Weeds That Look Like a Succulent (with pictures)

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Sometimes people notice weeds that look like succulents growing in their yards. They might grow on the lawn or in the garden, and they can be plants with succulent leaves. A succulent is any plant that has thick tissues that can store water. Some store their water in the stem, while others store it in the leaves.

They normally have deep root systems, and they grow in deserts or areas that have a semi-arid season. Weeds that look like succulents may be succulents, or they might have features in common. They can be found in a range of climates, and they are very hardy, especially in drought-like conditions.


The most common weed that looks like a succulent is purslane. Purslane is a succulent annual that grows low to the ground. It is found all over the world, and it is thought to have been in the Americas before Europeans settled there. It grows in every state in the United States, and it prefers warmer places but will grow anywhere.

You will find that every culture throughout history has written about eating this weed, whether as an herb or as a medicine. Today, it is considered a nuisance because it will take over a garden. They take root quickly and can last as many as 40 years.

It is edible, so it is important to be able to identify it and distinguish it from other weeds. It grows along the ground in a bunch or cluster which can reach up to six inches in height. It has a central taproot, and the stalk and leaves are thick. The stems are either red or green, and the leaves are light green. The leaves grow out in groups of four, and the edges are smooth. It has great nutritional value, and it can be added to a salad.


Another weed that looks like a succulent is portulaca. It is a low growing ground cover plant that is also called sun rose or moss rose. This plant is native to Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, and it blooms beautiful bright-colored flowers. It can grow in many types of soil, but it prefers soil that is sandy and well drained. It also prefers full sunlight.

It can handle heat and tolerates drought. It easily becomes invasive in areas where you don’t want it to grow. If people want it to grow, it is very easy because it doesn’t need a lot of water and it grows from seeds. You don’t even need to cover the seeds because they need the sun. The flowers are beautiful, and they bloom in pink, red, orange, deep lavender, cream, and white. They also attract butterflies.

Because this plant grows so easily, you need to be careful if you have it in hanging baskets. If the seeds fall to the ground, they will easily take root and grow the following year. It is a hardy weed, and it comes back year after year.


Spurge is another fast growing weed that looks like a succulent, and it can get out of control quickly. It is an annual summer weed, and it grows by spreading low to the ground. There are quite a few different species, and they have certain characteristics in common.

The leaves grow from the stem, and you will find the leaves across from each other in pairs of two. The main root is a taproot, and there are long stems that grow out. If you break one of the leaves, you will find a milky sap inside. This can be an irritant for people.

This weed loves warm weather, and it starts growing at around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It can grow from February to September depending on the climate, and the seeds germinate as soon as the soil temperature increases.

It can be poisonous if ingested, so it is important to distinguish it from other weeds that are edible. You can look for opposing leaves along the stems and the runners, and you might see a dark spot in the center of the leaf. If you see the white, milky sap after cutting a leaf, it is likely spurge.

Sedum (Mossy Stonecrop)

Sedum is known as mossy stonecrop, and it is a small plant with thick flesh. It is often planted in gardens, but it can invade nearby lawns. It is difficult to control, and it easily outcompetes grasses that people want growing. It forms dense mats, and it does well in sandy soil with low fertility. It has a waxy cuticle that protects it from herbicides because it doesn’t absorb them easily.

Sedum doesn’t just look like a succulent; it is a succulent. It is a low-growing perennial that spreads. It has thick, succulent leaves that are shaped like an egg and pointed. They are also small and waxy, and they are light green. In June and July, it blooms bright yellow flowers with five petals. The flowers produce seeds in pointed seed pods. If this weed takes root, it can be difficult to get rid of.

Donkey Ear Plant

Donkey ear plant is an annual or biennial succulent, and it is native to Madagascar. It is named for the way that its leaves resemble a donkey’s ear. It is a fast growing plant that can produce its own roots and create new baby plants through its leaves. They can grow up to between 12 and 18 inches tall and wide, and the leaves will be anywhere from one foot to 1.6 feet long.

It has bronze green leaves with epicuticular wax, which makes it appear a grayish green color with maroon blotches all over it. It blooms reddish yellow flowers in the fall or early winter. They flower for around two months, and then it dies back. It grows best in partial shade, but it can live in full sun. It doesn’t require a lot of water, and you can propagate it with cuttings in the early spring.

Final Words

There are weeds that look like succulents, and some of them actually are succulents. A weed is any plant that grows in a place where you don’t want it to grow, and the plants on this list fit that category. You need to be careful if you decide to plant them in containers because most of them will spread quickly with very little effort.

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