Rose Succulents: How to Care for and Grow these Rose-Looking Plants

Are you obsessed with those gorgeous rose succulents you've see on Instagram? Here's everything to know about them!

By: THURSD. | 18-05-2023 | 9 min read
Indoor Plants Outdoor Plants
Rose Succulents

From succulents that look like rabbits to cacti resembling tiny dolphins, popular water-storing houseplants come in a variety of interesting shapes and sizes. While many succulents have a prickly, tough appearance, there’s one particular indoor plant that looks as delicate as a flower, in fact, it looks just like a rose. Meet rose succulent, also known as mountain rose, a real-life plant that resembles a rose shape.

What Is a Mountain Rose or Rose Succulent?

With the scientific name Greenovia Dodrantalis, the rose succulent is a unique and rare succulent that has become increasingly popular among plant enthusiasts in recent years. Its stunning rose-shaped leaves and pastel hues make it a must-have for any succulent lover.


Pink mountain rose succulent
Aeonium Aurea ex El Hierro Pink Mountain Rose Greenovia (green in winter and pink in summer).
Photo: Earth & Jungle.


Native to the Canary Islands, mountain rose succulents have adapted to their arid environment by developing thick leaves that can store water for extended periods. This makes them particularly low maintenance, as they only need to be watered sparingly and can withstand droughts. But what makes them so special and distinctive among other succulents and indoor plants? It's a fascinating rose shape of course! Have you ever seen such a plant? It's the perfect option to have at home to impress all your incoming guests or even to give as a romantic and more long-lasting gift in the shape of a rose.


Everything to know about succulent roses
Rose Blossom arrangement.


The leaves of the known succulent rose are the standout feature of this plant, with each one forming a perfect rosette shape resembling a rose flower. The leaves grow in tight clusters, creating a striking display of pastel shades, from pale green to lavender pink. The edges of the leaves have a delicate, frilled appearance that adds to the plant's overall beauty.

Why Is This the Succulent That Looks Like a Rose?

The mountain rose succulent has a rosette shape, with thick, fleshy leaves that overlap each other in layers. The leaves are green and can have red or purple tips, giving the plant a distinct color contrast. When the plant blooms, it produces a tall stem with small yellow flowers.

The leaves of mountain roses are what give their distinctive rose-like shape. The leaves are arranged in a way that resembles the petals of a rose. The outermost leaves are larger and surround the smaller, inner leaves, creating a tight cluster that looks like a rosebud. As the plant grows, the leaves continue to overlap, creating a spiraling effect that gives the plant a fully bloomed-rose appearance. That's why this is the succulent that looks like a rose.


Green rose succulent plant
Greenovia Dodrantalis.
Photo: @sjx_succulents


It is believed that the mountain rose has evolved to have this unique shape as a way to protect itself from the harsh environment in which it grows. The thick, fleshy leaves of rose succulents help the plant retain moisture, allowing it to survive in the arid climate of the Canary Islands. The tight rosette shape also helps to protect the delicate flowers from the strong winds that can sweep through the area.

The process of making a succulent rose into a rose shape involves a few simple steps. First, the plant is grown in a tangled shape, with the leaves overlapping tightly. As the plant grows, it is important to trim away any leaves that are growing out of shape, as this can disrupt the spiraling effect of the leaves. Once the plant has reached maturity, it will have the distinctive rose shape that makes it so popular.


Group of succulent roses
Photo: @rare_succulent


In addition to its distinctive appearance, the rose succulent has become a popular option to have at home due to its symbolism. The rose has long been associated with love and romance, and the mountain rose offers a unique way to incorporate this symbolism into home decor. The plant can be used as a centerpiece in a wedding or special event, or given as a gift to symbolize love and admiration.

The rose succulent offers a unique and beautiful addition to any plant collection. Whether used as a centerpiece or as a statement piece in a collection, the mountain rose is sure to catch the eye and inspire admiration.

Why the Rose Succulent Has Become Such a Popular Option

One of the reasons mountain rose succulents have become so popular is their versatility. They are often used in succulent arrangements, adding a touch of elegance and softness to the spiky and rugged texture of other succulents. Their unique shape and pastel colors also make them an ideal choice for wedding bouquets and centerpieces.

Greenovia Dodrantalis, the scientific name for rose succulent, has become a popular option for home gardeners and plant enthusiasts alike due to its unique and eye-catching appearance, as well as its low maintenance needs. The plant requires bright, indirect sunlight and infrequent watering, making it ideal for those who may not have a lot of time or experience to devote to plant care. Discover how to properly take care of rose succulents.

One of the most distinctive features of the mountain rose is its striking resemblance to a real rose flower. The leaves of the plant are arranged in a tight rosette, with each leaf appearing to curl and overlap like the petals of a rose. The leaves are also thick and fleshy, giving the plant a healthy and sturdy appearance.


Rose succulents are very rare and unique
Photo: @rare_succulent


Besides this, rose succulent plants can be grown both indoors and outdoors and can be propagated easily from cuttings, making it a great option for those who want to share their plant with friends or family. If that's your case, know how to propagate mountain roses.

The succulent rose plant also has a long lifespan, with some plants living up to several years with proper care. This longevity makes it a worthwhile investment for those looking to add a long-term plant to their home or garden, on the other hand, also makes it a great gift option for those who are devoted fans of having succulents at home. The succulent rose is an amazing way to embellish your indoor and outdoor spaces for sure!

How to Take Care of a Rose Succulent

Despite their growing popularity, rose succulents remain relatively rare and are often difficult to find in nurseries or garden centers. This has led to their reputation as a collector's plant, with enthusiasts willing to pay high prices for a chance to add one to their collection.

If you're lucky enough to get your hands on a rose-shaped succulent, there are a few things you should know to keep it healthy and thriving:


Succulents roses require bright, indirect sunlight. They can be placed on a sunny windowsill, but avoid direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves. If your plant isn't getting enough light, you may notice that the leaves start to stretch out towards the light source, and the plant may become leggy.


Rose succulents prefer well-draining soil. A cactus or succulent-specific soil mix is ideal, or you can create your own mix by combining regular potting soil with perlite, sand, or gravel. The soil should be allowed to dry out between watering and make sure to use a pot with drainage holes to prevent overwatering.


When watering your rose succulent, be sure to water deeply, until water comes out of the drainage holes. Then allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. During the winter months, when the plant is dormant, water sparingly.


Rose succulent plants prefer low-humidity environments, so avoid misting or placing them in a bathroom or other humid areas.


Rose succulents thrive in temperatures between 60-80°F (15-27°C). They can tolerate cooler temperatures but should be protected from frost and freezing temperatures.


Fertilize your rose succulent sparingly, using a balanced fertilizer formulated for cacti and succulents. During the growing season (spring and summer), fertilize once a month, and reduce or stop fertilizing during the winter months.

Pest and Disease Control

Rose succulents are generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, mealybugs and spider mites can occasionally become a problem. If you notice any pests, wipe the leaves down with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. If the infestation is severe, you may need to use an insecticidal soap or neem oil.


Pot full of mountain roses
Photo: @rareplantworld


If you care for your succulent rose appropriately, you'll be able to enjoy one of its most appealing aspects—its ability to bloom. When it does, it produces a tall stalk that reaches up to two feet in height, adorned with tiny yellow flowers that provide a lovely contrast to the plant's pastel leaves. The bloom is a rare and highly sought-after occurrence, and it is essential to care for the plant properly to encourage it.

How to Propagate Rose Succulent Plants

Propagating succulent rose plants is relatively easy and can be done through a few different methods. Here are some of the most common ways to propagate rose succulents:


How to propagate rose succulents
Photo: @rare_succulent



Learn all about the rose succulent
Photo: @unusualseeds1


While it may be challenging to find in nurseries and garden centers, the mountain rose succulent is well worth the hunt for any collector or plant lover. Now that you already know how to care for rose succulents and how to propagate them, and understand the mountain rose's beauty, go ahead and start your search for your next rose succulent!



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