It may surprise you but we presently know more than 10,000 succulent species in the world. Ranging from tiny gray succulents which you may easily mistake for rocks, through robust cacti–often centuries old, to huge succulents that look like trees, and you would likely never guess they belong to this plant family. The variety is puzzling, and exciting. In my opinion, as long as we speak about decorative plants, you will find whatever you dream of with succulents. But what succulents do resemble trees?
Actually many of them do. But some are specific to the wild nature, and you cannot buy them in a shop. Some are even protected and trying to take them home could lead into a hefty fine. But we know some succulents that look like trees and you can grow them in your garden, or even in your home, should you have ample space and high ceilings (and fascination for these plants). Let’s have a look at them, one by one.
No. 1 succulent resembling a tree – Jade Plant (crassula ovata)
You may be disappointed now, If you thought I would start the list with some exotic succulent from the darkest and driest depths of Saharan desert. The exact opposite is true, and I have to start with one of the most popular succulents of all-Jade Plant.
Jade Plant, if you care well for it, can easily grow to six feet, with plenty of branches and leaves, resembling a sort of a “mini” tree, just like some dwarf trees you see in mountain areas with strong winds and colder climate. What I try to point out here though is that pruning plays a big role. If you aim for a tree-like Jade Plant, it is important to limit trimming to the minimum in the upper parts of the plant, and cutting away the branches at the bottom. Playing with it a bit, you can achieve an authentic tree look of your Jade Plant!
No. 2 succulent that looks like a tree: Tree of Love (Aichryson Laxum)
This miniature succulent resembling a dwarf tree, is native to Canary Islands (one of the places that will always remain in my heart). You can find some species of this plant family also in Azores, Madeira, and Portugal, especially on wet cliffs close to the see (here goes the myth about all succulents growing in dry areas). In certain cultures, this succulents makes for a common gift to young couples after weddings, since it is believed it brings peace and love to the house (I should probably get one too :)).
Good news is that even though it isn’t a typical succulent, you won’t find it difficult to care for it. Just do as you do with other succulents, with only two differences: slightly more humidity and less direct sunshine. However, aichryson laxum is quite versatile, and it will sustain a lot. Just you may not witness it flower if you keep it in conditions which it doesn’t prefer. Tree of Love isn’t as easy to buy as Jade Plant, but you can still get it in specialized stores or online.
No. 3 succulent that looks like a tree, this time a pine tree: Crasssula Tetragona
This succulent, often nicknamed “mini pine tree” isn’t one of those plants that blows you away the first time you spot it. Relatively uniform in color, and small, you need to really open your eyes to appreciate its delicate beauty. Just like the name suggests, it resembles a mini pine tree. It will never grow large, hence it is ideal for indoors settings, though the succulent can thrive both indoors and outdoors.
It is mildly frost tolerant, and needs just about the same growing conditions as any “mainstream” succulent–fast draining soil, at least 4-6 hours of light per day, and infrequent watering schedule. One thing I like about this succulent is easy propagation, from stem cuttings. Hence if you like this succulent and want to gift it to your loved ones, you can grow new “mini pine trees” at home.
In the wast world of succulents, with a bit of imagination you can find a plant resembling almost anything, including a tree. In this post we looked at three succulents resembling trees that you can realistically get from a specialized plant shop in your city, or purchase online. Of course, you will find other succulents resembling trees, both miniature and real-life size. If my selection doesn’t satisfy your appetite, feel free to search further :). If it does, thank you for reading, and good luck with your succulents!
May also interest you: Can succulents die of old age?