How to Get Big, Branchy Succulents?

big-size-and-branchy-succulents

Succulents are slow growers; even some species take a year or more to reach a few inches in height. They thrive well; produce fleshy leaves but not vigorously.

On the other hand, gardeners eagerly growing these plants want them to be tall, wide, and bushy in no time. If you also want faster growth, make sure to grow large or fast-growing varieties and provide ideal conditions to get big branchy succulents.

This guide covers all succulents that grow large with practical ways to help them grow faster. So, let’s explore.

What Succulent Can Grow Large?

Many succulents can grow large and bushy, but the most common varieties include:

Agave: Agave or century plants are succulents that grow big and can reach 24 feet. They spread around 10 feet wide, e.g., Agave amaericana, Agave stricta, and Agave attenuate.

Aeonium: Aeonium species mostly form shrubs growing up to 5 feet tall. Aeonium arboreum or Tree aeonium forms 3 feet tall branched stems looking like a miniature tree.

Aloe: All aloes grow fast and large compared to other succulents. Tree aloe is a real giant and can reach 60 feet in height and 20 inches spread.

Crassula: Crassula is a diverse genus of succulents with low-maintenance plants that grow exceptionally tall. Crassula ovata, commonly known as the jade plant, can grow up to 15 feet high.

branched-jade-plant

Kalanchoe: Kalanchoe daigremontiana, also known as the mother of millions, is an excellent succulent that can grow up to 7 feet tall and 3 feet wide.

Sansevieria: Sansevieria trifasciata, also known as snake plant, can grow up to 8 feet in height, and its tall blade-like pointed leaves add height to the landscape.

Echeveria species: There are many varieties of Echeveria ranging in different sizes. Echeveria Big Red is one of the largest Echeverias producing a tall flowering stem up to 1 meter in height.

echeveria-big-red
Image Credit: smgrowers.com

On the contrary, some succulents like Faucaria and Haworthia stay small, so grow them where needed.

How to Get Succulents to Grow Big and Branchy?

Succulents are low-maintenance plants with no challenging growth conditions but need little care to make them big and branchy. You must be cautious and provide everything that makes them grow tall.

branchy-succulents

Location

Choosing the right spot is the key to growing succulents big and branchy. Their ideal location depends on the variety you have grown, like some succulents prefer shade, some filtered light, and some prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. In such cases, you need to understand your plant's growth requirements and grow it accordingly to support fast and thick growth.

For instance, Echeverias need a spot where they get at least 4 to 5 hours of sun per day, and they also grow taller in a full sun position if grown in the ground. The snake plant is one of the best succulents that grow well in the shade.

succulents-feel-happy-in-right-location

Also, remember that some succulents do not tolerate frost and can burst their branches. Therefore, if you live in a cold climate prefer moving your plants indoors to prevent damage to the branches.

Pot Selection

Pots are vital in making succulents grow big, branchy or stunted. The two most important things to consider when selecting a pot for succulents are:

• Pot Material

Plastic, clay, ceramic, and terracotta are common pot materials with unique features.

Some materials are porous than others and make the soil dry. Plastic pots are lightweight but make it hard for water to evaporate, while terracotta or ceramic pots are best for succulents as they encourage water drainage and allow air circulation.

 

• Pot Size

Growing succulents in the best of their size is possible with a pot that is neither too small nor too big. It's a misconception that planting succulents in an overly big size make them grow bigger and branchy. A bigger pot results in overwatering, and the roots sit in waterlogged soil for longer, while small pots give stress and prevent root development. So, the best bet is to choose a container that is at least one inch wider than the diameter of your plant's roots. If your plant has a width of 3 inches, a 4 to 5 inches diameter container will be perfect for it.

the-right-size-plant-pot-for-succulents

Lastly, don't forget about drainage and ensure the pot has a drainage hole at the bottom. You can also make small holes at the base of the planter.

Soil

Succulents grow bigger and faster in an ideal potting mix that drains well and provide all nutrients.

You can buy a commercial succulent potting mix or make your own by mixing compost, garden soil, perlite and sand. The compost and garden soil provides enough nutrients to make the succulents branchy, while perlite and sand ensure soil porosity.

 

Secondly, pay special attention to the drainage of succulent soil.
Poorly draining soil can make the plant vulnerable to diseases, and water accumulates at the base inviting fungal diseases. Succulents with diseases spend energy recovering from the problem instead of becoming thick or branchy.

So, do simple test to know whether your soil is suitable for succulents or not. Dig a hole at least 1 foot deep and fill it with water. Now, wait for the water to drain. If water drains perfectly within half an hour, it means the soil is sufficiently porous and good to get big succulents. Otherwise, mix 3 inches of sand or other gritty material to increase drainage.

Fertilizer

Generally, succulents do not need fertilizer, but proper nutrition is necessary for encouraging tall branchy succulents. You can use manure tea or diluted fish emulsion as gentle feed. On the other hand, using diluted all-purpose soluble 8-8-8 fertilizer help make your plant grow healthy and branchy.

healthy-succulents
Image Credit: gardeningdream.com

Conclusion

Growing succulents big and branchy need careful attention to the growth conditions. You must know a particular variety and ensure it can grow big and then grow at a suitable place that promotes its growth. Use well-draining soil and water sufficient without making it drenched. Plus, keep replenishing nutrients for healthy, tall branches.

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