Waxy leaf plants always stand out as they have striking looks that attract our attention. They are exceptional, having a natural layer of wax called cutin.

Types of Waxy Leaf Plants to Grow in Pots and Gardens

This layer holds the water inside the plant, preventing it from water loss through evaporation and transpiration. Plants with waxy leaves help to protect themselves from damaging these tender leaves. If you generally love these plants, here are some attractive options you can choose.

A List of Waxy Leaf Plants You Can Grow

1. Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)

Jade is among the many plants with waxy leaves. It is an evergreen succulent with small white or pink star-shaped flowers. It is native to South Africa and Mozambique but a common houseplant globally.

Jade Plant in a Pot

It has thick, shiny, smooth leaves growing in opposing pairs and thick green branches. Some leaves may carry a deep green color, while others are more yellow-green. Some can develop a red tinge on the leaf’s edges, especially when exposed to direct sunlight.

This thick-stemmed shrub grows to a height of about three meters. Its base is thinly branched, with the main stem growing to about six centimeters in diameter. It grows in well-drained soils that do not hold excess water. It requires less watering and at least four to six hours of direct sunlight.

2. Echeveria Succulent (Echeveria Spp.)

The echeveria is native to the semi-desert areas of Mexico, Central, and South America. It is a short, evergreen, or deciduous succulent with short stalks and compact, brightly colored leaves. This plant is commonly grown in ornamental gardens.

Pink Echeveria Succulent Blooms

It is drought resistant, although it can also thrive in deep watering. It tolerates frost in cold seasons, making it an all-year plant. If it sheds too many leaves during winter, it’s essential to re-plant it in the spring. You can quickly propagate this plant by separating the offsets or using leaf cuttings.

3. Bears Breeches (Acanthus Mollis)

Bears Breeches is a perennial herb with tuberous roots and leafy clump-forming leaves. It has dark green divided leaves and purplish or white flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean region and a species of the Acanthaceae family.

Bears Breeches Flowers Blossoms

This plant grows from tubers forming large localized clumps that can survive for decades. It is an invasive plant that most gardeners avoid growing. Snails and slugs commonly attack it. Grow the bear’s breeches away from vegetables susceptible to snails and slugs, as they will be highly infested.

4. Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Deliciosa)

This plant commonly grows as a houseplant in temperate zones. It has large, leathery, glossy lobed leaves. It can grow up to 65 feet (20 meters) tall in the wild but only manages to grow to 10 feet (three meters) indoors. It has cream-white flowers that are self-pollinating.

Swiss Cheese Plant Leaves

This plant does well in humid areas and prefers partial sun and shade. It requires well-drained, slightly moist soils enriched with compost. It can withstand cold temperatures of up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. If you grow it indoors, it will be rare to see it flower as it commonly does outdoors.

It is moderately toxic to pets as it contains insoluble calcium oxalate, which causes injury to the digestive system.

5. Pothos ( Epipremnum Aureum)

Pothos is an easy houseplant to grow. It does well in a temperate climate but can grow in tropical and subtropical areas. It is an evergreen vine that grows up to 65 feet (20 meters) tall with stems around 13 feet (four meters) in diameter. It has small heart-shaped leaves that are soft to the touch and glossy.

Golden Pothos in a Pot

Pothos flowers are shy and only appear once in their lifetime. It grows well under partial sun and shade. It will only need watering when the soil feels dry to the touch. This plant also does well in hydroponics.

6. Zanzibar Gem (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)

Also known as the ZZ plant, it is native to the East African part of the world. You can have it as an ornamental plant mainly because of its attractive glossy foliage. It grows from a succulent rhizome to about 23 inches (60 cm) tall.

Branch of Zanzibar Gem Plants

This evergreen plant survives drought by storing water in its rhizome. However, it thrives well with proper watering. The ZZ plant has large leaves about 23 inches (60 cm) long with pairs of smooth, shiny, and dark green leaflets.

It produces small, bright, yellow, or bronze flowers partly hidden among the leaves. This plant thrives in well-drained soils and direct sunlight. Provide it with adequate water; overwatering is likely to cause tuber rotting.

7. African Mask Plant (Alocasia Polly)

The African mask plant is a compact houseplant from the elephant ear family. It is common for its distinctive glossy and leathery leaves that are eye-catching. The leaves grow long and pointed to an average of 18 inches long.

Close View of African Mask Plant

The flowers have a green and white spathe producing orange-red berries. It thrives in well-drained soils, partial sunlight, and shade, requiring frequent watering. This plant is toxic to humans and pets; keep it away from small children. You can grow this plant in hydroponic gardens as it has semi-aquatic qualities.

8. Rubber Fig (Ficus Elastica)

The rubber plant is native to Eastern and Southern parts of Asia. It has become common in most parts of the US to grow up to 197 feet (30 meters) in height. If you don’t want your rubber tree to grow too tall, you can prune it to the desired size.

Wild Rubber Fig Plants

It has broad shiny leaves that develop inside a sheath. Once the leaf matures, the sheath falls off. This plant thrives under direct sunlight and partial shade. Provide adequate water but refrain from overwatering as it kills this plant.

It will need well-drained soils that do not hold too much water. These large leaves will need a good amount of fertilizer to keep them growing.

9. Lace Leaf Plant (Anthurium)

Lace leaf is one of the most common plants native to America. It is one of the commonly grown houseplants. It grows slowly and moderately depending on the amount of light you provide. Its blooms carry a unique tropical shape with bright red, white, and green colors.

Lace Leaf Plant with Red Flowers

They can flower for long periods making them such beautiful houseplants. The lace leaf plant has heart-shaped leaves and profoundly veined foliage. It is easy to grow and can last up to five years. It thrives in well-drained soils with less frequent watering.

10. Radiator Plant (Peperomia)

This plant is native to America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. It is one of the perfect indoor plants if you have limited space for plants. This plant has decorative foliage with green or striped or marbled with green, red, or gray colors.

Evergreen Radiator Plant

It has oval or heart-shaped thick waxy leaves, and its flowers are primarily unnoticeable and grow like cordlike spikes. This plant can grow from seeds, cuttings, or division. It enjoys shady areas than direct sunlight. It needs well-drained soils that are dry to avoid killing the roots.

11. Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana)

This herbaceous plant is growing commonly as houseplants and is native to Madagascar. This plant is a bushy, evergreen succulent plant that can reach at least 18 inches (45 cm) in height. It has green, shiny, and textured glossy leaves that remain green all year round.

Blooming Flaming Katy Flowers

This plant produces flowers in various colors, from pink to dark red, orange, gold, or white. It thrives in receiving at least 10 hours of direct daylight sun. Provide it with protection during winter of a minimum of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It will thrive in excellent, well-drained soils, meaning you must water it frequently.

12. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

This plant is one of the most popular waxy leaf plants commonly grown across America. It is associated with healing, purity, or a sign of truce. It is native to America and South Asia. It is an evergreen perennial plant with large leaves of about 5 – 26 inches (12-65 cm).

White Peace Lily in Plants

Its flowers are white, yellowish, or green. It will thrive in well-drained soils enriched with compost or organic fertilizer. This plant needs watering only when the soil is dry to the touch.

13. Desert Rose (Adenium Obesum)

Desert rose is native to the Sahara, tropical and subtropical parts of Africa. It is a popular bonsai and houseplant growing in temperate regions. This plant is an evergreen succulent shrub that grows up to five meters tall. It has large stems and a broad swollen base.

Desert Rose Blooming in Desert

The leaves come in an intriguing spiral arrangement and have a leathery feel. The flowers are tubular with a pink, red, and whitish color. It thrives in a sunny location with a minimum temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. You can cultivate this plant from cuttings or seeds.

14. Mistletoe Fig (Ficus Deltoidea)

This fig is a flowering species in the family Moraceae. It is native to Southeast Asia and widely grown across the world. This evergreen shrub grows up to seven feet (two meters) tall. It has thick, shiny green leaves with yellow spots.

Growing Mistletoe Fig in a Pot

It is an ornamental plant that does not withstand winter climates lower than 10 degrees centigrade. It requires partial sun and shade planted in well-drained soils. The soil should be dry between watering to ensure the plant does not suffer from root rot. You will need to prune this plant from time to time for new growth.

15. Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus Verticillatus)

The ivy plant has green, glossy, round leaves that show a deep purple color in the middle. The stems and underside of the leaves are purple too. It is native to Australia and the Pacific Islands and grows in pots and hanging baskets.

Waxy Swedish Ivy Plants

Its beautiful flowers come in a variety of colors that include pale pink, pale violet, and white. It thrives under indirect sunlight and commonly grows as ground cover in most gardens.

16. Dwarf Umbrella Tree (Schefflera Arboricola)

This tree is an evergreen shrub that grows up to 29 feet (nine meters). The leaves are wedge-shaped and shiny with a leathery texture. The flowers have various colors that range from yellow to green. It is a multi-trunk tree with more than three trunks in the same pot.

Rain Drops on Dwarf Umbrella Tree

You can trim it to maintain the height you want. If you grow this tree indoors, you must keep it from pets and kids as it’s toxic. It does well in warm climates of 15 to 24 degrees Centigrade. Use a well-aerated potting mix and light watering to keep the tree growing.

17. Bromeliad (Bromeliaceae Genera)

Bromeliad is one of the slow-growing plants that adapt very fast to its growing environment. Its foliage can take on different shapes from spiky to soft, needle-thin to broad, or symmetrical to irregular. The leaves have maroon, green, or gold colors with red, yellow, or white flowers.

Red Bromeliad Flower Blooms

It thrives in fast-draining soil and requires bright indirect sunlight. This plant grows in USDA hardiness zones 10 to 11. Allow this plant to get full sunlight for at least six hours for proper growth. It can tolerate dry conditions but will need frequent watering.

18. Carissa Holly (Llex Cornuta ‘Carissa’)

The Carissa holy shrub is small and evergreen and can grow anywhere. Most gardeners grow it as a hedge, although it’s slow growing and requires constant pruning. It is a hardy shrub that repels deer, pests, diseases, or drought.

Snow on Carissa Holly Plants

It grows to about three feet tall and four feet wide. Its dense foliage allows it to easily sculpt into different shapes, curved borders, or hedges. It stays green all year round with its beautiful, delicate flowers in spring. It thrives in various soils and does well in coastal regions.

19. Hardy Ice Plant (Delosperma Spp., Lampranthus Spp.)

The hardy plant or the heartleaf ice plant is a warm weather perennial that comes back every year. It is one of the most beautiful plants with fleshy succulent foliage. Its bright flowers bloom in the spring and continue throughout its growing season.

Hardy Ice Plant in Garden

These plants take the form of everything around it, whether as ground cover or as a bushy shrub. They are common in sunny but sheltered desert gardens, on slopes, on rocky gardens, and as ground cover. It thrives under the full sun for at least six hours daily and requires less watering.

20. Wax Plant (Hoya Carnosa)

Like its name, the wax plant is covered by thick, green waxy leaves. It produces its flowers in clusters of star-shape in white or pink colors. They bloom in the spring, summer, or fall. These flowers carry sticky nectar because they are sweetly scented.

Pink Flowers of Wax Plant)

This plant prefers bright light and average temperatures, while a chilly climate kills this plant. Feeding this plant using fertilizers suitable for epiphytic plants would be best. You can grow this plant with less frequent watering from cuttings in well-drained soils.

21. The Leopard Plant (Farfugium Japonicum ‘Giganteum)

Most gardeners love growing the leopard plant because of its striking glossy leaves and daisy-like flowers. The leaves rise from the ground individually on three to four stalks and can reach up to a height of 18 inches long.

Golden The Leopard Plant

The yellow daisy-like flowers bloom in late summer, giving this plant a breathtaking look. This plant thrives in hotter areas with frequent watering. It can also grow in partial shade and sun in USDA hardiness zones seven to nine.

It can survive in cold temperatures of up to zero degrees Fahrenheit. When protected from frost, this plant stays green all year round.

22. Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron Hederaceum)

The heart plant is native to the Caribbean and Central America. It is an evergreen plant with heart-shaped leathery, glossy leaves about 24 inches (30 cm) long. It occasionally produces white flowers but only in mature plants.

Green Heart Leaf Philodendron in Home Pot

You can find this plant in most homes as an indoor plant that loves to climb. This plant has a level of toxicity that could harm your pets and kids. Plant it where it gets partial sun and shade in well-drained soils. Allow the soil to dry between watering schedules to keep it from root rot.

23. Flamingo Lily (Anthurium Andraeanum)

The flamingo plant is common due to its brightly colored red or pink flowers. If you provide it with proper care, it can bloom all year long, making it an excellent choice for a houseplant.

Flamingo Lily Blossoms in Garden

It is native to central and South America. It thrives in partial shade and sun, so a bright windowsill in your home will do just fine. This plant requires well-drained soils and less frequent watering throughout its growing season. It is toxic to pets and humans, so keep it out of the way.


Waxy leaf plants are fascinating to grow as most of them are evergreen with shiny leaves all year round. If you want to grow them indoors, you have a better chance of enjoying their beauty all year round.

The Swiss cheese plant, Pothos, ZZ plant, or lace leaf plant are some of the best houseplants you can choose from. And the beauty of all these plants is in their glossy foliage and colorful flowers that will brighten your home.

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