15 Succulents You Can Grow From Seed (2024)

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Growing plants from seed has many benefits. You have better control over the environment, it saves money, and it’s more rewarding to nurse a plant from seed than it is to buy one from the nursery. But can succulent lovers join in on the action?

Like any plant that flowers, it is possible to grow succulents from seeds. In fact, it is ideal for avid succulent growers looking for rarer species that are hard to find in nurseries. It may take a little longer for the plants to develop, especially if you’re used to sowing things like vegetables and herbs, which pop up in a few weeks. But the reward is well worth the wait.

The list of succulents you can grow from seed is extensive, but these are the 15 I recommend for beginners that are relatively easy to find or grow well from seed.

Cacti

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The first entry is somewhat confusing, as cacti are usually considered a separate group of plants. However, their growth habits mean they can be grouped under succulents; it just doesn’t work the other way around. All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti.

These spiked beauties are easy to start as seeds, although you will need a little patience while you wait for them to germinate. It takes about a year from sowing to reach one inch in height. For some added variety, choose a seed mix with a few different species.

Lithops

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Lithops are also known as living stones or stone plants, and it’s easy to see why. The pair of fused leaves remains mostly underground, with only a small section peeking above the soil line. Without a second look, you can easily mistake them for pebbles. This is their defense against predators in the wild.

It’s actually easiest to propagate lithops with seeds. Simply sow the seeds in a layer over succulent potting soil and lightly cover in vermiculite. Purchasing seeds allows you greater choice over variety, rather than limiting you to what’s available at your local nursery.

Conophytum

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If you’ve fallen in love with lithops, you’ll probably love the adorable and far less common genus Conophytum. Originating from the same harsh Southern African environments, conophytum plants also feature fused leaf pairs and almost no stem, often popping up between crevices in rocks.

The seeds of this unique plant may be a little harder to find than other succulents on this list. Check with specialized growers and shop online to find the perfect species.

Echeveria

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When I think of succulents, Echeveria is the first genus that pops into my head. Their geometric forms, unique colors, and ease of care encompass everything there is to love about growing succulents.

Echeveria are easy to find but also fun to grow from seeds. There is more variety in species, particularly in areas where succulents are not as widely grown. If you’re looking to cover a large area in your garden, sowing seeds is far more cost-effective and quicker than waiting for mature plants to spread.

Crassula

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Crassula ovata, commonly known as jade plant, is a shrub native to South Africa. Thanks to its tolerance for lower light compared to other species, it’s become a popular houseplant and one of the most sought-after succulents for beginners.

For houseplant lovers who don’t get to sow seeds often, seeding Crassula ovata is a great gardening experiment. But you aren’t limited to this species. Several Crassula seeds are available online, expanding your options beyond the traditional jade plant.

Aloe

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The name aloe is almost synonymous with the species Aloe vera, known for its medicinal properties and used often in beauty products. However, there is much more to the aloe genus than this one plant. There are more than 600 species to choose from, one of which is actually named after one of my ancestors (Aloe greatheadii).

If you’re growing aloe from seed, try a species you may not have seen or grown before. They germinate within a few weeks, but larger species will take a while to reach their full size.

Sedum

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Sedums are also known as stonecrops due to the rocky environments they grow best in. They make ideal groundcovers for sunny areas with sandy soil where other plants may struggle to grow.

To establish sedum as a groundcover, it’s easiest to start from seed. Choose the same species for uniformity in the garden, or pick a pack of mixed species to bring some variety to open and uncovered areas.

Haworthia

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If you like the look of Aloes but don’t have space for a larger plant, try Haworthia instead. These plants have a similar shape and structure to Aloes but are a fraction of the size.

Some Haworthias have a more unique look than others, with inflated leaves or strange growth patterns. If you want something a little more out-of-the-box, look for species like H. truncata, H. splendens, or H. cooperi.

Agave

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Stately agaves are typically much larger than the compact succulents many are used to growing. They are typically planted in beds rather than containers. These structural plants have thick leaves and harsh spiked edges, with Agave attenuata as the smooth-leaved exception.

If you’re interested in distilling your own tequila, you’ll want to look for Agave tequilana seeds. Make sure you get a license to do so first, as distilling in the US without one is a felony. The plants have a gorgeous blue hue and spiked shape that stands out in any garden.

Aeonium

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Aeoniums are great feature plants for containers, not just for their height but their impressive colors. They form rosettes like other succulents, but the leaves are more rounded at the ends to soften their structural shape.

To fit the goth garden trend, try growing ‘Zwartkop’ for intriguing purple-black leaves. You’ll also find Aeonium species with patterned green, red, and purple leaves. Sow the seeds on the surface of a standard succulent soil mix and provide bright sunlight.

Pachypodium

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Pachypodium is one of my favorite succulent genera, purely for the adorable, bloated stems of many species. Some of the plants look almost alien, with massive spiked bases and just a few tiny leaves sticking out. The smaller species are great for containers and are often trained like bonsai trees.

Sowing seeds gives you the opportunity to choose rarer species that may be tough to find. This also allows them to adapt to your garden environment from the get-go. They are slow growers but certainly worth the wait.

Adenium

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Adenium species have a similar shape to Pachypodiums. However, the standout feature of these plants is the flowers, commonly known as desert roses. In the right environments, the ends of the branches will be covered in bright blooms in a range of colors.

Adeniums are large plants that typically grow several feet tall. However, if they are kept indoors and confined to a container, these slow growers will remain compact. Sow them indoors, giving them plenty of sunlight to allow them to adapt to your home environment.

Kalanchoe

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Often kept as houseplants, Kalanchoe are ideal succulents for beginners. They are resilient plants that grow well in a range of conditions (including indirect light), making them one of the easier succulents to grow indoors.

Kalanchoe seeds are super tiny, so be careful when handling them. Sow lightly directly on top of your mix, and do not cover. The seeds need light to germinate successfully. Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is one of the most widely grown for its flowers, but other adorable species like Kalanchoe thyrsiflora also grow well from seed.

Sempervivum

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These plants have a long list of entertaining common names. Hens and chicks is one you’ll likely see most often, named after the way they propagate and spread. They’re also called houseleeks or (reassuringly for beginners) live-forever plants.

You can find Sempervivum seeds for particular types, but mixed packets are far more exciting, in my opinion. It adds some mystery to the process and excitement when the different forms and colors start to take shape.

Fenestraria

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Fenestraria rhopalophylla is one of the most adorable succulents you can grow, with an equally adorable name – baby toes. The clump-forming succulent produces groups of tubular leaves with slightly translucent tops to allow light to penetrate through.

Baby toes are often kept as houseplants but need plenty of sun to keep them happy. After a few years of growing from seed, you may even see them flower under the right conditions.

Final Thoughts

Growing succulents from seed is not as tricky as you may think. They will take a while to mature, but you’ll appreciate them much more growing from seed.

15 Succulents You Can Grow From Seed (2024)
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