Most of us grow our cacti and succulent plants for the attractive and unusual foliage. Flowers on a succulent are a special surprise. All succulent plants and cacti have the capability to bloom at some point, but location and conditions have to be just right. If a bloom stalk or bud appears, you’ll likely exclaim “My succulent is flowering!” Proceed in the right way to get the most beautiful, long-lasting bloom. Read on for tips to help with caring for flowers on a succulent plant.
When your bloom stalk or flower begins to develop, keep an eye out for aphids buzzing around it. They are particularly attracted to this type of new growth. Spray them with a 50% to 70% alcohol product or a horticulture soap. Some succulent growers remove the stalk at this time for this reason.
If your intriguing bloom leads you to provide extra care, follow some or all of these tips:
Succulent and cacti flowers love sunlight, so the more you can gradually provide will make the flower bloom more quickly. Be cautious when temperatures are in the high 80’s and 90’s, though, as some succulent plants can’t take extremely high heat. As always, it is best to know your succulent plant and research details about its bloom and how much heat it likes. Since most plants in this category bloom in late spring to early summer, high heat is not always an issue. Blooms tend to last longer in dry climates.
When you see a bloom stalk or flower developing on your plant, begin adding an hour more sun each day, if possible. Gradually add more until it is in full sun all day. If you grow your plants indoors, find the brightest, sunniest window and acclimate them there. Keep a check that leaves and pads don’t burn.
Flowering succulent care involves extra water and fertilization, according to some expert info. Drench the blooming succulent plant when you water. Water again when the top two inches (5 cm.) of soil is dry. Continue this watering schedule until the blooms fade.
Instead of fertilizing once a season, step up your fertilization to monthly. Use a high phosphorus fertilizer, the middle number on the three-digit fertilizer ratio. Also, increase the feeding up to half-strength instead of one-quarter. Continue feeding until the blossom begins dying off.
All these are potential care tips that can make your flower bloom earlier and last longer. Or you can do nothing to the plant that is blooming and let nature take its course. As with the growth of these fascinating plants, flowers also sometimes thrive on neglect.
If you want to attempt growing more plants via seed, collect fading blooms and place in a small paper bag. After flowers dry up, you will find tiny seeds.
Bloom time varies in succulent plants. Most echeverias bloom in late spring to early summer but are known to blossom in fall as well. Aloe vera typically blooms in summer, but can certainly blossom at other times of the year – several blossom in autumn and winter. Jade, kalanchoe, rhipsalis, and some hoya also bloom in autumn and winter.
Sadly, some succulents are monocarpic and exist only to flower one time. Cold-hardy sempervivum and the beautiful aeonium, for instance, die after producing their first bloom. Before flowering, though, they’ll produce babies that continue their line.
Most cacti and succulents bloom the first time at the age of four to six years. Others may bloom at a younger age.
What types of succulents produce flowers? Do all succulents bloom? While not all succulents flower freely in cultivation, there are quite a few of them that do. Given the right environment and care, some succulents will flower without fail every year. Below are 18 beautiful succulents that flower freely when ready.
Crassula–is a large genus of succulents plants with over 200 known species. Out of all my succulent plants, I find the crassula types to flower the most readily. Some flowering crassulas to add to your collection are:
Crassula Ovata ‘Jade Plant’
Native to South Africa and Mozambique, Crassula Ovata ‘Jade plant’ is probably one of the most recognizable succulent plants out there. Their popularity is no surprise due to this plant’s versatility and ease in care. Crassula Ovata ‘Jade plant’ produces star-shaped, white or pink flowers.
Crassula Rupestris ‘Baby’s Necklace’
A beautiful stacking plant with leaves that spiral around the stem, forming a beautiful intricate pattern. The leaves are light green in color with crimson red edges that intensify with more sun and cold exposure. Crassula Rupestris produces cheerful clusters of pink, white and yellow flowers that add such a pop of color to an already colorful plant.
Crassula Perforata ‘String of Buttons’
These are very attractive succulents native to South Africa. They sprawl and the leaves appear to stack on top of each other in a criss-cross pattern. The leaves are bluish-green in color with rosy pink margins on the edges. They produce clusters of small white and yellow flowers.
Crassula Pellucida ‘Calico Kitten’
Crassula Pellucida ‘Calico Kitten’ aka Crassula Marginalis Rubra Variegata is such a gorgeous plant with lots of wonderful unique features. The leaves are a colorful array of colors from light to yellow-green, and pinks, fuschias and creams. The heart-shaped leaves can turn a darker shade of purple when very dry. They produce small white and yellow flowers that will bring a smile to your face.
Echeveria–Echeverias come in so many types, varieties, and colors. Echeverias often produce spectacular and dramatic blooms. The flowers are very eye-catching and colorful. They also stay in bloom for quite some time so you can enjoy them for weeks and even months.
Echeveria Elegans ‘Mexican Snowball’
Native to Mexico, this pretty echeveria has gray-green leaves with pink-reddish margins. The pink color becomes more pronounced when the plant is ‘stressed’ or exposed to extreme temperatures and drought. It produces beautiful, bright pink-coral bell-shaped flowers that stay in bloom for weeks or even months.
An echeveria hybrid with blue-gray leaves and pink margins. Like most echeveria hybrids, these are easy to care for and will flower when mature. The flowers of echeverias bloom out of a long bloom stalk. There are often two or more bloom stalks growing from a single plant. The flowers are bright pink and bell-shaped and stay in bloom for weeks, even months.
Echeveria ‘Doris Taylor’
An echeveria hybrid with fuzzy silver-green leaves. The leaves are covered with tiny little fuzz, giving the plant a hairy appearance. The tips of the leaves have a reddish tinge that intensifies with heat and cold exposure. The plant produces bright, attractive flowers that are orange in color.
Senecios– are highly sought-after succulents because of the unique way they grow. The stems can grow a few feet long and have a trailing nature. For this reason, they look wonderful as hanging plants or cascading down a tall planter. When in bloom, they are even more beautiful. These two are some of the most popular blooming Senecios:
Senecio Rowleyanus ‘String of Pearls’
It is safe to say that Senecio Rowleyanus ‘String of Pearls’ is one of the most coveted succulent plants out there. With plump, green pea-shaped leaves that can extend forever, these are ideal hanging or trailing plants. They produce white, fuzzy flowers that have a sweet cinnamon-spiced scent.
Senecio Radicans ‘String of Bananas’
Senecio Radicans ‘String of Bananas’ are very closely related to the String of Pearls. Both are native to South Africa and have long trailing stems. The leaves of Senecio Radicans are green, plump, and shaped like mini bananas. These plants also produce white fuzzy flowers that have a cinnamon-vanilla spiced scent.
Sedums (Stonecrop) are perhaps one of the easiest and low maintenance succulent plants out there. Due to their easy nature, they can be planted in the ground in temperate zones. What makes them more desirable is that they flower quite freely and produce these cheerful little star-shaped flowers.
Sedum Rubrotinctum ‘Jelly Bean Plant’
Native to Mexico, Sedum Rubrotinctum ‘Jelly Bean Plant’, ‘Pork and Beans’ have small, plump, bean-shaped leaves that are green in color. The tips turn a deep red when stressed or exposed to more sun or the cold weather. The stems are thin and sprawl out as they grow. These plants produce happy little star-shaped yellow flowers.
Native to Mexico, Sedum Treleasie has plump, blue-green leaves that are tightly compacted around the stem. The stem can grow up to about 12 inches (30 cm) tall. The leaves can turn a light green to yellowish color on the tips when exposed to more sun. This plant can easily spread on its own by producing offsets. It produces star-shaped, bright yellow flowers that can stay in bloom for weeks.
Graptopetalum Paraguayense ‘Ghost Plant’
Graptopetalum Paraguayense ‘Ghost Plant’ is an exquisite plant with delicate shades of pastel. The leaves are thick, flat and pointed. The rosettes are intricately shaped by the pattern of the leaves. What makes this plant more beautiful is the star-shaped flowers it produces. The flowers are white and light yellow in color.
Graptosedum and hybrid plants. Graptosedum is a hybrid of Graptopetalum and Sedum plants. There are numerous succulent plant hybrids that are a cross between two or more plants. Hybrid plants usually produce flowers that resemble the plants they came from. Take a look at this Graptosedum hybrid:
Graptosedum ‘Francesco Baldi’
Graptosedum ‘Francesco Baldi’ is a hybrid of Graptopetalum paraguayense ‘Ghost Plant’ and Sedum pachyphyllum ‘Jelly Beans’ and the flowers also look like a cross of the two plants. This plant has plump leaves in shades of pastel blues, lavender, and pink. The flowers are star-shaped and white or yellow in color.
Haworthiopsis Attenuata ‘Zebra Plant’
Haworthias are small to medium-sized succulents that closely resemble aloe plants in appearance. Haworthias flower more readily than aloe plants. The blooms are not very showy and a bit low-key but once they bloom, they do not fail to bloom every year. The blooms are also quite numerous.
Oscularia Deltoides ‘Pink Ice Plant’
Native to South Africa, Oscularia Deltoides has blue-green triangular leaves with jagged edges. The leaves are tinged with pink-reddish margins. This plant tends to sprawl and spread out. It flowers freely when mature and produces pretty magenta-pink flowers that can cover the entire plant when in bloom.
Simply put, monocarpic plants are plants that die after flowering. Monocarpic plants are also called the bloom of death for this reason. There are a few monocarpic succulents. The most common ones are aeoniums and sempervivums.
Most aeoniums and sempervivums are monocarpic and produce showy, spectacular blooms. The bloom stalk protrudes out of the center of the plant’s rosette until the whole plant is transformed into one long flower stalk. The flowers are vibrant and hard to miss. They stay in bloom for weeks and even months.
If you have a few aeoniums and sempervivums growing in your yard, the death may go unnoticed because the nature of these plants is to produce offsets or baby plants around the mother plant. By the time the mother plant flowers, it has already produced plenty of new plants around it. These plants will continue to live and reproduce long after the mother plant dies, carrying on the torch.
Aeonium ‘Black Rose’
Aeonium ‘Black Rose’ has deep purple, almost black foliage. The rosettes are shaped like a flower head. The plant branches out from the rosette to form offsets or baby plants. The flower stalk protrudes out of the center of the flower head to form one long flower stalk. The flowers are usually yellow or pink in color and can stay in bloom for quite some time. Once the flower stalk starts to come out, there is nothing you can do to stop it so you might as well enjoy the process.
Aeonium ‘Blushing Beauty’
Aeonium ‘Blushing Beauty’ is a cross between two different aeoniums. The leaves can go from lime green to burgundy with different light exposures and temperature changes. The plant spreads by branching out and producing offsets. Like most aeoniums, the flowers comes out of the center of the rosette and produces a long bloom stalk. The flowers are usually yellow or pink in color and can be quite showy. Once it blooms, the mother plant where the flower comes from dies. The offsets will continue to grow and reproduce as long as they don’t flower.
Sempervivum Arachnoideum ‘Cobweb Hens and Chicks’
An interesting looking plant that appears to have cobwebs surrounding the plant. It is a monocarpic plant that produces beautiful blooms. The flowers are in a nice shade of magenta pink and can stay in bloom for a few weeks. Once the plant blooms there is nothing you can do to stop it so just enjoy the beauty it produces.
These 18 succulents are not the only ones that produce flowers. There are plenty more. While all succulent plants will flower, there are ways to encourage succulents to bloom. Providing the right environment for succulents to thrive is key. To read more on this topic of flowering succulents, visit my other posts:
Wondering where to find some of the succulents mentioned above? Visit my resource page to find out where to purchase succulents online.
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Conophytum calculus, also known as Marble Buttons, is striking and unusual. It is native to South Africa and Southern Namibia. This succulent stands out right away because it has individual round leaves that are on a smaller side. These are usually greenish and very smooth. The leaves are fascinating because as an old one withers, a new one appears from the inside. New leaves are growing all the time.
If you have a garden, conophytum calculus will fit right in. This succulent loves full exposure to the sun, but partial shade works just as well. Make sure you give it at least four hours of direct sunlight every day. There is no need to water it all the time. Conophytum calculus is prone to root rot, so always check if the soil is dry before you water this succulent.
You can keep it outside all year round because this succulent can survive both cold and warm weather. The flowers usually appear in fall. They are stemless and yellow or orange. The blossoms are impossible to miss since they appear at the top of the plant. However, they will open up only during the night. Conophytum calculus is a nocturnal plant, after all.