Types of succulents in NZ: buying guide

If you’re in the market for a succulent and want to learn more, here’s everything you need to know.

Last updated: 13 February 2024

If you’ve got a bad rep for letting your plants wither and die, succulents will be your new best friend. Not only are they impossibly good looking, they’re also super low maintenance. They store their own water; love the sun and adapt to whatever pot you choose for them. If you’re in the market for a succulent and want to learn more, here’s everything you need to know. 

Different varieties of succulents in NZ

The best part about shopping for succulents — you don’t need to choose just one. Succulents look great when you have a few mixed and matched together. Here are our top ten picks:

1. Aloe Vera: the healing wonder

With its soothing gel-filled leaves, Aloe Vera isn’t just a pretty succulent to liven up your décor, it’s a natural remedy for your skin. Native to North Africa, Aloe Vera likes bright, indirect sunlight and doesn’t need much watering. It’s super resilient, making it a lifelong friend. 

Browse Aloe Vera plants

2. Bear’s Paw: furry and whimsical

A small succulent with fat round green furry leaves. Along the top of each leaf, there’s crenellations that look like bear paws. Perfect for indoor settings, it thrives in bright light, showcasing resilience. Water sparingly and watch this charming succulent grace your home for years to come.

Find Bear’s Paw succulents.

3. Money Tree (Jade Plant): symbol of prosperity

If you believe the myth, owning a Jade Plant will bring you wealth and prosperity. Its stems are sturdy and woody, and the leaves are thick, green, fleshy and oval shaped. As the Jade plant matures, it takes a tree-like structure. Adaptable and low maintenance, it does best in bright light. 

Check out our Jade Plant listings.

4. Black Prince: dark elegance

The Black Prince is a stunning succulent loved for its dark purple leaves. They stay small, so you can keep them in the same little pot forever. This succulent likes light but not direct sunlight and doesn't need much water, especially in winter.

Shop our Black Prince listings

5. Ruby Glow: nature’s jewel

With just a little bit of love, the Ruby Glow succulent will give you a burst of colour all year round. Super easy to keep alive, it only needs bright light — not much water. 

See our range of Ruby Glow succulents.

6. Sea Urchin: underwater charm

Bringing a bit of the ocean indoors, this cool plant originated in South Africa. Give it a sip of water now and then, and voila – you've got a touch of the ocean in your space for life. What’s more, it won't grow too big so you can keep it in one spot. 

7. Ball Plants: cute spheres

Compact and spherical, Ball Plants are charmingly magical. Originating from South Africa, these succulents prefer bright, indirect light and infrequent watering. With the right care, they’ll stay healthy and happy for a long time. 

Shop our range of Ball Plants

8. Cotyledon Orbiculata: spoon-shaped

The Cotyledon Orbiculata's spoon-shaped leaves add sophistication to gardens and pots. Thriving in bright light with well-draining soil. All you need to do is water it sparingly, and you can enjoy it for years.

Find Cotyledon Orbiculata listings. 

9. Zebra: striped leaves

Zebra succulents have chubby leaves that bunch up in a circle. It’s dark green and has cool white stripes going side to side — just like a zebra's stripes. Preferring bright, indirect light, they require infrequent watering. 

Browse our Zebra succulent listings. 

10. Medusa: whimsical and wavy wonder

The standout feature of Medusa is its leaves, which have a distinctive wavy and curling appearance. This unique leaf structure gives the plant a dynamic quality.

It’s ideal for succulent wall frames or standalone pots.

Setting up your succulents

Whether you're planning on planting new garden bed or spicing up pots for your patio, here are the best type of succulents for each option — and how to keep them happy:

1. Outdoor garden bed

For a garden bed outside, go for tough succulents like Aloe Vera, Bear's Paw, and Money Tree. These can handle sunlight and well-draining soil. Keep them a bit spaced out to avoid overcrowding.

See our outdoor garden beds

2. Pots

In pots, you can plant colourful ones like the Black Prince, Ruby Glow, and Sea Urchin. Mix in some Ball Plants, Cotyledon Orbiculata, and Zebra for variety. Make sure the pots have good drainage and choose a mix of upright and trailing types.

Browse our range of succulent pots

3. Indoors

Indoors, opt for low-light lovers like the Money Tree, Zebra, and Medusa. Flowering types, like Aloe Vera when in bloom, can add a nice touch. Use pots with drainage, place them near windows with filtered light, and let the soil dry between waterings.

See our indoor succulents.

4. Hanging basket

In a hanging basket, try trailing varieties like the String of Pearls, String of Bananas, or Bear's Paw. Just make sure the basket drains well, and place it where there's bright, indirect light.

Shop our range of hanging baskets

5. DIY Planter, bowl, or stand

Get creative with DIY planters, bowls, or stands. Mix things up with the Black Prince, Ruby Glow, and Cotyledon Orbiculata. Add some Aloe Vera and Ball Plants for variety. Choose containers with drainage, and make sure they get enough sunlight.

Shop DIY planters, bowls or stands.

6. Succulent wall frame

For a wall frame, go for compact ones like the Zebra, Medusa, and flowering types. Use vertical planters with well-draining soil, and hang them where there's bright, indirect light. Water sparingly to keep the wall dry.

Check out our succulent wall frame listings. 

Life’s too short for wilting plants

Remember, each succulent has its preferences, but the basics are good sunlight, well-draining soil, and not too much water. There’s not too much that can go wrong. On Trade Me, you can even order succulents in bulk, making it super convenient for a big garden upgrade. Happy planting!

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Written by one of our Trade Me Marketplace experts - providing you with the latest information to help you shop smarter in New Zealand.