What Do Succulents Symbolize?

The plant kingdom is one of nature’s most significant aspects at our disposal today. From curating home gardens to indoor planters and greenhouses, plants take up huge spaces in our lives.

That’s why plants have had significant symbolism in our lives since ancient civilizations and through various cultures of the world.

Whether the biggest of trees or minuscule succulents, plants have hidden meanings, secrets, and beneficial symbolism that humans can discover and use to our advantage.

From positivity and beauty to money and prosperity – plants can symbolize various aspects of your life that can manifest for you later on as you work towards them.

All About Succulents

Succulents are a distinct group of our green friends that are known for their adorable small size. They are hardy plants with thick, fleshy leaves and thorny stems that work to store water for long hours.

So because succulents are efficient in absorbing and retaining moisture, they have a very high survival rate compared to other, more sensitive plants.

Hence, it doesn’t come as a shock that succulents are often directly associated with water and aquatic symbolism.

All living things need water for survival, so you may wonder why succulents get the perks. The reason is that there are hardly any other plants that retain water, as well as succulents, do.

Moreover, even arduous climate conditions don’t budge a succulent that goes on thriving despite the disruptions surrounding it.

And despite there being many types of succulents with variating structures, almost all of them share these qualities and characteristics, making them an intact group of plants.

So, let’s take a look at some types of succulents and what they symbolize:

Feather Cactus

Feather cactus is one of the smaller types of cactus that makes up for a bright green, thorny, small succulent indoor plant.

While having many of the same qualities as any other cactus, the feather cactus specifically symbolizes endurance and withstanding the test of time despite harsh conditions and against all odds.

That’s why it is a representation of maternal love, the unconditional love that your mother has for you. It is usually planted on big rocks and placed in gardens as an ode to its great meaning.


Echeverias also have fleshy leaves that curve inwards to create an open-faced plant.

With its different faded green colors with pink, white, and red hues, they make for a beautiful arrangement on the whole and even as an independent, individual planter.

Due to these qualities seen under a unique lens of cultural adaptation, echeverias symbolize independence and striking beauty.

They are mesmerizing for many people around the world and are considered complicated and deep for their many layers within layers.

Coral Cactus

The coral cactus is unlike any cactus you would have ever seen. It is profound in the way it looks and peculiar with how it grows like an underwater coral – thus the name.

Therefore, it isn’t shocking that this unique plant took its symbolism toward financial and career growth for people who have been working on their well-being in those aspects of life.

So the next time you don’t know what to gift to a colleague on their next promotion, get them a coral cactus succulent to place in their cabin and enjoy the meaning behind it as motivation.


A flowering succulent, kalanchoe is symbolic of eternal love due to the colorful flowers blossoming out of a common-looking cactus.

Therefore, if you have a partner to profess your love to while stacking it against all odds, a kalanchoe succulent is the perfect gift to get them.

However, as kalanchoe is a flowering cactus, it is important to ensure that you keep cutting off the flowers that die off to nudge the cactus to start working on growing more flowers.

Otherwise, you’d be sitting with a flower-less kalanchoe and not know why.

Crown of Thorns

You might think that the name “crown of thorns” is quite odd for a plant.

However, if you take a look at the plant, you’d know exactly why it’s called that. It is just a thorny stem with bright red flowers growing in bunches.

Precisely that is why the crown of thorns has a significant meaning and symbolism in the religious prospects of Christianity.

It carries the meaning of burden, the pain caused by carrying that burden, and the resilience to rise above it all and grow.

What Do Succulents Symbolize?

As we discussed above, succulents have some amazing qualities as a plant that many other plants don’t have.

This makes them a symbol of many shining qualities because you don’t seem to find those qualities elsewhere.

These incredible and distinct characteristics make them the hallmark of those qualities and, in turn, a live representation for anyone using them.

Even in many cultures around the world, succulents have emerged as a symbol of these qualities and characteristics.

So many people, while using these to represent their personalities, enjoy gifting succulents to others too.

For instance, succulents make for a great housewarming gift in Japan because they bring good fortune and protect against evils.

Therefore, it is safe to say that succulents can derive many different meanings from many cultures of the world due to their qualities and appearances.

However, we have listed down the qualities that are mutual in almost all cultures and acceptable worldwide. So next time you want to gift someone a succulent, you can be sure it symbolizes the following:

Persistence, Resilience, Survival

The world can be very challenging for different people in certain aspects of life.

Everybody has their own struggles to deal with. In this case, succulents show us the meaning of persistence.

They are an epitome of resilience and how to take some amount of water and make it last long despite harsh conditions.

They show how to survive even when the world wants you to give up and bow down in failure – but you get up and work against it.

Strong, Eternal, Everlasting Love

Love is what makes us human. The feeling of love creates the strong emotional bond that we share with different people in our lives in many different ways.

Succulents show that love doesn’t have a single, fixed meaning – that love is a feeling that can harbor in many ways and manifest itself in our life even when you aren’t looking for it.

Eternal, everlasting love is not a myth or something in the movies, especially if it is reciprocated.

Growth & Development

Without growth and development, we would all be stagnant in our life and get nowhere.

It is grown as a person and development in the important facets of our lives that push us to do more, even beyond our own expectations.

Succulents show what it means to grow, thrive, and develop even when you are not a priority, even when the situation isn’t favorable.

Succulents develop despite all the odds and symbolize the same for us.

Tranquility & Contentment

Many people who have matured through trauma would know how important it is to have peace, tranquility, and contentment in life.

Not everything has to be trauma-driven, and you need that feeling of settled and at peace with where you are.

Succulents are an epitome of tranquility because the plant not only thrives under unfavorable conditions but adapts to continue growing with peace and contentment no matter what. 

How to Look After Your Succulent

As we all know by now, succulents are exceptionally hardy and great at retaining water for long periods.

Moreover, the plants thrive even when placed in warm, dry, or drought-consistent climates.

It is safe to say that succulents are not hungry for attention and would survive well enough even with a little neglect on the owner’s part.

However, it is important to note here that despite all these hardy qualities and being an ideal, low-maintenance house plant, succulents do need some love from time to time.

For instance, make sure to place them somewhere they can get plenty of bright light. Similarly, use a spray bottle and a wipe cloth to clean the plant if it becomes dusty.

It is also crucial to understand that not all succulents are cacti. So make sure to research your way to taking care of your succulent as needed.

In addition to all this, if you are growing a succulent instead of enjoying a pre-grown one, make sure to soak the soil while maintaining adequate drainage from the planter and watch it continue growing and thriving.

Wrap Up

Succulents are beautiful to look at, ideal to have in your homes and make for a great gift because of the plethora of symbolism that follows.

Now that you know about the common types of succulents, what they specifically symbolize, and all the other mutual symbolism the world has extracted from their qualities – you can enjoy your succulents even more.

Hopefully, succulents will become a significant part of your life from now on and bring your good fortune, love, and persistence to grow and thrive.


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