What To Do When Succulent Sprouts

According to my observations, there are three causes for the long, stretched-out, or lanky stem growth of succulent plants.

They’re reaching for the light source.

I had to completely prune back my succulents for a number of reasons, including #1 and the pack rats eating them as appetisers. This pot is situated in a corner directly next to my front entrance. I rotate it every two to three months, but it won’t fit in the area if the planting becomes too leggy and the stems grow too long. The light isn’t excessively low; rather, it’s only that it isn’t uniformly illuminating the plants.

The light they’re growing in is too low.

A tiny portion of my Santa Barbara front garden. Every year or two, I had to trim back the graptoveria, narrow leaf chalk sticks, and lavender scallops because they were encroaching on the sidewalk. Yes, a rosemary plant in blossom is the huge shrub in the background.

After two or three years of growth, the paddle plant patch under my Giant Bird of Paradise in Santa Barbara needed to be trimmed down. Along with many other fleshy succulents, kalanchoes frequently have lengthy stems.

The leaves on a succulent stalk won’t regrow once they become naked. It must be pruned back so that it can either be rejuvenated from the base or propagated by stem cuttings (the piece of stem & roots still in the soil).

Here’s what you do with those towering, stretched-out succulent stems, whether your succulents are growing in the ground or in a pot.

When Should You Cut Back Your Succulents?

Summer and spring are ideal. Early fall is also OK if you live in a temperate region like I do. Before the cooler weather arrives, you should give your succulents a couple of months to establish themselves and take root.

Why did my succulent start to grow?

When they don’t receive enough sunshine, succulents swell out. The succulent will first begin to turn and bend in the direction of the light source.

As it grows, the leaves will spread farther apart, making the plant taller.

The leaves are often smaller and paler in colour than usual. The succulent will typically turn green or lose the strength of its original colour when it is not exposed to sunshine.

This Echeveria ‘Lola’ is beginning to bend towards the light, and it isn’t quite as colourful as it was when I took the photo for the post about top dressings.

The majority of the time, this will occur when succulents are cultivated indoors, but it can also occur outside when succulents are exposed to too much shadow.

Should I prune succulent ramifications?

When a plant produces pups or offspring, it is essentially replicating itself. Succulents don’t always produce pups and offspring, but those that do essentially grow in numbers on their own. Among the numerous additional species that give birth to pups or offspring are hens and chicks, aloe, specific haworthia species, and cacti.

The pups and offshoots can be carefully removed, put in a suitable potting mix, and used to begin a new plant. By redirecting energy to the growth of the mother plant instead of supporting her pups, removing offshoots from the mother plant promotes its health.

Step 1

Look for plants that have pups or offspring. The young that develop from the mother plant are called pups and offshoots. Not every succulent plant gives birth to pups or offspring. Aloe, certain haworthia and cactus species, as well as many succulent species, do.

Step 2

Clean your knife. Make use of a clean, disinfected, sharp knife. Washing with warm, soapy water or wiping with rubbing alcohol will do this. To prevent spreading fungus or infections, be sure to clean the knife after each cutting by wiping it with alcohol.

Step 3

Locate pups or offspring that need to be removed. An offshoot or pup can be separated from the mother plant once it has reached a suitable size or begun to establish roots. When removing the pup, try to grab some roots. A pup without roots can be removed, but ones with roots that are already there will work much better. Without roots, pups or offshoots will ultimately establish roots on their own, but pups and offshoots with established roots stand a better chance of surviving on their own.

Step 4

Eliminate the branch. To gently remove the pup or branch from the mother plant, use a clean knife. Some pups or offspring are simpler to get rid of than others. The pup can occasionally be gently twisted off to separate them.

Sometimes you need to remove the pup using a sharp tool. By sliding the knife blade between the mother plant and the offshoot, carefully detach the baby plant from its mother plant. Sever the root that connects the pup to the parent plant before carefully pulling the two apart.

Insert the knife blade into the soil between the mother plant and the offshoot if you want to remove the pup while it’s still in the ground. To cut the connecting roots, slide the blade through the dirt. Then, using the sharp end of a small shovel, dig a few inches along the radial parameter after creating a 2-inch radius in the dirt around the base of the branch. By angling the spade underneath the offshoot, you can delicately pry it out of the ground to remove it.

Step 5

Set the pup down. The pup can be planted on its own after being removed. Prepare an appropriate, well-draining potting mixture, then add some of it to a tiny container. Put the pup or offspring in the ground. As soon as the plant is secure, lightly pack the earth around it.

Step 6

occasionally use water. More moisture is required by pups and offspring than by mature plants. Spray the soil with a spray bottle sparingly once every few days or whenever it seems dry. Reduce watering to once a week after the plant has a stronger root system.

Step 7

Keep away from the sun’s rays. When first planted in their own pot, shield young plants from direct sunshine to avoid sun damage. As a plant matures, gradually increase sunshine and sun exposure in accordance with the needs of the plant.

What is the long object that is emerging from my succulent?

If you’ve been a succulent enthusiast for a while, you may have observed that some of them start to sprout delicate white or pink roots from their stems. They are referred to as aerial roots.

But what are aerial roots exactly? Is it a symptom of a succulent that isn’t doing well? &nbsp

Learn more about aerial roots, what they represent for your succulent plants, and how to deal with them by reading on.

Describe succulent puppies.

Offset propagation is a terrific approach to expand your collection of succulents because the parent plant has already done the majority of the work. The small succulents that grow around the parent plant’s base are known as offsets or “pups.” These pups arise when mature plant roots with leaf clusters shoot out and grow into a new succulent. Pups can also grow on some succulents’ leaves, such as the Pink Butterfly Kalanchoe. The offsets from either place can be used to develop a brand-new, distinct plant.

Brush off the top dirt to reveal the roots of the offsets before gently pulling them apart from the parent plant’s base while retaining as many roots as you can. If the offsets are still attached to the parent plant by a stem, just use a clean, sharp knife to cut them apart. More mature offsets will have already formed their own root systems. To prevent rot and disease when the offsets are replanted, remove the old dirt from their roots and let them dry out for a few days in a warm location with lots of indirect light. Prepare fresh planters with cactus/succulent soil, moisten it, set the succulent in a shallow hole, and then fill up the hole to anchor the plant when they have calloused over and healed.

You can take out offsets from parent plant leaves or cut them off with a sharp knife to separate them from the leaves. Make sure your hands and knives are clean to prevent the spread of bacteria to the plant or offset. Make a precise cut with a knife where the offset meets the mature plant. Without using a knife, carefully pull the offset until it pops off with no residue. After removal, allow these offsets to dry out for a few days so they can harden. Place the pups on top of moistened soil in a planter once they have recovered from their injuries. They are going to start growing roots in a few of weeks!

How do you remove succulent babies?

Cut off the baby at the stem’s base using a sharp knife. If the other babies haven’t yet grown big enough, leave them linked. When a baby plant is still connected to its mother plant, it often grows bigger more quickly.

Set the baby on a dry surface to “heal” or callous over on the cut end for about 24 hours after being removed from the stem. Before planting, the raw end needs to completely dry out.

How are offshoots planted?

Two of the simplest plants to create offsets are strawberry begonia (Saxifraga stolonifera) and spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum), both of which produce miniature versions of themselves along the ends of arching stems. The easiest technique to cultivate them is to surround the larger mother pot with smaller pots. Take the stolons and arrange them in the small pots with the plantlets sitting on top of the soil. You can separate each one from the mother plant once its roots have grown.

Offsets occasionally develop on the leaf surface or, more frequently, around the rosettes of the mother plant’s leaves. These can be cut off from the parent plant and allowed to grow on their own. At the leaf tip, offsets of the chandelier plant (Kalanchoe delagoensis, also known as K. tubiflora) develop. Around the leaf edges, Mother of thousands (K. daigremontiana, also known as Bryophillum diagremontianum), grows as offsets.

Water the parent plant the day before to make sure it is lush and hydrated so you can root detached offshoot. Put potting compost in an 8 cm (3 in) pot and give it plenty of water. With your fingers or tweezers, remove just a few plantlets from each leaf so as not to significantly change the plant’s look. Take great caution when handling the plantlets.

Take the plantlets and place them on the compost’s surface. Give each plantlet its own area in the container to grow, and water the compost from below to keep it moist. You can repot each plantlet into its own tiny pot once the plants have begun to grow and form roots.

Offsets are plants that grow at the base of or on succulents and bromeliads. Often, especially with cactus, you can tell that these are young plants. In some circumstances, they might be rooted to the parent plant and difficult to distinguish from bromeliads. When you are repotting the entire plant, when you can cut them off with a sharp, clean knife, is the optimum moment to remove these offsets. Make sure you grab a piece of the root when you remove any that have a tendency to grow up and around the plant’s base.

Before planting cactus offsets in compost, let them dry out for a few days. One can immediately pot up other plants. Place the plant with roots in the pot after filling it halfway, and add additional compost around it. In order to water the plant from below, firm the compost.

If you follow these instructions, you will discover that you can care for your larger indoor plants just as well as other smaller plants.

Can I cut my succulent’s aerial roots off?

From oak trees to succulents, roots are a crucial component of all plants. Although there are many different types of roots and some that are specialised, all roots assist their plants in the following crucial ways:

  • Roots absorb moisture and disperse it throughout the plant.
  • Nutrients are absorbed by roots, which then distribute them throughout the plant.
  • Roots hold plants firmly in place, usually in soil.

These functions are often carried out by roots, which develop at the base of plants and reside in the soil. When the plant’s underground roots are unable to adequately meet its needs for water or a stable base, stem roots will eventually form. When you observe a succulent forming aerial roots from the stem, it is doing so to meet a need. Aerial roots on succulents are typically a sign that the plant needs more moisture or anchor points.

What Do Aerial Roots Do?

Airborne roots have the capacity to capture water vapour from the atmosphere and transfer it to the rest of the plant. This increases the soil’s moisture supply. (Some plants, like mangroves, that are adapted to grow in marshy or extremely moist environments actually use aerial roots for the reverse process to aid in plant respiration. Before aerial roots could form, succulents are likely to perish in such moist environments.)

In several different ways, aerial roots support plants as well. In the case of vines like ivy, they may climb a structure, or they may help ground cover plants proliferate by creating new rooting sites. On succulents, aerial roots often develop where a component of the plant is likely to fall, either as a result of damage or evolution. The plant will sprout aerial roots in preparation for coming into touch with the dirt if it is damaged or etiolates from lack of light. When this happens, the aerial roots will be able to root into the soil, absorbing water and nutrients while serving as an anchor for that area of the succulent.

The plantlets of Kalanchoe houghtonii can be seen in the image above, each of which has a spray of aerial roots growing on the little stem connecting it to the mother plant’s leaf. These little stems will eventually dry out and snap, causing the young plants to fall to the ground. When that time comes, their aerial roots will be prepared to plant themselves firmly in the ground and produce a new generation of Kalanchoe. In this instance, the aerial roots on the succulent are prepared to support the new plantlets when a portion of the plant drops.

What Aerial Roots on Succulents Mean

Succulents with aerial roots indicate the plant is attempting to fill a need. Sometimes the plant’s needs are satisfied by the roots that are sprouting from the stem. However, you should always make an effort to spot these changes in your plants and figure out what they signify. To maintain the succulent’s health and vitality, you might decide to alter your care practises.

Sedum rubrotinctum “Aurora” needs water. Observe how a few of the leaves have a slight wrinkle to them. The succulent requires more water as evidenced by this. The leaves are lovely and full overall. I doubt that I would have seen the early puckering indications. But in response, the plant is growing aerial roots to increase its water intake. That is a definite indication that the plant requires a little extra water. To guide your succulent care, keep an eye out for signals like this. Just be careful not to overreact and give it too much water.

It might be challenging to determine whether a succulent is reaching for more light or whether that is simply how it grows. If it grows aerial roots along the stem, it obviously requires extra support and may be preparing for that part of the plant to fall to the ground. Etiolation is severe; don’t wait for these roots to emerge before taking action. Aerial roots, though, might occasionally shed light on the situation.

Aerial Roots on Succulents

This Kalanchoe tomentosa Silver Panda is flourishing inside in good condition. The aerial roots show that it needs a little bit more water. The succulent’s leaves are large and firm, and all other signs point to a healthy plant. You could slightly increase the watering frequency while maintaining the same amount for the plant. However, it’s likely that this succulent’s requirement for additional water has been met by the roots that are emerging from the stem.

Aerial Roots Looking for Support

This kalanchoe is expanding swiftly and has started to etiolate a little. When a plant grows very large and reaches out for more light, it is said to be etiolated (EE-tee-oh-lated). This stem is forming aerial roots as it bends down and over to create anchor points when it reaches the soil. The best course of action for this one would be to cut back the stem and let it to root independently in a different soil-filled pot. This is how stem cutting propagation works at its core. This stem would soon create an active plant on its own thanks to its extensive aerial roots.

What to Do with Aerial Roots

Succulents’ aerial roots are a crucial sign of the health of the plant. Understanding this will help you maintain the health of your succulents. Feel free to cut or trim back aerial roots from succulents that are growing roots from the stem after you have recognised and taken care of the necessity that led to the roots’ development. However, don’t just brush them off as irrelevant and get rid of them without first looking at the underlying problems. For a reason, the succulent invested time, effort, and resources in growing those roots.

This Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Mini Me’ is not a true hanging succulent; rather, it is a low-growing ground cover plant. Longer stems generate aerial roots as they look for a place to spread out on the earth. The plant will only grow new roots even if these ones are cut down. To create numerous other plants, the stems can be pruned and rooted in soil.

Succulents’ aerial roots indicate that the plant requires something that its normal root system cannot give. This is a favourable review of your care. The message these roots deliver is the same regardless of whether types generate them more frequently.

I hope you found this post to be useful. Please leave a remark if you have any questions, and I’ll get back to you within a day. ‘ till later

P.P.S. Would you consider joining my Facebook group for cactus lovers? We discuss design, identification, propagation, and care of succulents. They’re a friendly bunch who would love to meet you!