Why Succulents Stretch and Lean | Stretched Succulent Care

Last Updated: 11.03.2024
Sakshi Kasat
Written by
Sakshi Kasat, an indoor gardener and content creator from Indore, India, transitioned from teaching to follow her gardening passion during the pandemic. She's an expert in indoor gardening, with over 150 articles published. Her favorite plant, the Peace Lily, reflects her mission to inspire others. In gardening and writing, she finds pure inspiration and contentment.

Wondering Why Succulents Stretch and Lean? Is there a way to prevent this? Learn all about Stretched Succulent Care here.

Why Succulents Stretch and Lean

The main reason Why Succulents Stretch and Lean is due to lack of sunlight. Different succulent varieties have different sunlight needs though most of them require at least 4-6 hours of bright sunlight to thrive happily. Let’s have a look in detail.

Here’s all the information on how to prepare a pot for planting succulents

Why Succulents Stretch and Lean?

Indoor succulents tend to stretch and lean more as they often get less sunlight exposure than outdoor ones. As these plants always enjoy direct sunlight exposure with less watering, the best way to stop stretching is to expose them to a lot of sunlight on daily basis.

How to Distinguish Between Stretching and Leggy Succulents?

A stretching succulent also tends to lose its color and will not look as vibrant as it should be. The leaves will stretch and lean forward to get closer to the light source. The curled foliage will also enlarge to increase the surface areas to absorb more light. The stems become softer, weaker, and slightly bent.

The leggy succulent will develop saggy stems with a sprawling or trailing tendency. The plant will maintain its vibrant colors and will not be soft or look weak.

How to Fix Stretched Out Succulents

Why Succulents Stretch and Lean 2

  1. The main reason why succulents stretch – is the lack of sunlight. Place them in a bright and sunny spot ALWAYS.
  2. If your succulent is placed in a shade, slowly acclimate it to the sunlight by placing it in the partial shade. Then put it in the morning full sun, so it adjusts accordingly. Keeping it directly in the full sun after their prolonged shade exposure may burn their leaves.
  3. For indoor succulents, keep them at a south-west facing window. You can also place them outside for a couple of days too.
  4. If a succulent has become too weak, give it a new start by propagating its parts in fresh soil and nurturing them with ample light.

Note: Nurturing with more sunlight will help the plant to heal slowly. It will get a normal look after a couple of weeks.

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