Succulent Rehab

Turns out, I’m a bad plant momma. Even the sturdy succulent isn’t resilient enough to survive my combination of neglect and smothering to grow unscathed.

While many of the mysteries of keeping things alive, besides my kids, still elude me, I have discovered one key succulent mistake I was making. If you’ve ever wondered why your succulents are stretching out instead of looking like the cute little rosettes you naively left the nursery with, the answer is likely not enough sunlight.

Our last apartment was literally a cave, so needless to say my succulent babies did not thrive there. Within a few short weeks they started to stretch out and grow up, slowly leaning towards the only (yes only 😢) window in the living room. Soon they were so weak and stretched out they started drooping all the way to the table. It was sad.

Now we are in our new home that is filled with blessed SUNSHINE and it’s time to do a little succulent rehab.

You can’t unstretch succulents, but you can propagate new baby succulents from your existing collection. You can take leaves from your already stretched out plants and lay them out to propagate on their own. Simply pull the leaf off at the base and lay it out for about a week. Little roots will start to grow and a week or two after that, a tiny baby succulent will make its appearance. I do this all the time because I’m obsessed with baby succulents.

As for your existing plants, you can do two things. First, trim the plant a few inches from the base, preferably leaving a leaf or two, and a new bud will sprout and grow from there. My poor guys didn’t have any leaves towards the base, so I just trimmed it. You can see a new little bud sprouted in its own, so exciting!

With the cutting, trim the end about an inch or two down and lay it out. Once the end scabs over, you can simply plant it in the dirt and water generously. It should sprout roots and continue growing. With the left over stem, you can pull off the remaining leaves to sprout. I noticed one of the stems grew roots on its own, so I’m interested to see if I get any growth from the remaining stems.

There you have it, succulent rehab. I felt bad trimming my little guys, but it’s for their own good! I’ll update on the growth in a few weeks.

Feel free to shoot me any questions you have about the process or if you run into trouble, I can help trouble shoot!

Published by Michaela Chamberlain

Front-end Developer specializing in a user-friendly mobile-first approach for small businesses.

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