According to my observations, there are three causes for the long, stretched-out, or lanky stem growth of succulent plants.
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 can I encourage the growth of my succulents?
When the light is not directly overhead, bring back outdoor plants to the garden. Create a shallow depression large enough for spreading roots by working the soil until it is crumbly.
Place your plant carefully inside of it, then add a layer of soil about an inch thick to gently cover the roots. To secure, lightly tamp. After a day, give the plant’s surrounding soil a gentle misting of water.
With the cutting method, all you have to do is cut off a portion of a leaf or a stem, let it dry, and in no time at all, you’ll have roots and shoots. To keep it completely dry is the trick.
These are two approaches:
A plant that has become tall and spindly or whose lanky, bare limbs hang downward like a pendant can benefit from this treatment.
Simply trim off the plant’s head, leaving approximately an inch of stem still attached. Dry it, let it to develop roots, then plant.
A healthy beheaded plant’s remaining stem should produce new leaves in a tight cluster, strengthening and improving the plant’s appearance.
As said, plant heads and leaves used as cuttings need to dry out and develop roots before planting.
It’s easy, really! This is how:
Ice plant Oscularia Deltoides
Oscularia Deltoides, a succulent that is native to South Africa, with hefty, green leaves and blooms in the summer with purple daisy-like flowers. You may cultivate this succulent both inside and outside. It needs soil that drains properly and only light irrigation.
General Care: You may grow this succulent both inside and outside. They need a soil that drains properly and only light irrigation. Before you rehydrate the soil, make sure it is completely dry. Pink Ice Plants naturally need more watering when planted in full sun as opposed to partial sunlight.
It is hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as 15-20°F. However, prolonged exposure to cold temperatures and frost can harm ice plants.
This rosettes succulent, native to the semi-arid Mexican regions of Puebla and Oaxaca, matures to a height of 2 feet. Its broad, cream-colored leaves are grayish green in tone. When the weather gets cooler, it enters dormancy after aggressively growing during the spring and summer.
In general, this plant needs bright, full sun outdoors because it loves the sun. It thrives in pots with drainage holes and stony, mineral soils. You’ll notice new offsets or “pups” growing around the mother plant’s base over time.
Hardiness: Agave Butterfly grows extremely slowly and can withstand extreme heat and protracted drought. This cultivar can tolerate light freezing down to 22F.
Although these succulents can withstand extremely severe temperatures, like other succulents, they require sufficient drainage in their growing location in the garden to prevent rot from melting snow.
Before planting them outside in snowy conditions, you must gradually acclimate cold-hardy succulents that you have grown in warmer climates. Even though they don’t seem so nice in the winter, these two varieties of succulents, which are among the most hardy, will come back lush and robust.
Will a succulent stem grow back?
Within a few weeks of the stem being trimmed, new growth will start to develop there. The type of plant you have will determine the new growth patterns. Initially appearing as tiny shoots, new growth will gradually harden and develop into branches over time.
The type of plant you have will determine the new growth patterns. You can forecast the appearance of new growth by keeping an eye on the way your plant’s branches develop.
How does a succulent look as it ages?
The leaves on your succulent may appear yellow, translucent, or wet. Your succulent is starting to die as a result of overwatering. A more serious condition is indicated by leaves that are brown or black and appear to be rotting. Therefore, you must begin saving your withering succulents!
How should a dying succulent be treated?
- Symptoms. Succulents’ leaves can become soft and mushy and become brown or black, but the intensity of the cold damage will determine the exact symptoms.
- Causes. Although some succulent plants may endure a light frost, this is uncommon because most succulents are native to hot climes and normally suffer in temperatures lower than 50F (10C).
The majority of succulent types are not cold tolerant and will perish if left in temps below 50F (10C) for an extended period of time.
The majority of succulent species thrive in a standard room temperature environment, with a range of 55F-80F (13C-27C) being ideal for aloe vera.
Succulents’ leaves and stems may become mushy in texture and appear dark or black if they are subjected to chilly weather or even frost.
How to Revive Cold Damaged Succulents
Place your succulent in a location in your home or garden where the temperature is consistently between 55F and 80F (13C and 27C). Make sure that none of the leaves are directly in contact with windows, as these areas of the house can get much colder than the rest of the house. Reduce watering for the time being.
The cold damage should not likely worsen once the succulent is in a more stable environment.
Wait a few days, if not weeks, and the succulent’s mushy, cold-damaged section should dry out and callus over if the leaves feel gooey.
Cut the leaf back to below the injured section once the mushy portion has dried out. Cold-damaged succulent areas normally do not recover, but the succulent plant as a whole can recover.
In order to avoid additional potential issues, you should only restart watering the succulent once the callus of the leaf cut has completely healed over. Cold damage increases the danger of root rot.
The succulent can ultimately sprout new leaves and begin to regain its usual appearance after being damaged by the cold, but it takes a lot of persistence.
- The most frequent cause of succulent death is root rot brought on by over watering and poorly draining soils. Plants that can withstand drought, succulents need the soil to dry out between waterings. A succulent that has mushy, brown, yellow, or black leaves is withering because the soil is excessively wet.
- Overwatering or sunburn cause succulents to turn brown. Brown, mushy succulent leaves are a sign of excessive moisture around the roots. Due to a rapid rise in sunshine intensity, scorched-looking brown succulent leaves may be the result of sunburn.
- Because of excessive moisture around the roots brought on by frequent watering, wet soils, or pots without drainage holes, succulent leaves turn yellow. The soil needs to dry out between waterings for succulents. Yellow and mushy succulent leaves may be a sign of root rot brought on by over watering.
- If succulents are exposed to too much shade, they become tall and lanky. Succulent leaves grow tall in the direction of the strongest light since the majority of succulents need bright, indirect light or full sun. Tall succulent leaves can droop under their own weight and often have weaker, withering leaves at the base.
- Due to inadequate or excessive watering, succulent plants experience drought stress, which causes their leaves to shrivel. As a means of survival, succulents store moisture in their leaves. Underwatering your succulent causes it to draw on the moisture reserves in the leaves, giving it a shriveled appearance.
- Recreate the circumstances of the succulents’ natural environment by planting them in well-draining, rocky soil with the appropriate amount of sunshine, and watering them when the soil becomes dry. To preserve the succulent, take cuttings from healthy areas of the plant.
How much time does it take a succulent to regrow?
Succulents can be propagated in water, but doing so goes against the ideal growing circumstances for these plants. Start your leaves and cuttings in shallow planting trays or tiny containers packed with potting soil for the best outcomes. Succulents can be grown in individual containers without having to transplant them right away.
Follow these easy steps once planting day arrives and your leaf or stem cuttings have callused:
1. Get your planting trays or containers ready. Use a coarse, quick-draining potting mix made for succulents and cacti and gently moisten it. 2 Make planting holes with a little stick.
2. Add a little RootBoost Rooting Hormone to a serving dish. When pouring, only utilize what you’ll need and discard the remainder.
3. Cut one piece at a time. Wet the cutting stem or leaf base before dipping it into the dish of rooting hormone. Completely round the stem or leaf base. Get rid of any extra rooting powder by shaking.
4. Carefully tuck leaves or stems into the rooting powder so it doesn’t fall out. The potting mix should then be carefully pressed around the cuttings.
- Insert the base at an angle just below the soil line to accommodate leaves. Put curled leaves in an upwards-curving position. (On that side, the new tiny plant grows.)
- Insert the bottom half of the stem into the potting mix so that it covers at least two bare nodes when taking stem cuttings.
5. Wait until roots start to form before watering. Once the dirt has dried, give it a good watering before repeating the process. The majority of succulent leaf and stem cuttings should root in two to three weeks, while rooting times might vary greatly. The fastest-rooting cuttings are those from stem tips.
6. After the roots have taken hold, transplant your new succulents from trays to tiny containers. Use the same kind of potting soil as you did previously. Be careful not to disrupt young, delicate roots.
Must I remove the dead leaves from my succulents?
One of the most enjoyable aspects of growing succulents, in our opinion, is getting to remove all the dried leaves from the area around your plant’s base. Most individuals find it to be quite calming and enjoyable since it is so enjoyable and genuinely healing.
Aside from that interesting fact, you should remove any dried leaves and blossoms for the sake of your plant’s health. You can maintain the happiness and health of your plants by carrying out this easy chore.
New growth, New plants, New Blooms
Energy can be recycled back into the plant by removing any spent, dried-up bloom stalks and dry leaves from your succulents. Your plant will be able to produce new growth, blooms, and occasionally new rosettes or pups if you do this. And who doesn’t desire succulents that are bigger and more numerous?
To remove, gently lift the plant’s healthy leaves, and then pull any dried-out leaves from beneath. They ought to be rather simple to remove. If they don’t, you can either leave them to dry out more or, if they are past their prime and unsightly, try to snap them off completely.
Good Air Flow
Humidity, wetness, and/or succulents make for a dangerous and occasionally lethal mix. You may provide your plants sufficient air circulation and make it easier for the soil to dry out by removing these dried leaves from beneath your plants. Removing these dried leaves will assist avoid the growth of rot, mildew, and/or illnesses, especially in humid or very rainy weather. Additionally, air circulation around the plant’s base is made possible by this procedure.
Succulents are susceptible to a wide range of pest attacks, just like most other plants. Getting rid of the dead leaves beneath your plant can also help deter pests. Little insects adore wet areas where they may hide and reproduce. A succulent’s compressed lower leaves are likely to retain moisture around the plant’s base, which will attract pests. Your plant has a higher chance of repelling these pests if you remove these leaves.
Another alluring nesting habitat for bugs, specifically aphids, can be bloom stalks. If you see that your blooms are starting to develop this bug problem, you can either completely remove the bloom stalk or treat the bloom with a mix of diluted rubbing alcohol and water. These bugs frequently spread disease to surrounding plants and flowers if the situation is left untreated. In order to remove bloom stalks from your plant, either gently wriggle the stalk back and forth or, if it hasn’t dried up yet, snap or cut it low.
Do we have any ASMR fans out there??
We made this little movie to demonstrate how to take these leaves off your plants, but since we adore succulents, it also serves as our take on ASMR. Am I correct?
(According to The Urban Dictionary, ASMR’s sole function is to help people unwind. The goal of ASMR videos is to relax the viewer by sending a tingling sensation down their spine or back.