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 color than usual. The succulent will typically turn green or lose the strength of its original color when it is not exposed to sunshine.
This Echeveria ‘Lola’ is beginning to bend toward the light, and it isn’t quite as colorful 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.
How can I care for a succulent that has become too tall?
A succulent cannot return to its original compact height and shape once it has been stretched out. But don’t worry!
Start by using good-quality scissors to trim off the succulent’s top (I adore this pair so much! Definitely worth every cent! Leave 2-3 leaves on the base for at least an inch or two. If you leave a few leaves on the base to absorb sunlight, the base will thrive.
I’ve seen bare stems produce new offshoots, but it takes a lot longer than when I leave a few leaves on the stem. You can trim some of the stem to shorten the cutting if the cutting (the top portion you cut off) is too long for your taste.
Allow the base and the cutting to dry for a few days. You can plant the cutting in soil and start watering it once the cut end has calloused over (totally dried out and appears “scabbed”).
Cuttings do, in my experience, require a little bit more frequent watering than a fully rooted plant. To prevent the stem from becoming too soggy and rotting, use a soil that has a really good drainage system. Here is more information on how to grow succulents from cuttings.
Within a few days, maybe, but most probably within two to three weeks, the cutting should begin to give off roots. You should reduce watering as the roots take hold in order to put the plant on the same “schedule” as fully rooted plants.
Within a few weeks, the base, or original plant, will begin to produce additional offshoots. This plant can still be taken care of in the same manner as before the cut.
The leaves you initially left on the base plant can eventually wilt or drop off. Although highly common, this won’t always occur.
But if they do come off, don’t panic! Without the “parent leaves,” the young rosettes will still be able to develop.
Can tall succulents be pruned back?
Succulents benefit most from pruning at the start of their growing season, although you can prune them at any time. If you prune around the end of the growing season, new growth might not appear as rapidly, but it will develop gradually and accelerate once they begin to grow vigorously again.
There are numerous succulents that grow best in the summer, but there are also quite a few that grow best in the winter. To determine when your succulents are actively developing, check at this dormancy table.
My succulents are often pruned in the spring, after spending the winter indoors. Typically, they become quite stretched out and lose some of their original beauty.
I can freshen the arrangement by pruning them without needing to buy new plants. It’s a fantastic approach to grow your garden!
How are succulents shortened?
Start by removing the succulent’s top with a pair of sharp scissors. Leave at least an inch or two of your succulent’s base with two to three leaves when you cut it. Make sure the snip has enough stem on it to be planted in soil later. If you leave a few leaves on the base to absorb sunlight, the base will thrive. To continue growing, you can move your base to a new, sunny location.
Allow the base and the cutting to dry for a few days. until the cut’s end has dried fully and appears “You can plant it in soil when it has scabbed and start watering it. You can discover more about succulent regrowth.
Within a few days, maybe, but most definitely within two to three weeks, the cutting should begin to give off roots. Reduce the amount of watering given to your new succulents as their roots become stronger.
Within a few weeks, the base, or original plant, will begin to produce additional offshoots. You can continue to take care of this plant as you did before you chopped it. The leaves you initially left on the foundation plant can eventually fall off or perish. Although this process is quite typical, it won’t always occur. But if they do come off, don’t worry! Without the old rosettes, the young ones will still be able to grow “a parent departs.
How can I maintain a small plant population?
Are you curious about how to maintain little succulents? Therefore, there are some suggestions that can help you keep your succulents tiny.
To maintain your succulents healthy and small, heed these advice:
Keep the Succulent In a Sunny Spot
Keep succulent plants in a bright area. If they do not receive enough light, they will grow since they require sunlight.
In order for succulents to stay healthy and avoid growing too large, they require six hours of sunlight per day. They can generate the energy they require to remain small with the assistance of the sun’s rays.
When succulents grow too large, it may be difficult for them to absorb enough sunlight to survive.
If you can, put it on a window ledge that faces east or west. Put it near a south-facing window where there is plenty of natural light between noon and mid-afternoon when the sun is at its peak if you are unable to accomplish this.
Remove Any Leaves That Grow off at an Angle
The leaves that branch off at an angle will develop into new shoots, expanding the size of the succulent plant.
Remove any leaves that are growing off at an angle if you want your succulents to stay small because they can sprout new leaves.
Additionally, it’s crucial to get rid of any leaves that don’t match the others in appearance. For the health of your succulents, these should be removed as they are frequently stressed or ill.
Prune Your Succulents Regularly To Prevent the Spread of Overgrowth
Succulents can be made smaller by pruning. The objective is to reduce the size of a large plant that has probably been neglected for a while.
Trim the leaves on your succulent to make it smaller by removing all of the leaves on each side until there are only about an inch remaining. After that, secure the stem with wire and cut off any extra stem so that just the top remains.
Additionally, trimming reduces the number of times per day that this plant must be watered. When there are dry spells or extreme heat, this can prevent plants from becoming overwatered and dying.
Cut Off the Top Of the Succulent
A tall plant should simply have the top chopped off, and any leaves in its way should be removed. This will promote bottom-up development, making it bushy rather than tall.
Additionally, you can pinch off any leaves that are located higher on the plant. Your succulent will take on a more compact shape as a result.
It’s vital to keep in mind that not all succulents respond well to this technique, and others need specific consideration while pruning their stems.
Before choosing how to prune or remove a succulent’s leaves, be sure to know what kind of succulent you have.
Reduce the Root Space
Because it won’t have enough room, doing this will restrict growth, which means your plant won’t get out of its pot as quickly. The amount of area the plant has to develop can be restricted by using a tiny pot.
Prior to purchasing, it’s important to understand how big your succulent will become in its current environment. Try to buy one that is as close to the anticipated size as you can so it doesn’t quickly outgrow the pot.
The plant should be completely covered with potting soil. As a result, the roots won’t have any room to spread out and will remain restricted in a tiny zone, taking up less space in your container.
By adding a layer of terracotta or gravel and potting your succulent in it, you can also reduce the space available for the roots. This will stop roots from spreading out in all directions, which leads them to quickly grow large.
For appropriate support on top of the soil, choose one that is at least half an inch thicker than the diameter of the container holding your plant.
Create layers so that you may subsequently add more plants without disrupting the ones that are currently there. As long as there are intervals between each layer for air circulation and effective drainage, a few inches of depth should be sufficient.
Cut Back on Watering and Fertilizing
Reduce watering and fertilizing to avoid overstimulating new growth or making plants lanky (lacking in foliage).
During the growing season, apply a heavy amount of slow-release fertilizer once or twice (spring and summer). Just be careful not to fertilize until the spring of the next year, when fresh growth starts.
As a result, plants won’t desire to grow taller because they won’t have any root energy reserves to fall back on.
Additionally, you’ll discover that it’s simpler to keep succulents little and that they’ll be more drought tolerant if you reduce watering.
Pick Your Succulent Carefully
By choosing the appropriate succulent from the beginning, you can easily manage how big it grows. Choose succulents that don’t get too huge, grow slowly, and are little.
Small succulents that are the greatest choices include:
Haworthia (Zebra Plant)
One of the most well-liked succulents is the Haworthia. This is due to the fact that they can grow to a range of sizes.
The lesser forms, such the Zebra Cactus (Haworthia tessellata), eventually only reach heights and widths of around two inches.
Zebra cacti don’t need a lot of water or soil to survive in their surroundings. They do, however, require a lot of sunshine each day in order for their leaves to produce more chlorophyll, giving them those eye-catching stripes.
Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks)
A collection of quickly growing plants is known as the Sempervivum. The rosette and the hen-and-chick plant are the two varieties of these plants.
The rosettes eventually reach a diameter of roughly an inch, while the chicks eventually reach a width of up to three inches.
You must be careful not to water sempervivums excessively or let their soil become too wet because they like dry conditions. They do, however, require sunlight, much like all succulents.
A plant species known as the Lithops has two distinct appearances: the living stone and the pebble. These plants come in a variety of hues, but they all have the same modest size in common.
About every three weeks or so, Lithops prefers to be watered. However, if at all possible, try to avoid letting them remain submerged for too long.
Also, be careful not to overwater these succulents. In the absence of water, they won’t survive for very long before fading away.
Air Plants (Tillandsia sp.)
Despite being tiny and delicate, air plants can make the ideal complement to any succulent collection.
Since air plants don’t require soil to develop, you should place them right up against a surface covered with moss or other vegetation rather than in soil. Then, to prevent their leaves from shriveling up too much, be sure to spritz them with water once every two days.
With the right care, these tiny plants may flourish in almost any environment and reach heights of up to three inches.
When growing succulents indoors or outdoors, bear in mind that Echeveria minima plants still require a lot of sunlight.
Depending on how dry it has been lately, it would be beneficial if you watered your echeverias once per week or two as well. Otherwise, they risk going extinct due to a shortage of water.
Sedum (Little Missy)
This miniature succulent is distinguished by its tiny size and brittle leaves. It will only reach a height of approximately an inch, making it ideal for placing on a desk or windowsill at work.
Throughout the warmer seasons of the year, the Sedum can also be grown outside (spring through fall). As long as there is enough sunlight, they don’t care how chilly it gets.
However, if it’s raining, be careful not to overwater them because wet roots may soon damage this little guy.
Where should leggy succulents be trimmed?
- The plant should be cut, leaving approximately an inch or so of stem at the base.
- For a day or two, or longer if your area is humid, leave the stem cuttings in a dry location away from direct sunshine to dry. Launder and seal the wound. To hasten the rooting process, it is optional to dip the cuttings in rooting hormone.
- Put the cuttings in a well-draining potting mix after the cut has healed. Perlite and a cactus mixture are my preferred combinations (1:1 solution). You can find soil and soil amendments here.
- Every few days or whenever the soil gets dry, mist or water the area.
- The stem cuttings usually take two weeks or longer to root.
- Avoid direct sunshine and keep watering every few days or whenever the soil starts to feel dry.
- When the plant reaches maturity, increase sunshine while reducing watering.
The portion of the plant from which the cuttings were taken will keep expanding and generating new growth. Rarely, the base will stop expanding and eventually disappear. However, if this occurs, hopefully you have already grown new plants from the stem cuttings.
Decide where to cut the plant. In order to conveniently put the plant you are cutting into soil and propagate it, you should ideally have at least half an inch of stem on the bottom of the plant.
When you cut the plant, make sure to salvage as many of the roots as possible. These already have roots sprouting, so they will thrive when replanted in soil.