Succulents With Long Stems

by Succulent MarketFeb 15, 2021

succulents with long stems


Succulents with long stems don’t look great. Long stems always look out of place, especially if they’re part of an arrangement, and aren’t exactly what you signed up for.

There are several reasons why succulents grow long stems from time to time. Many succulent owners face this situation and aren’t sure what to do or why this happened in the first place.

This guide will explain.

Why Succulents Grow Long Stems

The most common reason why succulents grow long stems is because they aren’t getting enough sunlight. As a result, they grow tall and stretch out to feed their needs. This happens for both indoor and outdoor succulents.

As long as succulents continue to not get sufficient sunlight, they will continue to grow long stems.

Further, succulents grow long stems when their source of light comes from a single direction. Succulents need a lot of light in their early days to grow into a full adult plant, so they extend towards the direction where they are getting the light.

Even if succulents are not getting enough light, the plant will grow towards the light source if it’s not bathing the entire plant.

Lack of sunlight isn’t the only reason why succulents grow long stems. Some succulents get leggy because it’s in their nature to do so. Agave, for example, is such a plant. 

It should be noted that a succulent stretching out to get more sunlight will have a weaker stem compared to those that sprawl out. 

What To Do With Succulents With Long Stems

Succulents are versatile plants. You can do a lot with them and tailor their shape to your own accord. Before you decide what to do, you must first identify the cause of the problem. If your succulent gets naturally leggy, then you’ll just need to trim it down a bit. This keeps it healthy and so it can grow it should.

This is also great for propagation, so you can increase your succulent collection; healthy cuttings are great for growing new baby plantlets.

However, if your succulent is growing a long stem because it’s not getting enough light, then you must either provide more light to the room, move the plant to another location in the room, or move the plant’s location altogether. Once it has enough sunlight, it will recover slowly and correct its growth.

Light is the most important thing to consider. At the end of the day, plants need light for photosynthesis. Leggy succulents may be a sign that they aren’t getting enough light for it to survive.

How To Fix Succulents With Long Stems

Succulents that stretch out aren’t much of a problem as the cuttings can be used to start a new garden.

That said, if your succulent has grown a long stem, even though it should be a short species, then you must take action to prevent any other plants stretching too. 

Plants that have started to stretch will not revert back to their original height or shape. 

So, to fix the problem, you must cut off the elongated stem. Make sure to leave a few leaves on the base of the plant so it can absorb sunlight and grow back properly.

Pruning works too, though this isn’t a permanent solution as it’s easy to propagate a succulent and replant. The best time for pruning a succulent is in spring as it gives it plenty of time to grow before the next winter.

Another method is to increase the amount of light in the room via an artificial solution. Growing lights can provide adequate conditions for your succulents to grow. Of course, you could always move the plant to another location to ensure it’s getting enough light.

You could even remember to periodically rotate the plant pot. That way, every part of the plant will get an even amount of light for growth.

The light “fix” is more of a preventive solution though. Remember, once a succulent has become leggy, it doesn’t get shorter again, unless you propagate. 

One final factor to consider is temperature. Not only does sunlight provide light, but it also provides the plant with enough warmth to grow properly. Indoor plants should be placed next to a window so they can get enough light and warmth throughout the day.