Best Tall Succulents – 14 Tall Succulents and Cacti

Are you looking for a tall succulent to fit into an ideal space in your garden or home?

Often used as ornamental plants due to their striking appearance, succulents grow in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. There’s bound to be a succulent to suit that space you want to fill – whether it’s the corner of a room or to add height behind a collection of smaller plants.

Tall, Thin Succulents

Succulents have the added bonus that most are relatively easy to care for.

We’ve curated a collection of fabulous tall succulents. Some of the succulents below can grow very large and are best suited to outdoor landscapes unless they are very young.

Some are very spiky and should only be placed with careful consideration in spots where they are not likely to be brushed against on a regular basis!

However, most will work as an indoor potted plant, especially when young.

Let’s take a look at the best succulents that grow tall!

African Milk Tree – Euphorbia Trigona

Euphorbia trigona African Milk Tree

The Euphorbia Trigona, also known as the African Milk Tree, is a succulent native to Africa. It’s a popular houseplant known for its easy care and unique appearance.

It is a fast-growing succulent that can reach up to 6 feet (1.8m) tall. The stems are upright and slender, with sharp thorns along the edges. The leaves are small and oval-shaped, growing in clusters along the stems.

The African Milk Tree grows best in bright, indirect light and well-draining soil. It does not like low-light conditions. They are quite thirsty plants but you should still wait until the top 2 inches (5cm) of soil are dry to the touch before watering again.

Keep your African Milk Tree out of reach of children and pets, as the sap is poisonous if ingested (and the stem thorns are sharp).

African Spear Plant – Sansevieria Cylindrica

African Spear Plant Sansevieria Cylindrica

The African spear plant has long, straight, stiff green leaves.  The leaves are cylindrical in shape and grow upright, looking like spears stuck in the ground.

Sansevieria cylindrical, also known as Dracaena angolensi, is a slow-growing succulent but can grow up to 6 feet (1.8m) tall when fully mature.

They are low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants that can cope with most light conditions. But take care; they are toxic to pets and can cause skin irritation in humans.

Snake Plant – Sansevieria Trifasciata Laurentii

Snake plant Dracaena trifasciata sansevieria

Snake plant, or Mother in Law’s Tongue, is a very hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of conditions and neglect. It is known as one of the easiest houseplants to keep and notoriously hard to kill.

They can grow up to 4 feet (1.2m) tall and are slim in shape. The snake plant has long, stiff, flat, sword-shaped leaves, mainly green but variegated with yellow and white stripes.

Snake plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight but can also tolerate low-light conditions. It is drought-tolerant and does not require much watering.

Dracaena Trifasciata and Sansevieria Trifasciata are different names for the same plant (some people use the species name sansevieria while others use dracaena). Other common names for this plant are Saint George’s Sword and Viper’s Bowstring Hemp.

Jade Plant – Crassula Ovata

Crassula ovata Jade Plant growing outside

The Jade Plant is a popular houseplant for its easy care and beautiful form. It looks like a mini-tree with firm, glossy green leaves and a woody stem. However, they can grow up to 8 feet (2.4m) tall in the right outdoor conditions. It is a slow-growing plant.

Also known as the Money Tree, it is seen as a good luck symbol in some cultures and thought to attract prosperity.

Jade plants should be watered sparingly and only when the soil is completely dry. They will cope with a wide range of light conditions.

Fox Tail Agave – Agave Attenuata

Agave Attenuata - Fox Tail Agave

The Fox Tail Agave (Agave attenuata) is a slow-growing succulent plant, reaching up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall with green leaves in a rosette-shape around a central, woody stem. The leaves are blue-green with a smooth texture. It does not have spines or thorns.

The Foxtail Agave is a popular landscaping plant used as an ornamental plant in gardens and homes. When it blooms, it shoots up a huge stem with reddish-brown flowers that resembles a fox tail. Fox Tail Agave is a monocarpic plant, meaning it will die once it has flowered. However, the plant will likely live for many years before it blooms.

Do Succulents Die After Blooming What You Need To Know About Succulent Death Bloom

It is a low-maintenance plant that does not require much water or care; water only when the soil is completely dry. It prefers bright, sunny light and if grown indoors, a sunny window-ledge is the best spot for it.

Desert Rose – Adenium Obesum

Adenium Obesum Desert Rose in a pot

Adenium Obesum, known as the Desert Rose, is a striking plant that can grow up to 9 feet (2.75m) tall. It has a bulbous stem perfect for storing water. Branching stems grow from the top of the swollen base which grow leathery green leaves at the tip of the stem. Given the right conditions, it will produce beautiful, vibrant flowers in pink, white or red and it is the flowers that are the plant’s main attraction.

It needs well-draining soil and should only be watered when the soil is dry.

The Adenium obesum plant contains harmful toxins within its saps, which can cause skin irritation on contact. It’s best to keep out of reach of children and pets and wear gloves when handling.

Mature adenium obesum desert rose

Mother of Millions – Kalanchoe Delagoensis

Kalanchoe delagoensis Mother of Millions

The Mother of Millions plant has thick, fleshy leaves that are green with reddish or purple spots. It can grow up to 6 feet (1.8m) tall.

The leaves are arranged in a rosette shape and can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) long. It grows small plantlets on the tips of the leaves that can be confused for flowers. It’s these little plantlets that can propagate into new plants that give rise to the name, Mother of Millions.

Given the right conditions, the plant can flower with small, coral pink or orange blooms that grow in clusters on stalks that emerge from the center of the plant.

The Mother of Millions plant is relatively easy to care for. It needs bright, indirect sunlight for at least 4-6 hours a day and water only when the top 2 inches (5 cm) of the soil are dry.

Fishhook Barrel Cactus – Ferocactus Wislizeni

Ferocactus Wislizeni Fishhook Barrel Cactus

The Fishhook barrel cactus (Ferocactus wislizeni) is a tall, barrel-shaped cactus that grows in the deserts of the southwestern United States and Mexico. It is one of the most common cacti in these regions and is popular as a houseplant or garden plant.

The Fishhook barrel cactus gets its name from its large, curved spines, which resemble fishhooks (ouch!).  It can grow up to 12 feet (3.6m) tall.

It needs plenty of bright light to thrive and is drought-tolerant. Plant in gritty, well-draining soil and only water when the soil is completely dry.

Ocotillo – Fouquieria Splendens

Ocotillo - Fouquieria Splendens

Ocotillo is a unique desert plant with long spiny stick-like stems with sharp thorns that can grow to 20 feet (6 m) tall. It blooms with bright red flowers at the tip of the stem and can grow leaves after a rainfall (if grown outside).

It’s also known as Candlewood, Slimwood, Coachwhip, Vine Cactus, Flaming Sword and Jacob’s Staff in its native areas of southwestern USA and Mexico.

It is slow-growing and a young plant could thrive in a pot. It prefers full sun and well-draining soil.

Carnegiea Gigantea – Saguaro

Carnegiea Gigantea Saguaro

Carnegiea gigantea is a large cactus that grows in the Sonoran Desert of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

The Saguaro grows tall, typically 40–50 feet (12–15 m) in a column shape with arms that can develop as it matures. It lives for around 150–200 years, although some specimens that are over 250 years old have been found.

The green trunk is covered with sharp spines, which protect the plant from predators.

Saguaro are very slow growing, so you can grow one as an indoor houseplant for many years before it becomes impractically big. Just be careful of those spines!

It grows best with full sun or bright indirect light. It will grow towards the light source, so you may need to rotate it regularly, if housing it indoors, to avoid it growing with a bend. It is a very drought-tolerant plant and should only be watered sparingly and only when the soil is completely dry.

If you are really keen on large, spiky plants, other tall succulents include the Organ Pipe Cactus (Stenocereus thurberi), Madagascar Palm (Pachypodium lamerei), Hanging Chain Cholla (Cylindropuntia fulgida) and Silver Torch cactus (Cleistocactus strausii)

Totem Pole Cactus – Pachycereus Schottii Monstrosus

Pachycereus Schottii Monstrosus Totem Pole Cactus

Totem Pole Cactus, Pachycereus Schottii Monstrosus, has smooth-textured stems and no spines. The bumps and lumps on the stems resemble carved faces and give rise to the popular name of Totem Pole Cactus.

Native to Mexico, it is slow growing but can reach staggering heights of 20 feet (6 m) when fully mature.

It is low-maintenance and prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

Totem Pole Cactus Pachycereus Schottii Monstrosus

Old Man Cactus – Cephalocereus Senilis

Old Man Cactus

Old Man Cactus, Cephalocereus senilis, is a quirky, slow-growing succulent that can reach up to 20ft (6m) tall.

The whitish fuzzy covering, which resembles unkempt white hair, has earned it the nickname of Old Man Cactus. The name is also fitting because Old Man Cactus may live up to 200 years.

It is an easy-care plant that likes full sun and only needs watering sparingly.

Beware of the sharp yellow spines that lurk beneath the white, fuzzy covering.

Firesticks – Euphorbia Tirucalli

Firesticks Euphorbia tirucalli

Firesticks, Euphorbia tirucalli, has long, slender, cylindrical green leaves that turn a vibrant orange in winter.

The leaves are almost stick-like, and overall, the plant is reminiscent of red sea coral.

It is also known as Sticks on Fire or the Red Pencil Cactus the plant can grow quickly in the right environment when young. It can grow up to 8ft (2.4m) tall.

It is very low-maintenance, preferring bright light and well-draining soil.

The sap of this plant is toxic if ingested and will cause skin irritation on contact. Keep it away from pets and children, and avoid planting it in spots where you may brush against it.

Ponytail Palm Tree – Beaucarnea Recurvata

Large Ponytail Palm Tree - Beaucarnea Recurvata

The Ponytail Palm, Beaucarnea recurvata, is a low-maintenance succulent.

Also known as Elephant’s Foot Tree, it has a bulbous trunk and long, thin hair-like leaves that tend to flop downward – much like in a ponytail.

It is very slow growing – so perfect in a pot indoors – but can grow up to 30 feet (9m) tall.

They prefer bright light but can tolerate medium to low light. They need fast-draining soil.

Hanging or Trailing Succulents

If you are looking for a succulent that is ‘tall’ but in a hanging or trailing way, there are plenty of hanging and trailing succulents that grow to a good length and will add color and life to your decor. Check out our article on 14 Amazing Cacti and Succulents That Trail or Hang for ideas.

How to Trim Tall Succulents 

Tall succulents can be trimmed, or pruned, for a number of reasons. Perhaps you want to create a more compact and tidy appearance or encourage the plant to produce more leaves or flowers. Whatever your reason for trimming, it’s important to do so carefully to avoid damaging the plant.

Here are some tips for trimming tall succulents:

  1. Use sharp, clean scissors or pruning shears. This will help prevent infection and bruising of the plant tissue.
  2. Make sure the cutting tool is sterilized before each use. You can do this by wiping it down with rubbing alcohol or diluted bleach solution.
  3. Cut at an angle, making sure that the cut surface is slightly larger than the area where the new growth will emerge.
  4. Be careful not to cut too deeply into the plant, as this could damage the vascular system and lead to rot.
  5. Immediately after cutting, apply a fungicide or diluted bleach solution to the wound to help prevent infection.
  6. Allow the plant to callous over (seal itself off) before watering or fertilizing, as this can further promote infection.
  7. When trimming tall succulents, it’s best to remove only a small amount at a time. This will help minimize stress on the plant and encourage healthy new growth.

Wrapping Up

Tall succulents offer vertical and architectural interest to any garden or indoor space. Most are low-maintenance and drought-tolerant making them easy to care for while adding color, life and beauty to your environment.

We hope you like some of our favorites, and we are sure you will find one perfect for your needs.


The Essentials

Related Posts