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 do I handle a succulent that is too tall?
The majority of succulents are graceful low-growing plants that neatly tuck into cracks in rockeries, flower beds, pots, and between pavement stones. Although succulent pruning is not typically necessary, it is a simple procedure that can be used on plants that grow long and lose the compact character that makes them so coveted. Understanding how to trim a leggy succulent can help you get the plant back to the size you want while also giving you plant material for another one of these resilient, simple plants.
When you complain that your plant is too tall, you should regulate it. This could be caused by blooms, leaves, or stalks, and the plant may end up seeming smaller or not fitting into its original location. The type of plant you are growing will determine what to do if your succulents get too tall.
Plants go through a process known as etioliation when they are grown indoors or in other low light environments. The plant is stretching upward to catch more light, which causes the stem to lengthen. Transferring the plant to a southern exposure is the straightforward answer. But that leggy party is still left after this. Fortunately, it is possible to top leggy succulent plants, which will remove the excessively tall portion and encourage the growth of new, more compact shoots.
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.
Why is my succulent gaining height rather than width?
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Your succulent does it appear different? Are you perplexed as to why it is becoming so stretched-out, tall, and leggy?
Your succulent is experiencing etiolation if it is expanding vertically rather than horizontally. Your succulent needs more light, to put it simply.
Sadly, damage that has already been done cannot be undone. But it can bounce back. Your stretched succulent can be propagated, which will result in more plants. Win!
Let’s examine this stretched Crassula perforata more closely. Find out what caused this to happen and how to solve it.
Visit How to Grow Succulents Indoors to catch up on general care for succulents.
How do you shorten tall succulents?
Succulents that become too tall should be trimmed with a sharp knife to prevent the cut from being squished. Since most succulents are hardy, you can also use (pruning) scissors if you don’t have one on hand. To minimize the incision and any potential dirt accumulation, make the cut as horizontally as you can. A little hurt is preferable to a major one.
Cut a few millimeters below a node because there are growth factors and assimilates that are essential for the wound to heal and for the missing organs to quickly regenerate accumulate there. When looking at the succulent from above, behead it so that you have a rounded rosette.
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.
Are succulents supposed to 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 initial beauty.
I can freshen the arrangement by pruning them without needing to buy new plants. It’s a fantastic approach to grow your garden!
Aren’t succulents supposed to be tall plants?
Plants that are “etiolated” or light-starved seem pale and spindly with wide spaces between their leaves. In an effort to absorb more sunshine, succulents will increase in height and become less pigmented. They will be able to produce new leaves and rediscover their color with a gradual move to a brighter area over the course of one to two weeks, although some modifications to the plants’ shapes may be irreversible. If possible, transport the succulent outside if the weather is suitable when the first signs of etiolation appear.
Can I remove the succulent’s top and replant it?
Your succulent won’t appear as stretched out and leggy when you remove the top and transplant it in soil. Grab a good pair of gardening shears or a knife. Additionally, you should put on gloves. Succulents can irritate your skin since some have milky sap while others have thorns.
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.
Why is the hair on my succulent growing?
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.
Do I need to let my succulents bloom?
Succulent flower cutting or leaving is a matter of personal preference. Many people adore the flowers because they are so lovely. Fans of succulents might also try cultivating succulent seed or letting insects and birds consume the nectar.
Succulent flowers are a bug magnet, so it’s not always a good idea to let them finish their show. Sure, insecticides can be used to kill mealybugs and aphids, but doing so could also kill beneficial insects that are already in trouble and vanishing from the planet.
My recommendation is to remove the blooms when pests are seen or when they begin to naturally wither; otherwise, they can be left and appreciated.
Can succulent cuttings be planted directly in the ground?
What is there to love other than a succulent? Obviously, a full garden of succulents! Fortunately for us, it’s simple to propagate a variety of these resilient, vibrant plants at home. We can’t wait to see succulents growing all year long in containers around the house and garden; there are various easy ways to reproduce them.
Propagating by Division: Plants that have gotten too leggy perform best with this method, which produces new succulents from cuttings. Start by delicately removing any leaves that may be attached to the stem below the rosette; be sure to preserve the leaf’s base while you do so. After all the leaves have been eliminated, cut the rosette with shears, leaving a brief stem intact. The cuttings should be let to dry in an empty tray for a few days until the raw ends have calloused. The cuttings can then be rooted in either water or soil.
Soil: After the stems have calloused, set the cuttings on top of a shallow tray filled with well-draining cactus/succulent soil. From the base of the cuttings, roots and little plants will start to emerge in a few weeks. Once the roots start to show, water sparingly once a week; take care not to overwater. The parent leaf will eventually wither; carefully remove it while taking care not to harm the young roots. Your propagated succulents can be replanted once they have established roots. As soon as the plants are established, keep them out of direct sunlight.
Water: After the stem has calloused, place a cutting with the end barely visible above the water’s surface on the lip of a glass or jar filled with water. Pick a sunny location for your glass. The incision will eventually produce roots that extend toward the water. Once roots have sprouted, your new succulent can either be replanted in succulent potting soil or allowed to remain submerged in water as illustrated above.
Offsets are little plants that develop at the base of the main specimen, and many species of succulents, such as aloe, hens and chicks, and some cacti, will generate them. Check for root growth after an offset has developed for two to three weeks before carefully twisting, cutting, or using a sharp knife to separate it from the main stem. Be cautious to prevent destroying any already-formed roots. Follow the directions above for propagating in soil or water, letting the offsets dry, establish roots, and then repot when they have had time to callus any exposed regions. Removing offsets has the added benefit of enhancing the health of your current succulents and redirecting energy into the growth of the primary plant.