When you hear the term “succulents,” you probably think of adorably tiny, low-maintenance plants in dainty pots that look great in your Instagram feed. The idea of tall succulents doesn’t cross many people’s minds.
But what if I told you that there are tall succulents out there that not only look stunning but are also equally low maintenance?
Let’s take a look at the appeal of tall succulents and some of my favorite different types of succulents that grow tall in the right conditions.
Table of Contents
Benefits of a Tall Succulent Plant
Succulents, derived from the Latin word “sucus” meaning “juice” or “sap,” tend to be quite appealing for new plant owners since they need such little attention. Succulents can grow well as an indoor plant or outdoor plant and require minimal light and little water.
Most succulents are drought-resistant. Indoor succulents are also great for purifying the air and increasing the oxygen level in your home.
With tall succulents, you get all these benefits and so much more! If you have a home with a high ceiling, tall succulents are perfect for filling out space while being the perfect centerpiece. They make a bold style statement and offer a burst of color to any space.
As part of your landscaping, tall succulents boost your curb appeal even if you live in warm, dry climate where keeping other needier plants alive is a problem. They can often also be used as shrubs that provide a little privacy and keep some animals away with their spikes.
You must know, however, tall succulents are different from succulents that are stretching because of lack of light. Tall succulents are succulent species that naturally grow tall when healthy. Stretching, on the other hand, occurs when succulents do not receive enough light and their stems start to stretch out, making them look elongated.
This post includes affiliate links.
What’s the Tallest Succulent?
Growing up to 62 feet with a diameter of 34.9 feet and a trunk with a circumference of 109.5 feet, the African Baobab tree is the tallest succulent.
While, yes, baobab is a tree, it functions like a succulent with more than 80% of its trunk being water. Baobab has the capacity to hold 1189 gallons of water. Baobab fruit is also a powerhouse of nutrients.
Known as the “Tree of Life,” baobab holds significant cultural and spiritual meaning.
15 Succulents that Grow Tall
There are countless succulent plants out there that grow extremely tall. Here are 15 tall succulent plants that can transform the look of your home.
Though succulents don’t need much care in general, make sure you learn about your tall succulent’s proper care so you can get the large size and mature plants you’re hoping for!
1. African Milk Tree (Euphorbia trigona)
Known for its unique appearance, the African milk tree, or euphorbia trigona, is native to central and south Africa. It grows upright and has spines, similar to a cactus, rounded off by soft, feather-like leaves. It’s not considered a cactus because typically cactuses don’t have leaves.
It can have a consistent growth of approximately 1 to 2 feet in height each year, reaching almost 8 feet tall overall if outdoors. It won’t grow as tall inside, so don’t expect it to reach your ceiling!
As an outdoor plant, you might see white or yellow flowers on African milk trees, but they don’t normally bloom inside.
The African milk tree gets its name from the white milky sap it produces. Be careful though because the sap is toxic and will irritate eyes and skin. You can easily propagate this plant from stem cuttings, but wear protective gloves and goggles because of the toxic sap.
African milk tree loves the sun and needs a minimum of 5-6 hours of bright, indirect light.
*Find more about the African Milk Tree here.
Buy on Etsy
2. Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens)
Another sun-loving succulent, ocotillo can grow up to 20 feet tall, with its branches being able to spread up to 10 to 15 feet.
Also called Vine Cactus, the branches of ocotillo are long, wiry, and wand-like. They also have small spikes that make ocotillo a good shrub succulent for keeping animals and people out.
In the spring and summer, the ocotillo grows bursts of tiny red tubular flowers — in fact, ocotillo means little torch in Spanish.
This succulent can survive in droughts, can live without water for weeks, and can live under the harsh sun throughout its life. It also prefers very well-draining soil, so it’s good for desert climates, rocky mesas and rock gardens.
Ocotillo in the wild have been known to live for 60 to 100 years, so take good care of yours and it could be with you for decades.
Shop on Etsy
3. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Maybe my favorite easy plant, snake plant, or Sansevieria Trifasciata, is commonly found in many houses today. Originating from West Africa, snake plants can grow up to 12 feet tall when planted outside. This is a great option for a taller houseplant that doesn’t need too much attention.
It has tall, broad leaves that taper to a point like a sword.
These plants flourish in warmer weather and can even live in colder conditions. While they are drought-resistant, snake plants are vulnerable to overwatering that may lead to root rot.
The appropriate way to care for this plant is to water it only when the soil gets dry.
Read more snake plant care tips here.
Be sure to check out another snake plant – the Sansevieria Cylindrica!
4. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
Feeling lucky? The jade plant is considered by many as a symbol of good luck. A popular plant chosen for its decor appeal, the jade plants can grow between 3 and 6 feet in height.
Jade plants are known to be a slow grower, allowing it to survive in small containers for a long time and thus doesn’t need to be repotted often. It thrives in dry conditions, low humidity, and cool temperatures.
Make sure your jade plant gets between 4 and 5 hours of direct sunlight on a daily basis to thrive. A lack of light will cause it to become leggy. Exposing it to enough sunlight will also give its leaves a beautiful red tinge.
Find more about propagating the jade plant on this post.
5. Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)
A slow-growing succulent, desert rose has gorgeous white and pink flowers that make this plant a show-stopper. It can grow up to 10 feet tall with an average width of 2 to 5 feet.
Although its elegant appearance might make you think that this plant is high-maintenance, desert rose is quite easy to care for. The plant flourishes in tropical weather and loves the sun. It needs sandy, well-draining soil.
It has a thick base covered in spines and produces bright flowers during the summers.
If kept outdoors, you will have to repot desert rose every couple of years to maintain its upright form.
Shop on Etsy
6. Fox Tail Agave (Agave attenuata)
Fox tail agave is an evergreen succulent that is one of the easiest to care for. With the tallest specimens growing up to almost 10 feet in height, this plant generates leaves that are pale green and silvery in color.
It has strong, curved stems that are gray in color. Though the fox tail agave plant is drought-tolerant, it doesn’t do too well in the desert heat. Provide well draining soil that consists of lots of sand and gravel for its growth.
Fox tail agave doesn’t require much water and can survive for weeks without it. It prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade.
Palmer’s agave is another agave species that is commonly used when looking for landscape plants in warm temperatures. It grows up to 4 ft in height and has a beautiful symmetrical rosette.
Shop on Etsy
7. Aloe Vera
The aloe vera plant needs no introduction. One of the most beloved and common succulents, aloe vera has a lot of medicinal as well as non-medicinal uses.
You’ve probably seen small aloe vera plants in someone’s kitchen, but if properly cared for and encouraged to grow, they can grow up to 3 feet in height. Aloe vera requires about 6 to 8 hours of sunlight on a daily basis to grow tall instead of wide and bushy. Younger aloe plants can tolerate getting much less sunlight compared to the mature ones.
Traditionally, these succulents thrive in a warm climate. However, they also survive equally well indoors.
Learn how to propagate an aloe vera plant here!
8. Burro’s Tail (Sedum Morganianum)
Also called burro’s tail or donkey’s tail, the Sedum Morganianum is known for its unique appearance. Its stem is covered with fleshy leaves that are blue-green in color, thick, and lance-shaped.
It grows up to 2 to 3 feet in height, and Sedum Morganianum must be placed in suspended pots to ensure that the stems grow freely. The soil needs to drain well.
During hot weather, Sedum Morganianum can survive outdoors without any difficulty. But it must be placed indoors during the colder weather.
These succulents generate tiny, scentless flowers in red, lavender, and pink colors. However, these flowers are rare.
Find out how to care for your burro’s tail.
9. String Of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanu)
The string of pearls is easily recognizable because of its small pea-shaped leaves. It is a hanging succulent that has extended stems that cascade over the sides of the pot, allowing the leaves to grow on them.
It can grow up to 3 feet tall and has a lifespan of nearly 5 years if properly cared for. A significant trait to highlight about this succulent is that it doesn’t require any specific conditions to thrive.
All you need to make sure is that it receives proper light and fertilizer for its growth.
Shop on Etsy
10. Madagascar Palm (Pachypodium lamerei)
The Madagascar palm is related to the cacti, rather than the palm tree as its name might suggest. It’s a slow-growing plant that can grow up to 18 to 19 feet tall outdoors and 4 to 6 feet inside.
Its swollen trunk with long and narrow leaves that grow into small branches gives the Madagascar palm a unique appearance. In summers, this succulent produces bright flowers.
Madagascar palm loves the sun and doesn’t need much water. It can survive very well in hot conditions but needs more care in cold conditions.
Shop on Etsy
11. Hanging Chain Cholla (Cylindropuntia fulgida)
Growing up to 9 to 15 feet tall, the hanging chain cholla is a native of the southwestern United States. It looks a bit like a tree with a bunch of cactuses hanging off of it.
If you brush against it, the spines on this plant detach from its main branch and cause minor wounds on people. This ability of the succulent has led to it being nicknamed the “Jumping Cholla.”
Hanging chain cholla needs bright natural sunlight and dry soil for its survival.
12. Fishhook Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus wislizenii)
A fairly easy succulent to grow, the fishhook barrel cactus is a native of southwestern New Mexico and can grow up to 12 feet tall. It also has smaller shrub versions of 1 to 3 feet that are more common.
It’s also known as Arizona barrel cactus, but the fishhook name is appropriate because of its long hooked spines.
This succulent requires very little attention: just give it gritty, well-draining soil and lots of bright sunlight. It can tolerate extremely cold weather and survive without water for up to 4 weeks.
It can bloom stunning orange flowers, making it a great addition to your collection if you want a pop of color.
Shop on Etsy
13. Organ Pipe Cactus (Stenocereus thurberi)
Organ pipe cactus can grow up to a whopping 26 feet tall and is easily identifiable due to its shape. Many narrow arms grow out of a single trunk right at ground level, giving the appearance of a pipe organ.
On average, this succulent can spread 3 to 5 feet wide with gray stems and brown spines. The organ pipe cactus generates white flowers that have pink or purple petals.
It requires moist or dry soil and can live without water for an extended period of time. While it does require sunlight to thrive, surviving in shade for a long time isn’t too difficult either.
Shop on Etsy
14. Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)
Named after its fragrant white flowers that only bloom at night and wilt by the morning, the queen of the night originates from South America and can grow up to 10 feet tall. It’s a really special and beautiful succulent.
It has thick, ribbed, blue-green branches that are cylindrical in shape. Most of these succulents consist of branches that have needle-like spines.
Your queen of the night will do best when grown with other plants like shrubs or small trees, because this succulent is reliant on other plants for support. It’s a jungle cactus so it’s used to hitching rides up trees.
Although this succulent can tolerate the sun, it thrives in indirect light.
Shop on Etsy
15. Soaptree Yucca (Yucca elata)
Growing nearly 15 feet tall and 8 feet wide, the soaptree yucca is one of the many distinguishing plants of the Chihuahuan Desert.
An abundant evergreen succulent, you might call it a shrub or small tree. It has a gray trunk covered in dead leaves. While the soaptree yucca thrives in dry desert conditions, it also does well in cold areas.
When in bloom, it produces brown pods and bell-shaped flowers that are white in color.
Shop on Etsy
Which Will You Get?
Succulents are a common sight in most households today. Their low-maintenance and pleasant looks make them an easy choice for people who are not too familiar with plant care.
If you’re looking to add to your succulent collection, you might want to look into tall succulents to give a more exotic appeal to your home garden.
Which type of succulent are you adding to your home? Choose a few and put them together in a rock garden for some extra, easy oomph to your landscaping or keep them in a bright corner of your house to freshen up a space.
Just make sure to get them from reputable nurseries, as some of them are sometimes taken illegally from their natural habitats.
Read more about the best soil for your succulents.
Want a hanging succulent? Here are my favorite 9 hanging succulents.