Stretched Succulents: What Are They and How To Fix?

Succulents are a popular plant choice for people that want low-maintenance plants. They are also very easy to care for. However, succulents can get stretched which will cause them to lose their shape and look unappealing. If you notice your succulent getting stretched out, don’t worry! Here’s how you can fix the issue with some simple steps…

What is a Stretched Succulent?

A stretched succulent is when a succulent becomes long and skinny. It usually happens over time, but it can also happen very suddenly if the plant has sprawled out or there are animals around that may have eaten part of your succulents.

Why is my Succulent Stretched Out?

This happens because of etiolation, also known as growth without sunlight. It is when a plant or succulent grows long and spindly because it isn’t getting the light that it needs to grow properly.

This can happen in normal conditions, but if your succulents are near a window with the curtains closed all day then they will get etiolated very quickly. You should move them closer to a window or into the more direct sun for proper lighting!

Do I Need to Re-Pot a Stretched Succulent?

If your succulent is stretched out, you might think that you need to repotting right away, but this may not be necessary depending on why your plant became stretched out in the first place.

If your succulent had been in a tight container for too long, meaning that they have outgrown their pots and the roots are basically bursting through the bottom of them, you should also re-pot at this time.

How to Fix a Stretched Succulent?

If you notice that your succulent is stretching, it should be moved to a place with lots of light. Doing this stops etiolation very quickly.

I like to keep my succulents on a sunny window sill or outside during the summer months.

Unfortunately, there is no way to reverse the stretching process, so stretched-out succulents will remain that way for the foreseeable future. These succulents should be propagated to make more plants and to not waste the ones that you already had.

Using Propagation to Fix Stretched Succulents

You can propagate cuttings to save your stretched succulent.

1) To start, cut off the top of your succulent using sharp scissors. I like to cut everything but two inches of the base (with a few leaves attached).

2) After drying for a few days, the cutting should be dry and calloused over. Plant it in soil with good drainage so that roots can begin developing without rotting or drying out. Then you can start watering your new plant!

3) The cutting should start to root within a couple of days – or a few weeks at most.

If propagating doesn’t work, then unfortunately that is just how your succulent will look from now on. If you really don’t want stretched-out plants then I would suggest making sure your succulents are getting enough light. You can do this by moving plants into a better location or using grow lights, with the latter being essential during winter.

Will Grow Lights Prevent Stretched Succulents?

Yes! One way you can prevent your succulents from stretching is by using grow lights. They mimic sunlight and will help prevent etiolation of the plant because they give them what they need to stay healthy with adequate lighting!

I like using full-spectrum grow lights because they give off a light similar to natural sunlight, compared to other types of grow lights.

Is a Stretched Succulent Bad?

A stretched succulent isn’t necessarily bad, but you should try to fix it if possible. If your plant is stretching out too much then the best thing that you can do for them would be to move it closer to a window so they get better sunlight!

The bad news is that it’s usually too late to save them if they’ve already stretched out, but you can at least save some of the leaves or the other succulents in your home!

When to Cut Back Stretched Succulents?

If you notice that leaves on your plant are not curling down anymore but rather standing tall, this means it has become very stretched out due to being in bright light without enough water or nutrients. It’s time to cut it back and propagate, but be careful as the leaves will snap off easily.


In conclusion, stretched succulents are common in the plant world. It doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with your plants, it just means that they need more light to stop etiolation. If you have any other questions then feel free to leave them down below!

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