6 Beautiful Black Succulents (Species Guide)

Whether you’re a succulent lover who has a weakness for unique plants or a gothic gardener drawn to gloomy hues, the following six black succulents are absolute must-haves.

While there are no succulents that are pure black, these murky beauties are the deepest, darkest of purples and greens that appear black in most light and are sure to make an impression. They’ll look equally impressive in a modern gardener’s home as they will in a haunted mansion.

Keep in mind that these plants may look wonderful in a Halloween-inspired photoshoot, but it’s important to give them plenty of sun and keep them in warmer temperatures—as gloriously gothic as they may appear, they’re still succulents, after all!

Black Succulents That You Can Keep at Home

Here are 6 of our favorite types of black succulents:

Black Hens and Chicks (Echeveria ‘Black Prince’)

Echeveria ‘Black Prince’
Noodle snacks / CC BY-SA

Echeveria plants are probably the best-known succulents, but Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ might just be the most striking cultivar.

With its clusters of dark, triangular leaves, this royal succulent also known as Black Hens and Chicks produces a myriad of eye-catching rosettes about 3 inches in width. In colder months, Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ will produce dark red flowers on short stalks that compliment its blackish leaves with red undertones.

Note that its pointed leaves will emerge green but as they grow and are exposed to proper sunlight, they’ll darken in color and the plant will earn its regal name.

  • Lighting requirements: Like most Echeveria, ‘Black Prince’ prefers full sun to partial shade.
  • Watering requirements: Water ‘Black Prince’ only once the soil dries, about once a week. Drench but do not leave the soil soggy. Avoid getting rosettes wet, drying any that do.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, porous succulent or cactus mix.
  • Repotting: Repot as needed when your plant outgrows its pot, preferably in spring or summer.
  • Winter hardy in zones: 9a-11b. Keep the ‘Black Prince’ as an annual or overwinter indoors in climates outside of zones 9a-11b.
  • Propagation: ‘Black Prince’ propagates best from leaf and stem cuttings and from any offsets that appear in spring or early summer.
  • Susceptibilities: As with most Echeveria, ‘Black Prince’ may be susceptible to mealybugs, vine weevil, and aphids.

Echeveria affinis ‘Black Knight’

Echeveria affinis ‘Black Knight’
peganum from Small Dole, England / CC BY-SA

Echeveria affinis ‘Black Knight’ is a particularly captivating and handsome dark delight.

Not to be confused with its royal cousin Echeveria ‘Black Prince,’ Echeveria affinis has longer, upright inky leaves more lance-like in shape (as is befitting for a knight).

The leaves form a dashing star-shaped rosette approximately 5 inches wide and in colder months, vibrant red flowers will blossom from stalks, contrasting wonderfully with the dark leaves below.

  • Lighting requirements: Sun to partial shade.
  • Watering requirements: Water your plant only once the soil dries, about once a week. Drench but do not leave the soil soggy. Avoid getting rosettes wet, drying any that do.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, porous succulent or cactus mix.
  • Repotting: Repot as needed when your plant outgrows its pot, preferably in spring or summer.
  • Winter hardy in zones: 9a-11b. Keep the ‘Black Knight’ as an annual or overwinter indoors in climates outside of zones 9a-11b.
  • Propagation: Echeveria affinis ‘Black Knight’ propagates best from leaf and stem cuttings and from any offsets that appear.
  • Susceptibilities: This striking black succulent may be susceptible to mealybugs, vine weevil, and aphids.

Black Rose (Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’)

aeonium arboreum ‘zwartkop’
domdomegg / CC BY

This black succulent is instantly recognizable, with its tall and bare, stalk-like stems topped with large purply-black rosettes.

The drought tolerant ‘Zwartkop’ can grow up to four feet tall and two feet wide, making it a favorite in both outdoor and container gardens. Yellow star-shaped flowers blossom in conical clusters from the middle of the rosette in summertime, providing a striking contrast in color to the burgundy-black leaves.

If you want to get the deepest hue possible out of your Black Rose, be sure to give it plenty of sun.

  • Lighting requirements: Full to partial sun.
  • Watering requirements: Water fully once weekly spring through fall then reduce watering to once per month in winter.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, porous succulent or cactus mix.
  • Repotting: Repot as needed when the Black Rose outgrows its pot, about ever two to three years.
  • Winter hardy in zones: 9b- 11b. Keep the Black Rose as an annual or consider overwintering indoors in climates outside of zones 9a-11b.
  • Propagation: Your plant is best propagated from rosette cuttings in early summer.
  • Susceptibilities: ‘Zwartkop’ may be susceptible to aphids and mealybugs. Spray with insecticidal soap or neem oil as soon as any appear.

Chinese Jade (Sinocrassula yunnanensis)

This dark, diminutive succulent will delight any plant lover on the search for a charming black succulent.

Chinese Jade is said to resemble a hedgehog, with its clustered, pointed leaves covered in fine hairs that form a rounded rosette. Each rosette will grow to about 1.5 inches in diameter, though the plant spreads quickly, making Chinese Jade perfect for life indoors as a potted plant that will impress your guests or outside as groundcover in gardens.

Sinocrassula yunnanensis’ leaves are actually dark green and purple, but as with the other inky succulents, when exposed to proper sunlight the plant will darken in hue and appear black.

Note: this black beauty is unfortunately highly toxic to pets. Make sure your furry friends don’t have access to your plant.

  • Lighting requirements: Partial sun.
  • Watering requirements: Water fully once soil has dried, reducing watering in summer when Chinese Jade goes into dormancy.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, porous succulent or cactus mix.
  • Repotting: Repot as needed when your plant outgrows its pot, about every 2 to 3 years.
  • Winter hardy in zones: 7a -11b. This hardy plant can be kept as an annual or overwintered indoors in climates outside of zones 7a-11b.
  • Propagation: This plant is best propagated from leaf cuttings and through any offsets that may appear.
  • Susceptibilities: Chinese Jade plants may be susceptible to aphids, mealybugs, slugs and snails, and some fungal diseases.

Haworthia nigra

Haworthia nigra

This gloomy succulent is a slow grower, but it is so unique in both color and shape that it’s worth adding to your collection of black succulents.

Haworthia nigra produces columns of green-black three-ranked, triangular leaves. The leaves are bumpy and marked with dark ridges and look straight out of the Mesozoic Era.

While its leaves may bring dinosaurs to mind, its size won’t. Haworthia nigra will only grow up to about 2.5 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall.

  • Lighting requirements: Full to partial sunlight.
  • Watering requirements: Haworthia nigra needs regular watering in summer months and to be kept drier in winter months.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, porous succulent or cactus mix.
  • Repotting: Repot as necessary, about ever 2 to 3 years, or whenever plant grows to about ¼ inch from the edge of the pot.
  • Winter hardy in zones: 10a-11b. Keep your Haworthia nigra as an annual or overwinter indoors in climates outside of zones 10a-11b.
  • Propagation: This plant is best propagated from stolons or any offsets that may appear.
  • Susceptibilities: Your Haworthia may be susceptible to mealybugs and root rot.

Echinopsis ancistrophora ‘Arachnacantha’

This charmingly spooky little plant is perfect for Halloween, though people with arachnophobia should best steer clear as the name ‘Arachnacantha’ might suggest.

Echinopsis ancistrophora ‘Arachnacantha’ has curved, pointy spines covering the dark cactus plant, managing to both resemble a spider web and dozens of tiny spiders.

This spidery plant will not grow very large, but it will form clusters and offsets. When it blooms, Echinopsis ancistrophora ‘Arachnacantha’ will produce large, showy, bright orange blossoms.

  • Lighting requirements: Full sun to light shade.
  • Watering requirements: Water thoroughly once soil has dried, greatly reducing watering in winter.
  • Soil requirements: The soil should be any well-draining, porous succulent or cactus mix.
  • Repotting: Repot as needed, about every 2 to 3 years.
  • Winter hardy in zones: 9b-11b. Consider overwintering indoors outside climate zones 9b-11b.
  • Propagation: This plant is best propagated by any offsets that may occur.
  • Susceptibilities: Echinopsis ancistrophora plants may be susceptible to mealybugs.