10 Best Succulents and Cacti for Succulent Arrangements
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So you’ve been clicking around on Pinterest and have fallen in love with those divine succulent arrangements. It’s almost unreal the diversity of shapes and colors – all contained within the succulent family.
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It can be tough choosing succulents and cacti to use in arrangements. There are several factors to consider.
Colors, textures, depth – all those artsy things that make or break an arrangement.
If you want a long-term arrangement that really thrives, you need to think about light and water requirements for all the plants involved.
Here are some flexible succulents and cacti to get you started in your arrangement. Share your creations with us on Facebook!
1. Trailing Succulents like String of Pearls or Burro’s Tail
A crucial, yet often overlooked, aspect of arranging is getting the layering right. You need to have multiple levels of depth so that the eye is drawn to every part of the arrangement.
That’s where trailing plants come in.
Plants that hang over the lip of the container give you access to a whole other dimension in which to show off your succulent prowess.
Plus, trailing succulents are some of the most neat-looking ones!
Plant the trailing succulents around the edges of the container so they can hang down, and immediately grow out.
There are loads of different kinds of trailing succulents, and they come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Check out some more varieties from Etsy.
2. Ghost Plant, Graptopetalum paraguayense
I use this in every arrangement, if only because I’ve got so much extra laying around.
The Ghost Plant is a total beginner succulent. It’s almost impossible to kill. It’ll thrive in any condition. It also propagates like mad – the leaves drop frequently and make new babies without any help.
Despite being easy, the Ghost Plant will reward you with beautiful shades of light purple and pink if it has enough sun.
If it lacks sun, it tends to stretch a lot. I plant them around the edges, so they can pretend to be trailing succulents too, in that case.
Check with your friends, or at a garden store, to find these. They’re pretty common.
3. Echeveria of all types and colors!
Echeveria is one of the most diverse and colorful group of succulents.
While the shape is mostly the same between each species – compact rosettes composed of broad leaves – it’s a versatile shape that fits with everything.
Honestly, I include Echeveria in every arrangement. They match with most everything, and they’re not too picky about the conditions.
You have a lot of options to choose from, so be sure to shop around before settling.
4. Jelly Bean Plant, Sedum rubrontinctum
These little cuties are a must-have for any collection. The name is very apt – their leaves look edible because they’re so similar to jellybeans.
Like the Ghost Plant, this guy has some incredible colors when exposed to full sun. The solid green turns pink then deep red and orange with a slight transparency.
They like to spread outwards, so they fill in arrangements quite nicely.
These are pretty common too! Look at your garden store or find ’em on Amazon.
5. Gollum Jade, Crassula ovata “Gollum”
Gollum Jade is included because it’s very flexible in terms of watering and sun, and the unique shape it has adds a lot of texture to any arrangement.
Jades generally prefer more water, and this one is no exception. Keep that in mind if you’re making an arrangement in a container without drainage.
Plant your Gollum Jade near the back – it likes to grow upwards.
If you want a whole bunch of Jade, check out the Succulent Source. They’ve got loads.
6. Zebra Cactus, Haworthia fasciata
There are lots of fascinating Haworthia that fit great in arrangements. I chose the “zebra cactus” though, because it is really easy to find and really easy to take care of.
This is a definite mid-ground plant. Too tall to be in the front, and too short to be in the back.
The white stripes on the dark green are striking, and so it’s worth considering for some arrangements. It also has a darker green than many other succies, so you can use it to create some nice contrast.
Note that Haworthia fasciata and Haworthia attenuata are quite similar – the difference is whether or not the stripes appear on the tops of the leaves as well as the underside.
For our purposes in arrangements- they’re interchangeable.
These show up in grocery stores like Trader Joe’s from time to time. They’re also popular around Halloween, for some reason? If you can’t find one, get it online here.
Yeah, this is a whole genus. Much like Echeveria, though, it has a lot of variety.
Sempervivum invariably have captivating radial symmetry. They have many more leaves than Echeveria, and so their rosettes are very busy (in a good way).
They tend to stay low to the soil and produce lots of babies. Use them as a filler plant – leave them some room and they’ll fill it up.
Bonus points because Sempervivum are cold-hardy!
They’re often confused with Echeveria at big box stores. A common name for these guys in Hens and Chicks – so look out for them!
8. Christmas Carol Aloe
This ain’t your regular, run-of-the-mill Aloe vera. This here’s a specially-bred hybrid aloe that has vivid coloring given enough sun.
Christmas Carol Aloe is pretty flexible. It doesn’t grow too tall, or take up a lot of space. It adds a nice splash of color and some different textures.
It also pups frequently, which is nice. When the flowers come in, about once every year, it’ll really light up your arrangement with tall, orange blooms.
If you buy these online, beware that it may appear plain green when it arrives. They require significant sun to get that luscious color!
9. Mammillaria Cacti
There are lots of cacti in the Mammillaria genus, it’s true.
The thing that they have in common is lots of thick spines. And they (usually) aren’t the really painful kind.
Those spines give a lot of character to the cactus and the arrangement. I like using it in a sparse, desert-themed arrangement where each plant is highlighted by the space between them.
Go check out some of the other Mamillaria available elsewhere online!
10. Baby Necklace
Baby Necklace tends to trail as it gets older, but while it’s still growing upwards, it’s an awesome mid-ground plant.
The leaves of this fat plant are awesome geometric shapes. It tends to grow closely bunched, so you can really pack them in.
The color ranges from light green to pale blue; some varieties have leaves outlined with red. Make sure they get enough sun so they stay compact!
You can find it in garden stores often, and it’s always available on Amazon!
So, you get any ideas for your next big arrangement? Tell us your favorite plants to use in the comments below!