A succulent that isn’t getting enough water and frequently when it’s in a humid climate will typically develop aerial roots. Through their roots, succulents take up water from the air around them.
Soil with big particles is crucial for the health of your succulent because of this.
Your succulent may not be getting enough water if you aren’t watering it properly, in which case it will begin to “seek for more.” At this point, aerial roots begin to develop.
Observe how the bottom of these Crassula rupestris is quite dried up and how many fresh air roots have sprouted.
The lack of sunlight has also caused this plant to become very languid. A succulent might occasionally send out air roots if it isn’t getting enough sunshine.
A succulent is more likely to produce aerial roots when it begins to spread out, though this isn’t always the case.
Are succulents with aerial roots healthy?
If you notice that your succulents are starting to form aerial roots, don’t become alarmed. Your succulents are still in good health; they simply need a little more care than normal. In fact, they perform a variety of tasks that benefit the plants they grow on, including:
- They aid the succulents in absorbing moisture and nutrients from the surrounding air. This is really helpful, especially for plants cultivated in humid environments like rainforests.
- The ability to grow downward till they come into contact with the dirt will unquestionably aid in supporting weaker stems.
- Small pores on the aerial roots of succulents allow them to take in air as necessary, which is extremely beneficial for those with soggy soil.
- aids in the spread of ideas. Aerial roots assist the new cutting quickly absorb nutrients and water if a trailing plant, such as a burro’s tail or string of pearls, is cut off. Plant offsets, such as Mother of Thousands, have the ability to develop airborne roots, which enable them to spread further when they drop off.
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 specialized, 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 vapor 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 practices.
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 recognized 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 favorable 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!
Why is there an antenna on my succulent?
Are you examining your succulent in awe while wondering where the heck that long, antenna-like object came from? You most certainly are not alone. The same causes that cause your plant to grow longer also cause the antenna. All that it really implies is that your plant has been trying really hard to get some sunshine.
Even indoor plants require sunlight to survive. Your succulent will bend, twist, and reach as far as it can to receive some sunlight if there isn’t any in the room. Yes, even that portion of the antenna will regenerate into a new plant if you cut it off.
What is that thing that is emerging from my succulent?
In the questions individuals ask me about their plants, I frequently encounter the subject of aerial roots. It is a very common issue, and it can be extremely ominous to discover roots in unexpected places.
So let’s start by defining aerial roots. Aerial roots are those that sprout from your plants’ stems. They can seem to appear rather suddenly and are often white or pink.
Aerial roots indicate that your succulent is having some difficulty, which is not a good indication. The good news is that, with a little caution, things can typically be corrected very quickly.
Verify that your succulent is getting enough water first. Your plants may use aerial roots as a technique to reach out and seize any available moisture. Your succulent’s leaves should be full and robust; if they appear wrinkled or feel a little mushy to the touch, you may not be watering your plant enough or not deeply enough. Giving your succulents a light mist of water is insufficient; they need to be thoroughly soaked.
Lack of nutrition is another potential factor; just like people, plants require the proper nutrients to remain healthy. Now might be an excellent time to re-pot your plant if you haven’t in a few years. They’ll get some much-needed nutrients from some lovely new dirt. It’s vital to fertilize throughout the spring and summer as well. Over this period, I fertilize one per month.
To finish, make sure your plant is receiving enough light. On etiolated plants, aerial roots frequently appear. Make sure your plant is located in a well-lit area.
To prevent aerial roots, go through this list and make any necessary adjustments. If the aerial roots are unpleasant to you, you can cut them out, but make careful to identify and address the underlying problem.
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.
Can aerial roots be planted in soil?
You can, indeed. The roots will continue to expand in the soil as a result and will have a function to absorb water and nutrients. Due to the lack of rain indoors, they are unable to absorb moisture when hung in the air, therefore they serve little purpose unless you periodically water or mist them.
When ought to succulents be potted again?
Evergreen succulents have always captured my heart. Succulents are low maintenance plants that thrive in containers because to their unusual forms and thick leaves; I have a large collection of these well-liked varieties.
Repotting succulents every two years is a good general rule of thumb, if only to give them access to new, fertile soil. The beginning of a succulent’s growing season is the optimal time to repot it because it provides the plant its best chance of surviving. My gardeners, Ryan and Wilmer, took advantage of the snowy weather earlier this week to repot many succulent plants and propagate a variety of cuttings. Here are some pictures of the steps we took.
In times of drought, succulents, sometimes known as fat plants, store water in their fleshy leaves, stems, or stem-root systems. Because of their eye-catching shapes, succulents are frequently planted as attractive plants.
I needed to repot a few of the succulents in my collection either they had outgrown their pots or I wanted to relocate them into more attractive clay containers.
He stamps my name and the year the pot was produced on the reverse side. When I host big events in my home, they invariably look fantastic.
To aid in drainage, a clay shard is placed over the hole. Additionally, I like using clay pots because they permit adequate aeration and moisture to reach the plant via the sides.
We always keep the shards from broken pots; it’s a fantastic method to use those parts again.
Wilmer carefully takes a succulent from its pot without damaging any of the roots.
Wilmer then conducts a meticulous test to determine if the pot is the proper size for the plant. He picks a pot just a hair bigger than the plant’s original container.
Prills are the name for osmocote particles. A core of nutrients composed of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is covered by the prill’s beige shell.
For the finest drainage, we mix equal parts of sand, perlite, and vermiculite for succulents. The correct soil mixture will also aid in promoting rapid root growth and provide young roots with quick anchoring.
Wait a few days before watering the succulents after repotting to give them time to become used to the new soil.
Wilmer shifts to the following plant. This one too need a little maintenance attention. He picked up any fallen leaves.
In order to promote new development, Wilmer lightly pruned the roots after manually loosening the root ball.
Wilmer inserted the plant into the pot after adding some Osmocote and a little amount of potting soil.
The pale blue-gray leaves of Echevaria runyonii ‘Topsy turvy’ curve upward, are prominently inversely keeled on the bottom surface, and have leaf tips that point inward toward the center of the plant.
Echeverias are among the most alluring succulents, and plant aficionados greatly respect them for their brilliant colors and lovely rosette shapes.
An aeonium is a succulent with rosette-like leaves that grows quickly. Aeonium is a varied genus that includes little or medium-sized plants, stemless or shrub-like, and plants that favor sun or shade.
Succulents should be placed on a table so that they can get enough of natural light even when the sun isn’t shining directly on their pots.
Moreover, propagation is fairly simple. Here, Ryan uses sharp pruners to cut a three to four-inch portion of stem off the mother plant.
There should be about a half-inch of stem showing. A handful of them are ready to be planted here.
Ryan provides plenty of space for the plants. There will be plenty to use in mixed urns during the summer if all of these take root and grow into succulent plants. Four to six weeks following planting, new growth should start to show, at which point each plant should be repotted independently.
Inside my main greenhouse, all of my priceless plant collections are kept on long, sliding tables. They all have such lovely looks. Which succulents are your favorites? Please share your feedback in the spaces below.