tall succulent

Why Is My Succulent Growing Tall?

Have you ever noticed your succulent growing tall and wondered why it’s reaching for the sky? While succulents are known for their compact and low-growing nature, sometimes they can surprise us by stretching out and growing tall. In this simple guide, we’ll explore the reasons behind this phenomenon and help you understand the normal characteristics of succulents.

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Normal Characteristics of Succulents

Succulents are unique plants that have adapted to thrive in arid environments. Here are a few normal characteristics of succulents:

  1. Compact Growth: Succulents typically have a compact and dense growth habit. Their leaves and stems are designed to store water, enabling them to withstand periods of drought.
  2. Low-Growing Nature: Most succulents naturally grow close to the ground, forming rosettes or clusters of leaves. This low-growing habit gives them a charming and visually appealing appearance.
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While these are the typical traits of succulents, sometimes they can exhibit unexpected growth patterns. Let’s explore some of the reasons why your succulent might be growing tall in the next sections. Understanding these factors will help you provide better care for your succulent friends.

Insufficient Light

One common reason for succulents growing tall is insufficient light. Succulents love bright sunlight, and when they don’t receive enough light, they start to stretch out in search of more. This elongation is known as etiolation. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Natural Sunlight: If you’re growing your succulent indoors, place it in a spot where it can receive bright, indirect sunlight for several hours a day. Succulents placed near a window that gets ample sunlight tend to grow healthier and maintain their compact shape.
  • Artificial Grow Lights: If natural sunlight is limited, you can use artificial grow lights, such as fluorescent or LED lights, to supplement the light requirements of your succulents. Position the lights close to the plants, ensuring they receive light for about 10-14 hours a day.

Inadequate Watering

Believe it or not, both overwatering and underwatering can contribute to succulents growing tall. Improper watering practices can disrupt their natural growth patterns. Here are some watering tips to keep in mind:

  • Watering Frequency: Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Succulents are adapted to survive in dry conditions, so overwatering can lead to weak and elongated growth.
  • Watering Amount: When you do water your succulents, make sure to provide a thorough soak. Water until it drains out from the bottom of the pot, ensuring the roots receive adequate moisture.
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Remember, succulents prefer infrequent, deep watering rather than frequent, shallow watering.

In the next sections, we’ll explore other factors that can influence succulent growth and share tips on how to help your succulent regain its compact form. Let’s get back on track with our succulent care!

Note: It’s important to identify the specific needs of your succulent variety, as different types may have slightly different requirements.

Temperature and Environmental Factors

Temperature and environmental conditions can also play a role in succulents growing tall. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

  • Temperature Fluctuations: Extreme temperature fluctuations, such as sudden drops or rises, can affect succulent growth. Consistent temperatures within their preferred range help promote compact growth.
  • Humidity and Airflow: Succulents thrive in environments with low to moderate humidity levels and good airflow. High humidity can encourage elongation, while stagnant air can hinder healthy growth. Aim for well-ventilated areas and avoid excessively humid conditions.

Leggy Succulent Remedies

If you notice your succulent becoming leggy and tall, don’t worry! There are remedies to help restore its compact form:

  • Beheading and Propagation: If the elongated portion of the succulent is healthy, you can consider beheading the plant and propagating it. Cut the top portion, allow it to callous, and then plant it in well-draining soil. This way, you can start a new compact succulent while allowing the remaining portion to rejuvenate.
  • Support and Staking: For succulents with weak stems, you can provide support using stakes or small plant supports. Gently tie the stem to the stake to help it stand upright. Over time, as the succulent grows, it will develop a more sturdy and compact structure.
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Remember, it may take time for your succulent to regain its compact form. Patience and consistent care are key!


Understanding the reasons behind your succulent growing tall is the first step toward helping it regain its natural and compact shape. Factors like insufficient light, inadequate watering, temperature fluctuations, and environmental conditions can all contribute to succulents stretching out.

By providing your succulents with adequate light, proper watering practices, and suitable environmental conditions, you can encourage healthier and more compact growth. Additionally, remedies like beheading and propagation or providing support through staking can help restore your succulent’s form.

So, don’t worry if your succulent is growing tall. With the right care and attention, you can guide it back to its charming and compact self. Enjoy your succulent journey and the beauty of these resilient plants!

About the author

Victoria Nelson

Victoria Nelson is a passionate gardener with over a decade of experience in horticulture and sustainable gardening practices. With a degree in Horticulture, she has a deep understanding of plants, garden design, and eco-friendly gardening techniques. Victoria aims to inspire and educate gardeners of all skill levels through her engaging articles, offering practical advice drawn from her own experiences. She believes in creating beautiful, biodiverse gardens that support local wildlife. When not writing or gardening, Victoria enjoys exploring new gardens and connecting with the gardening community. Her enthusiasm for gardening is infectious, making her a cherished source of knowledge and inspiration.

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