How to Identify Succulents With an App - Or On Your Own

How to Identify Succulents with an App

by | Jul 17, 2018

Ok, we get it. Pintrest (and the rest of the internet) loves succulents. Whether you’re just catching onto the trend now, or you’ve been building succulent terrariums since before it was cool, you probably would like to know exactly what is in your succulent garden.

Succulents can be tricky to identify. Their colors are hard to describe, they are rarely in flower, and they are mostly small and squat. Their leaves often don’t have obvious veins, and they’re largely concentrated in a few families that all look pretty similar.

Luckily for most amateur succulent gardeners, most succulents require similar care and conditions: they like almost full sunlight, well-drained soil, and low humidity. When they are watered, they should be watered thoroughly. All of these commonalities means that it’s not as big of a deal to have “mystery succulents” than being unable to identify other plants in your garden.

That said, not all succulents are created equal.

Identifying the succulents in your terrarium will help you give your succulents the best possible care. They’re more likely to thrive or bloom if you give them the best possible care.


Using PlantSnap to Identify Succulents


While there are plenty of succulent identification guides out there, you might want to just get an answer with an app. That’s where PlantSnap comes in. PlantSnap will identify trees, flowers, cacti, and succulents.

Using PlantSnap, identifying succulents is an easy step-by-step process:

  1. Download the PlantSnap app!
  2. View the explanation videos on the app.
  3. Photograph the succulents you want to identify. Be sure that you’re framing the succulent properly.
  4. Wait for the app to identify the succulent. This will only take a moment or two.
    1. Try a few more angles and photos if you’re still getting the hang of the app.
  5. Do a bit of research on the plants in your garden so you can care for them better going forward. You can start by reading about the plant right within the PlantSnap app.
  6. Tell your friends all about it!


Learn to Identify Succulents By Yourself


If you really want to get good at learning to identify succulents, there are a few key traits of each succulent that you should look for. While you cannot use the venation of a succulent to help identify it, there are lots of other clues that will tell what your succulent is.

Make note of:

  • Are the leaves of this succulent spike-like, soft and rosette-like, hard and rosette-like, pebble-like, or roundish?
  • Does the succulent have any flowers?
  • How tall is the succulent?
  • Does the succulent have any “baby leaves” growing off of the big leaves?
  • Does the succulent have any red on its leaves?


An example of a succulent with spike-like leaves.

An example of a succulent with hard, rosette-shaped leaves.

identify succulents

An example of a succulent that has leaves that are soft and rosette-like.

An example of a succulent that’s pebble-like.

An example of a succulent with roundish leaves.









In general, the leaf shape of a succulent and the pattern it grows in is one of your best bets. Once you have the answer to each of these questions, you can take to the guidebooks and the internet to identify your succulent. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll just use an app to identify succulents.



  1. Eunira

    Thank you!

  2. Bill Hammer

    I’m more interested in Cacti than succulents. I wish you would include it in your PlantSnap synopsis. I have over a dozen Cacti needing to be identified.

  3. Brenda Blakeney

    Hope this helps me ID succulents


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