Succulents will develop a long stem for a number of reasons. Let’s look at the fundamentals.
Your Succulent Isn’t Getting Enough Light
All plants require light, but succulents particularly crave it. Your pal may be leggy if you don’t provide a sunny area where they can soak up the light.
Insufficient sunshine causes succulents to develop lengthy stems. They begin to turn and spread out in search of light during a process known as etiolation, which gives them a “leggy appearance with a long stem and smaller, spaced-out leaves.
It can be challenging to determine how much light your plant needs right immediately because every plant is unique. Try transferring the succulent to an area where it will receive more light if you find it starting to grow a long stem without adding more leaves. You might want to think about buying a tiny tabletop grow light if your house doesn’t have a place where the sun shines.
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 appetizers. 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.
What is that thing 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?
Learn more about aerial roots, what they represent for your succulent plants, and how to deal with them by reading on.
How come my succulent is so tall and lanky?
When succulents don’t get enough light, whether inside or outside, they stretch and get leggy. The plant will eventually stretch if it does not get enough light. Even though a plant is cultivated outdoors, it will still spread if it is shaded or protected by other, taller plants. Because the sunshine that enters a window is not as powerful as the sunlight that comes from the outside, and because the light is weaker the farther the plant is from the light source, growing succulents indoors can occasionally be more difficult. Succulents typically require 4-6 hours of direct sunshine every day to develop and thrive.
But even when they get a lot of sunlight, some succulents become lanky. Therefore, not all succulents become lanky due to a lack of light. Some succulents will grow leggy no matter what you do. It’s just how they are. It is entirely up to you whether or not you want to take action. How therefore can we distinguish between them?
Why is a flower stalk emerging from my succulent?
Keep a look out for aphids crawling around your bloom stem or flower as it grows. They are especially drawn to this variety of fresh growth. They should be sprayed with a horticultural soap or a product containing 50 to 70 percent alcohol. For this reason, some succulent growers remove the stalk now.
If your interesting bloom prompts you to take extra precautions, adhere to some or all of the advice below:
The more sunshine you can gradually supply will hasten the flower’s bloom because succulent and cacti flowers enjoy it. Although certain succulent plants can withstand excessive heat, be careful when the temperature is in the high 80s or 90s. It is always best to get to know your succulent plant and learn specifics about its bloom and preferred level of heat. High heat is not necessarily a problem because the majority of the plants in this group bloom in late spring to early summer. Dry areas have longer-lasting blooms in general.
If feasible, start increasing the amount of sun your plant receives every day when you notice a bloom stalk or flower emerging on it. Add more gradually until it spends the entire day in the sun. Find the brightest, sunniest window in your home if you’re growing plants there. Set them up there. Make sure to watch out for burning leaves and pads.
According to some professional advice, flowering succulent care entails additional watering and fertilizing. When you water, soak the blossoming succulent plant. When the top two inches (5 cm) of soil are dry, rewater the area. With until the blossoms start to fade, keep up this watering routine.
Increase your fertilization to once a month from once per season. Use a fertilizer with a high phosphorus content—the middle number on the fertilizer ratio scale. Additionally, instead of increasing feeding by a quarter, increase it by a half. Continue feeding the blossom until it starts to wither.
These are all possible maintenance advice that can lengthen the vase life and advance flower blooming. Alternately, you might ignore the blooming plant and let nature take its course. Flowers can occasionally thrive on neglect, much as these intriguing plants can.
Gather fading blossoms and put them in a small paper bag if you wish to try producing more plants from seed. Tiny seeds are present in dried flowers.
How can a lanky succulent be kept alive?
When cultivated in the right lighting conditions, succulents adore the sun and thrive. However, you’ve probably cultivated or observed a lanky, stretched-out succulent. In the area you have, these lanky or etiolated succulents aren’t getting the proper amount of light.
Not just succulent indoor plants experience this behavior. You may have seen how your plant stretches to reach as close to the sun as it can by bending toward it. As they extend toward the sun, succulents get taller and spread their leaves farther apart.
The compact shape of etiolated succulents won’t return, but you can give them a trim and grow additional succulents from the cuttings.
How to disassemble the plant and begin reproducing it in order to try again is demonstrated in this video by Laura from Garden Answer.
- Clear the foliage. Cut the roots and wholesome leaves from the succulent’s bottom half with pruners or by snapping them off. Get a break that is as spotless as you can to promote new growth. Get rid of your leaf if it tears. Up to a little bit after halfway up, remove leaves. To understand how to cut the stem and transplant it with the remaining rosette at the top, see to step three.
- Dry the leaves. After removal, let the leaves dry for a few days or until the raw ends have calloused.
- Replant the stem. New roots will be able to sprout if the stem is planted farther below where the leaves were removed. Simply clip the stem 1-2 inches from the plant’s base if it is too long for the pot. It’s alright if you have no stem at all. Simply bury the rosette in the ground to prevent it from falling out.
- Prepare to expand. A tray, saucer, or other container containing Espoma’s Organic Cactus mix should have dried leaves on top of it. Avoid burying leaves in the ground. Put the container in a location that will shield it from direct sunlight.
- Spray the ground until it is damp but not soaked. When the soil seems dry to the touch, rehydrate it.
- Wait. There will be new baby roots that appear in about a month.
- Replant. You can replant your propagated succulents once they have established roots. Put them on display in a recycled planter.
- The roots should be examined every six months to determine whether you need to transfer your plants to a larger pot. Espoma’s Cactus can be used to routinely feed your succulents. For optimal results, use liquid plant food.
Can I cut my succulent’s stem?
Succulents require more than just sunlight and water to thrive. To encourage healthy growth, some individuals advise cutting a succulent’s leaves, stems, and roots. However, can you get away without trimming your succulents or is trimming truly necessary? Can you cut the leaves, stems, or roots of a succulent first?
A succulent’s roots, stems, and leaves can all be pruned. The major purpose of this is upkeep. Maintaining your plants can help them grow better, resist rot, and live longer. Succulents also require trimming to keep their shape and grow sturdy stems.
When to trim the roots, leaves, or stems, as well as what to do with the clippings, are all covered in this article. You will also learn the proper techniques for planting your clippings to begin cultivating new succulents.
How are succulent shoots used?
It’s crucial to understand that young plants won’t be harmed or affected by them, particularly those that develop near the mother plant’s base.
Although the offsets may appear cramped or unpleasant, they are precisely where they should be.
Have faith in Mother Nature’s processes. They have been engaged in this activity for a lot longer than we have.
I advise delaying their removal until the offsets are roughly half the size of the main plant. This guarantees that your infants receive the right nutrition and have the best chance of surviving on their own.
Once your succulents begin to produce offsets, you might want to repot them in a little bigger container to provide room for the hen and the baby chicks.
With a pair of pruners, you can remove the offsets once they have grown to half the size of the mother plant.
Watch for the wound to callus. Put them in a shady, light area on top of fresh soil, don’t water them, and ignore them.
They will eventually take root in the ground, and then presto! You were successful in creating one to eight new playable plants.
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!
What is the cause of my succulent’s growth?
We adore cacti. They look very charming in any room of your house, are simple to care for, and are understanding to those of us who lack a green thumb. They can withstand extreme dryness and heat both indoors and out, making them adaptable. They work well both individually and together in a container garden. It would be difficult to find someone who doesn’t gush about how lovely and simple these tiny plants are to maintain indoors.
However, nobody warns you that your succulent might begin to alter shape. Here’s some information on why your succulent might be growing taller if you’ve seen it.
Why It’s Happening
Etiolation is the process through which a succulent begins to develop a longer stem and paler, less densely packed leaves. Etiolation is most frequently brought on by a plant not receiving enough sunlight, which results in a change in the plant’s development, shape, and color. Since indoor succulents are rarely exposed to direct sunlight for lengthy periods of time, this problem most frequently affects them, however it can affect any succulent.
How To Fix Succulent Stretching
There are strategies to control the growth of your lanky plant even when it is impossible to make it again compact. Start by attempting to add extra light to its regular routine. Your succulent won’t be able to grow much longer if you do this.
Pruning your plants is the best technique to try and “recorrect” the growth. Take a sharp pair of shears, and make a cut directly above a row of leaves. Depending on the kind of succulent you own, the precise place will vary. You should leave the plant with a sufficient number of strong leaves so that it can continue to photosynthesize and survive. By doing this, you may get rid of a lot of the undesired, leggy growth without damaging the current plant. In addition, you can use the clippings to produce a fresh, healthy plant. After trimming your succulent, you should allow the cut end to completely dry in a well-lit place so that a callus can develop over the exposed end. Usually, this takes two to three days. The clipping can then be placed straight in the ground to produce roots over time.
For these new clippings and the freshly cut succulent, you can apply what you’ve learned about etiolation and how to prevent it in order to avoid repeating the same growth pattern.