8 Impressive Black Succulent Varieties

Plants with dark leaves add wonderful interest to your landscape. Succulents boast several specimens with dark foliage including the Blue Barrel Cactus. All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. “Cactus” is a botanical family, while “succulent” refers to a broader group consisting of several botanical families.While some plants are almost a true black, many are actually dark purple or, less often, dark blue. But regardless of their precise shade, their dark leaves can provide a striking color contrast with plants that have bright leaves (for example, golden foliage). Some of them have attractive flowers, too, but more often people grow them for their foliage.Most succulents are great low-maintenance alternatives to plants that demand more of your attention. Thanks to their drought-tolerance, they are just the thing for gardeners who do not have enough to be constantly watering plants that can’t get through a dry period on their own. Learn about eight great choices in succulents with dark foliage. 01 of 08 Black Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum) NikolaBarbutov/Getty ImagesMany types of hens and chicks (or “houseleeks”) have dark foliage. The aptly named Sempervivum ‘Black’ is just one of them. Often, the types of hens and chicks plants that qualify as black plants bear their dark color at the tips of the leaves. Plant the chartreuse/golden Angelina stonecrop (Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’) as a companion plant to create a nice color contrast.USDA Zones: 3 to 8Sun Exposure: Full sunHeight: 6 to 12 inchesSoil Needs: Well-drained; drought-tolerant 02 of 08 Black Zebra Cactus, or “Haworthia” (Haworthiopsis limifolia) sKrisda/Getty ImagesThe Haworthias will remind many of Aloe vera plants. Both are treated as houseplants in the North. The raised spots on Haworthiopsis limifolia are bumpy to the touch and stand our visually since they are brighter than the rest of the leaf surface.USDA Zones: 9 to 11Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shadeHeight: 6 to 12 inchesSoil Needs: Well-drained; drought-tolerant 03 of 08 Mexican (or Black Prince) Hens and Chicks (Echeveria ‘Black Prince’) Satakorn/Getty ImagesSempervivum plants and Echeveria plants are very similar in appearance; in fact, both can have the common name of “hens and chicks.” But Sempervivum usually bear small teeth along their leaf margins, while Echeveria leaf margins are smooth. A more important difference between them is this: Sempervivum is very cold-hardy, while Echeveria is not.USDA Zones: 9 to 12Sun Exposure: Full sunHeight: Usually about 4 inchesSoil Needs: Well-drained; drought-tolerant 04 of 08 Purple Wood Spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Purpurea’) David BeaulieuThis evergreenperennial also boasts good deer resistance. Greenish-black leaves, chartreuse bracts, and red stems all combine to ensure that this plant will add interest to any rock garden.USDA Zones: 4 to 9Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shadeHeight: 12 to 18 inchesSoil Needs: Well-drained; drought-tolerantContinue to 5 of 8 below. 05 of 08 Black Knight Hens and Chicks (Echeveria affinis ‘Black Knight’) homendn/Getty ImagesAnother strikingly black plant is Echeveria ‘Black Knight.’ It’s especially attractive when it develops new leaves. There’s a contrast between the lighter inner leaves (which is the new growth) of the rosette and the darker outer leaves. As with all succulents, the outer leaves should be removed as they die to prevent them from harboring aphids and other pests.USDA Zones: 9 to 11Sun Exposure: Full sunHeight: 6 inchesSoil Needs: Well-drained; drought-tolerant 06 of 08 Black Rose Tree Houseleek (Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’) Russell102/Getty ImagesDo not confuse “houseleek” with “tree houseleek.” As the “tree” in the common name suggests, the latter is a taller plant (although hardly a tree). If you miss the distinction in the common name, remember that the species name, arboreum, comes from the Latin arboreus, meaning “of a tree.” Take advantage of this plant’s height relative to many other succulents and place it in the center or to the back of any grouping of succulents so that it serves as a focal point.USDA Zones: 9 to 11Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial sunHeight: 3 to 4 feetSoil Needs: Well-drained; drought-tolerant 07 of 08 Chocolate Drop Stonecrop (Sedum ‘Chocolate Drop’) David BeaulieuChocolate Drop is just one of many cultivars of stonecrop, the best-known cultivar being ‘Autumn Joy.’ But Chocolate Drop has much more interesting foliage than does its better-known relative: a rich burgundy that approaches black at times. Chocolate Drop also sports pink flower clusters that are reasonably attractive. It does tend to flop over, so give it support for the best display value.USDA Zones: 4 to 8Sun Exposure: Full sunHeight: 1 footSoil Needs: Well-drained; drought-tolerant 08 of 08 Blue Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus glaucescens) Ed Reschke/Getty ImagesThe Blue Barrel cactus is such a deep blue that some people think of it as a black succulent. Those who seek a more truly black cactus may prefer Echinopsis ancistrophora ‘Arachnacantha.’ Watch out for the thorns if you have kids playing in the yard.

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