27 Best Types Of Tall Succulents And How To Grow Them

Succulents have taken the world of gardening by storm, and it’s no surprise. These hardy, low-maintenance plants not only thrive in both cold and warm climates, but also come in a stunning array of shapes and sizes. In this article, we’ll focus on a special group – tall succulents. These towering wonders not only add a unique vertical dimension to your garden but also bring a touch of exotic beauty. Join us as we learn about the 27 best types of tall succulents, exploring their origins, appearances, and the right conditions for caring for them. Let’s get started!

Types of Tall Succulents:

1. African Baobab Tree (Adansonia digitata)

The African Baobab Tree, scientifically known as Adansonia digitata, stands tall as an iconic African species. Reaching heights of 30-40 feet, its colossal trunk stores water for arid climates. Native to Africa, it boasts massive, swollen trunks and large, fragrant white flowers. 

To care for one, plant in well-draining soil, offer ample sunlight, water sparingly, and protect from extreme cold. A symbol of longevity and culture, cultivating this tree connects you to Africa’s natural heritage.

The African baobab tree (a type of tall succulent) outside in the desert.
African Baobab Tree (Adansonia digitata)

2. African Candelabra Tree (Euphorbia ingens)

The African Candelabra Tree, scientifically known as Euphorbia ingens, is a remarkable succulent that can tower up to an impressive 30 feet in height. Native to South Africa, it boasts a striking appearance resembling a cactus, adorned with spiny stems and petite leaves.

To nurture this magnificent succulent, ensure it’s planted in well-draining soil and placed in full sun. Remember to water sparingly to mimic its natural arid habitat.

An African Candelabra Tree (a type of tall succulent) outside.
African Candelabra Tree (Euphorbia ingens)

3. African Milk Tree (Euphorbia trigona)

The African Milk Tree, scientifically named Euphorbia trigona, stands tall, reaching heights between 6 to 8 feet. Originating from West Africa, this succulent is recognized by its towering, slender green stems, armed with sharp thorns, and a milky latex sap.

To care for this impressive succulent, opt for well-draining soil, provide ample bright light, and water moderately. Its unique appearance makes it a captivating addition to any succulent collection.

An African milk tree plant (a type of tall succulent) with a white background
African Milk Tree (Euphorbia trigona)

4. Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller)

Aloe Vera, scientifically known as Aloe barbadensis miller, grows to a height of 2 to 3 feet. Originating from the Arabian Peninsula, it’s a widely recognized succulent with thick, fleshy leaves adorned with serrated edges, famed for its healing gel.

Cultivate Aloe Vera in well-draining soil and place it in a spot with bright but indirect sunlight. Water it moderately, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings for optimal growth and health.

Aloe vera plant in white pot with a white background
Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller)

5. Beaked Yucca (Yucca rostrata)

The Beaked Yucca, scientifically termed Yucca rostrata, can reach towering heights of 10 to 15 feet. Native to Northern Mexico, it showcases a striking appearance with a trunk adorned by clusters of sharp-tipped, bluish-green leaves.

To ensure its well-being, plant Beaked Yucca in well-draining soil, provide ample sunlight, and water sparingly. Its distinctive silhouette adds a touch of elegance to any arid garden or landscape.

Beaked yucca plant outside in the desert on a sunny day
Beaked Yucca (Yucca rostrata)

6. Blue Chalksticks (Senecio mandraliscae)

Blue Chalksticks, scientifically known as Senecio mandraliscae, stand at a moderate 1 to 3 feet in height. Hailing from South Africa, this succulent features slender, blue-gray cylindrical leaves, making it a unique addition to any collection.

Offer this succulent well-draining soil, abundant sunlight, and occasional watering. Its unusual appearance adds an intriguing texture to your succulent garden or pots.

A closeup photo of the blue chalksticks succulent type
Blue Chalksticks (Senecio mandraliscae)

7. Cabbage head agave (Agave parrasana)

The Cabbage head agave, scientifically named Agave parrasana, typically grows to a compact 1 to 2 feet in height. Originating from Northern Mexico, it forms rosettes with blue-green leaves, creating an attractive focal point in any garden.

To nurture this agave plant, use well-draining soil, provide full sun exposure, and water sparingly. Its neat appearance makes it an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor settings.

Agave parrassana, also known as the cabbage head agave, in a garden
Cabbage head agave (Agave parrasana)

8. Candelabra Spurge (Euphorbia candelabrum)

The Candelabra Spurge, scientifically known as Euphorbia candelabrum, can reach impressive heights of 10 to 20 feet. Originating from Eastern and Southern Africa, this succulent has a captivating candelabra-like shape with multiple branches and small green leaves.

To ensure its thriving growth, plant it in well-draining soil, expose it to full sun, and water sparingly. Its unique structure adds a touch of drama to any succulent collection or xeriscape garden.

Candelabra Spurge cactus plant outside in the sunshine
Candelabra Spurge (Euphorbia candelabrum)

9. Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)

The Desert Rose, scientifically termed Adenium obesum, can attain heights ranging from 3 to 10 feet. Hailing from East and West Africa, it’s characterized by its thick, swollen stem and the production of vibrant, trumpet-shaped flowers.

To care for this striking succulent, plant it in well-draining soil, provide ample sunlight, and water moderately. Its dazzling blooms make it a cherished choice for succulent enthusiasts worldwide.

A potted desert rose plant with pink flowers sitting on a table
Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)

10. Fishhook Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus wislizeni)

The Fishhook Barrel Cactus, scientifically known as Ferocactus wislizeni, grows to a manageable height of 3 to 5 feet. Originating from the Southwestern United States and Mexico, it boasts a cylindrical shape covered in spines, including curved, hooked central spines.

To foster its health, plant it in well-draining soil, ensure it receives full sun, and water sparingly. Its distinctive appearance adds a touch of the desert to any arid landscape or succulent garden.

Large fishhook barrel cactus outside surrounded by rocks
Fishhook Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus wislizeni)

11. Ghost Echeveria (Echeveria lilacina)

Ghost Echeveria typically reaches a modest height of about 6 inches. Originating from Mexico, it forms charming rosettes of pale, silvery-blue leaves adorned with delicate pink tips.

To keep this Echeveria thriving, use well-drained soil, place it in a bright light spot, and do not use too much water. Its ethereal appearance adds a touch of elegance to succulent arrangements and container gardens.

Pale green Ghost Echeveria succulents
Ghost Echeveria (Echeveria lilacina)

12. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

The Jade Plant, scientifically known as Crassula ovata, can grow to a height of 3 to 5 feet. Originating from South Africa, it features thick, glossy green leaves and a tree-like growth habit.

Cultivate Jade Plant in a pot with good drainage, ensure it receives bright light, and water sparingly. Its resilience and striking appearance make it a popular choice for indoor and outdoor settings.

Jade plant in white pot in front of a white background
Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

13. Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia)

The Joshua Tree, scientifically termed Yucca brevifolia, is known for its towering presence, reaching heights of 15 to 40 feet. Native to the arid regions of the Southwestern United States, it boasts a unique, tree-like structure with spiky leaves.

To nurture this iconic succulent, provide it with well-draining soil, ample sunlight, and minimal watering. Its distinct form adds a touch of the wild West to landscapes.

Joshua tree in the desert on a sunny day
 Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia)

14. Madagascar Palm (Pachypodium lamerei)

The Madagascar Palm, scientifically named Pachypodium lamerei, can grow to a height of 6 to 20 feet. Originating from Madagascar, it resembles a palm tree with a thick trunk and spiny branches.

To ensure its well-being, plant it in well-draining soil, expose it to full sun, and water sparingly. Its exotic appearance makes it a captivating addition to tropical-themed gardens.

A tall Madagascar palm tree outside a building in front of a concrete wal
Madagascar Palm (Pachypodium lamerei)

15. Mauritius Hemp (Furcraea foetida)

The Mauritius Hemp, scientifically known as Furcraea foetida, can attain heights of 10 to 20 feet. Originating from Central America and the Caribbean, it features tall, slender stems with spiky, sword-like leaves.

To care for this succulent, the Mauritius Hemp requires little water, well-draining soil and full sun exposure. Its majestic presence adds a touch of drama to gardens and landscapes.

Mauritius Hemp plant with large green spiky leaves in a garden
Mauritius Hemp (Furcraea foetida)

16. Mountain Aloe (Aloe marlothii)

Mountain Aloe, scientifically termed Aloe marlothii, can reach impressive heights of 6 to 10 feet. Native to South Africa, it forms tall rosettes with striking grayish-green leaves.

Nurture this imposing succulent by planting it in well-draining soil, ensuring it receives abundant sunlight, and watering moderately. Its commanding presence is ideal for adding structure to gardens.

Mountain Aloe plant with orange flowers growing on the top of it
 Mountain Aloe (Aloe marlothii)

17. Organ Pipe Cactus (Stenocereus thurberi)

The Organ Pipe Cactus, scientifically known as Stenocereus thurberi, can grow up to 20 feet in height. Native to the Sonoran Desert in North America, it features multiple cylindrical stems and white flowers.

To foster its growth, plant it in well-draining soil, provide full sun exposure, and water sparingly. Its iconic silhouette is synonymous with desert landscapes.

Tall organ pipe cactus growing in the desert
Organ Pipe Cactus (Stenocereus thurberi)

18. Paddle Plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora)

Paddle Plant typically grows to a height of 6 to 12 inches. Originating from South Africa, it forms distinctive rosettes of thick, paddle-shaped leaves with red margins.

To maintain its health, use well-draining soil, ensure it receives bright light, and water sparingly. Its unique appearance makes it an eye-catching addition to succulent arrangements.

Green a red paddle plant succulents bunched together on a table
Paddle Plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora)

19. Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli)

Height: Pencil Cactus, scientifically named Euphorbia tirucalli, can grow quite tall, reaching up to 30 feet. Originating from Africa, it’s known for its slender, cylindrical branches resembling pencils.

To care for this succulent, plant it in well-draining soil, provide ample sunlight, and water sparingly. Its distinctive form adds an artistic touch to landscapes.

A pencil cactus plant in a terracotta pot
Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli)

20. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

The Ponytail Palm, scientifically known as Beaucarnea recurvata, can attain heights of 6 to 20 feet. Originating from Mexico, it features a thick, swollen trunk with long, arching, strap-like leaves.

To ensure its thriving growth, plant it in well-draining soil, provide bright light, and water sparingly. Its unique appearance is a conversation starter in both indoor and outdoor settings.

A persons hands holding up a small ponytail palm plant in a white potfeey / Unsplash
Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

21. Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)

Prickly Pear Cactus can vary in height, with some species reaching up to 12 feet. They are native to the Americas and are characterized by flat, paddle-like stems adorned with spines.

Cultivate Prickly Pear Cactus in well-draining soil, ensure it receives plenty of sunlight, and water sparingly. Its vibrant flowers and edible fruit make it a versatile addition to gardens.

Prickly pear cactus plants with blue sky in the background and pink flowers
Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)

22. Quiver Tree (Aloidendron dichotomum)

The Quiver Tree, scientifically termed Aloidendron dichotomum, can grow to heights of 16 to 33 feet. Originating from Southern Africa, it has a unique, tree-like form with forked branches.

To nurture this striking succulent, plant it in well-draining soil, provide full sun exposure, and water sparingly. Its striking silhouette is a highlight in arid landscapes.

Quiver tree in the African desert during sunset
Quiver Tree (Aloidendron dichotomum)

23. Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)

The Queen of the Night, scientifically known as Epiphyllum oxypetalum, is a night-blooming succulent with long, trailing stems that can reach 6-12 feet. It originates from Central and South America. What truly sets this succulent apart are its stunning, large, and white funnel-shaped flowers that bloom at night, filling the air with a sweet, intoxicating fragrance. These blooms are often up to 8 inches in diameter, making them a sight to behold.

Cultivate this enchanting succulent in well-draining soil, providing bright, indirect light. Water sparingly. Its highlight is its rare, large, fragrant, night-blooming flowers that captivate observers and add allure to gardens and indoor spaces. Be patient, as it can take years to mature and bloom

A white queen of the night flower
Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)

24. Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea)

The Saguaro Cactus, scientifically known as Carnegiea gigantea, is an iconic symbol of the American Southwest and can reach heights of up to 40 feet. It features a tall, columnar structure with branching arms.

To care for this majestic succulent, use well-draining soil, provide full sun exposure, and water sparingly. It’s a cherished addition to desert landscapes.

A tall Saguaro cactus plant in the night with a purple sky
Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea)

25. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Snake Plants typically reach heights of 1 to 4 feet. Native to West Africa, they have upright, sword-shaped leaves that are often variegated.

Maintain Snake Plants in well-draining soil, provide bright indirect light, and water infrequently. Their air-purifying qualities make them a popular choice for indoor spaces.

Snake plant in white pot
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

26. Spineless Yucca (Yucca gigantea)

The Spineless Yucca, scientifically named Yucca gigantea, can grow up to 30 feet tall. Originating from Mexico, it forms a striking rosette of green leaves without the sharp spines typically associated with yuccas.

To ensure its health, plant it in well-draining soil, expose it to full sun, and water sparingly. Its grandeur makes it a focal point in landscapes.

Spineless yucca plant in white pot in front of blue concrete wallJoshua Kettle / Unsplash
Spineless Yucca (Yucca gigantea)

27. String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

String of Pearls typically grows as a trailing plant, reaching lengths of up to 2-3 feet. Originating from South Africa, it features long, cascading strands of round, bead-like leaves.

Cultivate String of Pearls in well-draining soil, provide bright but indirect light, and water sparingly. Its unique appearance adds elegance to hanging baskets and succulent arrangements.

String of pearls plant hanging over a fence
String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

These extraordinary types of tall succulents provide a captivating glimpse into the world of vertical gardening. Each plant’s unique growth pattern, form, and requirements reflect the diversity of succulents as a whole. Whether you’re seeking to create a desert oasis or a striking indoor display, these tall succulents offer endless possibilities for creative landscaping and gardening.

Advantages of Tall Succulents

1. Striking Aesthetic Appeal:

Tall-growing succulent types like the Aloe Vera tree and Snake Plant bring drama and elegance with their architectural forms, unique shapes, textures, and colors, serving as captivating focal points in any setting.

2. Vertical Space Utilization:

Perfect for smaller spaces, these succulents allow you to maximize vertical gardening. They thrive in tall planters or raised beds, making them an ideal choice for those with limited horizontal space.

3. Low Maintenance

Renowned for their low-maintenance nature, tall types of succulents share the hardy, drought-resistant qualities of their smaller counterparts. Their ability to store water in fleshy leaves makes them resilient and easy to care for, even for beginners.

4. Thrive in Various Climates

Adaptable to a wide range of climates, tall succulents can flourish whether you live in arid deserts or temperate regions, provided you cater to their specific sunlight and water needs.

5. Air Purification

Some tall types of succulents, such as the Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), offer air-purifying qualities, helping to remove toxins and improve indoor air quality. To learn more about air-purifying plants see our guide: ‘The Best Indoor Plants for Purifying the Air‘.

6. Sustainable Gardening

Tall succulents’ water-efficient nature reduces your water consumption, and they often require less fertilizer and pest control, aligning with eco-friendly gardening practices.

7. Versatile Design Element

These succulents shine as standalone specimens or can be creatively combined with other succulents, cacti, or traditional garden plants, adding structure and balance to your landscaping designs.

How to Decorate with Tall Succulents

Tall succulents bring a new dimension to your plant decor, making any space, whether indoors or outdoors, come alive with their striking presence and unique shapes. Whether you’re sprucing up a windowsill, adding a focal point to your garden, or searching for a captivating centerpiece, here are some creative ways to incorporate these magnificent plants into your decor, with rock gardens as a standout option.

1. Rock Gardens

Rock gardens provide the perfect canvas to showcase the elegance of tall succulents. By combining the rugged beauty of stones with the vertical grace of succulent foliage, you create a harmonious balance that mimics the plants’ natural habitat. Begin by selecting a variety of textured rocks and arrange them to create elevated terraces or layered platforms. On these surfaces, strategically position your tall succulents, allowing them to flourish amidst the rocky landscape.

To complete the look, consider incorporating walkways or stepping stones that guide visitors through your rock garden, allowing them to appreciate the intricate details of each succulent from various angles. Introduce drought-tolerant ground covers around the base of the tall succulents to create a seamless transition between the rocks and plants.

2. Vertical Planters

Vertical planters offer a unique way to bring succulent beauty to small spaces and urban environments. These innovative installations allow you to create lush green walls that make a bold statement. For tall types of succulents, opt for vertical planters with larger pockets or containers, providing ample room for their upward growth. Arrange the succulents in visually pleasing patterns, taking advantage of their diverse colors, shapes, and sizes.

To enhance the visual impact of your vertical planter, mix in some trailing or hanging succulents that gracefully spill over the edges. This interplay of cascading and upright growth adds a three-dimensional quality to your green wall, making it a captivating conversation starter.

3. Potted Elegance

In larger containers or pots, tall succulents become instant focal points. Placed strategically in patios, courtyards, or entranceways, they command attention and add a touch of sophistication to your decor. Pair them with complementary low-growing succulents and decorative pebbles to create a well-balanced composition that draws the eye upwards.

To create a sense of cohesion, select pots that share a common design theme or color scheme. Grouping different types of tall succulents together in varying heights and pot sizes can evoke a sense of visual rhythm and harmony. Intersperse your arrangements with decorative stones or gravel for an added touch of texture and elegance.

4. Indoor Statements

Tall succulents aren’t limited to outdoor spaces. They can also bring a refreshing touch of nature indoors. In well-lit rooms, consider placing tall types of succulents near windows or in areas that receive ample sunlight. The striking forms of these plants create a sculptural element that adds character and vitality to your interior design.

Enhance the indoor ambiance by selecting decorative pots or planters that complement your interior decor. Incorporating indoor plants, especially tall succulents, can help improve air quality, provide a sense of tranquility, and serve as a captivating focal point in your living spaces.

5. Desert Inspired Garden

Planting different types of tall succulents in your garden is a great way to create a desert-inspired oasis in your outdoor areas. This design approach takes inspiration from arid landscapes, offering a unique and captivating atmosphere. Add some decorative rocks or boulders to your garden to enhance the natural feel, creating a mini desert landscape. You can also include smaller succulents with contrasting textures and colors, such as the Blue Chalksticks, Cabbage head agave, or Candelabra Spurge, to mimic desert wildflowers.

To complete the look, use low-voltage landscape lighting to illuminate your desert oasis at night. This not only adds a dramatic flair but also allows you to enjoy the beauty of your tall succulents even after the sun sets. Your desert retreat, featuring these exclusive succulent varieties, will become a mesmerizing focal point in your outdoor space, transporting you to a tranquil and arid landscape.

The world of succulents offers a fascinating array of tall wonders that can transform your garden, living spaces, and outdoor landscapes into breathtaking showcases of nature’s beauty. From the towering elegance of the African Candelabra Tree to the exotic allure of the Madagascar Palm, these succulents captivate with their unique growth patterns and striking forms. Whether you’re drawn to the rugged charm of rock gardens, or the tranquility of indoor displays, the variety of different types of tall succulents offers endless possibilities for creative landscaping and decoration. Embark on a journey of vertical gardening, and let these magnificent succulents elevate your d├ęcor to new heights. With their beauty, resilience, and ability to captivate all who experience them, tall succulents are more than just plants; they are living works of art that leave a lasting impression and bring the wonder of the natural world into your everyday life.

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