Have pets? Do you lovingly refer to them as your fur babies? All the time? Stickers on the car back window? It’s perfectly OK if you do. This is a judgment-free zone. After all, whether they be dogs, cats, birds, iguanas, velociraptors, or all of the above plus pot belly pigs and chickens, they are beloved members of the family. But where do your succulents fit on that pecking order?

Marble hanging out with panda plant kalanchoe, baby burro’s tail sedum, and other succulents.

Are we taking this pet definition thing too far? What, and you don’t refer to your prized hens-and-chicks as your leaf babies? Yeah, we can see how that phrase might come across as kinda cringey, even to plant obsessives, but think about it this way, especially if the yelping, snarling, hissing type of pets are not an option for you. Succulents don’t puke on the floor, scratch up the sofa, or shred apart garden hoses. True, one canine’s fleas are an echeveria’s mealy bugs, but succulents do tend to be cleaner, quieter, and more allergenic, if not always cheaper. Although last time we checked, succulents and cacti don’t require shots nor do they try to help themselves to your tacos or avocado toast.

Kalanchoe tomentosa (panda plant)

Mind you, we’re not trying to set up an either/or situation — Marble Altman, a dear furry, four-legged member of the Altman Plants family — is a welcome sight here at the office. All we’re saying is that it’s OK to think of your succulents, your leaf…not going to say it…as members of the family too.

Sempervivum calcareum, part of the hens-and-chicks group.

Excuse us for burying the point of this post, but we figured, why not combine the two loves — of animals as well as fleshly leaved plants — by creating a planter or garden full of succulents with animal-inspired common names? And no reason to stick to domesticated types. With the list below, we went wild with the exotic set too, if not the fantastical. Sorry, Game of Thrones and Harry Potter fans, no Dracaena draco (dragon tree) here. Also, note the emphasis on “inspired” (for example, fox tail agave and tiger jaws faucaria). Looks like we got some space allocation and planting to do.

Many of these plants are available at our online shops (retail / wholesale) or at retail partner locations such as The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Walmart.

Our free-range collection of animal-inspired plants:

Agave attenuata ‘Supernova’, a variegated cultivar of fox tail agave.

Agave attenuata (fox tail agave)

Aloe humilis (spider aloe)

Aloe variegata (tiger aloe)

Cotyledon orbiculata (pig’s ear)

Cotyledon tomentosa (kitten paws or bear paws)

Crassula ‘Calico Kitten’

Echinocereus rigidissimus rubrispinus (rainbow hedgehog cactus)

Faucaria tigrina (tiger jaws)

Haworthia attenuata and fasciata (zebra plant)


Aloe variegata (tiger aloe)

Kalanchoe tomentosa (panda plant)

Kalanchoe tomentosa ‘Teddy Bear’

Portulacaria afra (elephant food or elephant bush)

Sanseviera species (snake plant)

Sedum ‘Burrito’ (baby burro’s tail)

Sedum morganianum (donkey’s tail)

Sempervivum species (hens-and-chicks)