6 Top Tips to Fix Stretched and Leggy Succulents

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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Do you think your succulent is growing differently? Is it looking leggy, tall, and stretched out? Follow these Tips to Fix Stretched and Leggy Succulents!

Tips to Fix Stretched Succulents

If your succulent is looking all stretched out and leggy, it could mean that it is suffering from a condition called Etiolation, meaning, it is in dire need of sunlight. Read on to know why succulents tend to stretch out and Tips to Fix Stretched and Leggy Succulents!

Check out some secret hacks to make succulents colorful here

Why do Succulents Stretch?

Succulents tend to stretch out when there is a lack of light, and this can even take place with plants kept outdoors in a shady location. In the absence of the sun, the plant utilizes all its energy to move towards the source of light, and this makes them lean and leggy.

The energy that the plant otherwise could use in being healthy gets lost in looking for the light, and it starts to look unhealthy, pale, and weak.

How to Recognize Leggy Succulents?


Succulents will always indicate when they do not receive enough sunlight. Here are a few things you can look out for:

  • Initially, the change could be very subtle and might start with leaves beginning to point downwards. This is mainly because plants usually tend to curl up their foliage for the sunlight.
  • The stems will get taller with more space between the leaves.
  • You may also notice that the leaves are smaller in size and getting lighter in color than usual.
  • The plant may stop growing any new leaves as it would be utilizing all its energy to grow towards the source of light.
  • The plant might also look dull and with faded colors. If you spot it not being vibrant anymore, then it needs sunlight!

Tips to Fix Stretched and Leggy Succulents

1. Change the location ASAP!

The first thing you need to bring your leggy succulents back to shape — give the plant more sunlight immediately. Find the sunniest and brightest windowsill, and place it there at the earliest.

Though the stretched-out parts would not go back to un-stretching, the new growth will grow normally looking healthy.

2. Create New Succulents

If you want to get rid of the ugly stretched-out look of your succulents, propagate new plants from the old ones by using their healthy leaves or stem cuttings. Though it might sound quite drastic, it will not kill your favorite plant, and you will create many new, healthy clones!

3. Grow Light Treatment

Another way to make leggy succulents grow healthy again is to place them under grow lights. An article by the University of Missouri suggests that artificial light is a helpful option to grow healthy houseplants. This treatment can be expensive as the lights could add to your gardening budget but it will save your favorite plants if there is no natural source of light is available.

4. Rotate Your Plants

One of the best options for treating leggy succulents is to make sure that all parts of the plant are evenly exposed to the sun. The best method to follow is to rotate the plant every week to ensure it gets proper light exposure at all parts.

5. Seasonal Care

With every changing season, the timing of light and direction also keeps changing. Move the plant accordingly in order to provide it with an adequate amount of sunlight, particularly in winters.

6. Prune the Plants

Snipping away the leggy and stretched-out leaves will ensure the plant uses its energy to grow new foliage rather than saving the old one. It will also give it a new shape and make your succulents more compact and bushy.

In the end, taking these measures can solve the problem of leggy and stretched succulents, but it is essential to provide enough light to succulents as they don’t tolerate low light conditions like common indoor plants.

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