Mermaid Tail Succulents Are Real and They’re Beautiful

updated May 26, 2020
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Credit: Disney+

Mermaids might be mythical creatures found only in folklore and fairy tales, but mermaid tail succulents are real and they are the magical plant your garden has been missing. Popping up all over social media lately, these unique succulents are a natural wonder thanks to a mutation in certain types of succulents, making them actually more of a cactus-succulent hybrid.

This whimsical plant is actually called a Crested Senecio Vitalis, and it gets that mermaid look due to fasciation, a process that causes a plant to flatten and grow upwards and outwards instead of towards the light like most other plants do—giving it a tail-like appearance that would make even Ariel a bit jealous. They can be pretty tough to find, according to Gardenia, originating in the eastern cape of South Africa, and they are dormant in the summer, instead growing best in light shade or sunlight during the winter months. With no guarantee that the cresting and mermaid-like growth will happen, Mondo Cactus notes that it does happen.

They can typically grow one to two feet high and can reach a width of three to five feet, and most have an ocean-inspired bluish green tint that would look right at home in any aquatic-themed decor scheme. Gardenia notes that they’re low maintenance, deer resistant, and excellent for rock gardens, succulent gardens, or Mediterranean-inspired gardens, making them as dreamy, and mystical as their nickname suggests.

If you love this look but have difficulty tracking down mermaid tail succulents at your local plant stores, try the coral cactus, a similar cactus-succulent hybrid that looks just like the vibrant, lush aquatic life you’d spot under the sea. These are more readily available in stores, and you can find them at Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowes. notes these thrive in partial shade between temps of 60 to 85 degrees, making them the perfect springtime purchase for your home garden. Whozits, whatzits, and thingamabobs not included, of course.