I can think of quite a few different reasons someone might want to seek out a list of the smallest succulent plants around.
The most obvious reason: to grab a bunch of these tiny succulents and use them in miniature arrangement.
A few less obvious reasons: to get a hold of some of these tiny succulents and use them amongst other, slightly larger succulents in container arrangements, to make pretty ground coverings, to use as ground coverings in flower beds amongst large-sized succulents, and to use in smaller flower beds around the garden – that type of thing.
The last reason? Out of sheer curiosity: to know how teeny weeny these gorgeous, well-loved plants actually get, and how varied aesthetically small succulents can be from one to the next.
First, Tips on Keeping Succulents Small
I’d like to point out that, to my knowledge, every succulent including each and every plant mentioned in this article, will eventually grow to be quite substantial in size. Even those that do not grow large in terms of the individual plant heads that make them up will eventually, if given a large enough container, reproduce and grow large in total size, essentially creating miniature clones over and over, until there’s no more room left, and they’ve covered the span of the container, maybe even spilling over.
You can also, again to my knowledge, keep a miniature version of every succulent that exists, as when succulents begin to grow from seeds, cuttings, or through other forms of propagation, they all start out as wee versions of themselves, then grow in size as large as their container will allow.
What does this mean if you’re looking to have a teeny-weenie succulent collection? Grab miniature pots, preferably terracotta ones, and keep your tiny succulents planted in them without ever increasing the size of the pot. The plant will remain small enough to fit in the container, maybe a little bit bigger, but will not grow larger and will not die, but maintain its size.
The reason for terracotta over other types of pots? Terracotta is the most breathable material for container planting and thus will help prevent over-watering, which is likely the most common cause for succulent plant fatalities.
Don’t want to have a single succulent per pot? Placing your tiny succulents as compact as you can in a container with other small succulents should help prevent each individual plant from having room to grow much larger than it currently is. The plants won’t die if this is the case, instead, they’ll just maintain their current size, or find other ways to grow, like around or towering over each other (depending on the plant variety).
Succulents that start out perfect for your arrangement, but grow too long and leggy over time (due to insufficient sunlight), or that grow too long due to a natural growth, and lead you to feel they’re aesthetically not working out can easily be “reset.” How? Simply cut the succulent, leaving a small stem just beneath where you feel the “pretty” portion of the particular plant in question ends. The stem needs to be just long enough so that you’re able to make your succulent stand up, and you can remove leaves at the bottom that you feel are not pretty enough to “make the cut” as well. Take these cuttings and place them directly into the container or arrangement you’d like to keep, making sure the soil is completely dry. Wait about two weeks before watering the first time, then continue watering as usual. Your cutting will begin to grow roots, but this will take time, and until the cutting has grown enough roots, it will maintain its small, compact size.
In the reminder of this article, I’m going to get into as many different succulent varieties as I can think of that qualify as some of the smallest succulents around. They’ll be divided into sections for easier browsing.
There are absolutely going to be a plethora of succulents I leave out, either because I forgot to list them, or because I didn’t even know they existed. Please take a moment to list small varieties you can think of that I’ve left out of my lists in the comments down below – you’d be helping everyone who stumbles across this article out!
Without further ado…
The List: Some of the Smallest Succulent Plant Varieties Around
Types of Succulents That Are Tiny
If you’re anything like me, you’ll prefer a list of types of succulent plants that are small so you know what to look out for in general when you wander over to a plant nursery or are keeping an eye on your local grocery store for plant offerings that might work out for you.
This technique works if (like me) you can’t or feel it unnecessary to keep track of too many particular succulents, and aren’t fussy over getting exactly one particular succulent over another. I fit into this description because I want to grow my collection concentrating on the variety of succulents I have overall, so I’m happy to keep tabs on types rather than particular plants, and avoid re-buying plants I have, rather than limit my collection to a small number I really like over others.
In terms of types of succulents that remain quite small when they’re full grown, here are some I’d keep an eye out for:
With any of these words in a succulent’s name, you should be good to go in terms of maintained small stature. These small succulents tend to clone themselves over and over, while maintaining a demure size, either short or thin, though they can cover a lot of ground by “repeating themselves” with their self-created clones over time.
Can you think of more types of succulents that fit this description? If so, please take a moment to leave them in the comments below!
As I mentioned in the previous section, you can easily keep any large-at-full-size succulent small by making sure it’s not got any more room to grow, so if you fall in love with a small echeveria that grows to be reasonably large, for instance, and would love for it to stay that size, just keep it in a small pot and you’re good to go.
Now let’s get into particular succulents that are quite small sized.
The Tiniest Succulents of All: Sedum
Creeping Ground Cover Sedum
These succulents often get quite long and tall over time. They’re typically amazing if you’re trying to add height to an arrangement, and in terms of sheer width they are incredibly narrow and thus can be quite good for filling in arrangements with teeny tiny accent colours or textures.
They come in a number of colours and shapes, and many of them flower, which adds to the height and is excellent for adding variety and colour to smaller arrangements.
If you’d like to make sure they grow slowly, you can simply cut off their roots, or cut a few cementers beneath the part of the head you feel looks prettiest. Plant these cuttings amongst other succulents, or other succulent cuttings, making sure the soil is dry. Don’t water or let rain touch these plants at all for roughly two weeks, to make sure the cut hardens off without rotting. Then after the two weeks, begin watering as you typically would water your succulents, and they’ll maintain their size for a good chunk of time, until they’re able to re-grow roots.
Some examples of creeping ground cover sedum include:
- Sedum album
- Sedum ewersii
- Sedum reflexum
- Sedum rupestre ‘Blue Spruce’
- Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’
- Sedum hylotelephium telephium (‘purple emperor’)
- Sedum teractinum (‘coral reef’)
- Sedum ‘Dazzleberry’
- Sedum spathulifolium (‘cape blanco’)
- Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’
- Sedum spurium tricolor
- Sedum ‘Rubin’s Lizard’
- Sedum ‘Little Missy’ (be forewarned, this one is hard to keep alive)
Trailing Varieties of Sedum
These are my personal favourite varieties to use to buff out smaller arrangements. They come in a plethora of different shapes, sizes, and colours, most quite short in stature and not very wide at all to boot. My favourites tend to be those that are rounded, as these varieties tend to make arrangements look incredibly cute, but since they come in so many shapes, it’s nice to have a variety, as the contrast looks amazing when they’re packed in together.
It’s easy to chop off the head of sedum like these to use in teeny-weeny miniature arrangements as well. They normally remain quite dense and have quite a small footprint even if they begin to grow and spread.
These sedum spill over the edge of the container you’re using quite nicely if that’s a look you fancy. In my opinion, this adds a lot of visual interest, breaking up the clean look of succulents like echeveria and adding a more messy, natural look to arrangements.
Now for the examples of trailing varieties of sedum:
- Sedum rubrotinctum (‘jelly bean plant’ or ‘pork and beans’)
- Sedum clavatum
- Sedum dasyphyllum
- Sedum nussbaumerianum
- Sedum morganianum (‘donkey tail’ or ‘burro’s tail’)
- Sedum adolphi ‘Firestorm’
Small Haworthia Succulents
Haworthia succulents really don’t get to be all that big at all. They continue to create offshoots that sometimes make them look as though they are physically bigger, but their individual heads remain quite small.
Some examples of haworthia succulents include:
More Substantial Small Succulents: Graptopetalum, Graptosedum, & Graptoveria
Find anything with the word “grapto” in the name and you’ve got a reasonably small succulent that clones itself fairly quickly over and over.
If you’d like a large collection in terms of sheer number of succulents, and thus want plants that create offshoots fast, as I spoke about in my article on fast-growing succulents, these as well as sedum varieties are some of the best (though be sure to check out the full article for more suggestions if this is what you’re after).
In terms of order of size, graptosedum are the smallest (as they’re graptopetalum and sedum hybrids), graptopetalum varieties are next, and graptoveria are somewhat larger small succulents (as they’re hybrids between graptopetalum and echeveria).
Some examples of grapto varieties of succulents:
- Graptopetalum paraguayense (‘ghost plant’)
- Graptopetalum bellum
- Graptopetalum amethystinum
- Graptopetalum macdougallii
- Graptosedum ‘Vera Higgins’ (‘Alpen Glow’
- Graptosedum ‘Darley Sunshine’
- Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’
- Graptoveria ‘Opalina’
- Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’
- Graptoveria ‘Debbie’
There are some echeveria that don’t grow to be all that big. I absolutely know I’ll be missing a large number of these, so if you can mention even just one or two more echeveria that are small in size, please take a moment to mention their names in the comments.
- Echeveria Lola
- Echeveria Minima
- Echeveria Derenbergii
- Echeveria elegans
- Echeveria setosa
- Echeveria laui
- Echeveria ‘Black Prince’
- Echeveria haagai
Other Noteworthy Small-Sized Succulents
There are a few different succulents that fall in amongst none of the other types, that I think still make the cut in terms of being quite good for those looking to add teeny-weeny to small-sized succulents to their collections.
A lot of these add either height or spill to arrangements, which is why I think they’re incredibly noteworthy. My favourite being string of pearls and portulacaria afra. These two types on their own can elevate an arrangement, adding drama without getting too out of hand or needing upkeep often.
Some of these notworthy non-sedum, non-grapto type succulents include:
- Portulacaria afra
- Portulacaria afra variegata
- Senecio serpens (‘blue chopsticks’)
- Senecio rowleyanus (‘string of pearls’)
- Crassula marnieriana / crassula rupestris (‘jade necklace,’ ‘string of buttons’
- Crassula capitella
- Crassula elegans
- Crassula ovata minor
- Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’
- Crassula aquatica
Again, do let me know in the comments section if you can think of more.
Your Thoughts on the Smallest Succulent Plants
Do you like using small succulents in your arrangements? Do you like miniature arrangements more, or do you prefer to use small succulents to fill in larger arrangements. Have you ever used some of these succulents as ground coverings or in flower bed arrangements?
What varieties of succulents have I forgotten to add to this list? Which succulents do you think look amazing when they’re kept tiny, even though they typically grow to be medium- to large-sized when they’re full grown.
Any other thoughts, comments, or questions on this topic, please leave them in the comments down below!
Leave a Reply