Last updated on August 25th, 2023 at 12:24 pm
Stretched out succulents happen when succulents don’t get sufficient sunlight and begin to grow and look taller.
Is your succulent looking different, growing tall, as well as slim, leggy, and all, stretched out?
If you have stretched out succulents, it indicates your succulent is experiencing etiolation. In plain English: your succulent is growing in insufficient light.
Unfortunately, when the damages are done, it can not be reversed. But your succulent can recover. And you can end up with even more plants at the same time. Win!
What causes stretched out succulents?
Succulents etiolate or stretched when there is a lack of sunlight. This can happen to succulents kept outdoors in a shady spot however, it is frequently found in succulents kept indoors.
In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to prevent stretching and the best way to “fix” stretched out succulents.
I get frequent e-mails from panicked readers whose succulents “look different than when I got them.”
Mostly, they have much taller and stretched out succulents. This is rather a very common occurrence, and it’s specific to when you’re growing succulents indoors.
When a succulent does not have enough light it will certainly try to get closer to where ever the light originates from. The way it grows will change to get to light as much as possible.
The succulent will start to lean over, and if it still can’t get enough light, it will stretch itself out so as to get a little closer.
All the plants’ power should go into being the most effective plant it can be but instead goes into looking for a light and attempting to endure.
How to identify a stretched out succulent
Your succulent will reveal to you when it does not get sufficient light. Here’s what to watch out for.
It will certainly start subtle, the leaves will begin to point down. Plants curl leaves to give themselves a larger leave area to get light.
Keep an eye out for this. If you capture it early enough, you can relocate the plant more closer to the window, or maybe spoil it with a grow light.
These special lights used to be rather large and also costly, but there are presently wonderful smaller and also more affordable grow lights.
If the succulent isn’t moved closer to the light, it will slowly begin leaning toward the light. In its mission for light, the succulent isn’t utilizing its power to grow new leaves, however, it utilizes its energy to grow faster.
What you will see is your succulent stretching as well as growing taller with wide gaps in between the leaves. Once again, this is an additional method the plant uses to get even more light.
While succulents are relatively slow-growing, it’s shocking how quickly they seem to stretch when they aren’t getting the light they require. The technical term for this is etiolation.
Lack of Sunlight
Succulents stretch out when they aren’t getting sufficient sunlight. You’ll initially notice the succulent beginning to turn and bend toward the source of light.
After that, as it continues to grow it will get taller with more space in-between the leaves.
Most of the time the leaves will be smaller and lighter in color than normal. Normally, the absence of sunshine will additionally cause the succulent to turn green or lose the intensity of its initial color.
While this will primarily happen with succulents grown inside the house, you’ll also discover it happens outdoors when succulents remain in way too much shade.
Are stretched out succulents unhealthy?
Succulents will certainly look far better if they get sufficient sunlight, however, they will certainly continue to grow in low lighting. They won’t be fairly as healthy or look just as good as they should, yet it will normally take quite a while (a year or 2) for them to die completely in low light.
Although they’ll die more quickly if they aren’t getting any kind of light.
How to save Stretched out succulents
Once a succulent is stretched out, it will not return back to its original portable height and shape. Don’t be stressed though!
There is a means to return to get back to a tight, compact garden once again.
Begin by removing the top of the succulent utilizing sharp scissors. Leave at least an inch or more on the base with 2-3 leaves. The base will certainly do best if you leave a couple of leaves to absorb sunshine.
While I’ve had bare stems send out new offshoots, it takes much longer than when I have actually kept a couple of leaves on the stem. If the cutting (the top part you cut off) is too tall for your preference you can cut off several of the stems to make the cutting much shorter.
Be sure to leave enough stem on the cutting to plant in soil later.
Let both the cutting and the base dry out for a few days. When completion of the cutting has calloused over (dried totally and also looks “scabbed”) you can plant it in soil and start watering it.
I have actually noticed that cuttings need to be watered a little more frequently than a fully rooted plant, but not much.
The cutting should start to delay roots, possibly within a couple of days, but certainly within 2-3 weeks. As the roots become more developed you’ll want to reduce watering so it gets on the exact same “routine” as fully rooted plants.
The base, or original plant, will certainly begin to delay new offshoots within a few weeks. You can remain to care for this plant like you were before making the cut.
The leaves you left on the base plant originally may fall off or die at some time. This is really normal, yet will not necessarily happen.
Do not be alarmed if they do it happens they fall off though! The new rosettes will still have the ability to grow without the “parent” leaves.
Give stretched out succulents extra light
If you have stretched out succulents, you can adhere to the treatment above to encourage new growth, but unless you give the succulent extra light, the cutting and the new spin-offs will at some point get stretched out too.
So, before you make the “cut”, try to find an area for your succulents where they will certainly get even more indirect sunlight than they did before.
If relocating them isn’t an option, you can additionally include a grow light to supplement the light they are currently getting.
Typically, you want your succulents to get as much indirect sunlight as possible indoors, this is really difficult. Particularly in the winter season, it is practically difficult to grow succulents without some stretching.
Again, making use of a grow light can help and the best alternative is to place them near the window that gets the most sunlight throughout the day.
So now, the next time you see your succulents are leaning toward the light or getting a little too tall, you’ll understand what to do to save your stretched out succulents!