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by Cliff W
(Los Angeles, CA,)


I’m not sure if these plants here are echeveria or agave or something else.

They don’t need much water – maybe once a week – and they are in the shade all year around.

The green leaves stay green most of the year and the flowers just started blooming.

Some of the leaves look bad, not sure about them. Can you identify them?

I am in Los Angeles, CA, USA in zone 10b. Thanks!

Hi Cliff, these are in fact, not exactly a succulent at all; they are Clivia, one of the most iron clad of all flowering plants that are tough as nails, resilient and require very little care.

If you like, you can cut the damaged leaves off at the base, but as that’s just a normal characteristic of the plant, it’s quite acceptable to leave them on there.

Gradually, as the new leaves emerge from the center of the plant, the old ones dry out. This has the benefit of providing the plant with it’s own mulch, and also prevents damage to the newer leaves by water splashing up on them.

As you’ve found out, the flowers are pretty spectacular.

You can find more about Clivia miniata on Dave’s Garden Website.

Happy Gardening!

Comments for Shaded pretty plants..

Mar 19, 2013

Thank You!
by: Cliff W

Wow, you identified the plant very quickly, thank you so much.


Oct 15, 2015

Clivia plants
by: Anthony

Clivia can be grown in a deep flower pot.
We have one plant for the last 15 years that has become ten plants growing together.

It seems to enjoy an area of part sun part shade.
Since it’s in a pot I water it once a week.
Try growing your plant in a pot.
Good luck.

Droopy leaf succulent

by Wilson
(Los Angeles, CA, USA)


the leaves start off droopy and grows out to be long and narrow. this is actually my friends plant, but I want to find one for myself. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Hi Wilson, I’m so sorry I can’t identify this plant – tell your friend to start giving it more light, and maybe then it will grow in a more characteristic fashion.

This plant is desperately seeking more bright light, and that’s why it’s so tall and spindly, not because that’s the way this plant usually grows.

See more about succulent care here, and note the important requirement of bright light for these plants. Just be careful introducing the plant to brighter light all at once; a plant that is struggling like this will be very susceptible to sunburn, and the leaves will most likely scorch; approach this in stages so it has a chance to adapt slowly.

It also might be a good way to get yourself a plant, by propagating this one. See more in the Succulent Plant Propagation E-Book; click on the link below.

Best of luck,

Learn how to root your own succulents:

Comments for Droopy leaf succulent

Mar 10, 2015

what’s that plant?
by: Bill

The pic is kinda far away, but it looks like a Protea. They come in many shapes, colors, and sizes.

Like mini trees with stubby, fuzzy branches

by Kate


When I got this plant a year ago (I bought it from someone selling cacti and succulents on the street) it was just one little 2-3″ orb of little fuzzy branches in a small pot.

Now there are four main stems, topped with long and round firm fuzzy sections, and more growing- plus it has started to grow two long, straight-up stems. I have been looking all over and I can’t find out what it is!

I want to know so I can see if it is normal for it to be growing those tall straight stems. Thanks!

Hi Kate, there are two reasons for something to emerge like this; a) it’s going to flower, or b) it’s got a separate plant accidentally potted along with it by mistake. Oh, I lied; three reasons; c) it could be grafted and this is the root stock starting to grow, which it shouldn’t.

This guy actually looks like some kind of Rhipsalis – are those ‘leaves’ round? That might be it. Here’s a link to some info and a picture of Rhipsalis teres f. heteroclada, which has similar branching.

I can’t see the texture of the plant you have clearly, but yours looks a little more fuzzy/prickly than this one.

Another link to All Things Plants database, with a very similar plant, but no mention of the tall stem; same genus and species and Rhipsalis cereuscula which again, has a very similar form.

Maybe that will give you somewhere to start looking at least.


Comments for Like mini trees with stubby, fuzzy branches

Jul 17, 2016

by: Ruby

The long shoots are part of the plants new growth. Dont worry all normal.

Possible Echeveria?

by Breana



When we bought it, it was just labeled succulent. It has slender leaves that are green at the top and reddish on the bottom and on some tips.

It’s just proving to be very sensitive.

It will look very perky one day then the next it will look wilted – I just don’t want to do anything wrong when caring for it…

Hi Breana, your lovely plant doesn’t look familiar to me – neither does it look like an Echveveria, although there are many different ones, and I don’t know all of them.

From the way the leaves are arranged, I’m going to say that it’s most likely a type of Kalanchoe – many of these show the opposite leave arrangement, not like Echeveria which are generally alternating, or grow in a whorl.

Keep in mind that just because it appears wilted, it doesn’t necessarily need water.

Most succulents prefer to be on the dry side, and can go weeks or in some cases even months without water.

I would suggest that you start to propagate it, and get some cuttings going if you’re afraid that you’re not giving it the right conditions; many times, a new cutting will adapt to the soil and your heat and humidity better than the mother plant. See the picture below, and click on the link to find out more about the Succulent Plant Propagation E-Book.

You can see more about succulent care here for some general instructions.

Hope that helps get you and your plant on the same page!

Learn how to root your own succulents:

Comments for Possible Echeveria?

Mar 06, 2013

Crassula campfire
by: Danielle

It looks like it may be Crassula campfire. It seems the succulent needs more sun and this may be why it is wilting. The more sun this plant gets the redder it will be, however it will need to be introduced slowly to more sun since it appears to be grown in a shaded environment.

Mar 08, 2013

by: Breana

Thank you Jacki and Danielle! I really appreciate the feedback and tips!

Orange Flowered Semi-succulent

by Denis
(Hill Country, Texas)


This is a pretty plant and I’m not sure which variety it is. Asking for an ID.

Has the waxy looking, firm, narrow, deeply dentated, THREE PART LEAF.

I thought Kalanchoe.

Many petaled, upright, orange flowers. The plant is a trailer. Also, appears to send out short, hair-like roots along the stems. I guess these would root if touching the ground, but being in a pot, they dry up.

I made a determined effort to count petals on a flower–total is approximately 20. Reverse of petal is yellow, although not readily apparent as they lay flat against one another. They are layered horizontally; one layer above the other. Flower is about 1/2″.

I actually thought this would be an easy ID. Maybe a hybrid?
My location is southwest-central, 65 miles northwest of San Antonio. However, this was purchased as a potted plant.

Hi Denis, this is a pretty plant, and other than the fact that the leaves do indeed seem very similar to some of the Kalanchoe species, I have never seen it before.

I’ll post the pictures on some of the forums I know of, and see if anyone recognizes it.

Hang in there, you may be in luck!

Comments for Orange Flowered Semi-succulent

May 05, 2013

Unidentified Succulent
by: Denis

Thanks, Jacki.

May 24, 2013

Orange Flowered Succelent
by: Denis

Hello Jacki,
I did more research and I have identified this plant. It is, in fact, a Kalanchoe, and is a specific cultural variety.
Since there doesn’t seem to be any interest, I won’t go any further.
Thanks for the opportunity to participate.

Now I’m curious! What is it?

Mystery succulent in hanging basket bought at farmer’s market

by Laura Burrow
(Jacksonville, FL 32222)


I bought this at a farmer’s market in northern Florida.

I was told it does well in full sun and will live through the winter here.

The photo shows a bloom that has begun to wilt.

Hi Laura, these will indeed be hardy for you; Carpobrotus are tender succulents, and survive well only in a frost free zone.

They are sometimes called Ice Plant, which is a common name for several other ground covering succulent plants, so it’s a bit confusing. They also have other quite humorous names, like Giant Pig Face, or Sour Fig.

You can see more about the same plant here: Three Sided Succulent Spear with Fluffy Pink Flower.

They are extremely drought tolerant, and prefer to be in full sun, with a good drink every other day or so through the summer.

The flowers will only open in the sun, and close or dry up in the evening. You can cut them off just below the flower to trigger more growth that will continue to bloom.

They are easy care, no trouble plants. They occasionally will get a little long and spindly – a good hair cut will rejuvenate them and make them more bushy and compact.

Compost tea or other water soluble fertilizer a couple of times through the warmer months will keep them green and happy.

Best of luck with your great little plant!


Comments for Mystery succulent in hanging basket bought at farmer’s market

Apr 24, 2017

Look up “Delosperma”
by: Big C

These are wonderful plants very common on the West Coast. They are Delosperma. Although my personal name for them are “Lizard Tails”… guess why?

succulent needs care – but no ID!

by Erica


I need to ID my succulent, as it is struggling to survive and I am not sure how to care for it exactly!

The plant has the following characteristics:

  • thick leaves
  • a small number of leaves (probably 8-10)
  • all leaves on a single ‘stem’
  • leaves are a bit waxy
  • the plant is a light green in color
  • the leaves are full of some sort of gel

Thank you!

Sorry for the poor quality images!

Hi Erica, what you have is one of the many Echeveria – this one is the most similar to what you’ve got, but it could be another hybrid – there are many different ones.

Luckily, they all thrive with the same care, so if you follow the directions on how to grow them you will be successful with them.

A few things to remember about Echeveria; they originate in warm and bright conditions, especially the bright part. This is crucial to their well-being.

Soil for Echeveria has to be well drained. If you are trying to grow these desert plants in a peat or manure based potting soil, they will struggle. Use a sterilized potting soil specifically designed for cactus, and make sure that it does not contain added lime; Echeveria don’t like an alkaline soil.

For more generalized succulent care, see this page.

Hope that helps get you going with a long and happy relationship with your plant!

greenbean like


the plant hanging over on the right side of the grill looks kinda like green beans

The plant hanging center, purple leaves red flowers.

can you give me names for both?

The one with the pink flowers looks to be a funny little plant known as Rhodochiton atrosanguineum, and as far as I know has no common name. It’s actually a perennial grown as an annual for summer display, but it can be grown indoors as a houseplant, and moved outside for the summer. It loves warm weather, and will bloom for a long while.

The green beans plant, well, can’t really see the picture clearly enough so I can’t say for sure.

It could be one of the Senecio, which have a plant called Strings of Bananas which look a lot like green beans. Other people have asked about similar plants, so you may find it here:

String Beans on thin draping stem

Tiny String Beans hanging on the thick trunk

Tiny Little Succulent looks like miniature green beans

It looks like a string bean

Good luck with your search!

Comments for greenbean like

Jan 06, 2023

Nice grill with succulents from Far Out Flora NEW
by: Matti

I’d recognize that succulent grill from anywhere. Nice going Far Out Flora.

Green and spiky leaves with small buds in the middle of the plant

(Pomeroy Washington)


This plant is green with small leaves up and down the stalk of the plant, it is about 2 feet tall. There is a small bud in the middle. The leaves are spiky. Always a lady bug on each plant.

Without knowing what the flowers look like when they open, this could be almost any common garden plant; the first picture (with the ladybug – how cute!) looks like Shasta Daisies, or Chrysanthemum maximum. These have large white flowers with yellow centers, like a daisy.

However, the second picture shows something completely different in the arrangement of the flower stalks, which seems more like Penstemon. If the flowers open into a trumpet shape in shades of purple, blue or pink, this could be it.

Judging from the fact that the ladybug likes it, there is a good chance that if you have aphids in your garden, this is the source.

Ladybugs will lay their eggs on a plant with lots of food close by so their little alligator looking larvae don’t have far to go to find it. This is an interesting science project for you!

Check and see if there are little clusters of golden yellow eggs; these are the ladybugs eggs. In a week or two, you may see very fast moving little grey and yellow creatures seeking out and eating a huge amount of pests on the plant, after which they change into the adult form of ladybugs.

You can see more about them and how to recognize their eggs here: lady bugs.

Happy Gardening!

varigated, multicolored, citrus scented???

by Trish
(Washington DC)


Hi! I got this guy several years ago from home depot or lowe’s or a garden store (can’t even remember).

At the time I was living in a sad little apartment that was too cold and too dark. Once I moved he started growing like crazy!

Parts of the plant took on different colors, as you can see in the photo. Parts are varigated pale green and white, others are more solid yellowy green, and other parts are solid DARK green!

Even wierder, when I repotted it a while ago I noticed that it has a sort of…citrus-y? peppery? scent if the stems or leaves get bruised. Maybe it’s some kind of pepperomia? I haven’t found anything that looks like it online though.

Hi Trish, it sure looks like a Peperomia to me, but I’ve never heard of them having any kind of scent – how intriguing!

My normally reliable source of information doesn’t have anything that looks like yours even though they do show many others.

I’m going to keep looking and hopefully have an answer for you soon,

Comments for varigated, multicolored, citrus scented???

Jan 23, 2017

Extremely tall!
by: Joe

Portulacaria afra

Extremely Tall!!!

by Joe


This succulent is 13 inches tall!!! It grows parallel alternate leaves.

I have NO idea what it is!

Also, is there a way I can stop making the plant grow TALL and make it grow ACROSS! Thanks, Joe

Hi Joe, that really is getting stretched – if you look at the axils of the leaves, there is new growth emerging – to make it bush out, just cut the stem above one of those, and then new growth will take over to make a compact plant.

I don’t know what this plant is, and if this is the characteristic growth, but if it’s supposed to be more bushy, you’re not giving it enough light.

That will tend to shorten the internodes (on new growth only) so maybe try that.

Don’t throw out the pieces that you cut off – you can most likely root those, and put three in a pot to make a really full and bushy plant. This is how commercial greenhouses make their plants look so nice, but you can learn how to do it too.

Maybe you would be interested in my Succulent Plant Propagation E-Book to learn more about rooting your own succulents; click on the link below:

Happy Succulent Growing!

Learn how to root your own succulents:

Comments for Extremely Tall!!!

Mar 25, 2016

The above plant
by: Lisa

The plant above looks like a Jade plant called a money tree. Lisa Australia.

Jun 14, 2016

Tall plant
by: Chris

To me it looks more like a Portulacaria afra.

Sep 19, 2016

Agree with the Portulaca.
by: Elrie

Family: Portulaceae
Common names: Porkbush, Elephants Food (English); Spekboom (Afrikaans)

A very common in South Africa.
Uses & cultural aspects;

The leaves of the porkbush can be eaten and have a sour or tart flavour.

It is heavily browsed by game and domestic stock and highly favoured by tortoises.

The porkbush has also been indicated as a soil binder for preventing soil erosion.

Traditional uses also include the increasing of breast milk by lactating mothers.

The leaves are used to quench thirst, sucking a leaf is used to treat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke.

Crushed leaves can be rubbed on blisters and corns on the feet to provide relief.

The leaves are chewed as a treatment for sore throat and mouth infections while the astringent juice is used for soothing ailments of the skin such as pimples, rashes and insect stings.

The juice is also used as an antiseptic and as a treatment for sunburn.

It is also recorded that a small sprig of porkbush steamed with a tomato bredie (stew) imparts a delicious flavour. (

Not a Peperomia ‘Amigo Green Split’ after all! So what is this plant?

by Michelle K.
(Calgary, AB, Canada)


This is the plant as it originally looked when I bought it.


About a year ago I posted pics of a plant I found at Safeway that was identified as “succulent” with no other information. It was in a tiny pot and was quite full with leaves that seemed like miniature green beans. Some wonderful helpers here at Drought Smart Plants helped me identify it as a Peperomia ‘Amigo Green Split’ – and I thought the mystery was solved.


Since I’ve repotted this plant (I moved it to a taller container so the roots could stretch out a bit), it has completely changed in appearance. No longer do the leaves look like green beans – now they are flatter (still curved, but not curled up and closed) and shorter, and the stems of the plant have grown into tall stalks. I feel like I’m back to step 1, and now I’m not even sure if it IS a succulent.

If anyone knows the more mature version of the plant, it would be of great help. It is driving me crazy that I still don’t know what it is. The plant is very happy. I water it weekly, careful not to give it too much (REALLY careful, as I could not find the right size pot with a drain hole – I’m using a tall mug as a planter).

Anyway, this is still my favourite plant, and I would sure love to know what it is. I am wondering if I move it to a bigger pot (wider) if the stalks will thicken. Do I need to prop them against something? They are getting taller and I’m afraid they might break.

Thanks for the update and new pictures, Michelle. It’s always interesting to see how plants change over time, sometimes for the better, sometimes not.

Judging from the more recent pictures, I would say that this plant requires more light; it seems to be stretching, which is an indication. I’m also concerned about the pot it is in; if this doesn’t have drain holes, there is a risk that even if it’s never overwatered, it still will not allow air exchange for the roots. My recommendation stands; terra cotta pots for succulents. Most of these types of plant prefer to have the rapid drying that this allows.

As for needing to prop up the stems, instead, I recommend that you start taking some cuttings; this will start more shoots from emerging lower down on the stem, and it will get bushier and more compact; this will also have the benefit of making the stem more robust.

So, still a mystery as to identity – I will keep looking.

Comments for Not a Peperomia ‘Amigo Green Split’ after all! So what is this plant?

Jan 16, 2016

Mystery solved!
by: Bill

Senecio Barbertonicus

Apr 03, 2017

Senecio Barbertonicus
by: PG Kruger

Hi everyone. I live in Barberton South Africa where this plant grows naturally in the mountains surrounding the town. I have a succulent garden and small succulent nursery.

The plant on the photos I do not recognise and if I I could find out how to upload pics I can do so for your comparison.

That said. It may be a Barbertonicus but the photos are a little bit fuzzy and the plant very small. I am used to them 20 times that size.

Would like to see comments if you agree

Apr 03, 2017

by: Jacki

Hi PG, I’ve discontinued the picture posting function, but if you like, send me an email via the contact page, and I’ll post one for you. Talk to you soon!

Silver fuzzy plant with flat but fleshy cuneate leaves

by Paul
(Gainesville, FL, US)


I’m not positive that it’s a succulent, but the leaves are soft and pliable and their arrangement and shape are similar to some succulents (plus it doesn’t seem to like overwatering).

We got it at the garden center I work at in North Florida, and the vendor rep didn’t know what it was or where it came from (they normally bring in common landscape annuals).

It’s currently growing in a 10″ hanging basket, and the stems are starting to trail out of the pot and downwards a bit.

Hi Paul, I don’t recognize the leaves on this plant, but if it starts to bloom, and they’re bright pink, you might have a Calandrinia, which are very drought tolerant and lovely, even in tough and challenging conditions.

They’re grown a lot in California, and withstand a lot of abuse in landscapes that don’t get much maintenance.

You can see more about them here on Dave’s Garden Website;

Calandrinia spectabilis

Calandrinia grandiflora

Do either of these look like a possible culprit?

Let me know if you find out,

Comments for Silver fuzzy plant with flat but fleshy cuneate leaves

May 01, 2018

Silver Fuzzy Plant
by: Sarah

Mine are growing in Southern California, arriving in a pot of Agave. Not sure how to show the flowers, but they are creamy white.

What is my houseplant with 2″ skinny tubular flowers on an Aloe type plant?

by Teresa
(Edmonds,WA USA)

My plant has Aloe like “leaves” only more rough, almost like a reptile feel, with one long skinny branch growing from the center of the plant. On this branch are 1-2″ tubular “flowers” that are spaced about 3/4″ apart.

When each flower first appears it is varigated from top to bottom, coral color to green. When each flower is fully opened it is coral at the end attached to the stem and almost white at the opened end. (Each of these tubes are almost two inches by about 1/4″ wide when in full bloom.

Teresa, I would love to be able to help you, but without a picture or two, it’s not obvious to me what this plant could be (good descriptions though!) If you can send a picture, that would certainly help!


identify succulent

by elizabeth


Hi, I believe this plant is Adromischus but I’m not sure of its complete name.

I’ve had it before and it makes a beautiful bright red flower that looks like adromischus flowers, like a teardrop.

The plant in question is the green tubular looking leaf plant with the flower stalk. I know the names of the others in the pot,

Thank you for any help

Hi Elizabeth, I’m not really a big Adromischus grower, just had the occasional experience with them, but they certainly are fascinating plants.

Due to the fact that the incredibly complex markings only show on plants that are grown in bright light, it’s hard to identify a plant that isn’t in character. If it’s grown in less than ideal conditions such as not enough light or other adverse situations they all look alike – and turn green.

These plants can only withstand a slight frost, sometimes not even that. They also resent extremely hot weather too. They’re like Goldilocks; they like it just right

.Bing image search shows a small number of the many forms and colors of these fascinating succulents.

Sorry I couldn’t pin it down for you, good luck with your search!

Comments for identify succulent

Apr 13, 2013

Watering Living Stone ( Lithops ) Plants
by: Susan

Susan, I’ve moved your question to this page;
Watering Living Stones

May 06, 2013

Plant identity response
by: Anonymous

…. just a guess on the identity of this plant, Cotyledon campanulata??

dont know what it is help

by beverley harrand

can you tell me what it could be? the stem has little fine spikes on it and the leaves are cupped which seem to hold water it is rapid growing and looks like it is going to flower at the just appeared in our garden but I am unsure if it is poisonous to dogs .

Hi Bev, without a picture, it’s absolutely impossible for me to tell you what it could be.

If you’re at all worried about doggies eating it, then put a fence around it, or a birdcage with the bottom taken out. Alternatively, just pull it up and get rid of it, or, replant it into a pot and put the pot up out of reach of curious noses.

Prevention is the best defense and a whole lot cheaper than expensive vet bills, or worse.

Best of luck,

Hi, Please help me identify these cacti/succulents.

by Jessi Norwood
(Auburn, AL, USA!)


I was given this little terrarium of plants from my boyfriend about 6 months ago. They came from 1-800-FLOWERS. I looked it up and it only says an “assortment of cacti and succulents.”

And adds this tid-bit Most species of cacti are native to North America, South America and the West Indies. The life of a single cactus can range from 25 to 300 years!”

I have recently caught the “bug” for cacti and succulents. I really wish I knew the names of these plants. I want to propagate them (if possible) and share them with my friends, AND you for helping me!!! I have been looking online for the past 3 hours!!!!

Any info on these will be very appreciated. Thank you SOOOOO much!

Hi Jessi, so glad to have you join us in the succulent obsession!

So, from the top:

Plant A: The round shaped mystery plant is some type of Parodia cactus. I have not had much experience with the tender cacti, but you can see more about these interesting plants here; Cactus Plants.

Plant B is Crassula ovata, the Jade Plant. These are a succulent, not a cactus. You can see more about them here: Crassula.

Plant C: The tall skinny mystery is some type of Euphorbia – these are quite toxic, so please use caution when handling, the sap is especially bad because it’s caustic. You can see more about  poisonous succulent plants here.

Plant E is another kind of cactus, sorry I don’t know anything more about it.

What I can tell you is that all of these plants need more light, desperately. If you can get a grow light for them, that will help a lot. Their color says it all; if they’re starting to get pale like this, and start stretching upwards, they aren’t getting enough.

See more about succulent care

Hope that helps get you on track with your succulent collection!

Comments for Hi, Please help me identify these cacti/succulents.

Apr 07, 2013

by: Jessi Norwood

Thank you so much!
I had no idea they needed more light! This helps so much!!

May 06, 2013

Plant I.d.
by: Anonymous

The plant that is labeled as “C” is an Austrocylindropuntia subulata f. monstrosa. =)

Nov 08, 2015

plant c
by: Terry

plant c is an austrolcylindropuntia – commonly known as eves needle 🙂

May 25, 2017

Austrocylindropuntia-subulata f monstrosa
by: Elna

Just a real thank you to the people who takes the time and interest to assist us enthusiasts in our attempts to name and “raise some thorny children”!! Especially to the person who assisted with the Biological name for Mystery plant C 🙂 Kind regards

got it as a present,

by Lence Mrgja
(Skopje, Macedonia)


tiny light green leafs,and please tell me how to propagate

Hi Lence, I don’t know what this plant is, but it’s very interesting with the inward curling leaves. Very textural and pretty.

To propagate any of these kinds of plants, that have multiple crowns emerging from one single point, it might be necessary to take it out of the pot and take all the soil off; you’ll most likely see the multiple crowns, which you can gently ease apart.

With luck, they’ll already be growing separately, and easy to separate.

Sometimes, they’re actually joined, but if you pull them apart they will separate along the growth lines.

Avoid cutting them, which will damage more cells than simply tearing them.

From this one plant you will probably get about ten new ones, which can be planted in separate pots, or clump them three to a pot, so they are a little bushier.

Use dry soil, and don’t water them until the next day to give them time to callous and heal up a bit. Watering too soon can cause them to rot, so avoid this.

Hope this helps, for more see the Succulent Plant Propagation E-Book (click on the link below)

Learn how to root your own succulents:

Unknown plant

by Monica
(Swan Hill, VIC, Australia)


Hi, I have this plant and I have no idea what it is. If anyone could shed some light that would be fantastic. It’s looking a little worse for wear so I’m hoping to get some tips on how to revive it too. Thanks in anticipation!

Hi Monica – boy, that poor thing! It looks as though it could be some kind of Stapelia, but it needs emergency treatment, right now!

I can’t guarantee that this poor guy will recover, but leaving it as it is will certainly kill it.

First of all, that looks like the absolute worst type of soil for any succulent plant; if it’s got bark and compost particles, and holds water, it’s never going to work to support these kinds of plants.

Carefully take the plant right out of that soil and remove as much as you can, and put it into some sand or small gravel, or soil that is specifically for cacti. Don’t water it! This might put it over the edge, but leaving it as it is will certainly kill it.

These plants require absolutely perfect drainage, meaning that the soil does not hold any moisture. It’s essential for their health and well being that they are allowed to dry out completely between waterings, so if you are one of those kinds of gardeners that can’t stand to see a plant that is dry, get over it right now!

Another absolutely crucial requirement is a drain hole in the bottom of the pot; especially a glazed pot like this one. I use strictly terracotta clay pots, both for their good drainage, and also because the porous clay sides allow air exchange with the roots.

Best of luck with your plant; I have fingers crossed that it will recover.


Groups of thick small leaves and a tall stalk

by Rachel smith


The stalk is about 5 inches tall and the leaves average about half an inch.

The leaves are grouped together in groups of ten or so. Some of the leaves are longer and have a red tint, one of those is about to fall off and is a little shriveled.

There are a lot of scars where leaves used to be attached on the stalk so I don’t know if this is how the leaves are normally arranged or not?

This looks to be some kind of Sedum such as Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Aurora’ or a Sedum hybrid with either Echeveria (Sedeveria) or a Pachyphytum. There are many different ones, but the characteristic of dropping leaves leaving the bare stem is a fairly common one with some types.

This is typical growth habit of this type of plant; you can behead them, by cutting them off just below the top rosette, and re-root it by just setting it on top of some dry, well drained potting soil.

Generally, you can prevent the tall stalk thing happening by making sure the plant gets enough light – they like it bright, so a good sunny area (not directly in front of a hot window though) or put it outside for a summer vacation.

In a week or two, you’ll see tiny pink roots emerging, at which time you can start to water it.

You can see more about how to take care of these types of succulents here: succulent care; once you get thoroughly intrigued by these great plants, get the book and learn all about propagating them: click on the link below.

Best of luck with your great little plant,

Learn how to root your own succulents:

Some pictures – is this a Yucca?


A giant spikey succulent which was moved to a new part of the garden where it took on a new lease of life growing quickly (we had a heat wave!) and sprouting eight flower stalks which now have bees visiting them.

Is it a yucca? (About 2m across, 2m high)

Is this it in flower?


Ewan, this doesn’t appear to be Yucca. They tend to have single tall spires of blooms, which are larger and bell shaped.

Are the leaves really sharp and have a spike on the end? It could be Saw Palmetto, known botanically as Sabal, so maybe that would be something to research.

Other spiky type plants are Agave and Aloe, but this doesn’t look like either as far as the flower spikes go.

It really does help to know where you’re located, as there are some plants that thrive in certain areas and are commonly grown in landscapes, and available at garden centers locally. This is another option, visit local nurseries and see if you can spot the same plant there.

Sorry I can’t help much, this one is not a plant I’m familiar with.

Best of luck with your search!

Comments for Some pictures – is this a Yucca?

Nov 30, 2014

Is this a Yucca
by: Marjorie

Your plant looks to be in bud. When it flowered was is bright red-orange, or golden yellow? If so, I believe you have Crocosmia a wonderful perennial. You will be able to divide it in about 3 years and spread plants to other sunny well-drained areas of your garden! Hummingbirds and butterflies love this plant. Great for cutting too.

Dec 10, 2014

Not Sabal..
by: Ewan

Alas the plant isn’t Crocosmia, nor does it appear to be Sabal. Thanks for the comments. I’m situated in the central belt of Scotland UK, so not a warm climate. I’ve seen these plants in gardens and council beds, though generally far smaller than mine.

Dec 10, 2014

Adams Needle
by: Jacki

Adams Needle and Small Soapweed are two plants that are surprisingly hardy, to the extent that they are quite happy growing in places like Colorado, which has quite cold winters.

Those are my best guesses, which could lead you to the correct ID.

These are both Yucca, by the way; Adams Needle is Yucca filamentosa (which has distinctive threads that peel off the edges of the leaves and curl very effectively, giving the plant an interesting texture in the landscape – especially in the winter when the frost outlines them). Small Soapweed is Yucca glauca. Both these plants have a similar growth habit, although the flowers on yours are different.

Mystery plant in Michigan

by Shannon c
(E.l., mi, usa)


Any ideas?

No clue

Hi Shannon, just to clarify, are those leaves (the bright green) part of this plant? If so, it looks as though it’s some kind of bulb, but the picture isn’t really clear enough to tell if this is a flower just opening, or it’s already fading.

Maybe once it’s done blooming you can carefully dig up the bulb and see what it looks like; there are several different kinds of bulbs and other structures, which can help to identify these types of plants.

A ‘tunicate’ bulb, which has a papery covering like daffodils and tulips is a lot different to a fleshy root like daylilies.

Also pay attention to what happens as the plant grows; many bulbs die back to the ground as the weather warms up, to ripen and have a summer dormancy; this is crucial for the bulb to replenish its energy, and also to prepare the new flower buds deep inside the bulb.

Sorry I can’t help identify your plant.


small stalky plant

by Katie c.
(asheville nc)


it’s not a succulent but you guys have helped me identify quite a few plants.. here’s two pictures.

Hi Katie, your plant is ivy, or known botanically as Hedera helix. This one looks like it could be Baltic or Canary Island ivy.

Many other plants go by the name ‘ivy’ but this one is the only real one. There are many, many kinds; some are variegated with gold and green, or two shades of green, or like this one, with a bit of white.

They come in all different forms too, some trailing, with tiny foliage, very finely cut, called Birds Foot Ivy, and others, like this one, are more in the shape of a maple leaf.

They are reliable and hardy, even tough enough to survive outside. Be careful, because in some areas they have escaped confinement and become a noxious weed – their habit is to climb trees, eventually strangling them.

Indoors they pose no problems except for if the air is dry, when they are susceptible to spider mites.

If the leaves start to dry out, and look like they’ve been rasped, and you spot very fine spider webs, this is what has happened. Spray with water several times over the period of about two weeks, and that usually gets rid of them.

They grow well in the same conditions as ferns, with high humidity, so set the pots on a saucer of pebbles which you keep moist to raise the humidity in the air.

You can see more here on Dave’s Garden Website about Baltic ivy which yours seems to be.

Happy Indoor Gardening!

Comments for small stalky plant

Apr 01, 2013

by: Katie

Really? I wouldn’t have thought ivy; it hasn’t grown at all in a year… No new leaves or anything… Definitely no vines.

If you look at that link I put in your question, the type of plant is more shrubby than vining. It’s definitely an ivy, of the Hedera helix type.


It has thick heart shaped leaves and each branch has an orange/yellow flowers

by Liz


This was quite small a couple of months ago but has shot up and branched. Each branch has sprouted a stem of yellowish flowers. It seems to attract some very small hovering flies, they are always hovering next to the flowers but the flowers don’t seems to smell to me. I’d love to know what it is and what I should be doing. We live in Spain. Thanks

Hi Liz, this looks to me to be some kind of Crassula, because of the way the leaves clasp the stem, which is a trait of that genus.

Generally, Crassula have white or pink flowers, so the yellow blooms are a surprise.

What isn’t a surprise is the insects that it attracts; these could be some kind of tiny wasp or other predatory insect, which feed on pests in your garden, but also require nectar and pollen from plants such as these.

They are not harmful (except to pests!), so you won’t need to worry about getting rid of them. Just appreciate nature, and how everything is of use to some other living being.

Once the flowers are finished and dry up, you can cut this plant back about halfway, take off the dead flower stalks and use the top part of the stem for cuttings to make more plants, and then the bottom older part will branch out more, and make a more compact growth habit.

Hope this helps with your unusual pretty plant!

PS: buy the book for more details on how to root these plants:

Learn how to root your own succulents:

I don’t know what this is…

by Chris Spencer
(Gulfport, FL)


It’s greenish red, no leaves, and has rounded nubs on it. Can you identify it for me? Thanks!

Hi Chris, that one is so weird, if I had ever seen it before I would recognize it right away.

There are a lot of oddball plants out there, so it might take some hunting to discover more about it.

In the meantime, I would say that it would most likely resent too much water, so let it dry out between times, and hopefully it will grow into something that is more recognizable.

I’ll post this on some forums that I use and hopefully a helpful expert will be able to give us some guidance.

Be patient!

Comments for I don’t know what this is…

Oct 09, 2016

I have something similar…
by: Big Bad B

I have something similar — it’s shaped exactly the same but mine’s greener, with reddish brown stripes along the body and the same color in the spikey tips. I don’t know what it is either (it was a gift), but I know this:

  1. It grows crazy quick and long (photo here). I don’t really “water” it; I just spritz it with water there times a week.
  2. The”branches” break off very easily. Tried rooting them like a normal succulent but it didn’t work. Got annoyed, stuck one of the branches in soil and, what do you know, it rooted.
  3. The roots are long and really fine. I know as I re-potted the plant, breaking it up across three pots.

Sorry for the long post; thought I’d give as much detail as I can to help others figure out what it is.

Aug 24, 2020

Plant ID
by: Teri

This is called orbea schwenfurthi. My spelling might be a little off though.

what type of plant is BOB

by Sarah
(hidden valley lake , ca. USA)


it has long stringy leaves draping down over the table. it has a bulbs in the center of the pot sticking out from the ground. or laying on top of the ground! BOB is its name and i got him from the clearance rack at Walmart!!!!

Hi Sarah, it’s pretty much impossible to tell what kind of plant Bob is, because plants that have bulbs all look so much alike. There are a million different species of bulbous plants, and some require a cold dormant period, like daffodils and tulips, others need a dry summer dormancy to induce them to bloom.

This leads me to the next point.

Most bulbs will rot if they are overwatered, so when you water, let the pot completely drain out, and don’t put a saucer or bowl underneath it; this is a recipe for disaster, because in some cases, you can’t even tell that there is a problem until it’s too late.

Hopefully, Bob will bloom in time, and then it will be much easier to identify what kind of plant this is; there are just too many options without being able to narrow it down a bit.

Post more pictures when Bob produces flowers!

Best of luck,

Comments for what type of plant is BOB

May 10, 2013

Name of plant
by: Josh

I have one of these as well and it doesn’t bloom I would like to know the name

Jun 29, 2013

Pony Tail Palm
by: Melody

It looks like a Pony Tail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) to me. I have 2 of those and they don’t bloom. I live in the tropics and they are a common sight in the local suburbs. Dead easy to grow but it will get taller and if you take it out of the pot and plant it in your yard it will grow quite tall. One of mine is about 20 feet tall. If kept in the pot it will stay much smaller. It is a lovely and unique tree.

Jun 29, 2013

Pony Tail Palm
by: Melody

Oops, yes they do bloom! The blooms so far up in the tall tree I missed them. Google has some fine specimens to view the blooms.

Help with ID-ing possible succulent plant

by Topher Haynes
(New York)


Small plant, bladed leaves, green in color – hoping to learn what kind of succulent I’m working with.

Hi Topher, there are several different plants that have this appearance, some so close that it’s really hard to tell which genus they belong to.

As it does not appear to have any serrations on the edges, that pretty much eliminates Aloe, which have this type of form; they also have a different way of joining together at the base of the leaves.

Other potential suspects are Gasteria (definite possibility), Crassula and Cotyledon.

I’ll keep looking for you – hang in there!

Looks like a Pineapple

by Mari


Hello Jacki. Just purchased a tray of small succulents but found this particular one amazingly unusual to me.

It looks like a sempervivum arachnoide except it has many layers and it seems to have a thick root ball. Also, it is so top heavy that it cannot stand on its own.

Can you help confirm if its a sempervivum? Can I cut the stem short and let it reroot? Thanks for your help as always.

Hi Mari, what an odd little creature! That definitely is a Sempervivum arachnoideum, or cobweb species, from the looks of the webbing.

You most definitely can just chop this off and re-root it; I do this when they get a bit too long and gangly, although I have never had one that does this weird growth habit!

You can cut it about half way up the ‘rosette’ and then just set it on some dry potting soil; it can take a few weeks, but eventually it will show some roots, and once it is firmly rooted, start watering it. I sometimes just spray lightly a few times on the soil surface, so the roots start to explore, then water deeply once a week or so.

Have fun!


Two different succulents bought from CVS


One of the plants are covered in hairy velvet, from leaves to stem.

I’m not sure how to describe the other one. It has bulbous, hard leaves and a reddish stem.

Hi, I haven’t had any experience with either of these plants, but I’ll tell you what I think they could be, and maybe that will help.

The fuzzy one looks to be some type of Echeveria, or even a hybrid. It’s closest to Echeveria setosa, but it doesn’t have the same leaf structure.

The second one resembles a Crassula or Cotyledon most of all. I don’t know it, but it sure is cute!

If you bought them at a box store, one thing that is pretty much guaranteed is that they will be low maintenance, provided you follow a few key instructions.

First of all, they are pretty much full sized for that size of pot, so think about repotting them into a slightly bigger one (and I recommend something heavier, like terracotta) so they won’t be struggling. In the nursery where they were grown, they are given optimum conditions; bright light, perfect ammount of water, and so on.

In your house, they may not get quite the same ideal situation; the biggest requirement of succulents like this is the light; it has to be bright.

Look on this page for more on succulent care.

Happy Succulent Growing!

Comments for Two different succulents bought from CVS

May 01, 2013

Delosperma lehmannii?
by: Avi

I think the second one may be Delosperma lehmannii.

May 06, 2013

Possible species of I.d. question
by: Anonymous

The second may be some type of Oscularia…

Leafy like cactus

by Rosalyn Lee
(Brooklyn, NY)


There are actually two different cactus that I would like identified so I can research the best way to care for them.
Thank you

Hi Rosalyn, the blue one is Echeveria Topsy Turvy, a great plant to start with; it’s reliable and easy to grow, even for all it’s odd appearance.

Sometimes, it’s called the upside down plant because the leaves really do look like they’re the wrong way up.

This one doesn’t look totally happy, and could possibly need more light.

In northern climates, the day length is not long enough for those plants that originate near the equator, where it’s 12 hours of day, and 12 hours of night all year long.

Get a grow light, and a timer to give it the right daylength.

Your other plant with the two tall spires is Euphorbia trigona, or African Milk Bush.

Please be aware that all members of the genus are poisonous, especially the ‘milk’ the name refers to which is actually caustic sap. It’s very important to keep these plants away from pets and small children, who seem drawn to them.

Dave’s Garden Website has more about this plant.

See more about Euphorbia here.

Hope that helps!

Soft, leggy succulent

by Stephanie
(Atlanta, GA)


The succulent bowl when I first purchased it — the unidentified plants are in the back.


These plants came in a “succulent bowl” from Lowe’s.

They live inside in a very sunny, south-facing garden window. They were 3-4″ tall when I received them about eight months ago in November, but in the spring, they started growing very quickly. I just repotted them today.

My best guess is echeveria pallida, but it doesn’t seem to be a perfect match to the pictures I’ve found online…
Thank you!

Hi Stephanie, I’m thinking that this is not an Echeveria, which even though they sometimes have this shrublike growth, will always have alternating leaves, not as this one has, opposite.

This habit is typical of many other succulents from either the Kalanchoe genus, or Crassula. I’m sorry I can’t pin it down any more than that, but that might give you a starting point.

It’s possible that it will bloom soon, and that will give you more to go on.

Hope that helps,

Comments for Soft, leggy succulent

Jul 07, 2013

Crassula Capitella
by: haveda

The last three photos look like the campfire Crassula, AKA Crassula Capitella. Mine only seem to turn red in the winter.

Jul 08, 2013

by: Steph

You’re right! Thank you so much!