Caudex Plants: A Touch of the Tropics in Your Home

A caudex plant is a plant that has a woody base or trunk. A caudex plant may have multiple trunks, but the majority of plants in this category are singular.

If you are a gardener, chances are you are always looking for new and exciting plants to add to your collection. You might have heard of a caudex plant, but you don’t know what it is or how to care for it. Caudex plants are a fascinating group of succulents with an intriguing and unique appearance. They are relatively low-maintenance and can bring an exciting look to your garden.

So, what is a Caudex plant? Caudex plants are members of the plant family Crassulaceae, which includes some other well-known succulents such as the jade plant and hens & chicks plant. Caudex plants have a thick, woody stem (called a caudex) that gives them their unique appearance. Their leaves are usually small and can be found in shades of green and purple. Most of them are native to the Mediterranean, so they thrive in warm climates with plenty of sun exposure and well-draining soil.

This blog post discusses everything you need to know about caudex plants, including their care requirements and tips for propagating them. We will also discuss the different types of caudex plants and how to choose the right one for your garden.

Read on to learn more!

Caudex Plant: General Overview

As mentioned earlier, caudex plants are members of the plant family Crassulaceae. Many of these plants have thick, woody stems that give them their unique look— think of a cactus with its thick stem!

Caudex plants range in size from small succulents to larger shrubs or trees. They can be found in various colors, including green, purple, and yellow.

Most are native to the Mediterranean, thriving in warm climates with plenty of sun exposure and well-draining soil.

While they may not be as easy to care for as some other types of succulents, such as jade plants or aloe vera, they can still make a great addition to your garden if you are willing to put in the effort.

Caudex plants usually require regular watering and total exposure to the sun when grown at home. They can also benefit from occasional fertilizing, especially during the growing season.

You may need to protect your plant during the coldest months of the year if you live in a region with colder winters.

Why Grow Caudex Plants at Home?

Caudex plants are an excellent choice for gardeners looking to add some unique, eye-catching plants to their collection. Their attractive shape and vibrant colors can make them stand out in any garden or landscape.

These plants are also relatively low-maintenance and don’t require much care. They are also drought-tolerant and can survive long periods without water.

Finally, caudex plants are widely available in nurseries and garden centers, so it’s easy to find one that fits your needs and preferences.

Common Types of Caudex Plants

There are many different types of caudex plants, and each one has its unique characteristics. Some of the most popular varieties include:

1. Crassula perfoliata

This caudex plant is native to South Africa and has a unique shape. It has thick stems, and bright green leaves that form an attractive rosette pattern.

Crassula perfoliata in a pot.
This caudex plant is native to South Africa and has a unique shape.

This caudex plant can be grown in containers or gardens and is relatively easy to care for. All it needs is full sun and occasional watering.

2. Euphorbia Obesa

Euphorbia Obesa plant has an unusual shape that resembles a bowling pin or a sea shell.

It is native to parts of South Africa and can tolerate hot climates, though it does need protection from frost in colder regions. This plant requires full sun, well-draining soil, and occasional watering to thrive.

3. Desert Rose

Few succulents can match the beauty of a Desert Rose. This caudex plant has bright green leaves and beautiful pink flowers that bloom throughout the year.

It is native to parts of Africa, Madagascar, and other regions. The desert rose requires full sun and well-draining soil to grow correctly.

A desert rose flowers.
This caudex plant has bright green leaves and beautiful pink flowers that bloom throughout the year.

It is often deciduous in winter. Therefore, it is crucial to bring the plant indoors if the temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Elephant’s Foot

The elephant’s foot is perhaps the most common type of caudex plant. It is native to parts of Africa and has thick stems and glossy green leaves.

The succulent gets its name because it looks like an elephant’s foot. This caudex plant is best suited for growing in containers and requires full sun, well-draining soil, and occasional watering to thrive.

5. Madagascar Palm

The Madagascar palm is another typical caudex plant. It has thick stems and bright green leaves that can reach up to twelve feet in height.

The plant is more tolerant to cold temperatures than other varieties and can be grown outdoors in temperate climates.

However, it will need protection from frost during the winter months. Feel free to expose it to full sun, as it can tolerate much more light than other caudex plants.

6. Buddha Belly Plant

The buddha belly is also known as the grout plant and is native to parts of Africa and Arabia. It has thick stems and large, round leaves that resemble a Buddha’s belly. This plant is easy to care for and can tolerate various soil types.

Buddha elephant plant in a pot.
It has thick stems and large, round leaves that resemble a Buddha’s belly.

It does require plenty of sunlight to grow properly. However, you must protect it from frost during the winter months. It does not require much care and can survive long periods without water.

Caring for Caudex Plants

Caring for caudex plants is relatively simple as long as you meet their basic needs. They require full sun and well-draining soil to prevent root rot.

Water your caudex plant about once a week or when the soil is dry. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer once every two months to promote healthy growth.

Pruning is not necessary, but if you do prune, be sure to use sterilized tools to prevent the spread of infection.

Another essential aspect of routine care is to ensure your caudex plant has enough space for its roots to expand freely. Since most are slow-growing plants, they can stay in the same pot for about three to five years.

If you need to repot it, use a container one size up from its current home. For instance, if the plant is in a four-inch pot, use a five or six-inch pot when repotting. This will give its roots enough room to grow and maintain healthy growth.

Troubleshooting Caudex Plants for Trouble

These succulents are usually prone to rotting and weak/unseasonal growth. In fact, rotting is the main complication of caudex plants. The most common signs of rot are yellowing leaves, softening stems, and rotting roots.

If you notice any of these signs on your caudex plant, acting quickly and removing the affected parts is crucial. Be sure to check the soil drainage and make sure that the plant is not overwatered.

Additionally, ensure the container has enough drainage holes and is in an area that receives plenty of sunlight. With these simple steps, you can help your caudex plant stay healthy and thrive.

How to Propagate Caudex Plants

Propagating caudex plants is relatively easy. The easiest way to propagate them is by using stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, or division. Stem cuttings can be taken from the ends of the stems and placed in a sterile medium.

Leaf cuttings can also be taken and placed on a sterile medium, where they can form new roots that will eventually develop into new plants.

However, division is the most reliable way of propagating caudex plants. To do this, you must carefully remove the plant from its container and gently separate it into two or more sections.

A small desert rose.
The easiest way to propagate them is by using stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, or division.

You can then replant the sections in separate containers with well-draining soil and provide the necessary care.

If you are ambitious, you can also try propagating them through seed germination. Most caudex plants are slow growers, so it will take some time for the seeds to germinate.

On average, it takes around two to three months for caudex seeds to germinate and sprout. Once the seeds have sprouted, transfer them to individual containers and provide proper care.

How to Choose the Right Caudex Plant for Your Garden

When looking for a caudex plant to add to your garden, choosing one that fits your climate and space is vital. Consider the amount of sunlight, soil type, and temperature range when selecting a plant.

You should also consider how much maintenance you are willing to do—some caudex plants require regular pruning or repotting. In contrast, others need minimal attention to thrive.

Euphorbia Obesa in a pot.
You should consider how much maintenance you are willing to do—some caudex plants require regular pruning or repotting.

When you find the right plant for your garden, provide it with ample sunlight and water and watch as it grows into a beautiful succulent centerpiece.


Caudex plants are an exciting and easy-to-care-for addition to any garden. These unique plants come in many shapes, sizes, and colors, making them perfect for adding interest and variety to your landscape.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant that can tolerate extended periods of drought, then a caudex plant might be the right option!

Last update on 2022-12-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

read this next

Drooping is a relatively common problem that affects cacti plants. While there is no specific cause of the issue, a close inspection of your succulent can help you determine why it is falling over. We are here to help!
If you ever end up being in a desert without even a bit of water, the only cactus you can obtain water from is the Fishhook Barrel Cactus. Be aware that you should use it as a water source in an emergency situation only.
Have you had your succulent for some time now? Did it stop growing? Is it turning yellow, or even brown? Reviving a dying succulent is not as difficult as you’d think. Just follow these six easy steps and your succulent will be growing again in no time.
What are cactus plants made of? Cacti, also known as succulents or Succulent plants, are actually made up of specialized stems and leaves which store water, similar to the roots system of non-succulent plants. They contain high amounts of organelles called plastids; these store food for the plant. Here are some unique features of cacti and additional information on how these amazing succulents use them.
A good pot is an essential part of a succulent garden. It provides the right amount of drainage and proper support for your plants to ensure their long and healthy growth. Succulents are a lot like babies: they need a lot of tender love and care. The pot you choose can literally help your plants grow up strong and healthy!
The snake plant is an interesting succulent. While its growth and care may not be as complicated, it can get challenging for beginners. Get the most reliable care tips from expert arborists and take your home gardening to the next level.
Maintaining a closed terrarium can be quite difficult, but if you know the best plants for closed terrariums, it can actually be quite easy. Learn how to take care of your closed terrarium while knowing which plants to choose when making your own.
Although succulents can grow perfectly healthy without too much water and in numerous climates, they still need to be fertilized once in a while. Here’s everything you need to know about when and how to fertilize your succulents.
As a succulent owner, one of the most common questions asked is “How long can a succulent survive without water?” This is a question we hear often and the answer isn’t as straight forward as you may think. We all know that succulents are beautiful and unique, but they do require some special care to keep them looking beautiful.
Cacti are great indoor plants, but they are not 100% safe. Therefore, it is essential to take all necessary precautions to keep them away from your kids and pets, and anyone that can negligently ingest them
The Christmas cactus is a popular holiday flowering plant, but it can be difficult to keep alive in household conditions. Many people don’t even know how often to water Christmas cactus, but the answer is surprisingly simple. Here’s how to keep your Christmas cactus healthy year-round.
The Kalanchoe plant is well know for its beautiful, long lasting blooms. As time goes by, the stems will often dry up and break off naturally at their base or between where they are connected to the leaves. Most people assume that when this happens it means the plant is dead. The secret to keeping your plants healthy and growing is knowing how to take a cutting off one of these dried up stems and getting it re-planted.
Whether you’re a serious cactus collector or you keep them in your office, chances are you need to know how to care for cactus plants. Cactus plants do better when they are carefully taken care of and kept in the right environment. However, cactus plants have certain signs of being sick that need to be seen and treated as soon as possible.
When growing succulents, one of the most common questions we get from cat lovers is whether or not these plants are poisonous to cats. The answer isn’t quite straight-forward, but the information in this post will help you decide if you have a safe garden for your adorable kitty.
Desert plants are having to adapt to the harsh conditions, so it is no surprise that some of them produce very unique characteristics to help them survive where others cannot. They have developed ingenious methods of catching and storing food and water. The cacti is one, but there are many other
Watering your potted pencil cactus is relatively simple, but there are certain rules to follow. Growing pencil cacti requires less water than other cacti, but you have to make sure it doesn’t dry out completely between waterings. Here are the 6 golden rules for watering your pencil cactus.
Many people can’t keep their houseplants alive and end up disappointed. However, there is a beautiful solution to having the lush green thumb. Grow low care plants indoors. This article will give you ideas for low maintenance plants that only need to be watered occasionally and will leave with a mini cactus garden to brighten up your home year round.
Cactus are unique plants, but what makes them so special? While some have been documented to live for hundreds of years, others have become an awe thanks to their bizarre growth patterns, unique shapes and unmatched resistance to harsh conditions.

Receive the latest news

Get Our Cacti Newsletter

Stay updated with the latest facts, tips, advice, and more!

Your privacy is important to us.