How to Fix a Stretched Out Leggy Succulent

It’s just the start of spring and some of my succulents are looking pretty stretched out and sad after the winter. Today, I’m going to fix that! Do you have a stretched out leggy succulent? Learn how to fix and prevent it from happening again with proper succulent care, tips for planting succulents in pots, propagating succulents, and succulent care indoors.

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A stretched out succulent(also known as etiolation) is caused from a lack of light. Succulents that are needing more light will stretch out towards the nearest light source to them to try to get more light. It can easily happen if you live in a colder climate where you need to bring your succulents indoors for several months and don’t have a really bright spot you can put them in. To prevent a succulent from stretching out, you just need to provide it with more light. A succulent needs 4-6 hours of good light. I’ve included some links to growing lights at the bottom of this article that can help you with that.

Once a succulent is stretched out, the only thing you can do to fix it is to deconstruct it. That doesn’t sound so good but I’ll explain. The good news is you can still keep the top of the succulent if it hasn’t stretched out and repot it and then propagate new plants from the deconstruction process.

On my blog here at Rachel Home and Life, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. The price you pay will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link.

Here are some of my stretched out succulents after a long winter in a spot that wasn’t getting enough light for them. The tops are still okay, but the bottoms are stretched out.

To begin, gently remove the succulent from the potting soil. Remove all the leaves one at a time from the stretched out portion of the succulent, leaving the nonstretched part at the top intact. When you remove a leaf you want to have as clean of a break as possible from the original stem. To remove the leaf, wiggle it back and forth and give it a slight twist. If the leaf tears you’ll have to get rid of it as you won’t be able to propagate it. What is so cool is that each leaf can produce another succulent for you if you decide you want more!

If you are going to propagate the leaves, don’t add water to them right away. They need to dry out for 2-4 days. If you find that you have to cut the original stem(of the deconstructed succulent) to fit a container, cut it 1-2 inches from the bottom and let that dry out as well for 2-4 days keeping it open to air before repotting it. Lay out the leaves on top of the soil to let them dry. After a week, just spray the soil that the leaves are on with a spray bottle and the roots will grow towards the damp soil. Alternatively, you can repot the deconstructed succulent stem in dry soil and wait one week to water it.

When you are ready to repot the succulent, fill your pot with soil. Make sure you use a pot with a drainage hole. Succulents prefer a lighter soil, that’s faster draining with more aeration, so it’s important to use the right kind of soil for them. Regular soil can be too heavy and holds too much moisture for their liking. Make a hole in the soil with your finger and place the stem of the succulent in the hole. Pat the soil down in and around the stem and add any extra soil if needed. That’s all you need to do!

Succulents, like most plants, do better if fertilized regularly. Succulents can be fertilized about once per month.

With the leaves, after a few weeks you’ll see fine hair-like roots developing and soon you will see a new baby succulent plant.

I pulled this one out of the soil to show you the roots. I just turned the leaf around and covered the roots back up again with soil to let it continue growing.

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Thanks so much for stopping by!

Warmly,

Rachel

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