A succulent garden can be therapeutic, makes your home look great and is also a great activity to be engaged in. While they are easy plants to care for, there are certain things you may need to be mindful of in order to ensure they grow fast and healthy. The following sections will cover some information about growing succulents.
- 1 How Fast Do Succulents Grow?
- 2 5 Tips How to Make Succulents Grow Faster
- 3 Types of Fast-Growing Succulents
- 4 Types of Slow-Growing Succulents
- 5 When Succulents Grow Too Fast
- 6 Final Thoughts
How Fast Do Succulents Grow?
The first question that people often have about succulent care is how fast do these plants grow. There is no standard rule for how fast a succulent might grow. Different varieties of succulents have different rates of growth.
Some succulents will grow more visibly in a span of four to six weeks, while others may take longer and you won’t even be able to notice their growth.
Typically, succulents take some time to come into their own compared to other types of plants. But even within the larger category of succulents, there are some that tend to grow faster than others.
How Big Do Succulents Grow?
5 Tips How to Make Succulents Grow Faster
There is no standard formula for ensuring that a succulent grows fast. If a succulent is slow growing, there is not much one can do to accelerate its natural speed.
However, what you can do is give it the most nourishing environment so that it thrives and is healthy. Make note of what your particular succulent needs, then look out for the following factors:
1. Ensure the Potting Is Correct
A good pot for a succulent is one that allows it to breathe and drains water well. Terracotta pots are good for this. Ensure that there is a hole at the bottom of the pot so the water does not collect, this can lead to the roots rotting.
As the succulent grows bigger, consider transferring it to a bigger pot. You may also need to separate the roots of the succulent a few times, as they tend to clump up in the soil. When you separate the roots, they tend to spread out and are encouraged to grow.
2. Watering the Plant
As is common knowledge, succulents do not require a lot of water. These are resilient plants that thrive even in the desert and have quite an innovative mechanism that allows them to store water for a long time.
When you overwater a succulent, you make it prone to rot as the succulent has already stored enough water to last it a few days on average. Any more water than it actually needs will cause it to decay.
3. Separate the Offsets
Any succulent, whether slow growing or fast, will soon start sprouting offsets. These are new plants in themselves that can be propagated in a separate pot. However, if these offsets keep crowding the pot, the parent plant does not get space to grow.
The offsets also compete with the parent plant for nutrition. Removing these offsets routinely will allow your main succulent to thrive.
4. Plant It in the Right Soil
The right kind of soil is very important for any kind of plant to thrive, but especially for succulents. A succulent will require soil that allows enough air through and drains water well. Thankfully, there are pre-mixed soils for succulents and cacti available at gardening stores near you.
5. Light and Air
Depending on the type of succulent you have, you will need to adjust the amount of light and air the plant is getting. Some succulents thrive better indoors with indirect sunlight, while there are some that prefer to be in direct sunlight and need a lot of air. The trick is to do what the specific succulent you are caring for requires.
Types of Fast-Growing Succulents
The following are some examples of succulents that are categorized as fast growing. Within a matter of weeks, you will be able to see them transform and grow much taller:
Aloe is a category of succulents that has over 500 varieties of flowering succulent plants under it. Some of these tend to grow a lot faster than others and can be a great addition to your succulent garden.
For example, for an aloe vera plant to grow to full maturity, it may take three to four years. However, you will be able to see visible growth within a few months.
The Blue Rose is a beautiful-looking plant. Its leaves have a fascinating geometric pattern and they grow in concentric circles, making the plant look like it is shaped like a rose.
A healthy plant will also start sprouting rosettes at the base of the parent plant’s leaves. These rosettes can also be propagated easily. The silver-blue hue of the leaves is what gives this succulent its name.
Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop
Dragon’s Blood stonecrop is a resilient and fast-growing succulent that sprouts leaves in the hundreds. Again, you can propagate this succulent quite easily and without too much fuss. They thrive in direct sunlight, which turns their leaves a beautiful rose-red shade.
Some other examples include Crassula, Rock Purslane, Resin Spurge, Mother of Thousands, Graptoveria, etc. These are all beautiful succulents that are easy to care for and grow quite rapidly compared to others in their category. Some of these succulents are great for using as ground cover as they multiply beautifully.
Types of Slow-Growing Succulents
The following are a few succulents that are beautiful, but tend to grow slowly and can be slightly more cumbersome to care for:
Gasteria has beautiful tongue-shaped leaves. It gets its name because of the flowers in the plant that are shaped like a stomach (“gaster” is the Latin word for stomach). You may have to switch between moving the plant indoors and outdoors. Additionally, the plant requires minimal water.
Haworthia is a small, adorable-looking succulent that is known to be a slow grower. Since they don’t grow too fast, you can also put them in a small pot and the roots will not be affected. This is an especially beautiful plant when it thrives, but it can take some work.
Air Plants or Tillandsia
Air plants are named so because they tend to absorb moisture from the air rather than the soil. They have scales on their leaves that help them to carry out this process.
Air plants grow best from seedlings rather than offsets. The seedling is slow to grow and can take up to a year or more to sprout fully. Once the seedling sprouts, the plant starts to grow slightly faster. Air plants also do not blossom very frequently.
Some other examples of succulents that can be slightly slow growing, though are still rewarding, include Crinkle Leaf Plants, Living Stones or Lithops, etc.
If you are looking exclusively for indoor plants or for outdoor plants, these may not be your best options. Typically, these plants require a mix of outdoor and indoor time.
When Succulents Grow Too Fast
If you notice that your succulent is growing too fast, it is probably because of what is informally referred to as “stretching”. This is a sign that the succulent is not getting enough light, so it starts stretching out towards the usual source of light. The process is technically referred to as etiolation.
Etiolation is when a plant begins to have long, weak stems when it grows in the partial or complete absence of light. The space between the leaves increases as the stem stretches out and the plant turns yellow.
Etiolation is not healthy for any plant. It means that the succulent is starved for natural light and is not getting any, making its stems stretch out and become weak.
How to Prevent Unsightly Tall Growth
The only way to prevent your succulents from growing tall and weak is to provide them with ample natural light. When you figure out the right amount of light for your specific succulent, its growth will be healthier.
As mentioned above, succulents can be very rewarding plants to care for, especially because they are highly resilient and do not shrivel even under slightly more extreme temperatures.
But, depending on the succulent you are caring for, some things in your routine may have to be tweaked. But whether slow or fast, they are great plants to have in the house.