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.
How are elongated succulents treated?
It comes down to four basic steps:
- Trim the stem to a length that will fit in your new pot.
- Get rid of any extra leaves beneath the main rosette.
- Dry everything for a couple of days.
- Replant your succulents and cactus in new potting soil.
Step One: Cut
If you have a longer stem to deal with, that will assist it get nicely anchored into your new pot. You may truly cut the stem anywhere and it will start to sprout roots out of the sides and bottom after you replant it. You can just nestle the succulent’s base deep into the earth for replanting, or you can use a stem as short as an inch. To create cuts like these, always use clean, sharp pruning shears. These pruning shears look to be an upgrade of the ones I’ve had for ten years and use every day and adore.
Step Two: Remove Excess Leaves
Remove any leaves that are below that in order to form a wonderful rosette formation, similar to what you presumably had when you initially purchased your succulents. Save those leaves because they may be planted in soil and will each produce a new succulent plant.
Step Three: Dry
Any cuts or cracks you create in a succulent should be left exposed for one to two days. This enables it to sort of scab over and guards against bacterial infections that may happen if the succulent is exposed to any excess moisture. The chances are good that your freshly cut succulents will still dry out without first allowing them to air dry; however, it will take a little longer for the cuts to close up and you run a slight danger of something going wrong. But it’s up to you!
Step Four: Replant
Replanting your succulents into a fresh pot using cactus/succulent potting soil is the last step. This is quite simple. Simply poke a small hole with your finger and put the plant’s stem into the soil. The added benefit is that, while they adjust to their new surroundings, you don’t even need to water them for a week!
Why do succulent plants get lanky?
Almost all succulents will expand “if not given enough light, they become lanky. But more light-sensitive than other succulents are those that change color in response to stress. Their response can be swift, releasing etiolated “growth in just a couple of days. Additionally, stretching out succulents with rosette shapes like Echeveria, Graptoveria, and Graptosedum would make them appear worse from an aesthetic standpoint.
Why is my succulent expanding upward rather than outward?
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.
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.
What is emerging from my succulent plants?
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 can a tall, lanky succulent be fixed?
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.
How do I get a bushier succulent?
Any plant’s other buds will be able to grow, sometimes with astonishing vigor, if the top is pruned removed. As a result, the plant becomes bushier as each lower bud develops into a new, smaller shoot. By making a cut slightly above a bud that is oriented in the desired direction, you can control the growth.
Why are my cactus’ tentacles 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.
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!