Because of its seemingly year-round tropical weather, Florida is one of the best places in the United States to grow succulents. However, care should be taken when the rainy season comes about and adds excess moisture to the air, as succulents do not like humidity.
In this article, we will discuss the succulents that grow best in Florida’s climate. If you are from the Sunshine State and are planning to start a succulent collection, keep reading to learn exactly which species will thrive where you live.
13 best succulents for Florida
These succulents’ leaves form a rosette when they grow, just like many other succulents, but sedums still have their own signature look.
Sedums come in all sizes, ranging from a few inches high to around three feet tall.
Some varieties do well in shallow containers so that the plant can trail and eventually hang over the edge of the container for an overflowing look.
Different sedum varieties can have vastly different leaf colors, from red to silver to green leaves with white margins.
The donkey tail and the Angelina sedum are some of the most uniquely-shaped sedums because of their overlapping leaves.
When you think of cacti, your mind usually goes straight to the American southwest and even Mexico. Very rarely does one think of Florida when thinking of succulents, despite some cactus species actually being native to the state.
One such species is the prickly pear cactus. It has flat branches that look like paddles and produces yellow flowers and edible fruits. The plant has spines on its branches and on its fruits. It stores water in its fleshy branches to be able to survive dry and arid conditions.
Other cacti that can grow in Florida are those that do well in containers and can be kept indoors. There are so many cacti that come in all different shapes and sizes, so you can mix and match different cacti to make an interesting-looking garden.
Echeverias’ leaves also form a rosette, creating a beautifully symmetrical display of foliage.
These succulents are typically small and grow well in small pots or containers that you can display indoors.
When watering any echeveria plant, make sure that you pour the water directly into the soil around the base of the plant, as opposed to pouring from above and letting the water pool in the folds of the leaves. This can lead to rot if the water is not removed immediately.
The older leaves of the plant will be closest to the base of the plant, so you can remove the old and dead leaves periodically to keep the bottom of the plant clear of debris.
Two echeveria varieties that grow well in Florida are the ‘Black Prince’ and the ‘Ruffles’.
If you prefer the more classic succulent look, maybe Echeveria ‘Blue Rose’ is the better choice for you. But, if you want a crazier-looking succulent, give Echeveria ‘Topsy Turvy’ a try.
Whatever echeveria you end up choosing, you will not regret it as they are mostly low-maintenance and do not require much care and attention to thrive.
Aloes are not native to the Americas; they come from Africa, Madagascar and some parts of the Middle East.
These succulents are evergreen and have long, pointy leaves that grow in rosette formations.
The list of species in the Aloe family is extensive, so you have a range of sizes to choose from. If you live in an apartment, you can grow smaller aloes in pots and containers atop your table and shelves.
Most aloes have green leaves, but they can turn a more reddish color if the plant is left under the full sun for long periods. Larger aloes can make a great centerpiece in your outdoor garden.
These succulents are native to Madagascar and prefer summer-like, coastal weather.
Kalanchoe succulents are easy to propagate and have no problem growing indoors.
They are not as rigid as other succulents and they also produce pretty flowers.
Some good choices for Florida are the ‘Desert Rose’ paddle plant and the panda plant.
These plants do not do well in places with cold winters because they cannot tolerate the cold. Inversely, they do not like very hot weather either, so be sure to provide them with a middle ground in terms of living conditions.
This is also called the hen and chicks succulent because of how its offsets, or pups, look like little babies next to the mature mother plant.
These succulents multiply very quickly and are often used as a ground cover in gardens.
They do well in poor soil, cold weather and even drought, so you will not have to give them much attention for them to grow well.
There are many different Sempervivum species and they come in a plethora of textures and colors. Their leaves also form a rosette and look beautiful when they spread over your garden.
Some great Sempervivum varieties for Florida are the ‘Red Rubin’, ‘Green Wheel’ and ‘Royal Ruby’.
Aeonium succulents come from the African continent. They appreciate an almost Mediterranean climate, meaning they are fine with wet winters and dry summers.
These plants’ leaves also form a rosette shape, which looks very similar to the Echeveria.
The different Aeonium species have different rosette patterns, giving these plants a lot of dimension and personality. Some species will branch out and look more like shrubs, while others prefer growing low on the ground.
As mentioned before, these succulents like a Mediterranean climate, so while they might not work so well as landscape plants, they will be fine growing in a pot indoors.
They like lots of sun, so place them near a window that lets in plenty of light, like an east-facing window.
8. Jade plant
The jade plant is one of the most popular succulents because of its unique look. The older the plant, the thicker the stem and branches become, making it look more and more like a tree as it ages.
Another reason the jade plant is a great choice is that it produces very pretty pink or white flowers. Its leaves are shaped like spoons and can develop red margins if the plant gets plenty of sunlight.
The jade plant can live for many years when properly cared for. It can survive under full sunlight or filtered light, as long as the temperature around the plant is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
This plant can tolerate drought, but not for extended periods, as this can lead to stunted growth, leaf drop and even death.
Examples of Agave species that are native to Florida are the wild century plant and the false sisal.
Agaves have thick, fleshy leaves that grow in a rosette. They may be mistaken for aloes, because they share many similar physical characteristics.
Certain Agave species are actually used to produce the alcoholic drink, tequila.
Agaves are slow growers that only flower once every ten years, and they grow best in desert-like conditions.
Their flower stems grow from the center of the leaf rosette and can reach up to 40 feet high. The agave plant dies after it blooms, so be sure to propagate your plant using the plantlets that sprout from the bottom of the parent plant’s stem.
The yucca plant looks almost like an agave that has been placed on top of a trunk, but the leaves of the yucca are thinner and feel more leathery than those of the agave.
The most common species native to Florida is Yucca gloriosa.
The plant’s leaves can vary from pale blue to green, and they have yellow or cream-colored stripes. When it blooms, it produces white, bell-shaped flowers.
Plant your yucca in sandy soil, under full sunlight. This plant tolerates drought as well as frosty weather conditions.
A healthy and mature yucca is resistant to most pests and diseases.
Native to tropical regions, bromeliads are revered for their colorful leaves and flower spikes. They grow well in Florida because they prefer bright light and warm weather.
The color and the fullness of the plant’s leaves will depend on the amount of light the plant is able to get.
There are more than 15 bromeliad species native to the state of Florida. Out of these species, the Spanish moss is the most recognizable one.
They can be grown on the trunks of trees and other shrubs, but they are not parasitic plants in any way.
12. Carrion flower
This succulent is upright and has spines and fuzz on its stems. The stem is shaped like a four-pointed star, with wings pointing in each of the four directions.
It can reach 10 inches in height and spreads sideways as its roots grow along the soil.
Propagate this plant by breaking off a stem and planting it in the soil. They grow well in the ground, in hanging baskets, and in containers placed on a shelf or table.
This plant produces flower buds that look like balloons, which open up to reveal a beautiful flower. Unfortunately, these flowers do exude an unpleasant aroma in the mornings, which is how the plant got its name.
13. Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’
This succulent does well in both full sun and partial shade. It has purplish-pink leaves that can become more vibrant the more sunlight the plant gets. It can grow up to two feet tall and two feet wide.
It does not do well in cold weather, so if you live in a part of Florida that still has cold winters, it is best to plant the succulent in a pot so you can bring it indoors when the temperature gets too low.
You can propagate this plant using its offsets, cuttings, or leaves.
If you live in sunny Florida, there is not a lot that can keep you from adding succulents to your garden. The Sunshine State is typically warm and sunny for most of the year and there are thousands of different succulent species you can choose from for your collection.
The succulents mentioned in our list are of different shapes, sizes, and colors, so it is up to you to mix and match these plants depending on your preferences.
Your garden is sure to look beautiful and eye-catching with any of these succulents present.