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Please help! My succulent leaves are opening up, thinner and longer.

March 19, 2019
last modified: March 19, 2019

Hi everyone,

I'm a total newbie to succulents and cacti. I bough this succulent about 5 weeks ago and it was a beautiful rosette with thick leaves and the leaves were closed. I have it on my window ledge and it has been getting at least 4-6 hours of afternoon sunlight a day. I water it once the stick comes out completely dry.

I don't know what happened to it. Please help!

Comments (8)

  • Crenda 10A SW FL

    In spite of your placing it by a window, it is probably still not getting optimum light. Sunlight is filtered by our windows, especially if you have energy efficient windows. And screens filter out even more of the light.

    Is there a drainage hole in the pots? It sounds like you are doing everything right.

    I'll be interested in comments by others. Hang in there! ;-)

    tranpham21 thanked Crenda 10A SW FL
  • rina_Ontario,Canada

    It needs more sunlight. This is a common problem with plants not receiving appropriate amount of light. 4-6 hrs of sunlight thru the window is obviouly not enogh - plant is telling you. Hopefully you can expose it to much better sunlight, make sure it is well acclimatized to it or it will burn. Sunlight thru the window is much filtered by the glass. Many of us try to help by using supplemental lights before plants can be put outdoors. Try to solve this situation ASAP, oherwise plant will grow tall, skinny (leaves will be thin a far apart and they wil open up as you can see already), and color may get bleached out. If that happens, it will not kill the plant but the looks will be quite diminished. At that point, the only help is 'decapitating' the plant - cutting the long stem and re-rooting top part. But it is better if you don't have to do it.

    tranpham21 thanked rina_Ontario,Canada
  • Meyermike(Zone 6a Ma.)

    That plant needs at least 12 hours of sunlight or artificial light to keep fat leaves and stay compact. They will actually grow thin from the center if there is going to be a flowerette which I am thinking may be happening? Not sure about that.

    tranpham21 thanked Meyermike(Zone 6a Ma.)
  • tranpham21

    Thank you everyone! I live in Toronto and the days are getting longer as spring is approaching. But it's still very cold to bring the plant outside. So i guess my only option is to give it the supplemental light until it's warm enough to bring it outdoors.

    @Crenda 10A SW FL, yes my pot has drain hole in it and i make sure the water drains out completely every time i water it.

    @rina_Ontario,Canada - can you suggest if the types succulents that i can plant as landscaping plants that could survive winter in Ontario?

    Many thanks!

  • Rob Blomquist

    Have you been watering this plant over the top? It gets water in the leaf joints and they rot. Only water the soil.

    tranpham21 thanked Rob Blomquist
  • rina_Ontario,Canada

    I lived in TO for many years, and live close to Barrie for past few years - colder than TO. There are many cold hardy succulents: easy to find are Sempervivums & Jovibarbas, and many hardy Sedums (check growing zones when buying). There are many var. of Sedums/stonecrops - you could fill up garden with different looking plants, all just Sedums. Some grow upright and taller, some are good ground covers. Well known and easy to get is 'garden sedum' - Sedum 'Autumn Joy', or 'Purple Emperor', 'Frosty Morn', 'Vera Jameson' - just an example of different colors. These could grow to about 10-12". Some of the short/spreading ones are S. kamtschaticum, S. sieboldii, S. rupestre, S. spurrium, and many more. Most come in few different colors. Others could be delosperma, Lewisia, Orostachys...All wil also bloom. There ae more, above is just example.

    I take plants outside when nighttime temps. stay constantly approx. 10*C and above - some can take less, but I do not want to worry about unexpected drop in temps.

    tranpham21 thanked rina_Ontario,Canada
  • tranpham21

    @Rob Blomquist, My leaves look very healthy and green. The only thing that concerns me is that the leaves are getting longer and thinner compared to when i first bought it. I don't think it's the overwatering issue. As for others users suggestions, most likely it's the light deficiency.

  • tranpham21

    @rina_Ontario, Canada - thank you so much for your advises. Much appreciated!

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