Succulent Etiolation typically refers to the situation where originally compact leaves of succulents undergo stretching and dispersion, turning their colors into green or white. However, it's important to note that not all succulents are prone to etiolation, and some can even thrive indoors.
There are two main reasons why these succulents are less likely to go leggy. One is that certain varieties have lower light requirements and prefer shady environments, making them suitable for placement near windows. What's more, some succulents have slow growth rates, reducing the chances of stem go leggy. It's challenging to list them all individually. So we'd like to recommend specific succulent varieties for you to choose from. If you live in a region with limited sunlight hours, your house struggles to receive ample sunlight, or you're cultivating succulents indoors, this blog is worth your while!
15 Succulents That Uneasy to Go Leggy
The varieties of Echeveria elegans are uneasy to go leggy, and Echeveria pulidon is is one of them. Echeveria pulidonis, often referred to as "the most beautiful common elegans," whose poetic name alone hints at its beauty.
The reason Echeveria pulidonis doesn't tend to become leggy is because of its slow growth rate, with growth nearly halting during the summer and winter dormancy periods, making its stem less likely to stretch. In fact, providing adequate sunlight and proper temperature swings can quickly induce red edges on its leaves. It's a favored choice among succulent enthusiasts for window displays.
Echeveria elegans raspberry ice
Echeveria elegans raspberry ice also exhibits an extremely slow growth rate and it allocates its nutrients towards producing offsets rather than elongating its stems, making it uneasy to go leggy. Even if it does experience etiolation, it won't undergo dramatic transformations, just changing from a compact "bud" to a slightly unfurled "blossom."
This "young girl" has a somewhat temperamental disposition. Indulging her with excessive watering is not the right approach; instead, she thrives when watered strictly and conservatively, which is when she presents her most exquisite growth.
Echeveria 'Ice green'
Echeveria 'Ice Green' is a hybrid cross of Echeveria elegans 'Albicans' and Echeveria laui, inheriting the uneasy-etiolation characteristics from both parent plants. Some people rigorously control water, light, and temperature of Ice Green, and even with these measures, it doesn't easily become leggy. Its inherently slow growth rate, coupled with a lack of water and light, deprives it of nutrients, further contributing to its slow growth.
It features plump, rounded leaves with a translucent, crystal-clear quality. It's not prone to immediate elongation due to inadequate light. But you can see her beauty neither. It's advisable to use containers with proper size and avoid overwatering, as moderate water control ensures the plant maintains its compact form without etiolation while preserving its aesthetic appeal.
Echeveria hyaliana is characterized by its blue-green leaves arranged in a tightly packed rosette formation. In the fall and winter, during its prime, the leaves take on shades of pale yellow to pink, which is truly captivating.
In the summertime, too much shading may cause the leaves to turn green and go flat. However, due to its slow growth during the summer, etiolation is less likely to occur. Come the autumn and winter seasons with significant temperature variations and ample sunlight, the new leaves that emerge are short and compact, restoring its beauty.
Haworthia fasciata, representing hard-leaved Haworthia, is also not prone to etiolation. Haworthia succulents are less likely to go leggy compared to other succulent types because they require significantly less light. They possess strong vitality and can adapt to various environments.
In well-lit conditions, species like the zebra plant (Haworthia fasciata) display vibrant colors, and in lower light, the leaves may only be slightly pale in the center. You can't make him elongate unless it's subjected to extremely adverse growing conditions. Therefore, for those who enjoy having some green companions near their computers, zebra plants are among the few succulents that can genuinely thrive in such conditions.
Haworthia cooperi var. pilifera
Among the soft-leaved members of the Haworthia genus, Haworthia cooperi var. pilifera is uneasy to go leggy. Unlike typical succulents, leaves of Haworthia cooperi var. pilifera contain abundant water content and have lower chlorophyll levels. Consequently, its light requirements are relatively less compared to other succulents. Their photosynthetic activity is somewhat weak, leading to slow root development and growth, making them less prone to etiolation. Haworthia cooperi var. pilifera thrives in environments with abundant diffuse light, so simply placing them by a window will discourage any stretch tendencies.
Echeveria agavoides 'Ebony'
Echeveria agavoides 'Ebony' is a representative of the robust Echeveria agavoides succulents in the Echeveria genus. It has stiff, upright leaves. In well-lit conditions with significant temperature fluctuations, it displays vibrant colors, with semi-transparent green leaves and reddish to nearly black edges.
The base is robust, and the stem gradually thickens as it grows. Its growth pattern is mainly lateral rather than vertical, which makes it less prone to etiolation. Also, its big leaves grow upward, making it easier to get more sunlight. Under low light conditions, Echeveria agavoides 'Ebony' may experience fading and slight outward leaf expansion, but it generally won't develop long, leggy stems. In fact, Echeveria agavoides succulents are not particularly prone to go leggy.
Echeveria agavoides 'Lipstick'
Echeveria agavoides 'Lipstick' features tightly packed, rosette-shaped leaves with red edges and undersides. This succulent thrives in cool, dry conditions and tolerates partial shade while avoiding waterlogged soil. So don't worry that they will stretch even if you provide shades for them because they need less sun than other succulents.
When exposed to insufficient light, they seldom outstretch their stems and go leggy. Instead, its leaves may appear pale green, and go thin and long while the red edges recede, leaving only the tips red. But provided with ample sunlight can make Echeveria agavoides 'Lipstick' more vibrant.
Echeveria agavoides 'Gilva'
Echeveria agavoides 'Gilva' is characterized by its broad, rounded leaves compared to other Echeveria agavoides. Its leaves are somewhat shorter, oval-shaped, slightly concave on the upper surface, and have rounded, arched protrusions on the lower surface, exhibiting features of the Echeveria elegans.
Its morphology suggests that it has a genetic lineage from both Echeveria agavoides and Echeveria elegans, which are known for their resistance to elongation. Consequently, the reasons this plant does not readily elongate are similar to the reasons why its parent species do not easily stretch. It wins at the starting line in terms of genetics.
Echeveria agavoides 'Van Keppel'
Echeveria agavoides 'Van Keppel' has a plump and chubby form, which is quite rare among Echeveria agavoides. It has the leathery texture typical of Echeveria agavoides but with a lot more delicate softness. In summer, it appears in a pale minty green color, while in winter, it takes on a champagne hue.
Its small rosette shape is evidence of its slow growth rate, making it less prone to elongation. Instead, Echeveria agavoides 'Van Keppel' clusters easily. It's worth noting that its offsets typically emerge from the soil rather than growing on the mother plant's stems. This is another indicator of its resistance to etiolation. When caring for this variety, if you see small offsets, you should even separate them to prevent the mother plant from being overshadowed due to its short stems.
Echeveria purpusorum has grayish-green leaves adorned with beautiful reddish-brown markings. In bright sunlight, its leaves remain compact and thick, and the red patterns become more pronounced. Echeveria purpusorum tolerates partial shade and maintains slow, consistent growth throughout the year. That‘s why it's uneasy to go leggy. It might just become slightly greener and won't etiolate significantly Even in less-than-ideal lighting conditions. Also, its nutrients are primarily allocated to nourishing its thick leaves, resulting in a slow stem growth. It's a suitable choice for enthusiasts who want to cultivate succulents near windows.
Echeveria Fiona is a succulent plant in the Crassulaceae family, and it's a hybrid of Echeveria lilacina. Its leaves are fleshy and spoon-shaped, forming a classic rosette shape. Normally, the leaves have a grayish-blue color, but with ample sunlight in the fall and winter, they can turn into a dusty purple shade.
Fiona doesn't readily produce offsets, which reflects its resistance to stem elongation. When cared for in partial shade or low light conditions, it won't stretch out, only becoming somewhat more flattened. The nutrients are transferred to the leaves instead of the stems. What's more, its low water requirements also make it uneasy for the stem to stretch.
Echeveria Chihuahuaensis is often considered one of the most common but beautiful succulents. Its signature feature is the small, curved red tips at the ends of its leaves. When it's in a well-lit environment with significant temperature differences between day and night, the Echeveria Chihuahuaensis develops thick, compact leaves with reddish edges.
It needs less sun and water, which makes it grow slowly. So even in low light conditions or when its leaves are pale, this petite succulent won't go leggy. Overwatering can also cause succulents to stretch. However, Echeveria chihuahuaensis doesn't require much water, so if you place it near a window, it generally won't stretch out and grow healthily.
Echeveria laui is a challenging succulent variety to care for, and many succulent enthusiasts find it difficult to keep alive. This plant thrives in bright sunlight. Its growth rate is slow, and it takes several years to reach a mature size. Due to its slow growth, it's less likely to stretch out even in low-light conditions, but its leaves will turn a less attractive grayish-green color.
Sempervivum tectorum is a succulent with a unique and elegant appearance, making it a very attractive succulent plant. Like other hens and chicks, it has a low, compact growth habit with naturally short stems densely covered with leaves. Additionally, it can thrive with minimal water and light, displaying remarkable resilience, which is why they are less likely to become leggy when placed indoors during the winter. You can place it near a sunny window at your home, and you don't have to worry about the etiolation problem.
How to deal with leggy succulents?
If you don't want your succulents to go leggy and you want to know how to deal with leggy succulents, Check these steps:
Ensure Adequate Sunlight: First and foremost, provide your succulents with ample sunlight. Place them in a location with sufficient indirect sunlight, avoiding intense direct exposure.
Moderate Fertilization and Watering: Avoid excessive fertilization and overwatering. Succulents generally require low nutrient levels and infrequent watering, so stick to appropriate care practices.
Plant Indicator Succulents: Consider cultivating indicator succulents such as Pachyphytum oviferum mikadukibijin or Echeveria Mini Hook in the same area. These succulents are more prone to elongation. If they start stretching, it indicates insufficient light in the location. In response, consider adding supplemental lighting, like installing grow lights in your room.
Beheading propagation: Additionally, when your succulents elongate, you can propagate them through beheading, which yields new plants for your collection.
You may wonder: How to propagate succulents by beheading.
We all know that succulents have specific lighting requirements, and the needs vary among different genera. Therefore, succulents that are less prone to elongation are not immune to it. It's important to note that the key to successful care is not pushing them to their physiological limits but providing an environment conducive to their growth. To ensure they receive plenty of sunlight, it's the best way to prevent them from becoming leggy!