Featured by “Echeveria ‘Black Prince'” by Viperalus is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Is your succulent growing too tall and thin? Is it very leggy or stretched out? This means that your succulent is suffering from etiolation, meaning its growing with insufficient light and is stretching to get to more light.

Etiolation causes long, weaker stems with smaller leaves than normal, and often a yellowish color. Learn the signs of a stretched succulent and how to fix your succulent.

What are the signs of etiolation or a stretched succulent?

  • The succulent stem is stretched or leggy
  • Growing taller or bending towards the sun or light source
  • Large spaces in between each leaf
  • Leaves that are smaller than usual

The easiest sign of an etiolated succulent you may notice is when it starts leaning towards the light. Then it will start to grow larger spaces between the leaves.

How to fix a stretched succulent:

Succulent Roots

Succulents suffering from etiolation won’t go back to their old shape without intervention. To correct a stretched succulent:

  1. Remove leaves from the long, stretched part of the succulent stem with a sterile cutting tool of your choice.
  2. Cut the very top of the succulent to propagate.
  3. Set the leaves and top aside to callous
  4. Place your cuttings in a shallow container filled with succulent soil. Place your cuttings on top of the soil, then let your cuttings callous for a few days before watering.
  5. Mist the soil and keep moist but not drenched, soon you will see the cuttings grow roots.
Propagating Succulents

The final step is to move your succulent to a better area that provides adequate lighting for your succulent type.

How to prevent a stretched succulent:

  • Provide adequate sunlight or supplement with a grow light.
Succulent Grow Light
  • Try to rotate you succulent from time to time if it only gets light at specific angles.
  • If your succulent starts to stretch towards light, move it to a location with better sunlight.
Succulents in sunlight
  • Make sure your succulents still get adequate light as seasons change, especially in the winter.