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.
How do you mend a leggy, succulent stretch?
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 come my succulent is becoming smaller?
Etiolated, a state where the cactus has started to become slender and has also grown whiter, is the acceptable phrase to use when characterizing a skinny plant.
The cactus not receiving enough daily sunshine is the primary and most likely cause of etiolation.
Remember that cactus are accustomed to spending a lot of time in the sun because they are native to some of the world’s hottest, driest, and most arid locations. Although they may thrive inside as well, they require a specific level of light to flourish to their full potential.
Your plant will begin to etiolate if it isn’t receiving enough light. Its stem will expand more quickly, which may initially give the impression that the plant is doing well and there is no reason for alarm.
Unfortunately, the rapid growth also implies that the stem is becoming increasingly slender, pointed, and pale, which is a negative omen for your cactus. You wouldn’t want to see these characteristics in a healthy cactus.
Etiolation frequently occurs when a cactus that has been growing outdoors for months or years is brought inside without having had enough time to adapt to its new environment.
To continue existing, the cactus will expend all of its remaining energy on developing long, thin stems that point toward the nearest source of light. The ends of these new stems may resemble antennae coming from the pads of the cactus since they will be so slender.
Your cactus may be getting slim for another cause related to temperature. Since winter is gone and the plant is no longer dormant, it will also want to be exposed to more light if the outside temperature is beginning to get rather warm.
Keep an eye on your cactus and take it outside so it can get more light even before winter finishes since if you don’t move it outside despite the warmer weather, it will get etiolated and slender. Before relocating the plant outside, do not wait for it to awaken from dormancy.
The cactus might perhaps be getting thinner since it was unable to hibernate throughout the winter.
When you neglect to alter how you take care of it according to the season, this occurs.
The cactus should be brought indoors during the winter because the subfreezing temperatures could be enough to kill it. A dormant cactus won’t use much water at all, so be careful not to overwater your plants throughout the winter. It won’t become dormant if you continue to water it the same way you do in the spring or summer but you aren’t providing it with the light it needs, which will also limit its growth.
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 do I encourage my succulents to spread out?
The right conditions will help your succulent grow bigger more quickly. A few hours of sun exposure per day is all that most succulents (but not all) require to grow healthily and keep their form and frequently their color.
In light of the foregoing, it would be helpful to understand the kind of succulent you are attempting to grow larger. A position where they receive at least 4-5 hours of sun each day is required for a plant like an Echeveria. Echeveria will thrive in full sun when planted in the ground.
Since many succulents can burn if they are in pots and placed in direct sunlight on hot summer afternoons, it would be ideal to position potted plants in areas that receive morning sun and afternoon shade. Growing succulents that require sunlight, like the Echeveria, indoors is not advised because they will almost surely wither away after a few weeks. In general, a Haworthia will thrive in a bright but shaded location.
Another thing to keep in mind is that most succulents are not frost hardy, so it would be better to bring them inside for the winter until the risk of frosts has gone if you live in a cold region and want your succulents to survive and get larger.
Use succulent potting mix
When succulents have the best growing medium to support their growth, plants will expand larger and more quickly. You may grow big, happy, healthy succulents with succulent potting soil.
While many succulents will grow in ordinary potting soil, they probably won’t get as big or as attractive.
The nursery’s potting soil has the ideal ratio of minerals and nutrients, and the way our plants look says it all.
Remember that some succulents grow all year long, while others dormant in the winter and others in the summer. Aeonium Kiwi is inactive over the summer, so it’s unlikely that you’ll have much luck attempting to get it to grow larger during that time. Again, when trying to develop a succulent, it is really helpful to know what it is.
Leaving dormant succulents alone is the best course of action. Placing a summer-dormant plant in direct sunlight will help it survive the hottest parts of the summer.
In order to find out what kind of growing conditions your succulent like and if it can actually get bigger, it is best to know its name.
What causes my succulents to 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.
Can tall succulents be pruned?
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.
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.