What to do when succulents get too tall is a worry succulent growers have when they see the excessive growth. Sadly, you cannot undo the damage, but you can stop your plant from overgrowing by exposing it to more light.

What To Do When Succulents Get Too Tall

Enough light helps the succulent grow wider instead of taller. Propagating the plant also helps to reduce the height. Read more to learn how to save stretched succulents.

What To Do When Your Succulents Are Getting Too Tall?

When your succulents are getting too tall, you can provide more light for them, and prune off their leggy structure. In addition, you can also trim the plant in the correct way, and you can also propagate the stem cutting well.

Succulents start to etiolate when there is little or no sunlight in their growing areas. The first sign your plant lacks sunlight is when it turns and bends towards the window. It will start getting tall instead of wider, leaving spaces between the leaves.

The stretching out is called etiolatiion, and it cannot be reversed, but the plant can recover from it. Some of the ways to help succulents growing indoors would feel a little challenging, but it would work well in the end.

– Provide More Light

Lack of enough light is the primary reason your succulent is elongating instead of growing wider. It mostly happens with indoor succulents in darker rooms, as they would start to grow themselves for a better light source. You can keep the pot near the windowsill to receive sunlight. Also, avoid growing succulents in dark and cold rooms like bathrooms and basements.

As a result of the latter, the stem would aim to change the direction to search for light. In the process, it becomes taller to absorb more light, and in this case, the leaves would start to lose their color, look a bit more pale, and some could even shed.

Provide More Light

A sign your succulent is elongating is when the leaves start pointing downwards. They then curl to provide a more significant surface area for the light to hit them. What you must do is to grow succulents in a well-lit space, like a bright and sunny window. Although it will not correct the elongated stem, it will stop the plant from lengthening.

The leaves will grow more closely together and become bushy again. If your house does not have natural light, a grow light will help. These electric lights provide a light spectrum like the sun to help indoor plants grow.

– Prune The Leggy Stem

The other remedy for tall succulents is pruning and propagating the cuttings. You can cut the succulent’s crown or the part of the stem where elongation started. If you cut a long stem, make small cuttings for planting. Leave two to three leaves on each cutting for photosynthesis when you plant the branch. When cutting, ensure you remove any infected flowers.

It will shorten the plant and give you more succulents to grow correctly. Although pruning the plant doesn’t require a too much work, you must do it correctly to protect your plant from bacterial infections.

Moreover, you should also make sure to check the quality of the stem, and when you see it a bit weaker, go ahead and prune it off, don’t worry, it will grow again.

– Correct Trimming

The tools for pruning succulents are sharp and clean pruning shears, scissors or a knife. The piece of the stem you cut depends on how tall the plant is and the length you want to leave.

Shortening a tall succulent will not kill the plant, hence ensure you cut the stem to leave the desired size. You should use the clean pair of pruning shears or knives. Using dirty tools to shorten the plant introduces bacteria that can kill it.

Correct Trimming

In this case, cut off the succulent crown, and then, check the part of the stem where the stretching out started and cut it off. You can make other stem cuttings from the main branch, but ensure every cutting has healthy leaves to help the plant photosynthesize when you plant it.

– Propagate The Stem Cuttings

Instead of throwing away the stem cuttings, propagate them to get new succulents, this is when the stem is healthy, because often times, they would grow strong when trying to reach for sunlight. Propagating leggy succulents requires you to get well-draining soil suitable for these plants. But first, dry the cuttings in the sun for a day or two before growing them.

Next, put the stems in succulent potting soil and water them. You can bury an inch or two of the branch and leave some leaves above to absorb light and photosynthesize. It helps the new plant grow faster and healthier. You should also place the fallen leaves on top of the soil for them to root, and mist them.

Propagate The Stem Cuttings

Remember that you should provide the necessary succulent care to the plant, like placing them in a sunnier place. Wait for a few weeks until the succulents get new roots and produce leaves. While waiting, avoid pulling the new plants off the soil to check for rooting, this manner would give the plant a shock and could kill the cuttings, which is why you should be mindful.

Once you notice some growth, move the succulents closer to the windowsill and provide the plant care they need to thrive. These new plants will grow in perfect shape, and you won’t experience your echeveria succulent growing tall.

What Are Reasons That Succulents Grow Tall?

Succulents grow tall because of lack of proper light, or having enough space between them which makes it sufficient for their growth. On the other hand, it could also be a natural way of their growth as it is their characteristic to become tall.

– Lack of Light

Lack of enough light is not the only reason for succulents growing tall. Some species are naturally tall. However, you must check closely not to mistake healthy stretching for lack of sunlight. You could also check this from the tips of the leaves, as they would be facing downwards more, because it is aiming to grow.

Lack of Light

You can also research your plant’s characteristics, because sometimes the plants would out stretch themselves and try to find the proper light for their necessary growth. If the succulent type you have does not grow to the current height it has reached, chances are there is a problem with the amount of sunlight.

– Space Between Leaves

They would also be prone to growing taller when there is enough and available space between the leaves. A sunlight-deprived succulent has widely spaced leaves on the stem, but you may also check that these leaves also have faded color and unhealthy shape, because they are stretching themselves.

Space Between Leaves

The color of healthily growing leaves and stems should be vibrant and should also have the correct shape.

– Natural Characteristic

If you notice your succulents stretching under grow light, growing tall could be the plant’s characteristic. Which is why, when you think about it, some plants have a natural genetic of growing strong and tall, although this is unusual, or out of the normal state from a regular plant’s size, but it can happen that you are providing the right requirements, but it is still becoming tall.

Natural Characteristic

Also, in this case, you may also see a succulent leaning away from light, it could be a tall plant, and there is no need to cut it. Most tall succulents create perfect focal points, and you can place other short succulents around them to make a statement. However, you can trim the succulent to reduce the height, especially if you prefer shorter plants.


Succulents grow tall because of a lack of sunlight. The first sign that your plant is searching for sunlight is when the stem becomes longer. From this article, you have read about the following:

  • Succulents become tall due to a lack of sunlight, and it mainly occurs in those growing indoors.
  • You cannot return your leggy plant to its previous size, but you can prevent the succulent from stretching further by cutting the branch or exposing it to direct sunlight.
  • You cannot correct an already etiolated succulent, but you can stop the lengthening of the stem by exposing it to more light and cutting the long branches.
  • Ensure you use a sharp and clean knife when cutting the stems to prevent introducing infections to the plant.
  • Some species of succulents are tall, so ensure you confirm the growth length of your plant, you may provide the right needs, and it would still grow.

Since lack of light is the main reason succulents elongate, ensure you expose your plant to enough sunlight.


  • https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/growing-succulents-indoors
  • https://unusualseeds.net/fungal-infections-and-succulents-how-to-treat-them/
  • https://extension.unr.edu/publication.aspx?PubID=2760
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