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 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?
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.
How are elongated succulents treated?
It consists of these four simple 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!
Do succulents have a height limit?
Succulents start to spread out and grow tall if they don’t receive enough sunshine.
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I occasionally receive comments from readers who are in a panic because their succulents “look different than when I bought them.”
Their succulents are typically more taller and more dispersed. This happens rather frequently, especially when growing succulents inside.
Succulents are known for their very slow growth, but it’s amazing how quickly they seem to swell when they don’t receive enough light. Etiolation is the technical name for this.
What happens if you cut a succulent’s top off?
It’s time to get the shears out and remove the head of any echeverias that are growing tall and out of control. 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.
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!
Why are the roots on my succulent sprouting aerially?
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.
How do I handle succulent offshoots?
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.
What does a succulent look like when it is overwatered?
How can you tell if your succulent is getting too much water? You can usually determine if a succulent is being overwatered or underwatered by looking for telltale indications. A plant that has received too much water will have soft, mushy leaves.
The leaves would either turn translucent in color or appear lighter than they would on a healthy plant. A succulent that had received too much water would frequently lose leaves readily, even when only lightly handled. Usually, the lowest leaves are the ones to suffer first.
The plant will look to be unhealthy overall. When this occurs, the plant is either being overwatered, sitting in the incorrect soil that does not dry out quickly enough, or both.
Your plants are being overwatered if you have been giving them regular waterings or if you have been following a watering schedule regardless of how the plant appears.
On the other hand, a succulent that has been submerged will have withered, wrinkled, and deflated-looking leaves. The leaves will appear thin and flat. The entire plant will appear withered and dry.
The leaves of a good succulent plant should be thick and solid, not mushy or desiccated.
To learn more about this subject, visit my post titled “How To Tell If Your Succulent is Over or Under Watered,” in which I go into great length about how you may determine whether your succulent plant is being over or under watered.
This String of Pearls ‘Senecio Rowleyanus’ plant leaf is one that has been overwatered. If a succulent’s water storage capacity has been exceeded, it may physically burst from overwatering.
What do succulents that are healthy look like?
Succulents are fashionable and trendy plants to have about your house or place of business, but they can be difficult to maintain. We are here to assist you in maintaining the health and vitality of your planted bundles of delight. This blog post will teach you how to correctly water your succulents, where to keep them, and how to recognize the telltale indications of a succulent in trouble.
Starting Off On The Right Foot
You must begin with a succulent that is in good shape if you want to give your plants the best chance of surviving. Fortunately, this shouldn’t be a concern if you get your succulents from Succulent Bar! We purchase our succulents from nearby plant nurseries, and we carefully choose each succulent we offer to our clients. Our succulents are handled with the utmost care and are guaranteed to be in excellent condition when received, whether they are shipped or purchased in person.
Succulents with brilliant colors, firm leaves, and sluggish growth are healthy. Succulents are not designed to expand rapidly. So, despite the fact that this would appear to be a bad indication, it actually is. Additionally, you could occasionally discover dried leaves at the base of your succulent, but this is also a positive sign. Succulents actually grow by losing their old leaves. Dried leaves indicate healthy growth in your succulent.
In general, succulents need a lot of indirect light, and the majority of species will burn in hot light. Sunlight that filters through objects like window coverings, tree leaves, or bounces off of walls is referred to as indirect sunlight (think a covered patio). Usually, 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day are ideal. The optimum location for a succulent indoors is on a sunny window sill that faces south or west.
Compared to most plants, succulents need far less water and less frequent irrigation. The majority of succulents usually die from overwatering. Check the soil of your succulent as a general rule. Every time you water, your soil should be completely dry. Following that, you’re welcome to water with 1-2 teaspoons of water and make adjustments. A little water goes a long way because the majority of succulents have very shallow root systems. Succulents dislike having their roots wet for an extended period of time, or having “wet feet.”
How to Water
If water remains on the leaves of succulents for too long, they are prone to easy decay. It is advisable to lift your succulent’s leaves and water the plant’s base as opposed to sprinkling or drenching the top of the plant because these plants absorb water through their roots. Tools like a spoon, straw, watering can, or mister can be used for this. Native to regions that receive a lot of water before going through a drought, succulents (think desserts). What does that imply then? It implies that they favor the soak-and-dry approach. After giving them a nice sip of water, wait until they are COMPLETELY dry before watering them once more. Water your succulents on average once every two to three weeks, and avoid letting their soil remain wet for more than a few days at a time.
In pots with adequate drainage, plants grow the best. Therefore, the best choice is to use pots with holes in the bottom. You can buy containers with holes already drilled into them or you can drill or poke holes yourself into your container. However, just because the majority of containers—especially the really adorable ones—don’t have drainage holes doesn’t mean you can’t use them. It DOES mean, however, that you should water your succulents properly, taking care to avoid soaking the soil for extended periods of time. See the How to Water section above.
Cactus soil that has been aerated is ideal for succulent growth. After watering, cactus soil tends to dry out quickly, protecting your succulent against root rot and too much water. Most plant nurseries and department shops with garden centers, such Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Walmart, carry this kind of soil. Your soil must be formed of substances like sand, moss, perlite, bark, and pumice and have a grittier texture.
Soggy or yellowed leaves
Typically, mushy, yellow leaves indicate that you have overwatered your succulent. Transferring your succulent to completely dry cactus soil is the best approach to preserve one that has been overwatered. After that, consider reducing the amount of water you give your succulent by only watering it with 1-2 tablespoons when the soil is fully dry. Depending on the habitat, this normally occurs every two to four weeks.
Your succulent may be rotting if you overwatered it or provided it with insufficient drainage. Without drainage, excess water will build up inside your container and cannot leave, rotting your succulent. Make sure your container has the right drainage holes by checking. If not, make holes in your container with a drill or a pin or transfer to a different container. See the information under “Containers” above if your container does not have a drainage hole.
A plant that has underwatered will have wilted, rubbery leaves. Water your succulent with 1-2 tablespoons of water to start fixing this issue. After then, don’t water again until the earth is completely dry. If this occurs more quickly than 3–4 weeks, it might be time to increase your water intake. Over the coming weeks and months, test the watering frequency once more to determine the ideal amount for your succulent.
Your succulent requires more light if you notice that it is getting taller and has wider spaces between its leaves. Although it can look fantastic that your succulent is expanding, succulents actually grow very slowly. Your succulent is enlarging as a result of its search for more light. If you experience this issue, relocate your succulent as soon as possible to a sunny window sill. Sadly, stretching cannot be undone. After that, your succulent will continue to grow and prosper, but its stem will still be stretched.
The presence of dark patches on your succulent’s leaves indicates overexposure to sunshine and burnt foliage. These “burns” won’t go away, but as your succulent grows, it will ultimately slough off these leaves. Simply move your succulent to a less bright area to solve this problem.