Succulents and cacti have a lot in common. Members of warm-climate, low-water plant families, they look best in a landscape that emphasizes their textures and shapes. Think gravel garden. (Skip to the plant guides.)
Like camels, these plants store their water supplies inside themselves. That’s what makes them “succulents.” Whether you plant them outdoors in a warm climate or keep them as houseplants, the first rule is don’t overwater them.
The difference between the two plant families? Although all cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti. To be a cactus, a plant must have bumpy areoles, which sprout spikes, hairs, and flowers.
Gardening 101: Field Guides for Succulents & Cacti