Last updated on August 25th, 2023 at 12:33 pm
There are many different types of succulents, but rare succulents are a special subcategory of succulents that are difficult to find in the wild and often have especially unique features or characteristics. Although they may be difficult to find in nature, they’re quite easy to buy at your local nursery or garden shop!
The succulent plant family is filled with many unique, beautiful, and interesting plants, but only a few have the word rare attached to them, making them truly one-of-a-kind and much more valuable.
In fact, some of these rare succulents are in such high demand that even finding them can be difficult, as they often sell out as soon as they come into stock.
Here are some great examples of 35 different types of rare succulents you can look forward to growing in your own garden!
What are succulents?
Succulents are plants that store water in their leaves, stems, or roots to keep themselves hydrated when there’s not enough rain. Succulents are popular plants because they’re easy to care for and generally don’t need a lot of water to survive.
They also come in all sorts of vibrant colors, so they can be fun to grow even if you just want something beautiful to look at while you’re gardening!
What are rare succulents?
Rare succulents are succulent plants that are not only hard to care for but are also difficult to find commercially. That’s why they are called rare succulents. Having a successful garden or nursery of rare succulents can be straining because they are either hard to grow, or don’t root easily. Some examples of rare succulents are given below
Pachyphytum compactum “Little Jewel’’
If you’re looking for real rare succulents, look no further than Pachyphytum compactum ‘Little Jewel.’ The dark red/green leaves of these strange succulents reach about 3 to 4 inches long with yellow, star-shaped flowers in summer. These strange succulent plants are native to Mexico, where they grow on rock cliffs and sometimes on the ground that is poor in nutrients.
They do best in bright light and need very little water once established. It’s hard to believe that such a rare plant could be so easy to care for!
Ariocarpus trigonus “Living Rock Cactus”
The Ariocarpus trigonus, also known as the living rock cactus, is native to Mexico. This strange succulent has a very unique pattern and texture on its body and can grow as tall as 18 inches. Living Rock Cactus are propagated by seeds or cuttings. These plants grow very slowly in ideal conditions and must be kept in full sunlight for optimal growth.
During their dormant season, you can lightly spray your plant with water every two weeks to keep it from becoming too dry. When watering does not soak your plant completely but rather give it just enough water so that the soil becomes moist again.
When watering makes sure that you use only rainwater or distilled water since tap water will contain minerals that will build up over time and eventually kill your plant.
Extremely rare species with a globular, white-spotted stem. The Ariocarpus Trigonus is one of many varieties of succulent plants. The particular variety called Ariocarpus Trigonus, or Living Rock, comes from a family that also includes Lithops and Astrophytum.
This family is known for its incredible drought tolerance and ability to survive in harsh environments. This plant can thrive in full sun to partial shade, which makes it ideal for outdoor use as well as indoor arrangements.
It’s recommended that you water your plant every few weeks during its growing season (spring through fall) but allow it to dry out between watering periods. Although it prefers dry conditions once it has been established, you should still give your plant enough water to keep its leaves plump and healthy-looking.
Tephrocactus articulatus “Paper Spine Cactus”
The paper spine cactus is a species of cactus indigenous to an area in South America. In terms of rarity, it is also known as one of the rarest succulent plants in existence.
Paper spine cactus grows as a solitary plant. In its natural habitat, it often grows on rocky hillsides and sometimes alongside other types of cacti such as cholla or claret cup cultivars. It has been cultivated for many years as well, with many different varieties being developed. However, despite all these efforts, it still remains one of the rarest succulents out there.
Haworthia truncata v. maughanii
The rarest succulent in Haworthia truncata v. maughanii is another of those remarkable hybrids that is so hard to find in cultivation, you wonder how they managed to get any viable seedlings!
It’s a cross between Haworthia truncata and Haworthia maughanii, a rare hybrid that was only discovered in 2000. The plants take after their Haworthia maughanii parent in appearance but have a translucent red edge on each leaf as well as beautiful white spots on their leaves.
These are very slow-growing plants that can be difficult to propagate from cuttings or seeds due to low germination rates.
They grow slowly into clumps up to 12 inches tall by 6 inches wide with 1 inch wide flat leaves with red edges and white spots all over them. If you want one of these amazing little gems for your collection, don’t expect it to be easy!
Adromischus maculatus “Calico Hearts”
A popular South African species, Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’ is also known as Painted Hearts due to its dark red-violet spots and purple undersides.
The leaves of Adromischus maculatus are wide and rosette-shaped with a reddish or brownish tint on top, but their undersides are a vibrant purple that makes for an attractive contrast against their yellow flowers.
These unusual succulent plants prefer bright light in order to thrive, so they should be placed in a sunny spot. However, they do not like hot sun exposure and will do best if they receive partial shade during mid-day hours.
They also require frequent watering during their growing season from spring through fall (they can tolerate drier conditions during winter). Fertilize them once per month with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
Echeveria x imbricata “Compton Carousel”
Perhaps one of the most prolific succulent houseplants, Echeveria imbricata ‘Compton Carousel’ is characterized by its long flat rosettes that are often curved in. A native to Mexico, it can be found growing at high altitudes on volcanic rocks and cliffs.
It prefers dry soil but performs well as a houseplant if you increase its water intake in winter when it goes into a dormant period. If you want to grow your own succulent garden, then there’s no better place than your windowsill!
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii “Purple Moon Cactus”
This rare succulent grows best in bright sunlight and is prone to sunburn. This cactus can grow to be 12 inches high with a 10-inch circumference. It blooms purple flowers in early summer.
Its spines are long, soft, and white. Its leaves are greenish-gray to brownish-green, which makes it easy to identify. In addition, its flower stems are dark purple or reddish-brown with white spots on them, which also makes them easy to identify. Gymnocalycium mihanovichii ‘Purple Moon Cactus’ is native to Brazil.
Othonna Capensis “Ruby Necklace”
This succulent features an intense reddish-orange color and produces white flowers on red stems. Othonna Capensis Ruby Necklace is a slow-growing succulent and should be protected from frost. Its average lifespan is 10 years, but they have been known to live up to 50 years with proper care.
With bright indirect sunlight, Ruby Necklace will bloom all year round with minimal care. The ideal temperature for growth is between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit (16-24 degrees Celsius). It can tolerate temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) if it’s in full sun exposure.
The plant can survive in dry conditions, but it thrives when watered every two weeks during its growing season. The soil needs to drain well and should be kept slightly moist at all times.
The Othonna capensis “Ruby Necklace” is an exceptionally rare succulent plant. Native to South Africa, it is a type of Kalanchoe, and has thick stems that can grow up to 12 inches long.
These rosette-shaped plants bloom with delicate flowers that have a rose-purple center and pink tips on each petal. In order to keep your Ruby Necklace thriving, you will need to provide ample sunlight and water it often. If you are interested in buying one for yourself or as a gift for someone special, contact your local nursery or garden store today!
Conophytum Subglobosum “Living Pebbles plant”
The Conophytum Subglobosum is a type of succulent from South Africa. This plant is relatively rare, which means you will have to search online and at local nurseries for it. It thrives in warm climates, so if you live in an area with cold winters or cool summers, it’s best to grow it as a houseplant.
Good soil for these plants would be cactus mix with added sand. The Conophytum Subglobosum can get up to 6 inches wide and 6 inches tall. These are great starter plants for those who want something unusual but still easy to care for.
This plant requires well-drained soil that is kept evenly moist throughout its growing season (spring through fall). During the winter months, allow it to dry out slightly between waterings; don’t let it completely dry out though!
Euphorbia obesa “Baseball Plant”
This unusual succulent, also known as Euphorbia obesa, is a popular choice for many gardens because of its interesting appearance. The plant has red edges and yellow bands that make it look like a miniature ball-shaped cactus, giving it one of its common names: Baseball Plant.
In its native habitat of South Africa, Baseball Plant grows at an altitude of more than 3000 meters above sea level in areas with winter rainfall. It’s a slow grower but can reach up to two feet tall if given proper care. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.
To keep your Baseball Plant healthy, avoid overwatering; allow the soil to dry out between waterings. A fertilizer rich in potassium helps promote blooming.
Mexican Hens And Chicks “Topsy Turvy”
Growing succulent plants may seem like a difficult task, but with these sweet Topsy Turvy Mexican Hens and Chicks from Roots, one of our readers’ top picks for best houseplants, it couldn’t be easier. The care for these adorable plants is simple: all you have to do is turn them upside down!
These easy-care plants do well indoors as long as they get bright indirect light. They will start to grow roots on their own so you don’t need to worry about replanting or repotting; just give them lots of water when needed.
Adromischus cooperi “Plover Eggs”
Adromischus cooperi also known as Plover Eggs is native to South Africa and is part of a small group of succulent plants that grow in rosettes. These beautiful plants are usually about 2 inches tall and a little wider. They come in white, pink, red, or purple.
They only have two large leaves per rosette and are easy to care for. They like bright light but not direct sunlight. If you want them to bloom, you will need to water them with distilled water.
Make sure that your soil is well-draining and use a cactus mix if you can find it because these plants do not like wet feet. The best way to propagate these succulents is by taking cuttings from an existing plant; however, they can be propagated from seed as well.
Adromischus cristatus “Crinkle Leaf Plant”
This drought-tolerant plant has thick crinkled foliage and small white flowers. Originally from South Africa, it grows well in USDA zones 10-11, but can be grown as an indoor plant anywhere. It’s best to water it once a week and let it go dry between watering.
This plant is very popular with cactus collectors who enjoy its unique texture and form. A member of the Crassula family, Adromischus cristatus Crinkle Leaf Plant was first discovered by Charles Marloth in 1908. The genus name comes from Greek words meaning thorny and to cut, while cristatus means crested. Its scientific name means crested or tufted.
Faucaria felina “Pebbled Tiger Jaws”
This succulent from South Africa is a particular favorite of mine. The leaves are tightly-packed in rosettes, meaning they grow in a circular formation, and have an unusual texture that resembles pebbles or rocks. It’s one of those must-have succulents for any collection.
This species has very short spines on its leaves that help it retain water, making it an excellent choice for indoor plantings where watering is less than ideal. Faucaria felina grows best when it receives bright light but not direct sunlight.
During the winter months, you can move your Faucaria felina to a cooler spot with reduced light until spring returns. Keep your plant moist during these winter months to ensure survival through spring. Faucaria felina Pebbled Tiger Jaws makes an excellent addition to any succulent collection!
Aloe is a perennial succulent that can grow up to 15 inches high. It thrives in areas of full sun, but it also does well in partially shaded locations. Aloe hawthoides is easy to propagate and adapt well to cultivation. The flowers bloom in late winter or early spring, producing gorgeous red and yellow blooms.
Propagation can be done easily by carefully removing a leaf from its parent plant and replanting it into sandy soil where it will develop roots quickly. This type of aloe is native to South Africa.
Haworthia cuspidata variegata “Star Window Plant”
Few succulent plants are as interesting as those of Haworthia. The most common variety is Haworthia arachnoide, otherwise known as zebra plant, which has a white stripe running down its leaves.
But less common varieties include green and variegated ones like Haworthia cuspidata variegata, or jointed plant, which divides into long tubes that resemble fingers separated by joints. This succulent also comes in green forms. They’re all easy to grow and can be propagated from leaf cuttings.
They’re great for beginners who want to try their hand at growing succulents but don’t have much experience with them yet.
When succulent gardeners think about Haworthia, they usually start dreaming about Haworthia fasciata. But other species are equally nice and easy to care for. One of them is Haworthia cuspidata variegata, also known as Star Window Plant. This plant is a slow grower with thick branches and vivid white lines on its leaves.
The variety of Haworthia cuspidata variegata with golden-edged leaves is even more beautiful! It’s one of those plants that look like ornaments in your home. If you want to give it away as a gift, be sure to find out if your recipient has an east window where it can receive lots of light during wintertime. It’s not hardy enough for outdoor use in cold climates.
Baby Toes “Fenestraria rhopalophylla”
Also known as a living stone, Baby Toes are adorable little succulent plants with white polka dots and huge, fern-like leaves. They can be grown indoors or outdoors, but they do best in sandy soil that’s slightly acidic.
They grow slowly during their first year of life, but once they get going they can reach heights of up to 12 inches tall! These rare succulents don’t require much attention, just some water every few weeks, but you should avoid getting them too wet because they don’t like to have their roots sitting in water for long periods of time.
Astrophytum Asterias “Sand Dollar Cactus”
This cactus is native to Mexico and has light brown, elongated bodies with dimples in it’s skin. It produces a light green flower from June to August, which attracts hummingbirds. This small cactus grows up to 8 inches tall and spreads up to 6 inches across.
The Sand Dollar Cactus’ main characteristic is its glassy appearance due to sand trapped in its body. This plant does well in most environments but does best in hot, dry conditions.
Echinocereus rigidissimus “Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus”
The Echinocereus rigidissimus Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus is a spiney, compact cactus that grows to a height of 10 cm. The red and white spines are fascinating with their appearance like wool and make it unique among other cacti. It has thick stems that have rings on them when they get old.
They grow in sprawling masses and is able to bloom between May through July, producing flowers in dense clusters of around 3 inches across. Its flower color varies from pinkish-red to purple-red. This plant can be propagated by cuttings or seeds.
Aloe helenae “Vahondrandra”
This type of succulent is a beauty. It grows up to four feet tall and wide. It has thick leaves that are green on top and red on the bottom. The shape of its flowers resembles peonies and they can be white, yellow, or pink in color. The petals are papery and furl at night, protecting them from unwanted insects.
Aloe helenae Vahondrandra grows best in well-drained soil with high humidity. They should be watered once every seven days during their growing season. They prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade as long as it’s not too dark.
These plants are native to Madagascar and have been popular for more than 100 years. They make excellent additions to any garden where you want an exotic plant with unique coloring.
Ariocarpus bravoanus is an uncommon species of Ariocarpus and native to Mexico. It has tall, dense, symmetrical rosettes of triangular fleshy leaves. The color of its leaves ranges from bright green in full sun, to yellowish-green in low light conditions.
Its flowers are small, white, and have a very sweet fragrance. They are borne on a branched inflorescence that emerges from between two leaf joints. This plant needs excellent drainage as it does not tolerate standing water well at all.
The best way to propagate these plants is by seed or cuttings, which can be rooted in any standard potting mix with perlite or sand added for drainage. This species requires little care once established and makes a great addition to any collection of unusual succulent plants!
Fouquieria fasciculata “White Ocotillo”
White Ocotillo is a beautiful succulent, which can be also used as an ornamental plant. It’s quite hardy and tolerant of both high and low temperatures, so it doesn’t require any extra care except for light trimming of its stiff branches every year in late winter.
This plant has small spikes of yellowish-white flowers during summer, which attract pollinators like bees and hummingbirds. The plant grows well on rocky hillsides and can survive in full sun or partial shade. The White Ocotillo is native to Southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America.
This rare succulent grows natively in South Africa and blooms a vibrant, deep pink. To grow Aloinopsis luckhoffii, you need bright sunlight and high temperatures. It is endangered in its native habitat but can be grown indoors if provided with adequate care. The plant’s unique coloring makes it an excellent
Echeveria gibbiflora “Barbillion”
Echeveria gibbifloras are perhaps one of the most well-known succulent plants. Native to Mexico, these easy-to-grow succulents are named after their tendency to flower in spring (or barbelian) months. Echeveria gibbifloras don’t require too much care, making them perfect for new gardeners or beginners.
They prefer bright light and can survive in less than ideal conditions, but will look best with a bit more attention. They also make great houseplants and can be brought outside during the summer months. Be sure to check out our guide on how to grow an echeveria!
Kalanchoe rhombopilosa “Pies from Heaven”
This succulent is special in its ability to absorb a large amount of light for photosynthesis and grow even in poor soil. The Kalanchoe rhombopilosa Pies from Heaven prefer moist, sunny climates with temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
It also needs water every week or two. After a few months, you should see growth. This plant often grows up to 18 inches tall but can get much larger depending on how well it’s treated. When grown indoors, it will take about five years before you start seeing flowers.
Although these plants are not poisonous, they are known to cause skin irritation if touched. If your skin comes into contact with them, wash your hands immediately to avoid any discomfort.
Cotyledon orbiculata “Pig’s Ear Plant”
The Cotyledon orbiculata Pig’s Ear Plant is also known as Safari Sunset. The main origin of cotyledon orbiculata Pig’s Ear Plant is in South Africa and Western Australia. This plant is usually used as a ground cover.
As such, it makes an excellent addition to outdoor living spaces that don’t have grass. Its hardiness zone is 9-11. It will grow best when planted in well-drained soil with full sun exposure. This succulent grows up to 6 inches tall and 3 inches wide.
It has yellow flowers that appear from late spring through early summer. They are followed by red berries which can be eaten by birds or other animals if you want them to spread seeds around your garden for more plants later on down the road!
Albuca Spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle’
This albuca is an extremely rare form of albuca spiralis that was discovered by a man on his travels. The name Frizzle Sizzle comes from how much it curls its leaves when wet. The leaves range in color from light green to dark yellow, and it flowers with bright orange cup-shaped blooms.
This succulent can grow up to 16 inches tall, with individual plants growing every two years before they bloom again three years later. It requires very little water but should be watered once a week or so during the spring and summer months. It prefers full sun exposure and soil that’s rich in organic matter.
If you have frizzy hair as I do, you might want to consider adding one of these beauties to your collection!
Espostoa melanostele “Peruvian Old Lady Cactus”
Espostoa melanostele, or as it is more commonly known, Peruvian Old Lady Cactus, is a wonderful little succulent from Peru. It takes its name from its resemblance to an old woman’s spine. Don’t worry though, it won’t bite! These hardy succulents are sure to grow in any sun-drenched area and are resistant to pests and disease.
They are easy to care for and can be left outdoors year-round with minimal protection. Espostoa melanostele can reach up to 2 feet tall but will remain quite compact if pruned regularly.
The plant’s small green leaves have reddish tips, giving them a unique look that is unlike most other succulents on the market today.
Adenia glauca Schinz
Also known as copper nails or an Albany Woolly Bush, Adenia glauca Schinz is a very ornamental succulent plant that looks great as part of a mixed border. A native of South Africa, Adenia glauca Schinz grows beautifully in full sun to semi-shade conditions.
It will grow up to 1 meter tall and produces clusters of small white flowers between September and November. The foliage is bright green with reddish tips, giving it its other common name, Copper Nails.
Echeveria ‘Sea Dragon’
This type of succulent has grayish-green leaves that grow in a rosette and each leaf is about 1 to 2 inches long. It can grow up to 10 inches tall and spread by forming more rosettes. This plant needs full sun and fast-draining soil so it doesn’t get waterlogged.
If you live in a temperate climate, it’s best to bring your echeveria inside during winter when frost comes or it will die back during cold snaps. In tropical climates, it should be left outside year-round. When repotting, use cactus potting mix instead of a regular potting mix because regular potting mix retains too much moisture for echeverias.
If you’re thinking about adding some plants to your home, consider including one of these unusual succulents in your collection. These 35 types of rare succulents might be just what you need to bring some variety and flavor to your houseplants.
No matter how large or small a space, each one is sure to shine. Whether you live in an apartment or a mansion, there’s something for everyone on our list.
What do you think? Which type of plant would look best with your decor? Let us know by leaving us a comment below!