Introduction: Succulents are admired for their vibrant colors and unique shapes, making them popular choices for home decoration. However, many of us make the mistake of keeping them indoors to enhance our living spaces, only to find that the plants start to “stretch” and deform over time.

Contrary to popular belief, the elongation and deformation of succulents are not part of their normal growth process. This peculiar shape is a response to insufficient light and is known as etiolation. All plants, including indoor ones, require a specific amount of light to carry out photosynthesis and produce enough chlorophyll to maintain their color and development. When light is lacking, succulents grow quickly in search of a light source.

Recognizing Etiolation: A succulent suffering from etiolation may exhibit pale leaves due to chlorophyll deficiency, along with other signs such as smaller leaves, elongated and weak stems, increased space between leaves, and a leaning stem. If your plant displays one or more of these symptoms, it’s likely experiencing etiolation. However, don’t expose it to direct light for extended periods immediately, as it may risk sunburn. Follow the steps below to revive a succulent affected by etiolation.

Reviving a Stretched Succulent:

  1. Remove small, spaced-apart leaves, as they are likely weak. Select healthy leaves for propagation.
  2. Once the stem is freed, use a disinfected and sharp knife to make a clean cut at the top.
  3. Let the cut piece from the succulent dry and heal for five days in a cool, shaded area without direct sunlight before transplanting.
  4. Place the removed leaves in a pot with succulent soil, no need to bury them. Spray some water and, once roots appear, water every three days, avoiding waterlogged conditions.
  5. Once the succulent cutting has dried, transplant it into a new pot with fresh succulent soil. Ensure good drainage for the plant to encourage root development and water sparingly.

Conclusion: By understanding the causes of succulent stretching and deformity, you can take proactive steps to revive and propagate these charming plants successfully. Follow these simple instructions to bring your succulents back to a healthy and vibrant state.