Unfortunately, you’ll find it challenging to tie down one answer to how long succulents live. Succulents are diverse groups of plants and have lifespans ranging from a few years to over 100 years.
Should you narrow down to a specific species, you’ll still find this doesn’t help much. Lifespans of succulents and cacti vary, and to know how long do succulents live, you’ll need to know the species you’re growing.
The average lifespan of succulents will be dictated by the environment and the levels of care. Thus, the amount of care you give your plants and they can live longer. Any plants outside and facing extreme weather conditions may not survive as long as those in your indoor garden.
Here, you can learn more about how long succulents live and how to care for your succulent plants to help them live longer. (Learn Do Succulents Need to Drain)
Do Succulents Die Easily?
Succulents can die easily if you don’t give them the proper care. Here’s a few gardening tips to make sure you help your plants thrive.
You Are Watering Too Much
Succulents are like cacti and love the dry. This includes dry air and soil. You’ll wish to make sure your plants grow quickly, but over-watering these plants isn’t the way.
Allow soil to dry before you water your succulents again, and make sure the pots have sufficient drainage holes to allow water to escape.
Once the soil dries, mist the soil with a spray until wet once per week. You can also use small, shallow succulents pots rather than deep as this can aid in soil drying.
Succulent Pots are Too Deep
Succulents have shallow roots and don’t like deep pots. If you spot your succulent isn’t thriving, it could be the size of a pot. Water can run past the roots before they have a chance to absorb moisture. (Read How to Plant Succulent Seeds)
Not Enough Sun
Succulents are like cacti and love the heat. Make sure you move your succulents to follow the sun as it passes through your home. A few hours of sun won’t suffice because your succulents need 6 hours of sun or more.
The Pot is Too Full
Succulents like space, so you are best using small pots and having one or two plants per pot. Succulents need around 2-3 inches of spacing between each plant.
Do Succulents Die of Old Age?
Dying leaves are natural for any plant. Succulents are no different and will have dead leaves during their life. As your plant grows, it sprouts new leaves as older ones die.
You may find succulent lifespans at your garden center or on the web. However, you can discover many plants of unknown ages. Much of this is because they haven’t had long enough observation. (Learn How Often To Water Ferns)
Here known life spans of some common succulents:
- Jade Plant: 70-100 years
- Hens and Chicks: 3+ years
- Aloe Vera: 5-25 years
- Barrel Cactus: 100s of years
- Living Stones: 40-50 years
Some succulent plants will have a specific aspect that affects lifespan and how long they live. Hybrids are prime examples here, and one is the Echeveria Perle Von Nurnberg, which has a short lifespan.
Some succulents may not live long, yet they grow offsets and replace themselves. Chicks and Hens is an excellent example as the chief plant lives up to 4 years yet sprouts many offsets in its life.
Do Succulents Come Back Every Year?
Many people are surprised many succulents can live outdoors all year-round. You can choose from “hardy” and “soft” to get the right type for your region.
Hardy succulents: Can tolerate frost and remain outdoors in below-freezing temperatures and ideal for year-round growing. Hardy succulents grow better outdoors than inside.
Soft varieties: You’ll discover these are not frost-tolerant and have to be brought indoors when the temperature could reach freezing. However, they are happy outside when there is warm weather.
For indoor succulents, recommended are Kalanchoe or Senecio if you can deliver sufficient light. If you have reasonable light, the recommended include Haworthia, Jade, Gasteria, and Air Plants since they can cope with low-light conditions.
Succulents also come in three categories: winter growing, partially dormant, or fully dormant. You’ll discover the majority experience some level of partial dormancy during the winter when they slow down growth.
A few types go into deep dormancy and lose their leaves, such as a deciduous tree does. Sedum Kamtschaticum and Orostachys sp will die-back completely, although the root systems live. Each spring, they will sprout new growth. (Read Push Mower Won’t Stay Running)
You can find some varieties that grow in cooler months, such as Aloe, Haworthia, and Aeonium. Shorter days and lower temperatures signal the start of the growing season.
Do Succulents Grow Forever?
Succulents grow slowly and appear as if they live forever, as you’ve had the same little cactus in your windowsill for years. It can leave you wondering how long do succulents live with proper care?
Succulent plants usually originate from desert climates and have thick fleshy leaves or bodies. They also love lots of sunlight. People often think succulents are cacti, although cactus plants are part of the succulent group.
One of the most popular is the Aloe Vera plant. It doesn’t cope with wet roots, so you need well-draining soil that dries out between watering. Just make sure it sits in an area with full sun.
Healthy Aloe Vera plants can grow to 2 feet in height and width. You can find these live high (and wide) and live between 5 and 25 years.
Jade Plants (Crassula ovata)
It is considered good luck to have a jade plant, so you need it to live as long as possible. Most people recognize a jade plant, and some call them a money plant, thanks to the tear-drop-shaped leaves.
A jade plant is perfect for novices since it isn’t choosy over growing conditions so long as it has enough sunlight. Let the soil dry between watering, as with aloe vera.
A jade plant may reach several feet with a thick, woody trunk like a small tree for growth. Turn the container every few days to prevent the plant from leaning into the light.
For lifespan, few houseplants stay alive like a barrel cactus, which can outlive the owner.
Living at least 50 years, the succulent plant can easily have a life span of over a century. They don’t grow all the time; they live at a size of 3 or more feet by maturity.
Give the cactus a sunny location and warm temperatures. It only needs a good drink once the soil dries, and once per month is the most common.
Hen and Chicks
Several groups of succulents form the “hen and chicks.” The name stems from how they grow one large plant in the middle, with several smaller ones clustered around the base.
Because they constantly reproduce new “chicks,” the plant can last forever, even if the main plant only lasts for 3 to 4 years. (Learn How Often Water Succulents)
This is another desert plant, which you can take care of as with Echeveria or Sempervivum. They need plenty of sunlight, but not to the extent they overheat.
In the pots, they like sandy, well-draining soil with watering once dry. The plants put out sprouts often, so you need to begin with a large pot or split your plants as they become crowded in their container.
The main plant grows to the size of a small dinner plate will be low. Once babies are about an inch across, you can then start to repot them.