasons. We’re used to succulents growing during summertime, but this one actually goes dormant during the warmest months and will require very little to no water at all.
Winter is a dormant time as well. During this time you should absolutely keep the watering can away from your Lithops. The only times this plant needs water is during fall and early spring, and even then you should only provide moisture once the soil has gone bone dry.
What a hassle, we hear you say! You’ll be rewarded, though: a happy living stone will produce a lovely, daisy-like flower around autumn or spring depending on the species.
As you’ve hopefully gathered from this list of 15 flowering succulents, you should definitely not overlook these fat plants if you’re into colors and blooms. There’s a flowering succulent for everyone. While some species are easier to grow than others, all of the ones on this list can thrive indoors.
Pro Tip: If you curate your collection carefully you can enjoy flowers year-round, even during wintertime.
Flowering Succulents: FAQs
Let’s resume this guide on best flowering succulents out there by answering some of your most frequent and pressing questions!
1. Should I cut the succulent plants’ flowers?
Unless you want to use some flowering succulents’ yield for cooking and exotic recipes, you have no reason to cut the flowers. Most succulents’ flowers stay in bloom for weeks. It depends on their variety, of course, but it can take months for some of the flowers to close, wither, and fall. The best practice is to cut off the bloom stalks once the plant stops blooming.
2. How many times do flowering succulents bloom?
In the case of monocarpic succulents, they bloom only once in their lifetime. It is a sign that the mother plant reached its lifespan and is about to die. However, most succulents can flower many times throughout their lifespan, as it is a natural stage in their growing cycle. For instance, Kalanchoe and Echeveria are seasonal bloomers, waiting for the late summer-early spring season to put on a show for you.
3. Should I remove the dead leaves of a succulent?
Succulents losing leaves is not dramatic. Once you pinpoint the cause of the phenomenon, you can take the appropriate measures. However, it is best to prune the stems of fallen leaves or the stalks of dead flowers to promote new growth. If you see dead, diseased, or broken leaves, stems, or flower stalks, simple pruning will allow recovery and thriving.