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.
Do succulents need to become tall?
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.
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!
How can I tell whether my succulent is content?
Firmness. Your succulent is hydrated when it is healthy, which means it doesn’t need water because water has been absorbed and stored in all of its cells. When you touch your plants, they should feel firm, which indicates that your watering strategy is effective.
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 should a lanky succulent be treated?
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 can I prevent my plants from getting bigger?
- Trim it. Pruning, or limiting a plant’s development until it reaches a size you’re comfortable with, is the simplest technique to minimize its size.
- Reduce the brightness. A plant will develop more quickly in bright light than in dim light.
- Dividing it
- Change where it is.
- Replace it.
What happens if you cut a succulent’s top off?
A succulent cannot return to its original compact height and shape once it has been stretched out. But don’t worry!
Start by using good-quality scissors to trim off the succulent’s top (I adore this pair so much! Definitely worth every cent! Leave 2-3 leaves on the base for at least an inch or two. If you leave a few leaves on the base to absorb sunlight, the base will thrive.
I’ve seen bare stems produce new offshoots, but it takes a lot longer than when I leave a few leaves on the stem. You can trim some of the stem to shorten the cutting if the cutting (the top portion you cut off) is too long for your taste.
Allow the base and the cutting to dry for a few days. You can plant the cutting in soil and start watering it once the cut end has calloused over (totally dried out and appears “scabbed”).
Cuttings do, in my experience, require a little bit more frequent watering than a fully rooted plant. To prevent the stem from becoming too soggy and rotting, use a soil that has a really good drainage system. Here is more information on how to grow succulents from cuttings.
Within a few days, maybe, but most probably within two to three weeks, the cutting should begin to give off roots. You should reduce watering as the roots take hold in order to put the plant on the same “schedule” as fully rooted plants.
Within a few weeks, the base, or original plant, will begin to produce additional offshoots. This plant can still be taken care of in the same manner as before the cut.
The leaves you initially left on the base plant can eventually wilt or drop off. Although highly common, this won’t always occur.
But if they do come off, don’t panic! Without the “parent leaves,” the young rosettes will still be able to develop.
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.