With so many varieties of succulents, it can be difficult to tell if the way your plant is growing is normal for its species or not. Find out if it’s typical for succulents to branch out in this week’s episode.
This episode is brought to you by Graptosedum ‘Alpenglow,’ a deep red succulent with lots of offshoots and branches of rosettes. Plus, it’s a great succulent for leaf propagation!
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After looking at the photo, is it unusual for a succulent to split from the main stem? I bought this from a big box store in June and hasn’t grown much but always looks very healthy. It lives in a south facing window and stays very dry for quite awhile before I water it. Also, would you please ID this plant for me? Thank you!
It’s not uncommon for succulents to branch out as yours has done. In fact, many succulents regularly put off new branches and offshoots. Some succulents do this more than others, so sometimes it’s helpful to look up photos of the succulent you own.
The succulent in your photo appears to be a Sedeveria ‘Blue Elf’.
Sedeverias are great at putting off new growth and branches, so it’s completely normal for yours to be doing this. Keep in mind though that succulents are not quick growers, especially if they are going through a period of dormancy.
When your succulent is in it’s active growing season, there are some other factors that may prevent it from growing as quickly.
The biggest is lack of water. Most succulents can survive a long time on very little water. But in order for them to grow, they need to have access to plenty of water.
It sounds like lack of water may be the reason you’re not seeing more growth with your succulent, even though it looks healthy. It’s getting just enough water to survive, but not enough to thrive.
If you’re using the soak and dry method I teach in episode 6, your succulent should be getting plenty of water to grow, not just survive.
Another way to help encourage more growth in your succulent is to fertilize it! For indoor succulents you probably don’t want to fertilize more than once a year, but even one watering with fertilizer will make a big difference.
The plant’s location in your home can also play a role in how fast it’s growing. Though temperatures indoors are generally pretty mild, being close to a window could cause the succulent to experience more heat or cold than it’s used to. In extremes, heat and cold can both cause a succulent to experience dormancy and slow down growth.
Since your succulent is in a South-facing window, it’s probably getting sunlight most of the day, however that may not mean it’s getting enough light. Sometimes succulents grown indoors – even in a window that gets bright sunlight all day – still won’t get enough to get them growing the way they should.
If you increase the water or fertilize and your succulent begins growing more quickly, you might notice it beginning to stretch. This is due to lack of sunlight. You may need to supplement with a grow light, or move it to another area where it gets more sun.
Sometimes, it’s ideal for succulents to grow more slowly indoors because they aren’t as likely to stretch or lose their shape.
If you’re wanting to really learn how to help your succulents thrive, check out my course, Successfully Growing Succulents!
I walk you through the core needs of succulents and help you adapt them to wherever you live in the world. All the videos are in an easy to follow step-by-step format so you don’t get lost or overwhelmed. I also host regular demonstrations and Q&A sessions to make sure you’re getting all the help you need!
The course is such a great resource that you’ll have lifetime access to so you can watch it over and over again!