If you have a stretched succulent that has grown tall and leggy you can use this simple trick that will help bring it back to its original beauty.
This pretty Echeveria 'Perle Von Nürnberg' was looking so leggy, losing its pretty purple color, and some of the leaves were falling off.
Why Do Succulents Grow Tall and Leggy?
The most likely reason is that they are stretching to find the light.
Last year my daughter, an avid plant grower, and botanist wrote a post about caring for succulents and one of the main tips is to give succulents tons of light. I'm not sure what happened to this guy. I think it may have started in the nursery and the window I had it in wasn't getting enough light on an ongoing basis. Lack of sunlight is often the problem.
In addition, I have read that succulents with green leaves have a better chance of growing well indoors with lower light.
How to Fix a Stretched Succulent
I decided to cut it off at the bottom. You can see after a little while a new rosette started forming.
I kept the top portion of the plant and a couple of leaves and allowed them to callus over for several days.
If you look to the left there are a couple of leaves on top of the soil that have started to regrow. To be honest, these almost never do well for me.
However, waiting until the top portion began to send out roots before re-planting worked really well.
Here it is 7 months later. The rosette in front is the top portion of the original plant. The two on the back right side are growing from the original cut stem. You can see a new one growing between the two.
The plants in this container are growing nice and tight. They look healthy and display beautiful color.
Now you know of one option to try if your succulent stretch and grows tall and leggy.
You may also notice a baby Kalanchoe up front. Soon I'll transplant elsewhere eventually as it will grow to be too tall.
That shriveled leaf was an attempt to propagate the plant from a leaf. Though this works well for many succulents I haven't had a lot of success with the process. The leaves start to send out growth but they never quite take to the soil
Succulent Light Requirements
This planter is sitting in a south-eastern facing window. It's watered lightly every 1-2 weeks with the rest of my plants.
If you don't have an adequate sunlight source from a window consider setting up some grow lights. You can find them at the nursery and hardware store. A good full-spectrum light should work. However, if you want the nitty-gritty details you can read this article about indoor grow lights from Epic Gardening.
Here it is on the windowsill of my office right next to my desk so I can enjoy them as I work.
- Stretched succulent plant
- Succulent potting soil
- Sharp knife
- Cut off the succulent about 1/2 inch from the soil.
- Take the cut portion and remove the bottom leaves and set aside.
- After you remove the leaves cut the stem leaving the top portion and about 1 inch of bare stem.
- Let the bare stem sit out in a cool sunny spot and wait for it to grow roots.
- Once you see roots growing. Plant it back in the original pot and watch it grow.
The biggest reason for stretching is the lack of sun. If you can't find a sunny location add supplemental light for your succulent to enjoy.