Discovered in South America, Africa, Asia, and along the shores of the Mediterranean sea, succulents and cacti have been a symbol of romance and luxury for centuries. With their unique shapes and colors, these exotic plants make daring decorations for any home or office. If you’re a plant lover with a taste for something new, consider adding some tall succulents to your living space. Here’s a list of our top 10 tall succulents and cacti plants.
Tall succulent and cacti plants
Succulents are becoming very popular as they are easy to care for and are a gorgeous addition to any home. Tall succulents can be grown outdoors in USDA zones 9 to 12 or indoors in other climates. Succulents are generally hardy and long-lasting. Here are some tall succulent and cacti plants you may like to consider for your home or yard:
1. Aloe variegata (Aloe)
Aloe is a genus containing 400 species of flowering succulent plants. The most well-known is Aloe vera, or “true aloe,” which has been used since ancient times to produce plant medicines and cosmetics.
Aloe variegata, also known as the “tiger aloe” produces tall green leaves with dark brown-to-red stripes. It’s a dramatic plant that makes a bold statement in any room, but especially in desert themed interiors. Although many aloe plants remain compact, they can grow to a height of 3 feet in the right conditions.
2. Sansevieria cylindrica (Snake plant)
Also called mother-in-law’s tongue, this unique succulent is native to the dry regions of Africa and Madagascar. It also grows in the wild in southern Asia. The popular snake plant has green strap-like leaves that grow upright in a fan shape. It can adapt to most conditions, but it is particularly resistant to drought, making it an ideal choice for warm areas with little rain. It’s also commonly grown as a house plant worldwide and can grow to a height of up to 8 feet tall.
3. Crassula ovata (Jade plant)
Native to South Africa, this succulent is a popular decorative plant frequently used in western interior design. The jade plant thrives with minimal water and sunlight, making it a great choice as a houseplant or as an addition to an indoor succulent garden. These plants can grow up to 6 feet tall and are long-lasting, often being handed down for generations. They are also known as money plants and are said to bring good luck and prosperity.
4.Portulacaria Afra (Elephant bush)
This South African native is a distant cousin of the cacti and has become widely popular as a houseplant. It’s commonly referred to as a jade plant, elephant bush, or lucky money plant. The elephant bush is similar in form and growth to its cacti cousins, but it’s easier to grow indoors thanks to its non-spiny leaves. It has lovely reddish-brown steams and small, drop-shaped green leaves. This plant does well in low-light areas and can grow to a height of 6 feet. In warmer areas, it can even be used to grow a hedge.
5. Euphorbia tirucalli (Firestick plant)
The firestick plant is a tall succulent with a unique appearance. It has evergreen leaves that look like small sticks and grow into a tree-like form. This plant is an ideal room divider or centerpiece for any living space. It originates from Africa and thrives in warm, dry climates but will tolerate low light conditions well. One of the most drought-tolerant succulents available, this plant can grow up to 6 feet tall.
6. Senecio Crassimu (Propeller Plant)
This South African native has an unusual appearance that is simultaneously beautiful and strange. It has long, thin leaves that are said to look like the propellers of a plane. The foliage is light green to grey and grows in a patchwork pattern. This plant grows quickly and can be used as a small hedge or added to an outdoor succulent garden in the right climate. It generally reaches about 3 feet tall on maturity and makes a great centerpiece to a home or office.
7. Echinocactus grusonii (Golden Barrel)
The golden barrel cactus is a round ball cactus that can grow up to 3 feet tall and wide if given enough space. It’s native to Mexico, where it grows in the wild, but this plant can also be found worldwide as a popular decorative succulent. It prefers bright light and tolerates low desert conditions well. The Golden Barrel is fairly slow-growing, so if you buy a small specimen, it will take years to grow into a large cacti. This plant has been nicknamed mother-in-laws cushion.
8. Opuntia (Prickly pear)
Although technically a cactus, the prickly pear is frequently used as a garden plant and indoor accent. This spreading cactus can grow between 16 and 23 feet tall at maturity and produces an edible fruit with a taste similar to kiwi and strawberries. It’s native to Mexico but is also commonly grown in African gardens. Prickly pear prefers full sun and well-drained soil, like most succulents.
9. Senecio Cylindricu (finger bush)
This African native has long, thin leaves that curl at their tips, giving it the nickname finger bush. It has beautiful bluish-green foliage and grows to about 6 feet tall if kept well fed and watered. This plant thrives in full sun or semi-shade and is a great addition to any outdoor or indoor succulent garden.
10. Aloidendron Barberae (tree aloe)
The tree aloe is a tall succulent with rosettes of dark to light green leaves. Its foliage is thick and coarse, and the plant can grow up to 20 feet tall. Native to South Africa, the tree aloe prefers very bright light and well-drained soil for optimal growth. It can also tolerate drought, although it will suffer if overwatered. These plants are relatively rare and can be hard to source.
Tall succulents and cacti make excellent houseplants as they are both easy to grow and very forgiving. Whether you’re a beginner gardener or an experienced green thumb, these plants will add color and interest to your home for years to come.