Succulents are among the world’s most treasured plants. From their simple care requirements to their unique leaf shapes and wild colorful displays, it’s easy to see why succulents are so popular. However, even those with plenty of experience may still have questions about certain “rare” or “exotic” species – like Korean succulents, for example. But, what are Korean Succulents, exactly?
Basically, Korean Succulents are species of rare succulent plants hybridized in Korea. They’re popular for their striking colors and unique hybrid variations. Although not much information is known about how Korean succulents are grown, these beauties are famous for producing highly resilient plants with stunning and vibrant variegation, or coloration. In this post, we will explore 12 of the most popular types of Korean Succulents and what makes them so prized in modern gardens today!
The Green Dunce Cap, also known as the Chinese Dunce cap, is a small succulent perennial native to Korea and parts of China. This drought-loving plant is popular in gardens and homes and features silvery cone-shaped rosettes that grow upward like a cone, or like a “dunce” cap.
In Spring and Summer months, the Green Dunce Cap propagates through tiny off-shoots forming a dense bed of baby “dunce caps”.This unique and cold-hardy plant can typically survive more extreme temperatures too, making it a great choice for both experienced and novice gardeners alike.
The Tokyo Sun variety is well-loved among succulent fans. The small, ascending, flower-shaped columns of leaves have a yellow glow in the sunlight but fade to a healthy green color when in the shade. Tokyo Sun is a hardy plant species that can survive in a variety of conditions. Plus, the changing colors of the Tokyo Sun succulent are perfect for bringing a little cheer and sunshine indoors, or for brightening up your outdoor garden.
Korean Stonecrop is a beautiful and unique succulent that is loved for its two-toned dark green and creamy yellow leaves. Korean Stonecrop displays small clusters of yellow star-shaped flowers in summer and striking pink-blush leaves in cooler weather. Like some other plants on this list, the Takeshima Stonecrop is a heat-tolerant, drought-hardy succulent that is popularly grown in pots, rock gardens, or used as ground cover for larger gardens. Its ease of care and beautiful foliage make the Takeshima Stonecrop a coveted addition to many home succulent gardens.
Gold Moss stonecrop, also known as Graveyard Moss or Stringy Stonecrop, is a heat-tolerant and drought-resistant leaf succulent. It’s typically kept in flower pots or used as a beautiful trailing ground cover. This succulent is among one of the most widespread of the Korean stonecrop species. People choose Gold Moss Stonecrop for its beautiful trailing stems, its bright yellow star-shaped flowers, and its traditional Korean culinary applications.
White Stonecrop is a beautiful spreading Sedum succulent that blooms tiny pinkish-white rosettes around Midsummer, when the days start getting longer. White Stonecrop can be used to create a fairy-like ground cover or in rock gardens, which help attract butterflies and other important pollinators. When kept indoors, White Stonecrop may keep its flowers year-round and looks beautiful when planted around other succulents.
Echeveria Ariel is a striking and unique Korean hybrid succulent that features rounded, thick, and colorful rosette leaves. Like most of the other Echeveria succulents on this list, it is drought and heat-tolerant. The leaves of the Echeveria Ariel plant are naturally a silvery-blue color with a splash of pink coloration on the leaf edges. However, when cold or stressed in Winter, this plant dramatically fades from green-blue to a vibrant blush-pink with deep-red tips! This color-changing Korean succulent has captured the admiration of plant lovers worldwide.
Commonly known as Rock Pine, this cold-hardy hybrid succulent grows naturally throughout Korea. This unique plant features a densely packed rosette of spike-like petals. In the Summer, the tips are green – but when exposed to colder environments, they turn a lovely shade of red! During Summer, tiny white flowers bloom from a stalk at the center of the rosette. The Rock Pine is an exotic addition to any succulent garden and is prized for its dramatic seasonal color variegations.
Echeveria Lauii is a slow-growing, rosette-forming Korean hybrid succulent. It displays thick, wide, fleshy leaves that are pastel pink and covered in a natural film called farina, which helps protect the plant. In the Summer months, it displays striking bright red flowers! With its pink rosy leaves and lovely red blooms, it’s easy to see why this exotic and rare Korean Succulent hybrid is so coveted among plant lovers.
Echeveria ‘Suyon’, or “Sunyan”, is a Korean hybrid species of non-flowering Echeveria. This rare Korean succulent features variegated leaves whose tips develop a dark red hue when exposed to cold winter environments. The Suyon succulent forms multiple wide, fleshy, tear-shaped rosettes that look like a bouquet of roses when grown together in pots. While these plants are frost-hardy and drought-tolerant, they are also vulnerable to sunburn and frost. For this reason, they’re usually kept indoors with access to plenty of indirect bright sunlight.
Baby Fingers is a Korean hybrid succulent that gets its name from its likeness to tiny, chubby fingers. Its leaves are smooth and cylindrical in shape, and it displays lovely natural silver-green hues when kept in full shade.
When exposed to plenty of sunlight, Baby Finger succulents are known to develop spectacular sunset-like colors – such as vibrant oranges, pinks, and purples! Korean Baby Finger Succulents can typically handle plenty of sunlight without burning thanks to their protective powdery farina coating.
The Golden Root, sometimes called Rose Root or King’s Crown, is a flowering succulent commonly kept in homes and gardens. This unique and striking succulent grows from a short ascending rootstock that looks like it’s covered in dragon scales. The flowering leaves are usually a silver-green color with reddish tips. During the Summer months, they bloom with many tight clusters of tiny yellow 4-petal flowers. The Golden Root has multiple culinary and traditional uses, but it is commonly kept as a beginner-friendly succulent. Whether kept indoors or outdoors, it is a very forgiving plant thanks to its cold, heat, and drought-hardiness.
‘Trumpet Pinky’ is a unique Korean hybrid of the Echeveria succulent species. It’s named for its large rosette shape with petals that curl into tight trumpet-like tubes. When kept indoors or in low light, this succulent is a lovely silver-blue color. However, when exposed to heat or full sun conditions, the leaf tips come alive with breathtaking shades of pink! The Trumpet Pinky has a protective farina coating, so it can handle plenty of sunshine while showing off its colors.