Hardy succulents for shade


Learn about 22 Shade Tolerant Succulents that you can grow in the shady spots of your garden and indoors!

Succulents are the most trendy plants. All of them are easy to grow, low maintenance and showy. They grow best in warm conditions and full sun. However, there are Succulents that Grow in Shade. We’ve added 22 of them that you can grow indoors or in shady corners of your garden!

1. Snake Plant (Editor’s Choice)

Botanical Name: Sansevieria trifasciata

Snake plant can grow easily in the shady corners, the plant may lose its striking color in deep shade but survive. We also added it in our list of Best Plants that Grow in Indirect Sunlight. Also known as Mother-in-law’s Tongue, the snake plant is very low maintenance and thrives on neglect. Surely, it is one of the best succulents you can grow in the shade.

Growing Tips

  • Choose the size of the pot, according to the plant’s size. It doesn’t require a large pot.
  • Do not overwater! This plant has low-watering needs, keep it on a drier side.
  • Plant in a well-draining medium that doesn’t hold the moisture.

2. Aloe

Botanical Name: Aloe (Genus)

Some dwarf and hybrid aloes and varieties like soap aloe, aloe vera, and krantz aloe can grow well in shady conditions. Aloe plants prefer full sun to part sun position to grow, but they can tolerate bright shade. Moreover, in hot climates, they don’t mind living in deep shade.

  • Water only when the soil turns dry.
  • Find the spot where the aloe plant will receive at least a couple of hours of direct sunlight daily.
  • Regular removal of pups is important to save these plants from pot bound situation.
  • Get some aloe growing tips here!

3. Zebra Cactus

Botanical Name: Haworthia fasciata

Zebra cactus is an exceptionally showy houseplant. Its attractive fat foliage has striking horizontal stripes. This low maintenance plant and can be grown outdoors or indoors, in the shade easily. Due to its low height (below 6 inches), you can grow it in teacups, mini pots, cans, and many other unique planters.

  • Zebra cactus has shallow roots. You can easily grow it in pots smaller than 6 inches.
  • The plant grows slowly and doesn’t need repotting for a long time.
  • Although the plant grows in bright shade, if possible, provide exposure to light sunlight.

Also Read: Growing Succulents in 8 Infographics

4. Burro’s Tail

Botanical Name: Sedum morganianum

Burro’s tail (Donkey’s Tail) is trailing succulent and especially looks great in hanging baskets. This succulent has rows of trailing fleshy leaves of gray-green color, in the shape of the teardrop. This plant does best in partial shade when it gets the morning sun but grows well in full bright shade.

  • Use the soil that is specially formulated for cactus and succulents.
  • Do irregular watering, after a week or so. Like all succulents, it needs water when the top layer of soil dries out.
  • Fertilize the plant using a balanced 10:10:10 fertilizer for optimum growth.
  • This plant should not be disturbed from its place due to its delicate leaves.

5. String of Bananas

Botanical Name: Senecio radicans

Its long growing tendrils of mini banana-like leaves dangling down from the shelves and hanging planters are perfect for the bright corner in your home. If growing outside, keep it in bright shade.

Caveat: The plants of the Senecio genus are toxic to pets.

  • Provide bright shade.
  • Avoid overwatering
  • Water deeply but only when the soil becomes dry to touch.
  • Plant in the well-draining porous soil in small decorative pots.

6. Crown of Thorns

Botanical Name: Euphorbia milii

Crown of Thorns never stops blooming if exposed to the full sun. But, surprisingly, it’s one of the best shade succulents as well. The only drawback of growing it in the shade is it stops flowering. Although, the structure and foliage of the plant still look attractive. It can be grown both indoors and outdoors.

Caveat: All parts of this plants are toxic.

  • Keep the plant in partial shade. It can tolerate full shade if it receives all day long bright indirect sunlight.
  • It’s low maintenance and doesn’t require regular watering.
  • Do balanced watering and keep the plant on a drier side.
  • Leaves will start to fall off if you will leave the plant in a bone-dry condition for a long time.

7. Ponytail Palm

Botanical Name: Beaucarnea recurvata

Ponytail palm or elephant’s foot palm is not a palm but a succulent. The water is stored in its swollen trunk, which resembles the elephant’s foot. It is one of the most impressive and largest succulents to grow either as a houseplant or outdoor plant. Ponytail palm grows best in full sun to partial sun but doesn’t mind the shade.

  • Plant it in semi-shade in a cool climate. It will keep growing in full shade location that is warm and receiving all day long bright indirect sunlight in a hot climate.
  • Do not water regularly and give time to the soil to dry out between watering spells.
  • Ponytail palm is a slow grower and needs repotting after a long time.

8. Fox Tail Agave

Botanical Name: Agave attenuata

Also known as Lion’s Tail or Swan’s neck, it is straightforward to grow agave. The Fox Tail agave is known for its shade tolerance. It can grow about 5 feet tall and wide and invites interest even when it is not blooming due to its rosette shaped structure of leaves.

  • This plant can tolerate both underwatering and overwatering.
  • Water thoroughly, only, when the topsoil is dry.
  • It loves warm climatic conditions but will tolerate temperature as low as 28 F (-2 C).

9. Bear Paws

Botanical Name: Cotyledon tomentosa

The beautiful showy and furry leaves Cotyledons can be divided into two groups. One group consists of deciduous plants with summer growing period whereas the other one is made up of plants with winter growing period, they shed their leaves in summer. These plants are perfect for small containers as they seldom grow above 1 foot tall.

  • Plant bear paws in partial shade, they become week and leggy in deep shade.
  • If kept dry and frost free they live well through the cold winters.
  • The free-draining gritty mix is an excellent potting medium for bear paws.

10. Panda Plant

Botanical Name: Kalanchoe tomentosa

Also known as pussy’s ear, this succulent is great for the kid’s room. Children adore it because of the fuzzy and fleshy texture of foliage. Keep in mind that this plant won’t bloom if kept indoors.

  • It grows well in the shade. Provide it a couple of hours of direct sunlight or day-long indirect light.
  • Do not water frequently.
  • Check out our indoor plant care tips.
  • During the growing season fertilize it once a month with a balanced liquid fertilizer.
  • Keep it at average room temperature, protected from the cold drafts.

11. Jade Plant

Botanical Name: Crassula ovata

Jade plant’s other name is money plant. In some countries, it is believed that jade plant brings good luck and fortune. It is very easy to keep and maintain indoors, just like the snake plant, which you found above in this list of shade tolerant succulent.

  • Plant it in well-draining soil with neutral pH.
  • This drought-tolerant succulent is tough and prefers to grow in dry condition.
  • It can grow in full sun, partial shade, and full shade. Although, in full shade, you’ll see the reduced growth.

12. Flaming Katy

Botanical Name: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

Kalanchoe is a beautiful plant with many flowering varieties. It will bloom heavily if kept in full sun or bright spot that receives a few hours of direct sunlight. Put it in a shady place, and it will entertain you with its fleshy dark green foliage.

Also Read: Best Office Desk Plants

  • The plant grows well in small pots.
  • It’s a warm climate plant so save it from harsh cold temperatures in winters.
  • It has low watering needs.

13. Woodland Stonecrop

Botanical Name: Sedum ternatum

Want to know why this plant is called stonecrop? Because it’s believed that only a stone requires less care and live longer than this plant. This shade succulent needs little to no attention and can thrive in almost any condition.

  • Hardy plant for cold climate gardeners.
  • Overwatering is the death of this plant. Water moderately.
  • If grown in the garden, no fertilization required.

14. String of Pearls

Botanical Name: Curio rowleyanus

It is an excellent trailing succulent that grows well in bright shade, plant it in a hanging basket to beautify your room or choose a shady spot of your garden to grow it and add some interest.

  • It has low watering needs.
  • Use cactus mix when planting it in containers.
  • Too much fertilization can cause a leggy growth so keep that in check.
  • Check out this helpful article.

15. Kiwi Aeonium

Botanical Name: Aeonium kiwi

This handsome succulent is a tough guy, perfect for gardeners in hot climates who want to create a rocking rock garden or handling the water scarcity in the area. When grown indoors it can enhance the overall look of the spot where it is placed. The rosettes are formed by fat spoon-like leaves that are pale yellow at the center and turn green outwards, near edges, they have a brilliant shade of red. It will bear flowers only once before dying as it is a monocarpic plant.

  • It will not mind partial shade in cool climates and full shade in warm climates.
  • Infrequent watering, only when the soil turns dry is optimum for healthy growth.

16. Spider Agave

Botanical Name: Agave bracteosa

Also known as squid agave, agave bracteosa is one of the best shade tolerant agaves. It is perfect for Northern and Eastern exposure and performs well in bright shade. Due to its compact structure, arching form, spineless leaves, and low height–it’s a great choice for containers, rock gardens, and backyard with children, and pets.

  • It grows well in bright shade to full sun.
  • A drought tolerant plant. Once established, it needs occasional watering.
  • Use well-drained soil. Avoid overwatering.

17. Devil’s Backbone

Botanical Name: Euphorbia tithymaloides

Devils Backbone has some of the most interesting common names in the plant world such as Redbird Flower, Buck Thorn, Christmas Candle, Jacob’s Ladder, Jew’s Slipper, Red Slipper Spurge, Redbird Cactus, Slipper Plant, Zig Zag Plant. It can grow about 8 feet tall, but you can prune this succulent easily to maintain its size. It is prized for its unique zig-zag patterned stems and variegated foliage. Perfect as a large houseplant for living rooms.

  • Keep it nearby south or west facing window if you’re growing indoors for the best-looking plant.
  • Water sparingly, only when the soil is dry.

18. Wax Plant

Botanical Name: Hoya finlaysonii

This climbing plant can be an impressive addition to your apartment or office. You can train it on any structure or grow as a trailing plant in the hanging basket. Its light green foliage has a vein-like pattern of dark green color. The plant also grows fragrant white-burgundy flowers in optimum conditions.

  • Do not place it in full sun. It does well in filtered sunlight.
  • This plant loves humid conditions.
  • When growing in a cool climate, keep the plant indoors when the temperature drops below 50 F (10 C).

19. String of Hearts

Botanical Name: Ceropegia linearis

Also known as Rosary vine, it is a semi-succulent. One of the unique plants you’ll ever come across. The foliage is heart-shaped and appears on the trailing stems. Apart from leaves, small spherical buds or tubers also adorn this plant.

  • Choose a part shade to full shade location that remains warm and bright.
  • If you’re growing it in a cool climate, water with care. In a hot climate, water regularly.

20. Christmas Cactus

Botanical Name: Schlumbergera bridgesii

One great thing about Christmas cactus is it blooms in the part shade as well, unlike other succulents. It bears tubular flowers of a beautiful shade of pink and lilac color. Blooming around Christmas, it is a fabulous plant to decorate your home with during the holiday season.

Also Read: How to Make Christmas Cactus Bloom

  • Water the plant deeply when the soil feels dry to the touch.
  • It will bloom more profusely if kept in the bright indirect light.
  • Check out this detailed article on the almanac

21. Easter Cactus

Botanical Name: Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri

Just like Christmas cactus, this plant is a hybrid of Brazilian forest cactus. Blooms appear on this plant from late winters to early springs in shades of white, pink, peach, lavender, orange, and red. Also, with its unusual foliage, this plant looks wondrous even after the blooming period.

  • Bright indirect light is optimum without exposure to direct sun.
  • Water this succulent sparingly and let the soil dry between watering.
  • Read this informative article at the Garden Helper.

22. Dutchman’s Pipe Cactus

Botanical Name: Epiphyllum oxypetalum

Dutchman’s pipe cactus bears exotic fragrant flowers in the night that become limp with the dawn, though rarely. This plant has religious significance important in India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. If not for the flowers, you can grow it as a houseplant for its foliage.

  • Plant it in a cactus mix soil.
  • It is a hot climate plant so place it where can remain warm.
  • The optimum spot to place it is where it’ll receive bright filtered sunlight.

Note: There are some other shade-loving species in the genus Epiphyllum which look amazing and can be planted in the shade. Know more about those species here!

Succulents to keep you company during shady respites

It’s summer (news flash!) and sometimes we just want to hide. From the sun. That fiery sphere serves a noble purpose, of course, but occasional time apart is healthy. Our succulent pals, though, we always want close by…even when in shady-friendly spots.

Even if not necessarily lovers of deep shade, aeoniums can relate, as they are also susceptible to sunburns, as well as leaf curling, when overly exposed. They have a distinctive, daisy-like appearance. The leaves can vary in color from black to rose to green to yellow. The rosettes grow on the ends of stems that, depending on the variety, may be a quarter inch or more in diameter. We should all take a cue from these diversely hued succulents that like nothing more during summer than to chill. They perk up in winter to spring, when the weather is cooler and on the damper side.

Aeonium percarneum ‘Kiwi’

Aeoniums with Sedum pachyphyllum and a Graptopetalum paraguayense hybrid.

Let’s look at some varieties:

Aeonium percarneum ‘Kiwi’ (above): A small, branching, variegated variety — green, yellow or cream, and red — with pointed, ovate leaves in the shape of a star. Keeps to 8 inches or so tall and a foot wide.

Aeonium arboretum: So much pretty, bright green with this one. Rosettes sit atop clustering stems, reaching 18 inches tall or more. From there in late winter or early spring, a cone-shaped, flowering spike erupts with star-shaped yellow flowers.

Aeonium ‘Blushing Beauty’: Tight, clustering rosettes of variegated leaves with green centers and reds on the outer portions. The reddish-bronze aspect will likely not flourish, though, if the plant is in a shady place.

Aeonium undulatum

Aeonium ‘Sunburst’: This variegated stunner will brighten up any shade-friendly spot. You’ll want another and another when you see the effect it has on a space. Its yellow- or cream-and-green striped leaves are often tipped with pink or bright red.

Aeonium urbicum (saucer plant): A succulent that does well in partial shade as well as sun. Pink flowers emerge late winter/early spring. Featuring green leaves with reddish tips, this one can climb to 6 feet, with a pyramidal inflorescence that can tack on another 3 feet, and plenty wide too.

Below are some possible pairings for aeoniums that should do well in a filtered light environment.

Agave attenuata (fox tail agave)

Agave attenuata (fox tail agave): This graceful, pale green beauty (left) forms large rosettes of broad, sword-shaped leaves. Its curved stem helps it stand out from other agaves. It can get to 4 feet high and wide with ease; quite possibly more. At maturity, it is liable to shoot up a 5- to 10-foot stalk of yellow flowers.

Haworthia fasciata ‘Zebra Plant’: Another pearly plant. This South African native features an upright, slender rosette with tapering, incurved, dark green leaves covered with silvery white raised “pearls” that connect to form bands that give the impression of zebra stripes.

Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’

Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’: Tolkien fans are all but obligated to have one of their own, if primarily to make “my precious” jokes when showing it off. Well, that and because of this gnarly plant’s bonsai-appropriate growth habit. ‘Gollum’ (right) is considered to be a monstrose form of jade plant. Star-shaped white flowers come in winter.

Portulacaria afra (elephant bush/elephant food): Note that it’s elephant food, not people food. This popular garden choice, with delicate green leaves on reddish-brown stems, will reach 6 feet if left alone. Appreciates some water in the hotter months. We have a few different varieties available here and here.

Senecio rowleyanus ‘String of Pearls’: Perfect for a hanging basket, it has pendant stems to 3 feet or more with unusual, round “leaves,” giving the impression of a string of pearls. Just keep it out of the reach of pirates and you should be fine.

10 Best Indoor, Low-Light Succulents in 2020

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In the quest to fill every aspect of your home with succulents, you’re going to eventually run out of window space. That’s when the fat plants will begin to invade interior rooms that aren’t blessed with the sun’s light.

If you don’t want to get a grow light and provide an oasis for your chunky friends, you’ve still got options! Here are a bunch of plants that don’t really mind the lower levels of light. They’ll all do fine with whatever overhead lights or ambient sun gets into the room.

Table of Contents

Snake Plant, Sansevieria trifasciata


Also called mother-in-law’s tongue, this is the ultimate indoor succulent. I have actually found one of these in a closet before, still clinging to life. It had been in there for at least a few weeks. (But seriously, who puts plants in a closet?)

You’ll find snake plants in offices around the globe. They are ubiquitous because they are almost impossible to kill; they actually seem to thrive on neglect. Water them a few times a month and forget about ’em. They’ll survive on whatever light happens to show up.

It’s so common, you probably don’t have to buy it. Doubtless you can steal a little shoot (they self propagate often) from your office or the doctor’s waiting room or whatever.

Don’t want to wait? Buy here!

Jade Plant, Crassula ovata


Another dead-easy plant to keep indoors is the jade plant. Like the snake plant, it’s really common everywhere – both indoors and out. They get really big too; you might not even notice a bush is actually a huge jade plant until you get close enough to touch it.

The reason they can get so big is because they’re so dang resilient. They can bounce back from just about anything, thanks in part to their woody stems. Most succulents aren’t woody, and they lack the ability to recover from prolonged periods of neglect or abuse. Jade plants can even come back from losing all their leaves (if those leaves don’t make new babies by themselves!).

If you don’t have one, you can probably get a cutting from a neighbor.

You can get it here!

Bear Paws, Cotyledon Tomentosa


A somewhat unconventional entry, but this Cotyledon actually fits really well on a list of indoor succulents. It would still prefer direct light, but because of its unusual growth pattern, you won’t notice the etiolation that accompanies low-light situations.

And bear paws are a fun succulent, not to mention a good conversation piece! How often do you see a furry plant? Especially one that won’t hurt you when you pet it?

Purchase your Bear Paws here!

Zebra Cactus, Haworthia attenuata


This is a staple of any cubicle (or succulent arrangement). The zebra cactus has a unique aesthetic that works solo or in a group. The elegant, striking curves are a great complement for one of those cool, geometric 3D printed pots (like those made by our friends at ).

This Haworthia is slow-growing and easy, which makes it a great fit for an office or desk. Infrequent watering, whatever light is around, and a few whispered compliments are all this plant needs to thrive.

These are pretty common in home improvement stores and the like, but you can get them shipped to you easily.

Buy Your Zebra Cactus Here!

Holiday Cacti, Schlumbergera


Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter… whatever kind you have, these are all cared for in mostly the same way. Most people that have a holiday cactus water it a little more frequently than you would normally water a succulent. These guys thrive, though, it’s unclear whether that’s because they’re particularly hardy or they actually want more water.

I’m not sure why, but every grandparent I’ve ever met has one of these. Maybe it’s given to you when you get grandkids? Not sure, I’m not there yet.

Anyway, you shouldn’t have to pay for one. Just ask your grandma for a cutting.

Call Your Grandma or Get It Here!

Burro’s Tail, Sedum morganianum


Burro’s Tail is an awesome succulent because it fits in so many places. It’s probably the easiest trailing succulent to grow, which is what gives it so much adaptability. This Sedum is good in low-light environments too because etiolation is pretty impossible to detect in a vine.

One thing to note is that the leaves on this plant are quite prone to falling off. Don’t put it in a high-traffic area or you might find it looking bare. It works great in a corner somewhere, hanging from the ceiling.

These are pretty easy to propagate, so if you find a friend with one, just snag a couple of leaves that fell and throw ’em on some dirt.

Don’t Wait, Buy It here!

Aloe, Aloe vera


I probably didn’t even need to put this here. If you’re looking for indoor succulents, or succulents of any kind really, you’ve already got an aloe. Even non-plant people have aloes. It’s probably the most popular plant in the world.

And you can guess why, it’s so darn simple. You definitely don’t need a green thumb to grow aloe. Heck, you don’t even need thumbs. Just water it once a week and you’re good. It’ll survive on any windowsill and under any office light.

I can’t imagine that you’d ever need to buy this. I think they kind of spontaneously generate in kitchen windows.

Get Your Aloe Vera Here!

Ponytail Palm, Beaucarnea recurvata


This entry might have surprised you, but rest assured, this palm is a succulent. After all, succulents are not a specific family – it’s just a catch-all term for plants that store water.

And store water they do! The Ponytail Palm has a cute, little chubby waist. It’s another slow-growing, low-maintenance plant. If you’re looking for that leafy aesthetic in an indoor space, which is admittedly hard to get with succulents, this is the plant for you.

You probably won’t find it at your local succulent nursery, but it’s easy to get online.

Get Your Pony Tail Here!

Cylindrical Snake Plant, Sansevieria cylindrica


A personal favorite, the cylindrical snake plant looks unique and striking in every situation. It really shines, however, in those cute specialty planters. For example, it makes great spines for a dinosaur or hedgehog.

This is a flexible plant, too! While it would be perfectly happy in direct sunlight, it doesn’t mind low-light situations either. Besides, how do you notice if something is etiolated when all it does is grow straight out anyway?

The only advice I would give is to be careful keeping it around eye-level. Each leaf is pretty much a spear – they end in a hard, sharp spike. I nearly put my eye out walking past it one time!

These sometimes show up in bog box stores, but it’s a lot easier to find them online

Get Your Snake Plant Here!

Gollum Jade, Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’


The Gollum Jade personifies everything that we like about succulents: plump, easy-to-grow, and weird looking. It’s sometimes called ogre ears because young leaves tend to look a lot like the ears of our favorite ogre – Shrek.

This one is pretty easy to find and care for. You should note, though, that they generally like a little bit more water than other succulents. For this reason, they don’t always fit in arrangements with others. Don’t let that stop you though, these look great solo. It’s frequently used to make amazing bonsai as well!

These are common in stores that sell plants because they’re very hardy.

Get Your Gollum Jade Here!

What plants have you had success with growing indoors in low light? Tell us below!

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Wednesday – June 09, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Succulents, wildflowers and grasses for Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I live on a bluff over Lake Travis and am replanting two beds in front of my driveway with Mexican Feathergrass and Agave. What other grasses or wildflowers could I mix in with the Mexican Feathergrass? Ideally I would like the Mexican Feathergrass to be dominant to achieve the soft full breezy effect. Around and beneath the Agaves I would like to plant flowering Cacti and succulents. Currently I am considering Barrel Cacti and Black Lace Cacti. Will these grow together well?


The best way to determine if those will all grow well together is to examine the growing conditions each needs. To do this, we will go to our Native Plant Database and search on each plant. There are 14 agaves native to North America and 9 native to Texas, so we will just choose one as an example.

Nassella tenuissima (finestem needlegrass)

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Dry
Soil Description: Well-drained, acid or calcareous sands, loams, or clays.
Conditions Comments: Requires good drainage and cant take excessive moisture. Should not be watered heavily more than once a week. Goes dormant during drought and in winter. May rot under heavy mulch. Grows well in containers.

Agave americana (American century plant)

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Rocky Soil
Conditions Comments: American century plant is large beautiful agave with sharp leaf tip spines. It is prominent in the landscape and best used in mass or as focal point. It also does well in pot (large) culture. It benefits from some extra moisture in very dry conditions, but is very tolerant of heat and xeric conditions. It can take light shade better than some other agaves. But should be protected from teen winter temperatures to avoid damage.

Ferocactus wislizeni (candy barrelcactus) – be sure and read the whole page in our database about this plant; our information is that it is a rare cactus and grows quite large

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Sandy or gravelly soils.
Echinocereus reichenbachii (lace hedgehog cactus)-According to this Texas Parks and Wildlife website, this plant is also endangered

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: well drained gravelly clay, rock outcropping with soil pockets, caliche

Obviously, we want to discourage digging up any endangered or threatened plant to move it into your garden. Also, you should be sure, if you have seen it available in retail, that it has been collected from farms for raising it and not taken from the wild. There is always the possibility that the common names in our database and those used by plant retailers are different. For instance, there are 3 other cacti in the Ferocactus genus that might be mistaken for the endangered one. You might check out the webpages on Ferocactus cylindraceus (California barrel cactus) aznd Ferocactus cylindraceus var. cylindraceus (California barrel cactus), both native to California, and Ferocactus hamatacanthus (turk’s head), native to Texas. Or, in the echinocereus genus, there is Echinocereus reichenbachii ssp. reichenbachii (lace hedgehog cactus), which is native to Texas, smaller than the other and not indicated to be threatened.

For your other questions, on succulents and wildflowers for your garden, we will pick a few suggestions and you can follow the links to go to each webpage and learn their growing conditions. We have chosen these because they tolerate the same conditions as the other plants you have chosen, and are native to Central Texas.

Succulents for Austin: only 3 in our database listed as native to Texas

Hesperaloe parviflora (redflower false yucca)

Yucca rupicola (Texas yucca)

Yucca thompsoniana (Thompson’s yucca)

Grasses for Austin:

Dasylirion texanum (Texas sotol)

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer’s muhly)

Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista)

Annual Wildflowers for Austin:

Amblyolepis setigera (huisache daisy)

Centaurea americana (American star-thistle)

From the Image Gallery

Mexican feathergrass
Nassella tenuissima
American century plant
Agave americana
Candy barrel
Ferocactus wislizeni
Lace hedgehog cactus
Echinocereus reichenbachii
California barrel cactus
Ferocactus cylindraceus
California barrel cactus
Ferocactus cylindraceus var. cylindraceus
Turk’s head
Ferocactus hamatacanthus
Lace cactus
Echinocereus reichenbachii ssp. reichenbachii
Red yucca
Hesperaloe parviflora
Twistleaf yucca
Yucca rupicola
Thompson’s yucca
Yucca thompsoniana
Texas sotol
Dasylirion texanum

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Eradicating cactus in Palo Pinto County, TX
March 30, 2010 – I live on a ranch in Palo Pinto County and would like to know how can I get rid of wild cactus.
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Reasons to leave a century plant in place in Florida
November 01, 2010 – Can you please list ALL the reasons to leave a century plant (as opposed to cutting it way back or removing it) in the wilds of the sand dunes on the coast of Florida, other than its prominent beauty?
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Dividing and planting Yucca and pups in New Mexico
June 23, 2009 – I bought a Yucca plant and had 7 plants in one planter 1 large and 6 small. We wanted to split up the plants so we carefully separated them and planted them. My soil is very sandy (Rio Rancho) but I…
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Zone 8 Succulents: Can You Grow Succulents In Zone 8 Gardens

One of the more interesting classes of plants are the succulents. These adaptable specimens make excellent indoor plants, or in temperate to mild climes, landscape accents. Can you grow succulents in zone 8? Zone 8 gardeners are fortunate in that they can grow many of the hardier succulents right outside their door with great success. The key is discovering which succulents are hardy or semi-hardy and then you get to have the fun placing them in your garden scheme.

Can You Grow Succulents in Zone 8?

Parts of Georgia, Texas and Florida as well as several other regions are considered to be in the United States Department of Agriculture zone 8. These areas receive average annual minimum temperatures of around 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 to -9 C.), so freezing does occur occasionally in these warm regions, but it is not frequent and it is often of short duration. This means that zone 8 succulents must be hardy to semi-hardy to thrive outside, especially if they are given some protection.

Some of the more adaptable succulents for an area that is mostly warm but does receive some freezing are the Sempervivums. You might know these charmers

as hens and chicks because of the plant’s propensity to produce pups or offshoots that are “mini mes” of the parent plant. This group is hardy all the way to zone 3 and has no problem accommodating occasional freezes and even hot, dry drought conditions.

There are more succulents hardy to zone 8 from which to select, but Sempervivum is a group that is an excellent start for a beginner gardener because the plants no special requirements, multiply easily and have a charming bloom.

Succulents Hardy to Zone 8

Some of the hardier succulents will work beautifully in the zone 8 landscape. These are adaptable plants that can thrive in hot, dry conditions and still withstand a freeze occasionally.

Delosperma, or hardy ice plant, is a common evergreen perennial with hot pink to yellow blooms that occur early in the season and last all the way until the first frost.

Sedum is another family of plants with unique forms, sizes and bloom colors. These hardy succulents are almost foolproof and they readily establish large colonies. There are big sedums, like autumn joy, which develop a large basal rosette and a knee-high flower, or tiny ground hugging sedums that make excellent hanging basket or rockery plants. These zone 8 succulents are very forgiving and can take a lot of neglect.

If you are interested in growing succulents in zone 8, some other plants to try might be:

  • Prickly Pear
  • Claret Cup Cactus
  • Walking Stick Cholla
  • Lewisia
  • Kalanchoe
  • Echeveria

Growing Succulents in Zone 8

Zone 8 succulents are very adaptable and can withstand many changing weather conditions. One thing they cannot abide is boggy soil or areas that don’t drain well. Even container plants must be in a loose, well-draining potting mix with plenty of holes from which excess water can leach.

In-ground plants benefit from the addition of some grit if soil is compacted or clay. Fine horticultural sand or even fine bark chips work well to loosen soil and allow for complete percolation of moisture.

Situate your succulents where they will receive a full day of sun but not get burned in midday rays. Outdoor rain and weather conditions are enough to water most succulents, but in summer, irrigate occasionally when the soil is dry to the touch.

Gardening How-to Articles

A Hardy Succulent Garden

By Panayoti Kelaidis | April 1, 2010

Have you ever toured a garden in the Southwest and wondered how you could possibly re-create some of its succulent glory in your colder, snowier climate? Well, there’s no need to fantasize—just pick or create a nice, sunny, fast-draining spot in your yard and plant some hardy succulents species. This illustration (depicted in early June) is inspired by an actual hardy succulent border in Grand Junction, Colorado, designed by my good friend Don Campbell and the Chinle Cactus and Succulent Society. It achieves four-season beauty by drawing on the full spectrum of hardy succulents. Wide mats of ice plants cover ground, exclude weeds, and provide masses of color from late spring to fall, while shrubby southwestern cacti provide architecture, along with huge, breathtakingly beautiful spring and summer flowers. A drought-tolerant sedum helps fill in the gaps and adds to the spring floral display.

These succulent gems, all of them hardy to at least Zone 5, blend together in a lovely tapestry of textures that’s pleasing even in winter. And since the border needs virtually no water (except during protracted dry spells), it is much less weedy than conventional, watered gardens. I find that most succulent gardens look best with a few non-succulents mixed in. Here, lacy buckwheat, white evening primrose, and a hardy gazania act as textural foils to the succulents and add bright floral color. Though the garden is low maintenance, some initial soil preparation—especially incorporating lots of sand— may be required on your site to achieve the right level of drainage. Applying gravel mulch is also recommended for keeping succulent crowns dry.


  1. Cylindropuntia imbricata (walking-stick cholla)

    5 feet tall; 4 feet wide
    The hardiest of the larger, shrubby cacti from the southern Rocky Mountains, its magenta flowers appear in summer and develop into handsome yellow seedpods that persist until the following year’s bloom. Zones 4 to 11.

  2. Delosperma cooperi (hardy purple ice plant)

    3 inches tall; 18 inches wide
    Native to South Africa, this low-growing plant produces rich purple, daisy-like flowers from May until first frost. The fleshy, cylindrical, dark blue-green foliage is evergreen, giving the plant winter presence. Zones 5 to 9.

  3. Delosperma nubigenum ‘Lesotho’ (hardy yellow ice plant)

    2 inches tall; 3 feet wide
    This ice plant thrives in full sun provided it gets an occasional deep soaking. The Irish-green foliage contrasts nicely with the dominant blues and grays of other succulents, and the shiny yellow spring flowers are dazzling. Zones 4 to 8.

  4. Echinocereus coccineus (claret cup cactus)

    6 inches tall; 18 inches wide
    One of the toughest of the hedgehog cacti, this southwestern U.S. native produces low-growing clusters of thick, spiny, cylindrical gray-green stems. Large coral-red flowers sit atop the stems in early spring. Zones 4 to 9.

  5. Opuntia nicholii (Nichol’s prickly pear)

    18 inches tall and wide
    Of the scores of hardy prickly pears on offer in nurseries nowadays, this stalwart, upright, nearly crimson-red species from northern Arizona is especially refulgent. Zones 4 to 9.

  6. Sedum reflexum (blue spruce sedum)

    12 inches tall; 10 inches wide
    This Mediterranean native’s small light blue-gray leaves are always striking. Its early-summer clusters of chartreuse flowers set off the pink and red blooms of nearby plants. Zones 4 to 9.

  7. Sempervivum tectorum (hens and chicks)

    4 inches tall; 12 inches wide
    This common garden species is extremely heat and drought tolerant—not to mention cold hardy. Sporting rosettes of gray-green foliage, it produces star-shaped red blossoms in summer. Zones 3 to 8.

Nonsucculent Plants

  1. Eriogonum corymbosum (lacy buckwheat)

    4 feet tall and wide
    This shrubby native forms a large gray mound of foliage and boasts huge, flat-topped white flower clusters in August. Zones 3 to 7.

  2. Gazania linearis (treasure flower)

    4 inches tall; 15 inches wide
    A very hardy South African perennial, it bears dark green, straplike leaves and 3-inch-wide bright yellow summer flowers. Zones 4 to 8.

  3. Oenothera caespitosa (white evening primrose)

    1 foot tall; 2 feet wide
    This western U.S. native forms mounds of gray- green foliage and offers fragrant, white to pink blossoms in early summer. Zones 4 to 9.

Panayoti Kelaidis is a plant exlorer, gardener, and public garden admninistrator at Denver Botanic Gardens, where he is now director of outreach. He began his career at the garden in 1980 as curator of the rock alpine garden, where he designed and oversaw the initial plantings of the now extensive garden. He has a special passion for hardy cacti and is responsible for introducing most of the USDA Zone 5 hardy South African succulents currently in cultivation.

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