The Off With It's Head Method - How To Fix Stretched Out Succulents
So your succulent baby is looking a little worse for the wear. Stretched out and elongated. Or if you want to impress your friends with my new favorite SAT word:
Etiolated "Edie-o-lated" - a plant, pale and drawn out due to a lack of light.
The succulent shown here hasn’t been getting enough sun light. Which causes him to stretch out trying to reach more light. Stretching is pretty normal and very common in Echeverias or rosette style succulents like this baby. They are also more likely to show these signs in the colder, darker months.
Good News! There’s a super easy way to fix it. Get your scissors ready!
Chop off the top of your Echeveria (where the rosette is still tight) with about an inch or 2 of stem left over so he can easily plant himself back into soil later.
Bonus! You can also pop off the lower leaves to try to propagate (grow more) even more plants. More on propagating in another post. Succulents are like the plant that just keeps on giving.
This light green succulent was beheaded a few weeks ago and you can already see, that the stem is callousing over and new little roots are forming. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, be patient. You can just lay your beheaded plant on top of soil until it’s ready to be planted again.
Your plant just needs some time to heal. Think of this as her time to watch bad chick flicks, eat ice cream and go back and forth about changing her hair. You know how it goes. Once she’s all calloused over, and maybe a little stronger for it, you can stick her right back into soil. Or when you see about an inch of roots growing out. You can also start watering lightly around the plant to encourage more root growth.
Once your baby is tucked back into soil, healed and ready to get back out there again. She’ll be ready to sow some oats, or roots in this case. Ready to get out there and meet some nice soil and sun that will really treat her right.
But you don’t want to just flood her with water. She’s just dipping her toe (roots) into the world again, don't flood her with friend requests/water just yet. She needs some time to ease into it. Once she’s got a good set of roots on her, go back to your regularly scheduled watering. Once a week, maybe more, maybe less. Depending on your environment. See our post on Watering Your Succulent for more info.
Still got questions? So do we! Let's chat! Shoot us an email or leave a comment and we'll be happy help you out.
Peace + Plants,