Prune Elongated Succulents the Easy Way

Some succulents have a tendency to grow elongated and can look very unhealthy.  This video demonstrates how to prune elongated succulents so they look much better and will be healthier.

[Transcript]  Hey everybody, welcome to Wisconsin wonder garden.  Here’s my succulent grow beds behind me.  And what we’re going to be doing today is fixing those leggy or etiolated succulents.  So, no matter how much sunlight your succulents get like these which have been in direct sunlight and a southeastern facing window almost our entire lives your succulents may become etiolated or leggy.

The Easy Way to Prune Elongated Succulents

You see basically the petals will start to space out and there will be more distance in between them and that’s essentially just your plant reaching out to get more sunlight.  See all these here have symptoms of etiolation.  No, I personally don’t mind the look that these create when they are leggy I think that are very cool either way and they provide a sort of dynamic to the succulent garden but I want to make this video so you guys know how to do it at home.

Like this one especially needs it because it has dying leaves on the back end of it here and so, we’re gonna take all that off and show you what to do with the whole stem as well as the rosette and the leaves.  In between this one right here is a great example and there’s one that we’re gonna start with today.

So, if you see the plant has reached out some of these leaves have fallen off or I actually took them off in order to propagate and I take them and just throw them right in this bed here and they start developing a root system but as you can see we have this nicely formed rosette at the top and then all these leaves and petals here are starting to reach out and become further in distance away.

So, we’re gonna take our scissors just go right under it like this and cut it off and there you have your rosette.  So, leave a little bit at the bottom that you’re gonna put in to the soil and all the rest can be planted just like this.  So, with this rosette you want to let it dry.  So, what calluses over.  So, you want the bottom of that to be calloused over usually it will take a day or two.

So, I’ll just let it sit out for a day and then plant it into the soil.  So, after it’s been sitting for a day I just set it right into the soil and from there you’re good to go.  So, now that you have this beautiful mess right here what are you gonna do with it?  Well you can take all these petals off and propagate them.  If you would like you can cut the stem off wherever you would want to as well and what will happen is wherever you cut that off, you will have new pups shooting off of there or chicks some might call it if you’re regarding the Sempervivum variety.

Pruning Leggy Succulents

But what we’re gonna do for today is I’m gonna cut it off about right here.  That’s where I want it to be off and take off a couple of these ones right on the top.  When you’re taking off the leaves just shake it back and forth and it’ll come right off.  And then all of these right here I’m gonna probably propagate a few of them and again all you have to do for propagation and what I do and my bed’s here is I just throw them right onto the soil.

And to give you an idea of what I’ve started to do with my succulent beds here is I’ve just started to put the leaves right in the soil of the whole bed and they’ll propagate and grow from there.  Let’s find a nice leaf here to show you all.  There we go just like that one there or this one over here?  I’ll just set it in the soil and it’ll begin to grow with all the others.

So, now this is an example of one that’s already been beheaded you might call it.  I cut off the top of this plant and what happened is see the end of this stock right here began to grow its own little rosette right at the top.  And that’s the same thing that you’re gonna see you know with your other succulents that you do see with this one.  I could chop it off right there and then we have that rosette here.  And then this will begin to develop more rosettes as it grows.

Here is a rosette that I beheaded and planted into the soil.  I’m just gonna pull it up here to show you see that root system that begins to develop.  It will take place and grow nice and happy right in there in the bed.  So, now with this bed and then this bed I’m gonna repeat the same process basically I’m just going to go and cut off that top rosette.  And then I will cut the stem down to where I want it to grow and take any additional petals that I want to propagate.

Steps to Propagate an Elongated Succulent

All the rosettes I will take and place into this bed right here.  Step 1 remove dead plants, step 2 cut off rosettes, step 3 let rosettes dry, step 4 plant and add cute garden gnomes for effect.

So, as you can see a leggy succulent can make for a great succulent bed.  All it takes is a little bit of upkeep and work.  So, after you’ve planted these you don’t want to water them for say you know maybe a week.  I would just let them sit as is.  After that week you can begin watering as you normally would.  So, before you go, here are a few other things that you can do with the same project.  Here are the leaves that we’re going to propagate and these are the root stocks.

Believe it or not you can pop these right into the soil again after a day or so.  So they callus over and these will grow new pups on them as well in from an older more mature plant you should have strong growth from these root stocks.  So, this bed here we could call our rosette production center this is where I place all the root stocks.  I also throw in a couple of random petals and leaves to grow as you guys heard earlier in the video.

And what will happen to your root stocks it’s just like that and a few weeks to maybe a month or so, you will see little pups grow out of these root stocks.  And once those pups grow large enough you can then harvest them as well to put into a nice new fresh bed like this or any other sort of decorating ideas that you have for around the house.

Thank you all so much for watching.  I hope you found this video informational and helpful when taking care of your succulents through the many growing stages that they have.  If you have any questions comments or concerns as always leave them down below in the comment section.  Have a great and wonderful gardening adventure take care.  [End of transcript]

Our Summary:  There is no reason to put up with unhealthy looking plants.  Leggy, elongated, etiolated succulents normally do not look that great and should be pruned or abandoned altogether.  Any leaves or cuttings can be used to easily propagate new succulent plants.  Enjoy another video Fixing Leggy (Etiolated) Succulents.

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