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.
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.
What You’ll Need:
- slicing shears
- gardening mitts (for handling spiny varieties)
- a little trowel
- potting soil for cacti and succulents
- jars with sufficient drainage holes
Remove Some Leaves or Behead
Take a few leaves at random from your succulent plant, gently twisting each one off the stem without breaking it.
These can be cut off the bottom of the stem, which will be discarded, when it begins to grow lanky.
To remove a specific leaf from a plant, such as a Christmas cactus, you might need to use scissors.
If you’re “beheading,” cut the stem of the plant head cleanly with your scissors or clippers about an inch below the lower leaves.
When roots start to form, either choose a site in your garden that is ideal for planting or fill well-draining containers of your choosing with potting material.
Sunshine and well-drained soil are ideal for succulent growth. They get paler in the absence of sunlight, and they decompose in excess moisture.
When the sun is less powerful, such as in the early morning or late afternoon, plant in a sunny location.
To lift the cuttings above the edge of your container or garden surface, pile dirt higher. To stabilize the roots, gently tamp the earth down; do not water.
Water and Feed
It’s time to buy a succulent/cactus food at this stage, such as Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food, which is sold on Amazon. administer as directed by the manufacturer.
Succulents can also be propagated via cuttings that are placed on top of potting soil and allowed to callus off so they can root themselves in the soil.
What is that thing that is emerging from my succulent?
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.
Should I prune succulent ramifications?
When a plant produces pups or offspring, it is essentially replicating itself. Succulents don’t always produce pups and offspring, but those that do essentially grow in numbers on their own. Among the numerous additional species that give birth to pups or offspring are hens and chicks, aloe, specific haworthia species, and cacti.
The pups and offshoots can be carefully removed, put in a suitable potting mix, and used to begin a new plant. By redirecting energy to the growth of the mother plant instead of supporting her pups, removing offshoots from the mother plant promotes its health.
Look for plants that have pups or offspring. The young that develop from the mother plant are called pups and offshoots. Not every succulent plant gives birth to pups or offspring. Aloe, certain haworthia and cactus species, as well as many succulent species, do.
Clean your knife. Make use of a clean, disinfected, sharp knife. Washing with warm, soapy water or wiping with rubbing alcohol will do this. To prevent spreading fungus or infections, be sure to clean the knife after each cutting by wiping it with alcohol.
Locate pups or offspring that need to be removed. An offshoot or pup can be separated from the mother plant once it has reached a suitable size or begun to establish roots. When removing the pup, try to grab some roots. A pup without roots can be removed, but ones with roots that are already there will work much better. Without roots, pups or offshoots will ultimately establish roots on their own, but pups and offshoots with established roots stand a better chance of surviving on their own.
Eliminate the branch. To gently remove the pup or branch from the mother plant, use a clean knife. Some pups or offspring are simpler to get rid of than others. The pup can occasionally be gently twisted off to separate them.
Sometimes you need to remove the pup using a sharp tool. By sliding the knife blade between the mother plant and the offshoot, carefully detach the baby plant from its mother plant. Sever the root that connects the pup to the parent plant before carefully pulling the two apart.
Insert the knife blade into the soil between the mother plant and the offshoot if you want to remove the pup while it’s still in the ground. To cut the connecting roots, slide the blade through the dirt. Then, using the sharp end of a small shovel, dig a few inches along the radial parameter after creating a 2-inch radius in the dirt around the base of the branch. By angling the spade underneath the offshoot, you can delicately pry it out of the ground to remove it.
Set the pup down. The pup can be planted on its own after being removed. Prepare an appropriate, well-draining potting mixture, then add some of it to a tiny container. Put the pup or offspring in the ground. As soon as the plant is secure, lightly pack the earth around it.
occasionally use water. More moisture is required by pups and offspring than by mature plants. Spray the soil with a spray bottle sparingly once every few days or whenever it seems dry. Reduce watering to once a week after the plant has a stronger root system.
Keep away from the sun’s rays. When first planted in their own pot, shield young plants from direct sunshine to avoid sun damage. As a plant matures, gradually increase sunshine and sun exposure in accordance with the needs of the plant.
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!
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!