Top 10 Best Rare Succulents USA 2021
In recent years, rare succulents are slowly gaining popularity among gardeners. These unique plants add to the beauty of your gardens both indoors and outdoors.
In this article, we have briefed a collection of the top 10 best rare succulents for you to choose from.
In general, rare succulents have different characteristics compared to the usual ones. They portray special anatomical adaptations and different types of colors.
On the flip side, they are not available most widely like the regular ones. Also, growing them needs special care. Sometimes, they don’t root as expected or produce fewer seeds. They may also tend to fail during propagation. As a result, they have less growth success ratio. These factors make growing rare succulents a challenging task
1.) Pachyphytum Compactum (Little Jewel) – Rare Succulents
Pachyphytum compactum plants have tightly branched leaves and short stems. At the top, this combination forms a beautiful closely-set rosette. Typically, these rare succulents grow in both length and height, adding to the beauty.
With a variety of colors, the fleshy leaves appear in a distinct jewel pattern. Hence, some people call this plant, “little jewel”. The foliage also has a coating of natural wax called farina.
The species of these Pachyphytum compactum plants are native to Mexico. Typically, the leaves are matte blue-green in color. However, they may turn violet when stressed by drought, heat, or cold.
Although these plants can tolerate hot summers, they tend to fail (die) when temperatures drop below -6°C. They also cannot survive the frosts. So, it is recommended to bring them indoors during winters.
Typically, the Pachyphytum genus plants have a good propagation success ratio from stem cuttings. You can grow them under full or partial sunlight. They do best in well-draining succulent soils that have 50 – 70 percent mineral grits.
Let the soil dry completely before watering. Water as needed. Soggy soils kill most rare succulents including Pachyphytum compactum.
2.) Haworthia Truncata v. Maughanii – Rare Succulents
Haworthia Truncata v. Maughanii is one of the unique plants in the world. These plants are indigenous to hot South African plains. Sadly, these species are endangered due to poaching.
During summers, these rare succulents pull themselves under the ground to escape the immense heat. This also saves them from foraging animals.
The blueish-green, thick leaves have frosty-looking tops. In fact, these weird tops are translucent, epidermal windows. Typically, these leaves indulge in photosynthesis using the sunlight entering into them through these windows. This process is called fenestration.
These plants are also easy to grow as common diseases and pests rarely bother them. Comparatively, Haworthia Truncata v. Maughanii plants require more sunlight than other succulents to thrive healthily. Being drought-tolerant, these strong-rooted plants require minimal watering.
In general, Haworthia Truncata v. Maughanii plants are slow growers. Around the bases, these plants produce several offsets in clumps. You can simply leave these offsets to develop as new, dense clumps. Using sterilized shears, you can also snip off the offsets and transplant them somewhere apart.
During the peak summer periods, these plants gradually slow down their activities and go dormant. Hence, do not fertilize or overwater them in these climates. Instead, water them a little bit more often during the winter growing seasons, unlike other succulents.
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3.) Othonna Capensis (Ruby Necklace) – Rare Succulents
Until the stems turn red/purple, Othonna Capensisis is called Little Pickles. After the same turn red/purple, it is called Ruby Necklace. In fact, this rare succulent originates from southern parts of Africa, where it is called Bobbejaankool.
Growing quickly, this trailing herb spreads vastly. Having cylindrical shapes, its grey-green leaves resemble cucumber prickles. After growing about 5 cm, these plants start to trial downwards.
Usually, the beans are green in color. Sometimes, they can also be purple or red. Similarly, the color of the stems may vary from purple to bright red. The daisy-like small flowers usually bloom in yellow color all year round.
Typically, these plants can thrive in most types of soils if they have good drainage. They also require very minimal care.
These plants suit well for any type of desert gardens or greenhouses. You can also grow them indoors. In most cases, rare succulents need medium – large-sized containers to thrive freely. They do well in full sunlight and also in partial shades
For healthy growth, occasionally water these plants deeply. In between watering, allow the soil to dry completely. However, do not water them during the dormant periods.
4.) Adromischus Maculatus (Calico Hearts) – Rare Succulents
Adromischus Maculatus, also known as “Chocolate drops”, has an unusual shape and peculiar color combination. These rare succulents can suit almost all types of gardens, especially rock gardens. These species are indigenous to South Africa.
It is a low-growing, leaf succulent, perennial plant. Typically, the short, decumbent stems grow about 6 inches (15 cm) in height. The average width of a matured plant is around 1.4 inches (3.5 cm).
In most cases, the shiny leaves are gray-brown, gray-green, or bright green in color. Under slight stress, they become scarlet with light or dark purple spots. These plants bloom in the winter months. The tubular flowers are light yellowish-green in color.
Typically, Adromischus Maculatus plants grow well in conventional cacti or succulent soil that drains well. These rare succulents can also thrive well in slightly crowded containers.
In cold areas, it is recommended to shift these plants indoors when the temperature drops below 20° F (-6.7° C). They do not exhibit cold-hardy characteristics. Adromischus Maculatus can do well in room temperatures also. But they require at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight while growing indoors.
Water them from spring to fall. Then, gradually decrease the watering frequency. During the winters, completely stop watering. In any case, do not overwater. These plants are sensitive to water.
Moreover, occasional fertilization encourages fresh growth and blooming in Adromischus Maculatus plants. These plants are rarely available for purchase and often out of stock.
5.) Astrophytum Asterias (Sand Dollar Cactus) – Rare Succulents
Astrophytum Asterias is a member of the cactus family, Cactaceae. It also has other names such as Sand Dollar Cactus, Sea Urchin Cactus, and Star Peyote. These rare succulents originate from Mexico.
These globe-shaped cacti are very slow growers. Once matured, they measure about 4 – 5 cm tall and 15 cm across. Typically, these plants have small white spots on their greyish green skins. They also have 8 slits, dividing them into rounded ribs.
Generally, these plants flower from spring to fall. The yellow flowers sprouting at the top measure about 6 cm across. Usually, the gardeners grow them in pots due to their mini size.
Astrophytum Asterias requires full sun to grow. However, they can thrive in partial shades also. These plants prefer to grow in cacti soils that have good drainage.
Typically, these drought-tolerant rare succulents have minimal watering requirements. So, make sure the soil is completely dry in between watering schedules. Otherwise, these water-sensitive plants may die in excessively moist soils.
6.) Conophytum Subglobosum – Rare Succulents
Conophytum Subglobosum is a stemless, perennial succulent. These clumps forming rare succulents grow slowly. In these plants, a pair of succulent leaves, reduce and fuse together to form tight mounds with pea-shaped heads.
Typically, these leafy mounds appear in various colors including blue-green, grey-green, purple, and dark red. The nocturnal, small flowers usually have spidery petals.
They also appear in a variety of colors including straw-yellow, cream, and white. They have a very faint or negligible scent. Having rudimentary, weak, or thin roots, these plants blossom in fall.
In fact, this is one of the easiest to grow plants. It just needs minimal watering and sunlight to thrive healthily.
7.) Echeveria x Imbricata (Blue Rose Echeveria)- Rare Succulents
Blue Rose Echeveria (Echeveria x imbricata) is one of the earliest echeveria hybrids. In 1870’s it was derived as a cross between Echeveria glauca and Echeveria metallica species.
It is an appealing, vigorous succulent. You can grow this plant both indoors and outdoors. It grows about 4 -8 inches in height and spreads about 4 -6 inches. Typically, the tight rosettes of bluish-green or grayish-green leaves form at the top. Sometimes, these leaves have orange to purple tips.
In spring or in the early summer weeks, these plants develop clusters of small flowers. These bell-shaped flowers are yellow, orange, or red in color. However, they do not have fragrances.
Like some rare succulents, these plants are slow growers. They are also easy to grow, stable, and robust plants. In fact, these hardy rare succulents can thrive in temperatures as low as 20° F for a short duration.
Typically, these plants do well in sunny locations and also in partially shady spaces. If you grow them indoors, make sure they get at least 4 – 6 hours of indirect sunlight. In most cases, southern-facing or western-facing windows provide adequate sunlight for homegrown plants including succulents.
Like most other succulents, Echeveria x imbricata plants prefer to grow in well-draining succulent soils (pH around 6.0).
Typically, these plants require more water in the initial stages of planting. However, their water watering requirement decreases gradually as they grow. Make sure to water them from the base, avoiding the rosettes. Let the soil dry in between watering schedules.
8.) Tephracactus Articulatus (Paper Spine Cactus)
Tephracactus Articulatus cactus has segmented stems. Resembling raffia, these stems appear like long, flat pseudo spines. These stems branch and stack up against each other.
Sometimes, these pine-cone-shaped segments fall easily, as they are loosely attached to one another. After that, they re-root individually and grow as separate plants.
Typically, these slow-growing rare succulents can reach up to 30 cm in height. These plants are often reluctant to bloom. The bell-shaped white flowers have yellow centers.
In general, Tephracactus Articulatus plants do not tolerate frosts. So, bring them indoors and grow them on sunny windows during the winter months. You can also use grow lights to care for them optimally.
As with most cacti plants, these rare succulents need good drainage, less water, and sunlight to grow healthier. Grow them cacti or succulent soils for better results.
In hot, dry, arid lands like the southwest Americas’, you can just grow plant these plants outside and leave them. They will grow readily without concerns.
9.) Albuca Spiralis (Frizzle Sizzle)
Albuca spiralis, Frizzle Sizzle is one of the unusual plants you can ever find in the gardening world. This whimsy plant is indigenous to South Africa.
Typically, these rare succulents are identified by narrow, distinctive leaves with spiral tips. In fact, these leaves on short stems sprout out of a bulb that thrives under the soil surface.
In spring, these plants develop yellow flowers on flower spikes. Each spike has about 10-20 blooms. The slightly sweet fragrance of these flowers has a hint of vanilla and butter.
Like other succulents, Albuca spiralis, Frizzle Sizzle needs full sun to thrive healthily. As a rule of thumb, allow the soils to dry completely before watering. It also needs adequate drainage for thriving healthy.
If the growing conditions are right, these rare succulents take about 12 weeks to mature fully. In fact, the requirements of these plants make them challenging to grow, especially for beginner gardeners.
Being an ideal home plant, common pests and diseases seldom bother it. Hence, you can grow these plants without infection concerns for the most part.
10.) Ariocarpus Trigonus (Living Rock)
Raising slightly above the ground, Ariocarpus Trigonus is a rosette-forming geophytic cactus. These low-lying rare succulents grow about 10 inches in height and spread about 12 inches wide.
They also have globose stems and are rounded at the top. The yellow-white blooms have reddish midribs.
Typically, Ariocarpus Trigonus thrives well in soils specifically formulated for cacti. If grown in other soils, these plants may suffer from inadequate drainage and less aeration.
These rare succulents prefer to grow under full sun. However, very hot climates may kill the plants. So, if you live in such areas, shade these plants especially during hot afternoons.
Ariocarpus Trigonus plants do well in room temperatures and low humid conditions. Also, these plants do not require frequent watering. So, it is recommended to allow the soils to dry completely, in between watering schedules.
During winters, these plants tend to go dormant. Avoid watering in such scenarios.