7 Fastest Growing Succulents

fastest growing succulents

The succulent craze hit the big botany market way back in late 2015. With their beautiful geometry, it was really just a matter of time before people started to pick up how Instagram-worthy these curious, fleshy plants are. Since then, they’ve turned into a mainstay on social media, becoming something of an essential component for fashionable flat-lays and stylish vlog backdrops.

Needless to say, all that succulent exposure on your socials might have piqued your interest, and now – you want in. Maybe you’re hoping to start your own succulent nursery for giveaways or event styling, or maybe you just want to cover up that bald area in your garden with a bed of beautifully symmetrical succulents. Whatever the case, a fast-growing variety would be your best bet.

Not all succulents are the same – some grow rapidly with little care and attention, and others tend to take more time and maintenance. If you’re on the hunt for the former, then we’ve got you covered. Here are 7 of the fastest growing succulents to propagate your garden for maximum returns.

7 Quick Growing Succulents

Mother of Thousands

Mother of Thousands

 

  • Scientific name: Kalanchoe diagmontiana
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 9-11
  • Sunlight: Direct morning sun, shade during the afternoon
  • Water requirements: Low
  • Special notes: Poisonous – grow out of reach of children and animals

Also called ‘the Devil’s Backbone’, the Mother of Thousands is a succulent variety that’s especially interesting to grow. As the name suggests, the plant grows hundreds of thousands of younglings along the edges of its existing leaves.

As the outgrowths reach the right size, they fall off and become their own independent plant. Considering the fact that a single Mother of Thousands plant can have anywhere from 50 to 100 leaves at a time, it’s easy to see how it can mother thousands of smaller plants over a short span of time.

Most succulent nurseries will provide warnings before you can buy your own Mother of Thousands. That’s because they’re considered invasive, propagating at an alarmingly fast rate and eating up a large area within just a few months’ time. Plus, the Mother of Thousands is a poisonous plant, secreting a white sap that can be fatal for children and animals if ingested.

Nonetheless, the striking and unique beauty of this one-of-a-kind succulent can make a handsome addition to any garden. And let’s admit – the fact that it’s poisonous does add a touch of exciting danger that can make the plant a centerpiece in your home.

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop

 

  • Scientific name: Sedum spurium
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8
  • Sunlight: Full sun
  • Water requirements: Low to medium
  • Special notes: Ideal for complete, low maintenance ground cover

The Sedum genus is a beautiful selection of succulents that produces leaves in the hundreds. The adorable arrangement of bean-shaped growths is easy to propagate and usually thrive just fine even when left to fend for themselves. The Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop is particularly ideal if you’re looking for a succulent that grows quickly, not just because of its leaves, but because of its unfastidious nature.

Preferring direct sunlight and minimal moisture, this succulent variety can thrive effortlessly in regions with hot climates and little rain. Just plant a single Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop in one area of your garden, and you should achieve complete ground-cover within a few months afterward.

Aesthetic-wise, they’re definitely a sight to behold. The bottom leaves boast a beautiful, lush forest green, and the tops are often an exuberant, saturated deep red that’s basically how the plant gets its name.

Rock Purslane

Rock Purslane

 

  • Scientific name: Calandrinia spectabilis
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 and over
  • Sunlight: Direct sunlight or filtered shade
  • Water requirements: Low
  • Special notes: Spring magenta-colored flowers during the spring through to fall

The gorgeous Rock Purslane succulent variety is one that grows in low bushes, creating moderate to complete ground cover, depending on the size of your space. Its dense, tightly packed leaf growth creates an impenetrable wall of greenery, perfect if you’re hoping to create some aesthetically conscious boundaries around your lawn.

When properly cared for, the Chile-native Rock Purslane can grow gorgeous magenta blooms in the spring and all the way through autumn. The flowers themselves last but a day, however, they are immediately replaced by a brand new bud the next day. They thrive best in a Mediterranean climate and prefer direct sunlight.

If you live in an area with colder climates, the Rock Purslane variety might not survive through the winter, especially if you’ve planted it outdoors. Nonetheless, it does make a beautiful annual plant, or an indoor plant as long as you’ve got the right stuff to keep it warm during those chilly winter nights.

Blue Chalksticks

Blue Chalksticks

 

  • Scientific name: Senecio serpens
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 10-11
  • Sunlight: Full sun
  • Water requirements: Low
  • Special notes: Poisonous – grow out of reach of children and animals

The upright 1” leaves of the Blue Chalksticks succulent look exactly as they’re named – like blue chalksticks. Pale blue in color, these beautiful plants have a pronounced waxy exterior that really brings that chalkstick aesthetic front and center. They grow in small bushes and can reach 3 feet in height in the right conditions.

Blue Chalksticks grow in small, separated bushes about 3 feet in diameter. When planted out in a yard, the independent shrubs can look very distinct, with fresh brown soil peeking in between each growth. They look sublime as a minimalist ground cover and add a stylish, contemporary touch to any garden especially in homes with modern, edgy architecture.

While they don’t thrive so well indoors or in colder climates, this succulent can propagate rather quickly, covering a large expanse of garden area in as little as two months. As the upward-pointing leaves fall off, they propagate and take root, creating clusters of Blue Chalksticks effortlessly. When left to thrive under particularly hot sunlight, the blue shade changes to a deep, rich, dark purple.

Much like the Mother of Thousands however, Blue Chalksticks can be poisonous to people and pets. If you’re living in a home with small kids, cats, or dogs, then you might want to reconsider the Blue Chalksticks plant for its potential risk.

Resin Spurge

Resin Spurge

 

  • Scientific name: Euphorbia resinifera
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 9-11
  • Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
  • Water requirements: Very low to low
  • Special notes: Grows quite large at 4 feet tall; has brown thorns jutting out of its leaf edges – handle with caution.

Large and domineering, the Resin Spurge succulent can grow up to heights of 4 feet, making them a noteworthy addition to your garden. These columns of plants grow in arranged clusters and look a lot like cacti. They also have the signature brown spikes that you would expect from a cactus, growing out of the leaves’ edges.

During the early spring, the succulent grows bright yellow to yellow-green blooms that line its stem margins. The adorable, miniature blossoms add a vibrant colorful touch to the plant, making it especially ideal for decorative arrangements in gardens that receive lots of uninterrupted sunny seasons all year round.

The Resin Spurge is one of the oldest medicinal plants of its entire species. It’s been used for its analgesic purposes since ancient times. It was only in 1997 that researchers were able to validate its efficacy after having found its leaves contain resiniferatoxin – a powerful pain relief compound.

In terms of growth, this specific succulent propagates relatively effortlessly. The plant is known to branch out quite profusely, developing leaves and stems in every direction from the stem. As they grow and break off, they become another individual plant, allowing rather easy propagation for those with little experience.

Blue Rose

Blue Rose Succulent

 

  • Scientific name: Echeveria imbricata
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 9-11
  • Sunlight: Direct morning sun, shade during the afternoon
  • Water requirements: Low
  • Special notes: Propagation requires some intervention

The rosette echeveria species is perhaps the most iconic succulent variety out there. These gorgeous geometric succulents grow in a concentric pattern, making them especially pleasing to the eye. Each large rosette grows up to 6 inches in diameter, and they can make suitable ground cover in most instances.

Healthy Blue Rose succulents that are properly cared for will sprout little rosettes nestled against the base of the mother plant’s leaves. To propagate, simply remove the youngling from its mother’s stalk and replant. Propagation can also be easily performed from the leaves of the plant, with tiny rosettes stemming from the base of each removed leaf.

Able to survive against hot direct sunlight, the Blue Rose is a low-maintenance choice that won’t require constant moving from indoor to outdoor spaces and vice versa. As ground cover, these succulents provide gorgeous aesthetics with their pale to saturated blue leaves that give off a truly fanciful appearance.

Echeveria Afterglow

Echeveria Afterglow

 

  • Scientific name: Echeveria ‘Afterglow’
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 10 and above
  • Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
  • Water requirements: Very low to low
  • Special notes: Can tolerate near-freezing temperatures for short bouts

Another from the Echeveria species, the Afterglow variety is a beautifully colored rosette that showcases longer pale green leaves with saturated pink, purple, and red edges. The rather large plant can grow up to 2 feet in height and 2 feet in width, making it a formidable addition to your garden space.

Although she might not birth a new plant quite as readily as the others on our list, this fast-growing succulent reaches a mature size between 3 to 4 months’ time. By then, what was once a succulent that could fit in your palm might eat up a large plot in your garden. During the spring, the plant will develop large pink, fuscia, magenta flowers that hang from long stems sprouting from between the mother plant’s leaves.

To propagate the plant, it may drop leaves that grow its own younglings without intervention. You may also inspect underneath the bottom leaves for small rosettes growing directly from the mother plant. These may be removed and replanted to grow as individual plants.

Unlike the others on our list, the Echeveria Afterglow is the only succulent that can survive near-freezing temperatures – at least for a few days at a time. If you live in areas where short bouts of cold are part of the natural climate, then the Afterglow might be a suitable outdoor plant.

How to Grow Succulents Fast

When plant hobbyists and succulent parents say ‘grow’, it could mean one of two things. The first is the physical growth of a small plant into a bigger, more mature succulent. The second is the propagation of a mother plant to grow multiple smaller plants.

Whichever you’re hoping to achieve, we’ve got the tactics to help you get there.

Increasing Succulent Size

A large, mature succulent can become the crowning glory of any garden, creating a focal point across your lush, lively, outdoor space. Some succulent types have the potential to grow several feet in height and diameter, and may be a brag-worthy accomplishment for any enthusiast hoping to flex their botany muscle.

There are many different ways that you might be able to increase the size of a succulent, and these simple tips should help you achieve just that:

Provide enough space – Just like a fish contained in a bowl, a succulent that’s limited to a small amount of space won’t reach its maximum growth potential. Varieties like echeverias actually thrive best in large pots or garden plots where there’s no competition or crowding.

Succulents with single heads – like the Echeveria Fiona – can grow several feet in diameter when left to thrive in a garden alone. If you’re interested in creating an arrangement of succulents, allow the main crowning plant variety to reach full size before planting any other specimens around it to prevent stunted growth.

Meet needs for sunlight – Sunlight is a succulent’s main nutritional source. These babies adore sunlight and grow best when provided the amount of natural light that they need. Keep in mind – not all succulents have the same sunlight requirements. So tailoring your care to meet those specific needs could mean the difference between a healthy plant and a lopsided monstrosity.

Most of the succulents on our list require the most sunlight which is good new for low-effort plant keepers who don’t have the luxury of time to keep moving plants around throughout the day. Remember though, not all succulents will thrive with long bouts of direct sunlight exposure. If your plants start etiolating or turning upwards, then you might not be meeting their sunlight requirements.

Grow outdoors whenever possible – While a large indoor terra cotta pot adorned with succulents might make a gorgeous decorative indoor piece, the indoors can limit the extent of your plant’s growth. Growing a plant under your roof can keep it from all of the vitamins and minerals that it gets from natural light and fresh air.

Whenever possible, grow your plant outdoors. If you’re an apartment-dweller and you don’t have a garden to call your own, then make sure you have a viable windowsill to sit your potted plants so they can get their fair share of sunlight and fresh air.

Increasing Succulent Quantity

Propagation is perhaps one of the most exciting parts of succulent ownership. The ability to grow a new pup from a mother plant can be a real test of your botanical skills, and proves to be a truly rewarding experience for succulent parents of all levels of expertise.

There are a number of ways to grow a new succulent from a mother plant, and these include:

Leaves – Most succulent varieties will grow from the leaves, letting you propagate more than a single plant at any given time. To do so, simply twist any random full-sized leaf off of the mother plant. What you’re aiming for is a clean pull, leaving to segment of the target leaf left on the stem.

Once you’ve done that, you can place the leaf on a bed of soil and observe it over the next few days. A small replica of the mother plant should start to grow at its base. Similarly, the small pup should start to shoot off its own root system.

When it’s ready, the small succulent should disengage from the leaf – which should be shriveled up by now. At this time, you can pot the succulent in its own little containment. Keep in mind that growing a new succulent from a leaf is a 50-50 shot. If you want to increase your chances of success, it would be in your best interest to take more leaves.

Offsets – Take a peek under the bottom leaves of a succulent plant, and you’ll find little pups nestled against its base. These are called offsets, and are essentially small replicas of your mother succulent. They can grow in groups or clusters and may exist all around the mother’s succulent at any given time.

Give the new offsets the opportunity to grow large enough before you take them and plant them on their own. Some offsets will have their own root system, but others will still link to the mother plant by way of a stem.

To remove the pup, simply use a clean sharp knife to cut away the offset with one seamless swipe. Similarly to propagation by leaves, set the offset on a bed of soil and wait for the surface of the cut to callous over. Once it’s dried, it should produce its own root system making it ripe for planting.

Cuttings – Succulent varieties like sedums are the perfect specimen for growing from cuttings. These species tend to grow in long branches, making it easier to select a viable segment to cut and propagate as its own plant.

To grow a new succulent from a mother plant, simply choose a branch and cut it away from the main succulent with a clean, straight knife. The part on the mother plant where the cutting was taken from will likely grow an offset. On the other hand, the cutting itself should callous and develop its own root system.

If you want to make sure your cuttings survive, simply cut off a bigger branch. Larger cuttings with more leaves and a longer stem stand a better chance at survival because of its well-developed structure.

Seeds – If you’re interested in growing succulents fast, seeds might not be the best idea. But it is a potential propagation that’s worth trying anyway if you’re hoping to improve your botanical muscle.

The seeds of a succulent can be found at the swollen base of its flower. Most succulent species will produce flowers during warmer weather – typically from summer to spring – and you can collect the seeds from these flowers after they’ve reached full maturity and are about to wilt away.

Growing them requires some patience and perseverance. Soften the seeds in a water bath for at least thirty minutes before distributing them over a bed of prepared succulent potting soil. Cover the seeds in a layer of soil and mist daily to moisten just the top of the earth.

Keep the soil and seeds in a warm room and away from direct sunlight. Exposure to shade and fresh air should help propagate the seeds. Depending on the variety of succulent you’re working with, it could take as little as 3 days or 4 weeks before you start to see any growth.

Over to You

Succulents are all the rage these days becoming an aesthetic icon for the present generation. So whether you’re trying to ride that hype with your own succulent nursery, or if you’re simply hoping to grow your very own, lush succulent garden, a bunch of quick-growing species should be your best bet.

Our recommendations for the 7 fastest growing succulents should fill up your garden in no time, and bring you maximum returns for what little effort they require. Just give them the sun, water, and care they need, and you’re on your way to welcoming a thriving bed of succulent beauties in just a few weeks’ time.